Senator Feingold appeared on the “On the Issues” speaker series with Mike Gousha today, and with him finally taking questions at a large public event in Wisconsin we wanted to be clear about his record. Here are the facts about Feingold on the issues during 18 years in Washington – and the promises he’s broken and questions he faces as he tries to claw his way back:
The Iran deal exemplifies the dangerously weak national security record Senator Feingold developed during his 18 years in Washington, and his hypocrisy on special interest money.
Most recently, Senator Feingold called the deal one of the “great things that the president has done,” showing his support for the deal is stronger than ever, even after Iran tested missiles and temporarily detained 10 U.S. sailors.
And despite a career of railing against the influence of lobbyists, he’s taken more than $300,000 from J Street, a D.C.-based special interest group and lobbyist bundler that supports the Iran deal.
Senator Feingold loves to tout his vote against the Patriot Act, but what he doesn’t tell you is what his dangerously weak record on terrorist surveillance has actually meant. He’s repeatedly voted against a “lone wolf” law meant to protect against San Bernardino-style attacks by homegrown terrorists and others acting alone – and against establishing the Homeland Security Department.
He’s offered no real ideas on how to deal with ISIS beyond recycling old ideas by President Obama and others. Just read his op-ed and tell us what he wants to do differently from the man he predicted “could end up being one of our great presidents” on foreign policy.
Here’s what you won’t hear on the so-called business tour Senator Feingold has taken across the state: His voting record on creating jobs was among the worst in the U.S. Senate. In some cases, it was even worse than Socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
He’s also voted for tax increases hundreds of times, and helped lay the groundwork for EPA overreach that is tying up Wisconsin farmers in red tape and making it harder for manufacturers to create good jobs for Wisconsin families.
Senator Feingold supported a so-called “assault weapons ban” as senator, and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton supports gun bans, as well as considering an Australian-style approach to gun control.
The question now – will he support gun bans again? And does he agree with Hillary Clinton on Australian gun control? Senator Feingold talked a good game on guns for years, but his voting record undermined the Second Amendment and is out of step with Wisconsinites.
The clearest sign of the fact that Senator Feingold will do anything to get back in Washington is the fact that he’s violated his principles on the issue that matters to him most: getting money out of politics. The people of Wisconsin know if he’ll violate his principles on issues that matter to him, he’ll do the same on the issues that matter to them.
Soon after losing his seat in 2010, Senator Feingold created Progressives United, a shadowy slush fund he used to benefit himself and lay the groundwork for his next Senate campaign. Then he broke his promise to raise more than half his money in Wisconsin, a career-defining pledge he’d honored from 1992 to 2010 – and renewed after the Citizens United court decision he now blames.
Senator Feingold wanted an even bigger government takeover of health care than Obamacare. Does he agree with self-proclaimed Socialist Bernie Sanders’s plan for single-payer health care, or does he agree with Hillary Clinton that Obamacare is enough?
Bernie Sanders says we need tax increases on the rich to fund the big government agenda he and other Democrats are pushing, including an expansion of Social Security. Hillary Clinton has challenged him on how to pay for his proposals without broad tax increases on the middle class.
Senator Feingold says he wants to “protect and expand” Social Security, but he was among the professional politicians who helped put it on the path toward going broke. He also voted to increase taxes on Social Security – would he support or rule out Bernie’s proposal?