Independent Campaign Finance Expert on Feingold’s Progressives United: A “Legalized Slush Fund” That Built Toward “Future Senate Run”

Attorney Paul Jossey, Johnson Campaign say Feingold has failed to come clean about his shadow campaign, Clintonesque email scandal

Today, Paul Jossey, an independent campaign finance expert and lawyer, held a press call with Wisconsin and national media, in which he said Senator Feingold’s political action committee, Progressives United, was nothing more than a “legalized slush fund” that built toward his “future Senate run.”

Feingold has said his PAC was a “new model” in explaining why 95 percent of the money raised went toward salaries, building his national fundraising apparatus, and other expenses, rather than helping candidates. Jossey, who has made his career about calling out organizations like Feingold’s on both the left and the right, refuted that, saying “’Let’s create a PAC and keep all the money’ is not a new model.”

The Johnson campaign made clear on the call that Progressives United is at the center of Senator Feingold’s email scandal with the State Department. According to media reports, Feingold spoke with Sen. Jon Tester, head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee while he was at the State Department, and Progressives United continued to build Senator Feingold’s future political campaign during that time – both things the Republican Party of Wisconsin and others have charged are violations of the Hatch Act.

Last week, Politico reported that the State Department will not release Feingold’s emails until after the election, and as of today Feingold has failed to call on them to do so or to release documents of his own to come clean to the people of Wisconsin. Here are additional excerpts from Jossey’s remarks on the call:

“This PAC was nothing more than a legalized slush fund.”

“I think that Progressives United belongs in the same category as the other PACs because of its shady marketing and questionable spending.”

“95 cents on every dollar… went for something other than pure political action.”

“The other 95 percent went to things like building a list for Mr. Feingold’s future Senate run, warehousing some of his top political aides, and other administrative expenses.”

“What kind of organizing were they doing? … The only organizing that they seem to be doing is sending out a bunch of solicitation with ‘Citizens United’ or some other buzzwords to get money into the PAC and to build their email lists.”