In Wisconsin, the NRSC and GOP Sen. Ron Johnson have pushed for all of Feingold’s emails from his time working as the StateDepartment‘s special envoy for the African Great Lakes region and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Republicans have charged that Feingold began planning his Senate bid while still on the government payroll. It doesn’t appear Republicans will get their hands on the emails before the election, however.
“Wisconsinites deserve to know whether Sen. Feingold violated federal law by planning his campaign while collecting a paycheck from taxpayers,” Johnson spokesman Brian Reisinger said. “Between the 21 months of the State Department stonewalling Freedom of Information Act requests, Sen. Feingold’s own refusal to call for the immediate release of his records, and his track record as a 34-year career politician who says one thing and does another on every issue, Wisconsinites have plenty of reason to wonder what Sen. Feingold is hiding from them.”
Seven days until Election Day and the U.S. State Department has yet to release correspondence and other records related to U.S. Senate candidate Russ Feingold’s brief tenure as special envoy.
Republicans and the Washington Free Beacon have asked that their Freedom of Information Act requests be expedited. They want to know whether Feingold, a Middleton Democrat running to take back the seat he lost in 2010 to Sen. Ron Johnson,R-Oshkosh, violated a 77-year-old federal law prohibiting executive employees from setting up political campaigns.
The Free Beacon reported in late September that the State Department had granted the publication’s appeal to expedite delivery of the records. As of Monday, the documents had not been delivered.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee also filed a FOIA request with the State Department – some 600 days ago – for similar documents. Last month, the NRSC and America Rising PAC, a conservative opposition-research organization, asked the State Department to expedite their records requests regarding Feingold.
“To date, the State Department has not issued a final (or interim) determination in response to these requests, nor has America Rising been able to confirm that the requests have been assigned tracking numbers,” wrote Allan Blutstein, the political action committee’s vice president for FOIA operations, in a letter obtained by Wisconsin Watchdog on Oct. 18.
Sources say the State Department has done nothing to move up its original timeline of December to release the records – one month after the election.
Johnson’s campaign said there is no excuse for the delay.