Russ Feingold accuses Democrats of resisting campaign finance reform

| May 18, 2011 | 4 Replies

According to TPM, Russ Feingold has accused both Democrats and Republicans of backing “corporate interests in Congress by opposing an executive order under discussion in the White House that would require government contractors to reveal their political donations.”

This culture of corporate influence and corruption is precisely what we as Progressives United want to change,” he wrote. “So we’ve decided to take on those legislators who are unwilling to stand up to corporate power, and we’re naming names.” The names included House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO). In addition, the email targeted Sens. Mitch McConnell, (R-KY), Rob Portman (R-OH), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), and Rep. Darrell Issa, (R-CA).

We need far more of this plain talk that transcends party politics. Who is letting Wall Street commit its crimes? Who is allowing telecom megamergers that threaten consumers? Who is allowing an unaccountably enormous military budget to drain the treasury instead of investing in the people of America? It’s members of both parties, it’s shameful and it’s got to stop. I applaud Russ Feingold’s courage in speaking out.

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Category: Campaign Finance Reform, Corruption

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (4)

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  1. Jim Razinha says:

    Echo your applause. Keep naming those names.

    • Erich Vieth says:

      I agree. We need to light some fires under some of these so-called progressives. Unless we have meaningful campaign finance disclosures and reform all deliberation in Congress will be pretend deliberation.

  2. tom beebe st louis says:

    Russ, it's not just corporations who have excess influence through campaign contributions, it's every group which, by definition, is a "special interest". When only individuals pay, the interests on all individuals can be heard equally. Here's an ammendment to do that:

    (Commentary in {..}, not part of proposed Amendment}

    No candidate for the Presidency or either house of Congress shall accept contributions in cash or in kind from any organization or group of persons for expenses incurred in a campaign for that office. All such contributions shall be made only by individual citizens who shall attest that the funds or other items of value are from their own resources and that they have not received, nor have they been promised, offsetting items of value from any other party in exchange for their contribution. The identity and extent of contributors to such campaigns shall be made public for a period of thirty days from receipt before being employed or used as collateral for a loan by such campaigns. Organizations of any type, {i.e. corporations, unions, gun rights advocates, environmental protection groups, even “Susie’s Flower Shop”, a theoretical small business cited in the Citizen’s United Case,} may, without restriction, expend money to advocate a position on any issue before or likely to come before the electorate insofar as no candidate’s name or description is included in their expressions of advocacy.

    {The intent of the above is to bring “transparency” to campaign financing by removing any group from the process whereby that group may conceal the identity of an individual contributor as well as limiting the influence of such groups or “special interests”. It further prevents an organization from making such contributions when an individual within that organization, such as a union member or corporation stockholder, may oppose the candidate. Considering the large equity position in certain corporations that the federal government has recently taken in response to the economic crises, this is particularly important in excluding such influence. The money from “special interest” groups will then go to promote that for which they exist, their “special interest”. The media will be directed to expositions on the issues facing the electorate, thus enhancing discussion and hopefully understanding of issues, bereft of personalities.

  3. Laine Ziegler says:

    God There is no one who feels more betrayed than I do. Ive been in love with Russ For 18 years. He has joined the land of the corrupt. I'm a dem and I really did write them and never did go to war,

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