Russ Feingold Refuses to Decline Super PAC Money for 2016

Russ Feingold is throwing his hat into Wisconsin’s 2016 Senate race against the man who beat him in 2010, [mc_name name=’Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’J000293′ ]. Feingold is, if you will recall, a champion of so-called campaign finance reform (McCain-Feingold, anyone?) and a vocal critic of money in politics (or at least the kinds of money Democrats don’t like). So, it should go without saying that such a vocal critic of Super PACs won’t take any money from any of them, right?


To help us answer that question, the group America Rising has found footage of a response the former Senator gave to a question posed by a Wisconsin TV reporter about accepting Super PAC money. His response was… not exactly straightforward:

He calls the organizations a “horrible system”, but he never gives a definite answer to the actual question he was asked. As Daniel Bassali at the Washington Free Beacon notes, accepting Super PAC money would be a complete reversal of his historic opposition to doing so.

Perhaps the sting of defeat has gotten to him? Part of Feingold’s appeal to activist Progressives comes from the fact that he is seen as a man of conviction who stands up for “the people” against money in politics and corporations, so any chance to hit him with accusations of hypocrisy should especially sting. The Russ Feingold we see now is probably like [mc_name name=’Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’J000293′ ] describes him: a man who has tasted politics from the inside and finds himself addicted to it.

We need to keep our eye on this race. We cannot allow Russ Feingold to be elected back to the Senate.