Skip to comments.On Feingold’s honor: Former senator still silent on honoraria call
Posted on 08/20/2015 11:22:29 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
MADISON, Wis. Former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, one of the louder critics of speaking fees for government officials, still hasnt answered his critics calls to release the full amount of honoraria the Democrat has pocketed.
A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel piece this week revealed Feingold took in more than $100,000 in speaking fees between February 2012 and June 2013, much of that money for discussions on the corrupting influence of money in politics.
The Wisconsin GOP, however, believes Feingold, the godfather of campaign finance reform, has yet to reveal all of his earnings from speaking engagements before that period.
To ensure Wisconsin voters have all of the facts, I call on Senator Feingold to take a stand for transparency by releasing any additional honoraria he accepted between January 2011 and January 2012, Brad Courtney, chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, said in a statement.
Feingold, one of the more liberal members of Congress during his 18 years as Wisconsins junior U.S. senator, is running in a rematch against Republican Sen. Ron Johnson.
Since his defeat in 2010, Feingold has made a living as a professor, author, State Department employee and as the face of a progressive political action committee roundly criticized as a slush fund for the career politician.
RELATED: Feingolds PAC spent lavishly on travel, FEC docs show
Now, Feingold is feeling the heat of his own hypocrisy on the honorarium question.
In September 2000, Feingold wrote an opinion piece for the Chicago Tribune attacking a bill that allowed federal judges to accept the same kinds of speaking fees the former senator has collected.
Are Americans comfortable allowing federal judges to accept $1,000, $5,000 or $10,000 speaking fees from corporations and other wealthy interests that may have cases pending in federal court? Within weeks, this question could change from a hypothetical query to a real crisis of judicial integrity, Feingold wrote at the time.
Tom Russell, Feingolds campaign manager, could not be reached for comment for this story. He told the Journal Sentinel that Feingold opposed such speaking fees because he was concerned about the influence of corporate interests on public officials during their active service.
Honoraria for former politicians, even those longingly looking at a politically redemptive rematch, seem to be okay with Feingold, though.
Filings with the Federal Election Commission show Feingold cashed in on speaking fees from think tanks, universities and liberal TV talk show Real Time with Bill Maher during February 2012 and June 2013.
As a member of Congress and as a special envoy at the State Department, Russ did not accept honoraria and would not if elected, Feingolds spokesman told the newspaper. Federal lawmakers are prohibited from accepting such speaking fees.
But did Feingold pocket speaking fees during the first couple of years of his political exile?
The Democrat delivered a commencement speech at Appletons Lawrence University in June 2011. He also was one of the speakers for the universitys international lecture series in autumn 2012.
A Lawrence spokesman said Feingold was not paid for either speech, although he was compensated as a visiting professor.
In October 2011, Feingold delivered a guest lecture at the University of Oregon. The topic was corporate power in politics and the effects of the U.S. Supreme Courts Citizens United ruling.
Its not clear whether Feingold collected a check for that speech. Officials from the university did not return Wisconsin Watchdogs requests for comment. The university did name the former senator Wayne Morse Chair of Law and Politics during his visit. The honor, according to the school, has been held by distinguished scholars and activists who embody the qualities and traditions associated with former Oregon Senator Wayne Morse.
Among the topics addressed on the centers website is a publication titled, Making the Case for Transgender Health and Rights: Gender Recognition in the Courts and in Prison.
Feingold addressed the ultra-liberal Netroots Nation in June 2011. In his speech, he urged the crowd to take back the Democratic Party and the U.S. government.
I fear the Democratic Party is in danger of losing its identity, Feingold said of Dems use of Super PACs.
In defending Feingolds own PAC problems, his tortured position on honoraria and his decision to abandon his pledge to raise the majority of his campaign contributions from Wisconsin donors, the former senators supporters claim Feingold is just engaging in a modern campaign.
CONFLICTED FEINGOLD: Former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold was one of the biggest critics of speaking fees paid to federal employees by special interest groups. Turns out the Democrat pocketed more than $100,000 in honoraria.
Feingold charged with hypocracy for taking secret money while criticizing opponents.
FReep Mail me if you want on, or off, this Wisconsin interest ping list.
Feingolds got honor.......... Who Knew?.
You KNOW there’s no love lost between Old Rusty and me, but if Senator Ron Johnson doesn’t DEFEAT HIM, I’m gonna punch Ron in the nose, LOL!
A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel piece this week revealed Feingold took in more than $100,000 in speaking fees between February 2012 and June 2013, much of that money for discussions on the corrupting influence of money in politics. The Wisconsin GOP, however, believes Feingold, the godfather of campaign finance reform, has yet to reveal all of his earnings from speaking engagements before that period.
The Liberal Golden Rule, do as I say, scum...(and don’t you DARE ask me questions on what I do,) DON’T YOU KNOW WHO I AM?!?!?!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.