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Thu Jan 10, 2013, 06:50 PM

Russ Feingold: Democrats Sold Out in 2012 and Need to Quit Big Money

President Obama's decision to let his 2013 inauguration committee accept corporate cash and million-dollar donations marks quite a reversal for the president: for his first inaugural in 2009, he capped individual donations at $50,000 and banned corporate money. The Associated Press calls the decision "part of a continuing erosion of Obama's pledge to keep donors and special interests at arm's length of his presidency." But for former Sen. Russ Feingold, it's yet another sell-out by his friends in the Democratic Party to the big-money forces so dominant in politics today.

No Democrat has so publicly ripped his own party for embracing super-PACs and dark-money nonprofits than Feingold. In a new article for the journal Democracy, Feingold, who co-wrote the 2002 McCain-Feingold Act, the last major campaign finance restriction in the US, takes Democrats to the mat. He calls 2012 "a big step" back for Democratic-led efforts to get big money out of politics, and singles out Obama's reversal on super-PACs. In February 2012, the president encouraged his donors to give to Priorities USA Action, the super-PAC backing him, while allowing his top deputies to appear at Priorities events. On the PBS NewsHour, top Obama strategist David Axelrod defended Obama by saying that the president hadn't warned at all toward super-PACs but had to play by the rules of the game. You heard that a lot from Democrats in 2012. Yet with statements like that, Feingold says, Democrats were posing as a pro-reform party while tripping over themselves to "exploit any avenue to accept unlimited, corporate dollars to fund elections."

Beltway Democrats, Feingold argues, aren't going to reform big-money politics from the inside; they're addicted and they just can't quit. The task of fighting for real reforms to money in politics, of building what Feingold—who now runs his own pro-reform nonprofit, Progressives United—calls a "permanent majority" for reform, falls instead to liberal donors and activists outside of Washington.

Feingold says the most important thing big donors can do is stop giving—to super-PACs or any of the other Citizens United-enabled fixtures of our big-money politics. "Donors hold more leverage to create a movement for reform than almost any other actor in the political system," he says. If donors ignore super-PACs and nonprofits, "Washington will notice." And as for the liberal activists out there, they should redirect all the energy they've invested into passing a constitutional amendment reversing the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision and channel it into "achievable goals"—public financing of elections, disclosure of donors to dark-money nonprofits and shell corporations, overhauling the dysfunctional Federal Election Commission, the nation's top elections cop.

The stakes are high, in Feingold's view, for the Democrats. "Unless Democrats embrace election reform as a central tenet of our platform," he writes, "we will face another era reminiscent of soft money—when the dominance of corporate interests meant that no matter what party held power, the influence of Big Money always won."


http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/01/russ-feingold-obama-democrats-sold-out-super-pacs

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Reply Russ Feingold: Democrats Sold Out in 2012 and Need to Quit Big Money (Original post)
Redfairen Jan 2013 OP
Tarheel_Dem Jan 2013 #1
Creideiki Jan 2013 #5
rhett o rick Jan 2013 #6
Tarheel_Dem Jan 2013 #17
rhett o rick Jan 2013 #7
stevenleser Jan 2013 #19
rhett o rick Jan 2013 #22
stevenleser Jan 2013 #23
rhett o rick Jan 2013 #27
AverageMe Jan 2013 #25
rhett o rick Jan 2013 #28
reteachinwi Jan 2013 #2
geek tragedy Jan 2013 #3
madrchsod Jan 2013 #4
jenmito Jan 2013 #8
davidpdx Jan 2013 #16
jenmito Jan 2013 #20
Cha Jan 2013 #9
jenmito Jan 2013 #11
Cha Jan 2013 #12
jenmito Jan 2013 #13
theaocp Jan 2013 #30
Cha Jan 2013 #33
theaocp Jan 2013 #35
ancianita Jan 2013 #10
LineReply ^
Wilms Jan 2013 #14
UCmeNdc Jan 2013 #15
Jennicut Jan 2013 #18
UCmeNdc Jan 2013 #21
ancianita Jan 2013 #24
samsingh Jan 2013 #26
graham4anything Jan 2013 #29
theaocp Jan 2013 #31
graham4anything Jan 2013 #32
theaocp Jan 2013 #34
graham4anything Jan 2013 #36
theaocp Jan 2013 #38
graham4anything Jan 2013 #39
theaocp Jan 2013 #41
graham4anything Jan 2013 #43
theaocp Jan 2013 #45
Politicub Jan 2013 #37
theaocp Jan 2013 #40
Politicub Jan 2013 #42
theaocp Jan 2013 #44

Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 06:59 PM

1. I adore you Russ, but why would Democrats take advice from someone who lost? That's like asking....

Dukakis to be your senior campaign strategist.

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Response to Tarheel_Dem (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:23 PM

5. Because the progress independents like my partner

are at the end of their patience with stupid conservatives who put "D"s after their names.

Expect far, far more primary challenges. And expect them to start coming at every race at every level in the country.

The Democrats cannot win actual swing states like Colorado without progressive independents like my partner. Lose him, and you will lose. Everything.

But hey. Your choice.

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Response to Creideiki (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:32 PM

6. As the R party shrinks to a horrible few ideologs, the conservatives move into our big tent.

And some Democrats are welcoming them with open arms mistakenly thinking it means some kind of victory. To these DEmocrats principles are worth less than winning.

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Response to Creideiki (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 01:01 PM

17. I could care less what your "progressive independent" partner does with his vote. You're not...

Last edited Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:39 PM - Edit history (1)

punishing me by issuing threatening ultimatums about his vote, or lack thereof. I can promise you this, win or lose, the Democratic party will not be taken over by the left's version of the teabaggers. President Obama was reelected handily, despite all the constant carping from his left. Mainline Democrats have seen the shambles that today's Republican Party has become, trying to appease a minority of it's base. Romney did that, and couldn't make the pivot back to the center to attract Independents. Fortunately for us, your partner isn't the only one out there.

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Response to Tarheel_Dem (Reply #1)


Response to rhett o rick (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:26 PM

19. They are equally as important. You cannot implement your principles if you cannot win. And worse...

the bad guys implement their principles if you dont win.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #19)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:09 PM

22. And you are no worse off then if you give up your principles to win.

The bad guys win again. I would rather be a loser with principles than the other way round.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #22)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:41 PM

23. Not true. It is not boolean. You can back off slightly on one issue, but keep all the rest the same

Consider the person who has a perfect progressive viewpoint, but agrees if elected not to change Obamacare to single payer, but implements a living wage, cuts the defense budget, brings home all troops, etc.

We are not just as well off if a Republican won instead of that person.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #23)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:33 PM

27. My comment in post #7 was in response to post #1 where he was disparaging Sen Feingold because he

was a loser.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #22)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:29 PM

25. In politics winning is everything

 

you can do nothing if you are not in office. No matter what we believe, if we did not have the money to counter the money Romney had, he would be our president on January 20th. Until Citizens United is reversed, we will have to play by the same rules the Republicans use. It is just a sad fact of life.

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Response to AverageMe (Reply #25)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:36 PM

28. Knuckle under or die. That's not what our founders thought and it's sure as

hell aint what I think.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:05 PM

2. Worse, he lost to Ron Johnson(R-Kochtopia)

 

I don't think he's forgiven Wisconsin for that.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:22 PM

3. The party needs idealists and proven winners.

Unfortunately, they're rarely the same people.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:22 PM

4. he`s right.....

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:50 PM

8. It's amazing that Obama won despite Citizens United and being the first incumbent president to

be out-spent. Russ must forget that Obama admonished the USSC right in front of them at his SOTU speech for that ruling. But Obama had to play with the rules as they were-not as he wished them to be. Russ shouldn't be so judgmental. Obama would've outlawed big money if he could've.

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Response to jenmito (Reply #8)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:47 AM

16. I agree and what he collected in PAC money was small compared to Romney

The majority of what Obama raised was through his own campaign.

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #16)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:35 PM

20. Exactly...

Obama had next to nothing in PAC money compared to the hundreds of millions of dollars that Romney and HIS side had, but he had a lot more support from small donors. And Obama wants Citizens United overturned. Feingold should know that.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 08:20 PM

9. I'm glad there are corps who will step up and pay for the Inauguratoin..


Lobbyists, political action committees and foreign entities, however, will still be banned from underwriting the costs of the gala events, spokeswoman Addie Whisenant said. The committee also will reject donations from companies that haven’t paid back loans from the 2008 federal bailout of Wall Street, as well as corporate sponsorship deals.

“Our goal is to make sure that we will meet the fundraising requirements for this civic event after the most expensive presidential campaign in history,” she said in a statement. “To ensure continued transparency, all names of donors will be posted to a regularly updated website


"Obama’s second inaugural will be smaller than his first, with no concert on the National Mall. It will, however, still have the traditional parade down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House, as well as a National Day of Service and a round of official inaugural balls, although aides say not as many as last time.

The costs of the public swearing-in ceremony on the Capitol steps are covered by the congressional committee that oversees events on the Capitol Grounds. Security for the event is already part of the federal budget.
http://www.salon.com/2012/12/07/corporate_money_to_help_pay_for_obama_inauguration/

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Response to Cha (Reply #9)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 08:44 PM

11. Great post, Cha!

People should read and understand it. It's not that difficult, but I guess it's still easier to just complain about Obama "selling out."

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Response to jenmito (Reply #11)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 09:05 PM

12. "He's a

republican, doncha know" ignorantly ad nauseum.

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Response to Cha (Reply #12)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 09:07 PM

13. Yup.

It's so predictable that it's boring.

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Response to Cha (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:52 PM

30. I'm glad it's going to be smaller.

Imagine how efficient it could be without the corporate bribe money. I'm sure they don't expect anything in return for their bankrolling the event.

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Response to theaocp (Reply #30)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:00 PM

33. Too bad if they expect it.. they won't get it. All those donating will be

fully transparent.

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Response to Cha (Reply #33)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:18 PM

35. Transparency

yields what, exactly? Maybe if somebody with guts like Warren calls them out on it. Otherwise, you think the media are going to bring this to light? I don't. They're paid by the same group of corporate assholes. These donors aren't doing this for nothing. They expect a goddamn back rub and will still complain about the brand of oil being used.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 08:23 PM

10. This isn't about Feingold. It's common sense. I ranted to all organizers who emailed me after 2008.

Problem is, the whole political-industrial complex need to make a living and will continue to be complicit in selling out to corporate interests until their hearts and minds are changed to see politics as a calling. They are lobbyists, middlemen, Plouffe and Axelrod types, lawyers, poor college organizers of campaigns, mass emailers, ad-makers, oppositional researchers, facebook and twitter bots, etc. The public will have to fight for this through the courts. Any other fight is a doomed David vs. Goliath contest.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:21 PM

14. ^

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 12:57 AM

15. The Problem is in the court rulings

The courts are allowing soft money into the system. Overturn citizen's united.

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Response to UCmeNdc (Reply #15)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:23 PM

18. Pretty much changed the way campaigns are going to be run.

Don't take the money and risk losing. Take the money and sell out but win.

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Response to Jennicut (Reply #18)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:42 PM

21. The problem must be solved at the source. You cannot remedy the situation by attacking the symptoms.

The source of this problem is the court system and its rulings.

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Response to Jennicut (Reply #18)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:46 PM

24. The public, I think, is ready to vote in poor candidates whose arguments serve the 98%'s interests.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:31 PM

26. kick

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:38 PM

29. Russ took his ball,whined and left the arena. Doesn't he now have his own superPac?

 

his word means nothing.

he could have ran for lesser office to be in the game, but he took his ball and left.

BTW, we need $1 more than they have, so we can compete.

And Russ-it was YOUR bill that you made that had more holes in it than all the golf courses in the world put together.
Why did you naively make a bill that had all those holes?

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #29)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:54 PM

31. Your $1 more makes you beholden to corporate interests.

Support wolf-pac.com and get behind the constitutional amendment to get the $$$ out of politics. Otherwise, your precious $1 more eliminates your voice.

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Response to theaocp (Reply #31)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:00 PM

32. and what about free videos played on Fox? And shadow groups? Naive to think it will disappear

 

til they give up, thanks, no thanks

a winner does what a loser doesn't- that is win

a symbolic loss is still a loss

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #32)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:16 PM

34. The cancer wins

when you don't address the actual issue. A constitutional amendment is the only way to get the $$$ cancerous growth out. It is possible, but not if you don't try. Your "winning" is two sides of the same coin; no voice.

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Response to theaocp (Reply #34)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:49 PM

36. that is the Nader thingy. I ain't buying the two sides are the same crap. SCOTUS proves it

 

sorry, no sale.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #36)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:56 PM

38. Both sides yield no voice of the people

There's just no time for people AND begging for corporate bribes.

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Response to theaocp (Reply #38)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:57 PM

39. Obama forever. That is fine with me. The Naderites thew 2000 to the repubs.Nader is the 1%

 

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #39)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 06:01 PM

41. Dems WON'T be in charge forever

if both sides are beholden to the corporate money. People are stupid and will continue to wonder what have TPTB done for me lately. The media conspires to keep them confused and then they vote for the other side, wondering aloud, "What have I got to lose?" Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

Corporate money keeps winning and we lose. wolf-pac.com

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Response to theaocp (Reply #41)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 06:04 PM

43. I am very happy what has been accomplished since 2009.

 

I want a continuation of all things Obama forever

Hillary45
Michelle46
Chelsea47
and the court will be 9 to 0 soon, and with it, the bad rullings will be reversed.

If you don't like the democrat, then you must want Jeb/Christie in 2016

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #43)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 06:36 PM

45. Being beholden to corporate interests will GUARANTEE

another hideous Republican will gain office or at the very least will keep Democratic leadership from achieving their goals. Either way, the people are misled into thinking any alternative is worth a go. Try waiting around for the next economic crash b/c of, say, the college loan bubble? Who do you think the media and therefore the people are going to blame?

As for your ridiculous assertion at the end of your response, I guess you "got me". I can't love Jeb enough.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:53 PM

37. Campaign finance needs to be addressed, but we needed to match the pukes dollar for dollar

It's easier to change the system when you're in charge of it.

Feingold is able to sit in his ivory tower and pontificate since he will be fine no matter who is in power.

If he wants to blame anyone, he should lay the blame squarely at the feet of the supreme court. Period.

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Response to Politicub (Reply #37)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:57 PM

40. You can't have both campaign finance reform

and matching dollar for dollar. The money talks and campaign finance reform walks. wolf-pac.com.

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Response to theaocp (Reply #40)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 06:02 PM

42. Ok, then. Let's see how much progress we dems can make by sitting on the sidelines while

republicans buy every minute of advertising airtime.

Plus, wolf-pac makes me think of the Twilight series of movies. Just sayin'.

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Response to Politicub (Reply #42)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 06:30 PM

44. Your first response is a straw man and

I have no idea what you're talking about wrt Twilight. wolf-pac.com

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