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Russ Feingold

Russ Feingold

Overview
Russell Dana "Russ" Feingold (ˈfaɪn.ɡoʊld; born March 2, 1953) is an American politician
Politics of the United States
The United States is a federal constitutional republic, in which the President of the United States , Congress, and judiciary share powers reserved to the national government, and the federal government shares sovereignty with the state governments.The executive branch is headed by the President...

 from the U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

. He served as a Democratic party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 member of the U.S. Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 from 1993 to 2011. From 1983 to 1993, Feingold was a Wisconsin State Senator
Wisconsin State Senate
The Wisconsin Senate, the powers of which are modeled after those of the U.S. Senate, is the upper house of the Wisconsin State Legislature, smaller than the Wisconsin State Assembly...

 representing the 27th District.

He is a recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award
Profile in Courage Award
The Profile in Courage Award is a private award given to recognize displays of courage similar to those John F. Kennedy described in his book Profiles in Courage...

, and cosponsored the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act
Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act
The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 is a United States federal law that amended the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, which regulates the financing of political campaigns. Its chief sponsors were Senators Russell Feingold and John McCain...

 (McCain–Feingold Act), a major piece of campaign finance reform
Campaign finance reform
Campaign finance reform is the common term for the political effort in the United States to change the involvement of money in politics, primarily in political campaigns....

 legislation. He was the only Senator to vote against the USA PATRIOT Act
USA PATRIOT Act
The USA PATRIOT Act is an Act of the U.S. Congress that was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001...

 during the first vote on the legislation.

Feingold had been mentioned as a possible candidate in the 2008 Presidential election
United States presidential election, 2008
The United States presidential election of 2008 was the 56th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on November 4, 2008. Democrat Barack Obama, then the junior United States Senator from Illinois, defeated Republican John McCain, the senior U.S. Senator from Arizona. Obama received 365...

, but following the November midterm elections of 2006
United States general elections, 2006
The 2006 United States midterm elections were held on Tuesday, November 7, 2006. All United States House of Representatives seats and one third of the United States Senate seats were contested in this election, as well as 36 state governorships, many state legislatures, four territorial...

 he chose not to run.
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Encyclopedia
Russell Dana "Russ" Feingold (ˈfaɪn.ɡoʊld; born March 2, 1953) is an American politician
Politics of the United States
The United States is a federal constitutional republic, in which the President of the United States , Congress, and judiciary share powers reserved to the national government, and the federal government shares sovereignty with the state governments.The executive branch is headed by the President...

 from the U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

. He served as a Democratic party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 member of the U.S. Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 from 1993 to 2011. From 1983 to 1993, Feingold was a Wisconsin State Senator
Wisconsin State Senate
The Wisconsin Senate, the powers of which are modeled after those of the U.S. Senate, is the upper house of the Wisconsin State Legislature, smaller than the Wisconsin State Assembly...

 representing the 27th District.

He is a recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award
Profile in Courage Award
The Profile in Courage Award is a private award given to recognize displays of courage similar to those John F. Kennedy described in his book Profiles in Courage...

, and cosponsored the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act
Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act
The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 is a United States federal law that amended the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, which regulates the financing of political campaigns. Its chief sponsors were Senators Russell Feingold and John McCain...

 (McCain–Feingold Act), a major piece of campaign finance reform
Campaign finance reform
Campaign finance reform is the common term for the political effort in the United States to change the involvement of money in politics, primarily in political campaigns....

 legislation. He was the only Senator to vote against the USA PATRIOT Act
USA PATRIOT Act
The USA PATRIOT Act is an Act of the U.S. Congress that was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001...

 during the first vote on the legislation.

Feingold had been mentioned as a possible candidate in the 2008 Presidential election
United States presidential election, 2008
The United States presidential election of 2008 was the 56th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on November 4, 2008. Democrat Barack Obama, then the junior United States Senator from Illinois, defeated Republican John McCain, the senior U.S. Senator from Arizona. Obama received 365...

, but following the November midterm elections of 2006
United States general elections, 2006
The 2006 United States midterm elections were held on Tuesday, November 7, 2006. All United States House of Representatives seats and one third of the United States Senate seats were contested in this election, as well as 36 state governorships, many state legislatures, four territorial...

 he chose not to run. In 2010, Feingold lost his campaign for re-election to the US Senate to Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 Ron Johnson
Ron Johnson (Wisconsin)
Ronald Harold "Ron" Johnson is the junior United States Senator for Wisconsin, and a member of the Republican Party, and is associated with the Tea party movement....

 .

On February 17, 2011, Feingold announced he had formed a grassroots
Grassroots
A grassroots movement is one driven by the politics of a community. The term implies that the creation of the movement and the group supporting it are natural and spontaneous, highlighting the differences between this and a movement that is orchestrated by traditional power structures...

 Political Action Committee
Political action committee
In the United States, a political action committee, or PAC, is the name commonly given to a private group, regardless of size, organized to elect political candidates or to advance the outcome of a political issue or legislation. Legally, what constitutes a "PAC" for purposes of regulation is a...

  Progressives United, a movement intended, among other things, to fight the controversial United States Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. FEC.

Early life, education, and career


Feingold was born in Janesville, Wisconsin
Janesville, Wisconsin
Janesville is a city in southern Wisconsin, United States. It is the county seat of Rock County and the principal municipality of the Janesville, Wisconsin Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 62,998.-History:...

, to a Jewish family who had settled in the area in 1917. His grandparents were immigrants from Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and Galicia. His father, Leon Feingold (1912–1980), was an attorney; his mother, Sylvia Feingold (née Binstock; 1918–2005), worked at a title
Title (property)
Title is a legal term for a bundle of rights in a piece of property in which a party may own either a legal interest or an equitable interest. The rights in the bundle may be separated and held by different parties. It may also refer to a formal document that serves as evidence of ownership...

 company. Feingold was one of four children. He has publicly noted that his older brother, David, along with his father, were the major influences in his political development as a youth. He was also involved with the B'nai B'rith Youth Organization and Aleph Zadik Aleph
Aleph Zadik Aleph
The Grand Order of the Aleph Zadik Aleph is an international youth-led fraternal organization for Jewish teenagers, founded in 1924 and currently existing as the male wing of BBYO Inc., an independent non-profit organization...

 as a boy.
In 1972, Feingold volunteered for the presidential campaign of New York City mayor John Lindsay
John Lindsay
John Vliet Lindsay was an American politician, lawyer and broadcaster who was a U.S. Congressman, Mayor of New York City, candidate for U.S...

. Later he supported the presidential campaigns of Mo Udall
Mo Udall
Morris King "Mo" Udall was an American politician who served as a U.S. Representative from Arizona from May 2, 1961 to May 4, 1991...

 and Ted Kennedy
Ted Kennedy
Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy was a United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. Serving almost 47 years, he was the second most senior member of the Senate when he died and is the fourth-longest-serving senator in United States history...

.

After graduating from Joseph A. Craig High School
Joseph A. Craig High School
Joseph A. Craig High School is a public secondary school located in the city of Janesville, Wisconsin. Constructed in 1954 as Janesville Senior High School, it was renamed Craig High School in 1967 when George S. Parker High School was built on the west side of the city. Craig has a student...

, Feingold attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison
University of Wisconsin–Madison
The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public research university located in Madison, Wisconsin, United States. Founded in 1848, UW–Madison is the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. It became a land-grant institution in 1866...

 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 degree with honors
Latin honors
Latin honors are Latin phrases used to indicate the level of academic distinction with which an academic degree was earned. This system is primarily used in the United States, Canada, and in many countries of continental Europe, though some institutions also use the English translation of these...

 in 1975, a member of the Phi Beta Kappa
Phi Beta Kappa Society
The Phi Beta Kappa Society is an academic honor society. Its mission is to "celebrate and advocate excellence in the liberal arts and sciences"; and induct "the most outstanding students of arts and sciences at America’s leading colleges and universities." Founded at The College of William and...

 honor society
Honor society
In the United States, an honor society is a rank organization that recognizes excellence among peers. Numerous societies recognize various fields and circumstances. The Order of the Arrow, for example, is the national honor society of the Boy Scouts of America...

. He went to Magdalen College
Magdalen College, Oxford
Magdalen College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. As of 2006 the college had an estimated financial endowment of £153 million. Magdalen is currently top of the Norrington Table after over half of its 2010 finalists received first-class degrees, a record...

 at the University of Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

 on a Rhodes Scholarship
Rhodes Scholarship
The Rhodes Scholarship, named after Cecil Rhodes, is an international postgraduate award for study at the University of Oxford. It was the first large-scale programme of international scholarships, and is widely considered the "world's most prestigious scholarship" by many public sources such as...

 in 1977, where he earned another Bachelor of Arts degree. Upon returning to the U.S., he attended Harvard Law School
Harvard Law School
Harvard Law School is one of the professional graduate schools of Harvard University. Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, it is the oldest continually-operating law school in the United States and is home to the largest academic law library in the world. The school is routinely ranked by the U.S...

, receiving his J.D.
Juris Doctor
Juris Doctor is a professional doctorate and first professional graduate degree in law.The degree was first awarded by Harvard University in the United States in the late 19th century and was created as a modern version of the old European doctor of law degree Juris Doctor (see etymology and...

 with honors in 1979.

Feingold worked as an attorney at the private law firms of Foley & Lardner
Foley & Lardner
Foley & Lardner LLP is an international law firm started in 1842. According to The American Lawyer, the firm ranked 39th on The American Lawyer's 2011 AmLaw 100 rankings of U.S. law firms, with $633,000,000 in gross revenue in 2010. Foley & Lardner has been in The American Lawyer's annual AmLaw 100...

 and La Follette & Sinykin from 1979 until 1985.

Wisconsin Senate


In 1982, he was elected to the Wisconsin Senate, where he served for ten years until his election to the United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

. In 1987, he joined the "Bowtie Brigade," a coalition of grassroots
Grassroots
A grassroots movement is one driven by the politics of a community. The term implies that the creation of the movement and the group supporting it are natural and spontaneous, highlighting the differences between this and a movement that is orchestrated by traditional power structures...

 activists and local-level politicians who backed the presidential candidacy of bowtie-clad Senator Paul Simon
Paul Simon (politician)
Paul Martin Simon was an American politician from Illinois. He served in the United States House of Representatives from 1975 to 1985 and United States Senate from 1985 to 1997. He was a member of the Democratic Party...

 of Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

. After he was elected to the United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

, Feingold was succeeded in the State Senate
Wisconsin State Senate
The Wisconsin Senate, the powers of which are modeled after those of the U.S. Senate, is the upper house of the Wisconsin State Legislature, smaller than the Wisconsin State Assembly...

 by Joseph Wineke
Joe wineke
Joe Wineke is an American Politician. He served as a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly and Wisconsin State Senate and was elected for two terms as the Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. He is succeeded by Mike Tate....

.

Committee assignments

  • Committee on the Budget
  • Committee on the Judiciary
    United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
    The United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary is a standing committee of the United States Senate, of the United States Congress. The Judiciary Committee, with 18 members, is charged with conducting hearings prior to the Senate votes on confirmation of federal judges nominated by the...

    • Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts
      United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts
      The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts is one of seven subcommittees within the Senate Judiciary Committee.-Jurisdiction:...

    • Subcommittee on the Constitution (Chairman)
    • Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs
      United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs
      The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs is one of seven subcommittees within the Senate Judiciary Committee.-Jurisdiction:Jurisdiction: Oversight of the Department of Justice's Criminal Division; Drug Enforcement Administration; Executive Office of the U.S. Attorneys; Violence...

  • Committee on Foreign Relations
    United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
    The United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is a standing committee of the United States Senate. It is charged with leading foreign-policy legislation and debate in the Senate. The Foreign Relations Committee is generally responsible for overseeing and funding foreign aid programs as...

    • Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs
    • Subcommittee on African Affairs
      United States Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs
      The Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs is one of seven subcommittees of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.-Jurisdiction:...

       (Chairman)
    • Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs
      United States Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs
      The Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs is one of seven subcommittees of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.-Jurisdiction:...

    • Subcommittee on International Operations and Organizations, Democracy and Human Rights
  • Select Committee on Intelligence
    United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
    The United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is dedicated to overseeing the United States Intelligence Community—the agencies and bureaus of the federal government of the United States who provide information and analysis for leaders of the executive and legislative branches. The...


Political positions


Feingold's primary legislative focus has been on campaign finance reform
Campaign finance reform
Campaign finance reform is the common term for the political effort in the United States to change the involvement of money in politics, primarily in political campaigns....

; fair trade
Fair trade
Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach that aims to help producers in developing countries make better trading conditions and promote sustainability. The movement advocates the payment of a higher price to producers as well as higher social and environmental standards...

 policies; healthcare reform; conservation and environmental protection; a multilateral foreign policy
Foreign policy
A country's foreign policy, also called the foreign relations policy, consists of self-interest strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests and to achieve its goals within international relations milieu. The approaches are strategically employed to interact with other countries...

; Social Security
Social Security (United States)
In the United States, Social Security refers to the federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance program.The original Social Security Act and the current version of the Act, as amended encompass several social welfare and social insurance programs...

; and the elimination of capital punishment
Capital punishment
Capital punishment, the death penalty, or execution is the sentence of death upon a person by the state as a punishment for an offence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capital originates from the Latin capitalis, literally...

 and wasteful spending. He was also "a staunch supporter of civil liberties
Civil liberties
Civil liberties are rights and freedoms that provide an individual specific rights such as the freedom from slavery and forced labour, freedom from torture and death, the right to liberty and security, right to a fair trial, the right to defend one's self, the right to own and bear arms, the right...

."

Feingold was the only Democratic senator to vote against a motion to dismiss Congress's 1998–1999 impeachment
Impeachment
Impeachment is a formal process in which an official is accused of unlawful activity, the outcome of which, depending on the country, may include the removal of that official from office as well as other punishment....

 case of President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

. In a statement, Feingold said House prosecutors must have "every reasonable opportunity" to prove beyond a reasonable doubt
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt is a 1956 film directed by Fritz Lang and written by Douglas Morrow. The film, considered film noir, was the last American film directed by Lang.-Plot:...

 that Clinton should be removed from office on charges of perjury
Perjury
Perjury, also known as forswearing, is the willful act of swearing a false oath or affirmation to tell the truth, whether spoken or in writing, concerning matters material to a judicial proceeding. That is, the witness falsely promises to tell the truth about matters which affect the outcome of the...

 and obstruction of justice
Obstruction of justice
The crime of obstruction of justice, in United States jurisdictions, refers to the crime of interfering with the work of police, investigators, regulatory agencies, prosecutors, or other officials...

. Feingold ultimately voted against conviction on all charges.

In 2001, Feingold voted for the confirmation of Attorney General
United States Attorney General
The United States Attorney General is the head of the United States Department of Justice concerned with legal affairs and is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States government. The attorney general is considered to be the chief lawyer of the U.S. government...

 John Ashcroft
John Ashcroft
John David Ashcroft is a United States politician who served as the 79th United States Attorney General, from 2001 until 2005, appointed by President George W. Bush. Ashcroft previously served as the 50th Governor of Missouri and a U.S...

. This decision was not popular with his party, but Feingold explained that he voted based on respect for the right for a President to choose his Cabinet, not because of his own personal opinions on Ashcroft.

Feingold has also been an opponent of NAFTA
North American Free Trade Agreement
The North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA is an agreement signed by the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994. It superseded the Canada – United States Free Trade Agreement...

 and other free trade
Free trade
Under a free trade policy, prices emerge from supply and demand, and are the sole determinant of resource allocation. 'Free' trade differs from other forms of trade policy where the allocation of goods and services among trading countries are determined by price strategies that may differ from...

 agreements – a popular position among many pro-fair trade
Fair trade
Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach that aims to help producers in developing countries make better trading conditions and promote sustainability. The movement advocates the payment of a higher price to producers as well as higher social and environmental standards...

 Democrats – but at odds with the pro-free trade Democratic wing, including the Democratic Leadership Council
Democratic Leadership Council
The Democratic Leadership Council was a non-profit 501 corporation that, upon its formation, argued the United States Democratic Party should shift away from the leftward turn it took in the late 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s...

.

In May 2006, Feingold voted to support the Salazar Amendment
Ken Salazar
Kenneth Lee "Ken" Salazar is the current United States Secretary of the Interior, in the administration of President Barack Obama. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as a United States Senator from Colorado from 2005 to 2009. He and Mel Martinez were the first Hispanic U.S...

, which would have declared English the "common language" of the country, but dissented in the vote for the Inhofe Amendment
Inhofe Amendment
The Inhofe Amendment was an amendment to the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006, a United States Senate bill that would have changed current immigration law allowing more immigrants into the United States. The amendment was passed by the Senate on May 18, 2006 by a vote of 62-35...

, which would have made English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 the "national language" of the United States.

On December 21, 2004, Feingold wrote an article for popular webzine, Salon.com
Salon.com
Salon.com, part of Salon Media Group , often just called Salon, is an online liberal magazine, with content updated each weekday. Salon was founded by David Talbot and launched on November 20, 1995. It was the internet's first online-only commercial publication. The magazine focuses on U.S...

, regarding his golfing trip to Greenville
Greenville, Alabama
Greenville is a city in Butler County, Alabama, United States. At the 2000 census, the population was 7,228. The city is the county seat of Butler County and is known as the Camellia City. The movement to change the Official Alabama State Flower from the goldenrod to the camellia originated in...

, Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

. After noting how friendly the people were, and that Wisconsin had many similar places, he expressed his sorrow that such a poverty
Poverty
Poverty is the lack of a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live...

-stricken area was "the reddest
Red state vs. blue state divide
The terms red states and blue states came into use in 2000 to refer to those states of the United States whose residents predominantly vote for the Republican Party or Democratic Party presidential candidates, respectively. A blue state tends to vote for the Democratic Party, and a red state tends...

 spot on the whole map," despite Republican policies that Feingold considered incredibly destructive to the lives of the poor
Poverty
Poverty is the lack of a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live...

 and middle class
Middle class
The middle class is any class of people in the middle of a societal hierarchy. In Weberian socio-economic terms, the middle class is the broad group of people in contemporary society who fall socio-economically between the working class and upper class....

. Alabama Governor Bob Riley
Bob Riley (Alabama)
Robert Renfroe "Bob" Riley is an American politician in the Republican Party. He was the 52nd Governor of Alabama, first elected in 2002, and re-elected in 2006.-Early life:...

 and Greenville Mayor
Mayor
In many countries, a Mayor is the highest ranking officer in the municipal government of a town or a large urban city....

 Dexter McLendon
Greenville, Alabama
Greenville is a city in Butler County, Alabama, United States. At the 2000 census, the population was 7,228. The city is the county seat of Butler County and is known as the Camellia City. The movement to change the Official Alabama State Flower from the goldenrod to the camellia originated in...

, both Republicans, were perturbed at Feingold's description of "check-cashing stores and abject trailer parks, and some of the hardest-used cars for sale on a very rundown lot." McLendon invited Feingold back for a more complete tour of the city, and Feingold agreed. He visited the city on March 28, 2005, making amends and increasing speculation about his presidential plans for 2008.

In May 2006, Feingold voted in favor of bill S.2611, an immigration reform
Immigration reform
Immigration reform is a term used in political discussion regarding changes to current immigration policy of a country. In its strict definition, "reform " means to change into an improved form or condition, by amending or removing faults or abuses....

 bill that, among other things, would almost double the number of H-1B visas.

As one of the strongest opponents of capital punishment
Capital punishment
Capital punishment, the death penalty, or execution is the sentence of death upon a person by the state as a punishment for an offence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capital originates from the Latin capitalis, literally...

 in the Senate, Feingold co-sponsored, along with Jon Corzine
Jon Corzine
Jon Stevens Corzine is the former CEO of Goldman Sachs and of MF Global, and a one time American politician, who served as the 54th Governor of New Jersey from 2006 to 2010. A Democrat, Corzine served five years of a six-year U.S. Senate term representing New Jersey before being elected Governor...

 (who would later, as Governor of New Jersey
Governor of New Jersey
The Office of the Governor of New Jersey is the executive branch for the U.S. state of New Jersey. The office of Governor is an elected position, for which elected officials serve four year terms. While individual politicians may serve as many terms as they can be elected to, Governors cannot be...

, sign an abolition bill in his state), the National Death Penalty Moratorium Act in 2002. In the 111th Congress
111th United States Congress
The One Hundred Eleventh United States Congress was the meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government from January 3, 2009 until January 3, 2011. It began during the last two weeks of the George W. Bush administration, with the remainder spanning the first two years of...

, Feingold introduced the Federal Death Penalty Abolition Act of 2009.

On January 26, 2009 Feingold, Tom Harkin
Tom Harkin
Thomas Richard "Tom" Harkin is the junior United States Senator from Iowa and a member of the Democratic Party. He previously served in the United States House of Representatives ....

 and Robert Byrd
Robert Byrd
Robert Carlyle Byrd was a United States Senator from West Virginia. A member of the Democratic Party, Byrd served as a U.S. Representative from 1953 until 1959 and as a U.S. Senator from 1959 to 2010...

 were the sole Democrats to vote against confirmation of Timothy Geithner to be United States Secretary of the Treasury
United States Secretary of the Treasury
The Secretary of the Treasury of the United States is the head of the United States Department of the Treasury, which is concerned with financial and monetary matters, and, until 2003, also with some issues of national security and defense. This position in the Federal Government of the United...

 (Independent Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders
Bernard "Bernie" Sanders is the junior United States Senator from Vermont. He previously represented Vermont's at-large district in the United States House of Representatives...

, who caucused with Democrats, also voted against Geithner's confirmation).

Feingold has supported various measures to assist veterans. He cosponsored the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act, which was enacted in October 2009. In 2010 he was named "Legislator of the Year" by the National Association of County Veterans Service Officers.

Campaign finance reform


Feingold is perhaps best known for his work alongside Senator John McCain
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

 on the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act
Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act
The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 is a United States federal law that amended the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, which regulates the financing of political campaigns. Its chief sponsors were Senators Russell Feingold and John McCain...

 of 2002 – better-known as the McCain-Feingold Act – which took almost seven years to pass.

On July 14, 2005, Feingold introduced a bill in the Senate that would ban lobbyists
Lobbying
Lobbying is the act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in the government, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies. Lobbying is done by various people or groups, from private-sector individuals or corporations, fellow legislators or government officials, or...

 from giving gifts to senators and impose a $50,000 fine for violating the ban; force lawmakers to sign statements saying that lobbyists did not pay their travel expenses; forbid lawmakers from traveling on corporate jets; bar congressmen, staffers, and executive branch officials from serving as lobbyists for two years after leaving office; and require that lobbying reports be disclosed on a quarterly, rather than semi-annual, basis. The bill is the Senate version of a bill by Congressman Marty Meehan
Marty Meehan
Martin Thomas "Marty" Meehan is an American attorney and politician from the state of Massachusetts. He is the current Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Lowell, a position he assumed on July 1, 2007...

 (D-MA), who co-wrote the House version of McCain-Feingold, and Rahm Emanuel
Rahm Emanuel
Rahm Israel Emanuel is an American politician and the 55th and current Mayor of Chicago. He was formerly White House Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama...

 (D-IL). Neither version came to a vote. The Feingold-McCain bill was initially waiting completion of McCain hearings on the issue, but the Jack Abramoff
Jack Abramoff
Jack Abramoff is an American former lobbyist and businessman. Convicted in 2006 of mail fraud and conspiracy, he was at the heart of an extensive corruption investigation that led to the conviction of White House officials J. Steven Griles and David Safavian, U.S. Representative Bob Ney, and nine...

 scandal put it in the spotlight, along with several other more recent reform proposals.

Government spending


Feingold is also a well-known advocate for reductions in pork barrel
Pork barrel
Pork barrel is a derogatory term referring to appropriation of government spending for localized projects secured solely or primarily to bring money to a representative's district...

 spending and corporate welfare
Corporate welfare
Corporate welfare is a pejorative term describing a government's bestowal of money grants, tax breaks, or other special favorable treatment on corporations or selected corporations. The term compares corporate subsidies and welfare payments to the poor, and implies that corporations are much less...

. Citizens Against Government Waste
Citizens Against Government Waste
Citizens Against Government Waste is a 501 non-profit organization in the United States. It functions as a think-tank, 'government watchdog', and advocacy group for fiscally conservative causes...

, the Concord Coalition
Concord Coalition
The Concord Coalition is a political advocacy group in the United States, formed in 1992. A bipartisan organization, it was founded by former U.S. Senator Warren Rudman, former Secretary of Commerce Peter George Peterson, and the late U.S. Senator Paul Tsongas. The Concord Coalition's advocacy...

, and Taxpayers for Common Sense – three nonpartisan organizations dedicated to those causes – have repeatedly commended him.

Feingold was elected to Congress on a promise not to accept pay raises while in office, and has so far returned over $70,000 in such raises to the U.S. Treasury
United States Department of the Treasury
The Department of the Treasury is an executive department and the treasury of the United States federal government. It was established by an Act of Congress in 1789 to manage government revenue...

. In addition, he is notoriously frugal in his office's spending, and sends back the money that he does not use. In one six-month period in 1999, for example, his office received $1.787 million in appropriations and returned $145,000, a higher percentage than any other senator's office. Since becoming a Senator in 1993, Feingold has returned to the U.S. Treasury $3.2 million from his office budget.

USA PATRIOT Act


Feingold was the only senator to vote against the USA PATRIOT Act
USA PATRIOT Act
The USA PATRIOT Act is an Act of the U.S. Congress that was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001...

 when first voted on in 2001. At the time, Feingold stated that provisions in the act infringed upon citizens' civil liberties
Civil liberties
Civil liberties are rights and freedoms that provide an individual specific rights such as the freedom from slavery and forced labour, freedom from torture and death, the right to liberty and security, right to a fair trial, the right to defend one's self, the right to own and bear arms, the right...

.

When the bill was up for renewal in late December 2005, Feingold led a bipartisan coalition of senators – including Lisa Murkowski
Lisa Murkowski
Lisa Ann Murkowski is the senior U.S. Senator from the State of Alaska and a member of the Republican Party. She was appointed to the Senate in 2002 by her father, Governor Frank Murkowski. After losing a Republican primary in 2010, she became the second person ever to win a U.S...

, Ken Salazar
Ken Salazar
Kenneth Lee "Ken" Salazar is the current United States Secretary of the Interior, in the administration of President Barack Obama. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as a United States Senator from Colorado from 2005 to 2009. He and Mel Martinez were the first Hispanic U.S...

, Larry Craig
Larry Craig
Larry Edwin Craig is a former Republican politician from the U.S. state of Idaho. He served 18 years in the U.S. Senate , preceded by 10 years in the U.S. House, representing Idaho's first district . His 28 years in the Congress rank as the second-longest in Idaho history, trailing only William...

, Dick Durbin, and John Sununu
John E. Sununu
John Edward Sununu is a former Republican United States Senator from New Hampshire, of Lebanese and Palestinian Christian ancestry. Sununu was the youngest member of the Senate for his entire six year term. He is the son of former New Hampshire Governor John H...

  – to remove some of the Act's more controversial provisions. He led a successful filibuster
Filibuster
A filibuster is a type of parliamentary procedure. Specifically, it is the right of an individual to extend debate, allowing a lone member to delay or entirely prevent a vote on a given proposal...

 against renewal of the act. This ultimately led to a compromise on some of its provisions. This compromise bill passed the Senate on March 2, 2006, by a vote of 89-10. Feingold was among the ten senators who voted nay, stating that the bill still lacked necessary protections for some civil liberties
Civil liberties
Civil liberties are rights and freedoms that provide an individual specific rights such as the freedom from slavery and forced labour, freedom from torture and death, the right to liberty and security, right to a fair trial, the right to defend one's self, the right to own and bear arms, the right...

.

In 2009, when the Act was again up for re-authorization, Feingold introduced the JUSTICE Act (S. 1686) "To place reasonable safeguards on the use of surveillance and other authorities under the USA PATRIOT Act." Senator Patrick Leahy
Patrick Leahy
Patrick Joseph Leahy is the senior United States Senator from Vermont and member of the Democratic Party. He is the first and only elected Democratic United States Senator in Vermont's history. He is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Leahy is the second most senior U.S. Senator,...

 then introduced an alternative bill, about which Feingold later said "...while narrower than the JUSTICE Act that Senator Durbin and I have championed, [it] did contain several important and necessary protections for the privacy of innocent Americans." After what Feingold saw as the further watering down of civil liberty protections in the bill, it passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on October 8 on a vote of 11-8 with Feingold voting against it.

Proposed constitutional amendment


Feingold announced in January 2009 that he was planning to introduce a constitutional amendment
Constitutional amendment
A constitutional amendment is a formal change to the text of the written constitution of a nation or state.Most constitutions require that amendments cannot be enacted unless they have passed a special procedure that is more stringent than that required of ordinary legislation...

 which would prohibit governor
Governor
A governor is a governing official, usually the executive of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the head of state...

s from making temporary Senate appointments instead of holding special elections. Feingold referred to recent controversies, most notably the Rod Blagojevich corruption charges
Rod Blagojevich corruption charges
Rod Blagojevich, former Governor of Illinois, is an American politician under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation since 2005 for corruption. Blagojevich and his Chief of Staff John Harris were charged with corruption by federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald...

 and also called appointments an anachronism, which doesn't reflect the will of voters.

War in Iraq


Feingold was one of 23 US senators to vote against H.J. Resolution 114
Iraq Resolution
The Iraq Resolution or the Iraq War Resolution is a joint resolution passed by the United States Congress in October 2002 as Public Law No: 107-243, authorizing military action against Iraq.-Contents:The resolution cited many factors to justify the use of military force against...

, which authorized President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 to use force against Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 in 2002.

On August 17, 2005, he became the first senator to call for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and urge that a timetable for that withdrawal be set. He called other Democrats "timid" for refusing to take action sooner, and suggested December 31, 2006, as the date for total withdrawal of troops. On the subject of Bush's assertion that a deadline would be helpful to Iraqi insurgents
Iraqi insurgency
The Iraqi Resistance is composed of a diverse mix of militias, foreign fighters, all-Iraqi units or mixtures opposing the United States-led multinational force in Iraq and the post-2003 Iraqi government...

, Feingold said, "I think he's wrong. I think not talking about endgames is playing into our enemies' hand."

On April 27, 2006, Feingold announced that he would move to amend an appropriations
Appropriation (law)
In law and government, appropriation is the act of setting apart something for its application to a particular usage, to the exclusion of all other uses....

 bill granting $106.5 billion in emergency spending measure for Iraq and Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

 relief to require that troops withdraw completely from Iraq.

Call for a vote of censure


On March 14, 2006, Feingold introduced a resolution in the Senate to censure
Censure in the United States
In the United States, a motion of censure is a congressional procedure for reprimanding the President of the United States, a member of Congress, or a judge. Unlike impeachment, in the United States censure has no explicit basis in the federal constitution. It derives from the formal condemnation...

 President Bush. This was a result of allegations of illegal wiretapping, as reported in The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

, that Bush did not follow the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA), which mandates use of a surveillance
Surveillance
Surveillance is the monitoring of the behavior, activities, or other changing information, usually of people. It is sometimes done in a surreptitious manner...

 court for approval of wiretaps on Americans. Feingold made a 25-minute speech on the Senate Floor, declaring that Congress must "hold the president accountable for his actions". It received support from Senators Tom Harkin
Tom Harkin
Thomas Richard "Tom" Harkin is the junior United States Senator from Iowa and a member of the Democratic Party. He previously served in the United States House of Representatives ....

 of Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

 and Barbara Boxer
Barbara Boxer
Barbara Levy Boxer is the junior United States Senator from California . A member of the Democratic Party, she previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives ....

 of California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, although most Democratic senators avoided expressing an opinion on it. Senators John Kerry
John Kerry
John Forbes Kerry is the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts, the 10th most senior U.S. Senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2004 presidential election, but lost to former President George W...

 of Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 and Patrick Leahy
Patrick Leahy
Patrick Joseph Leahy is the senior United States Senator from Vermont and member of the Democratic Party. He is the first and only elected Democratic United States Senator in Vermont's history. He is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Leahy is the second most senior U.S. Senator,...

 of Vermont
Vermont
Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...

 expressed support for the bill, but Feingold was able to find only three co-sponsors.

Feingold again called for Bush's censure in July 2007 for his management of the Iraq war, accusing him of mounting an "assault" against the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

.

Health care reform



Feingold has long been an advocate for creating a system of universal health care
Universal health care
Universal health care is a term referring to organized health care systems built around the principle of universal coverage for all members of society, combining mechanisms for health financing and service provision.-History:...

 in America. During his first run for the Senate, he endorsed the single-payer model, similar to that used by Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. Once elected, he opposed the Clinton health care plan
Clinton health care plan
The Clinton health care plan was a 1993 healthcare reform package proposed by the administration of President Bill Clinton and closely associated with the chair of the task force devising the plan, First Lady of the United States Hillary Rodham Clinton....

, saying that it did too much for the insurance industry and not enough for the uninsured. During the Bush administration
George W. Bush administration
The presidency of George W. Bush began on January 20, 2001, when he was inaugurated as the 43rd President of the United States of America. The oldest son of former president George H. W. Bush, George W...

, he opposed the enactment of Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D is a federal program to subsidize the costs of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries in the United States. It was enacted as part of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 and went into effect on January 1, 2006.- Eligibility and...

 and authored a bill to require the Senate leadership to submit health care reform bills.

On July 24, 2006, at a press conference
News conference
A news conference or press conference is a media event in which newsmakers invite journalists to hear them speak and, most often, ask questions. A joint press conference instead is held between two or more talking sides.-Practice:...

 at the Martin Luther King Heritage Health Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee is the largest city in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, the 28th most populous city in the United States and 39th most populous region in the United States. It is the county seat of Milwaukee County and is located on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan. According to 2010 census data, the...

, Feingold announced that he had authored the State-Based Health Care Reform Act, a bill to create a pilot program for a system of universal healthcare under which each U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 would create a program to provide its citizenry with universal health insurance, and the federal government
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 would provide the funding. The bill would create a non-partisan "Health Care Reform Task Force," which would provide five-year federal grant
Federal grant
In the United States, federal grants are economic aid issued by the United States government out of the general federal revenue. A federal grant is an award of financial assistance from a federal agency to a recipient to carry out a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by a law of...

s to two or three states. The program is expected to cost $32 billion over 10 years.

Feingold voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a United States federal statute signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. The law is the principal health care reform legislation of the 111th United States Congress...

 which passed the Senate on December 24, 2009.

Gun issues


Feingold has a mixed record on gun rights and gun control
Gun politics
Gun politics addresses safety issues and ideologies related to firearms through criminal and noncriminal use. Gun politics deals with rules, regulations, and restrictions on the use, ownership, and distribution of firearms.-National sovereignty:...

 issues, voting in favor of certain gun-control legislation, while also voting to expand certain gun rights. On February 24, 2004, he voted against S.1805, a bill that would have extended the Federal ban on semi-automatic firearms
Federal assault weapons ban
The Federal Assault Weapons Ban was a subtitle of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, a federal law in the United States that included a prohibition on the manufacture for civilian use of certain semi-automatic firearms, so called "assault weapons"...

. In 2002, he voted for allowing airline pilots to carry firearms in cockpits. He has spoken in support of the interpretation that the Second Amendment
Second Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights that protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights.In 2008 and 2010, the Supreme Court issued two Second...

 pertains to an individual right to own firearms, and in opposition to proposals for handgun
Handgun
A handgun is a firearm designed to be held and operated by one hand. This characteristic differentiates handguns as a general class of firearms from long guns such as rifles and shotguns ....

 bans and mandatory firearms registration. Recently Feingold took this position when he sided with the conservative majority of the Senate and signed the Congressional amicus in District of Columbia v. Heller
District of Columbia v. Heller
District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 , was a landmark case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects an individual's right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes in federal enclaves, such as...

.

On the other hand, he has consistently voted in favor of bills to require background check
Background check
A background check or background investigation is the process of looking up and compiling criminal records, commercial records and financial records of an individual....

s for firearms purchases at gun show
Gun show
A gun show is a temporary exhibition or gathering in the United States where firearms, firearm accessories, ammunition, literature, knives, jerky, militaria, and miscellaneous collectibles are displayed, bought, sold, traded, and discussed. Gun shows also often include exhibitions related to...

s, and to require that handguns be sold with trigger lock
Trigger lock
A trigger lock is a device designed to prevent a firearm from being discharged while the device is in place. Generally, two pieces come together from either side behind the trigger and are locked in place, which can be unlocked with a key or combination. This physically prevents the trigger from...

s.

In March 2004, he explained his position in a speech on the Senate floor:

Same-sex marriage


On April 4, 2006, Feingold told constituents at a listening session in Kenosha, Wisconsin
Kenosha, Wisconsin
Kenosha is a city and the county seat of Kenosha County in the State of Wisconsin in United States. With a population of 99,218 as of May 2011, Kenosha is the fourth-largest city in Wisconsin. Kenosha is also the fourth-largest city on the western shore of Lake Michigan, following Chicago,...

, that he supported the legalization of same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage is marriage between two persons of the same biological sex or social gender. Supporters of legal recognition for same-sex marriage typically refer to such recognition as marriage equality....

. Though Feingold had once voted against passage of the Defense of Marriage Act
Defense of Marriage Act
The Defense of Marriage Act is a United States federal law whereby the federal government defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. Under the law, no U.S. state may be required to recognize as a marriage a same-sex relationship considered a marriage in another state...

, this was the first time that he publicly announced his support for marriage rights for same-sex couples. Feingold's comments were in response to a question about whether he supported a ballot initiative
Initiative
In political science, an initiative is a means by which a petition signed by a certain minimum number of registered voters can force a public vote...

 that Wisconsinites voted on in November 2006 that incorporated a ban on same-sex marriage and all civil unions (same-sex or not) into the state constitution. He joined then-Republican Lincoln Chafee
Lincoln Chafee
Lincoln Davenport Chafee is an American politician who has been the 74th Governor of Rhode Island since January 2011. Prior to his election as governor, Chafee served in the United States Senate as a Republican from 1999 until losing his Senate re-election bid in 2006 to Democrat Sheldon...

 of Rhode Island
Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

 and Democrats Edward Kennedy
Ted Kennedy
Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy was a United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. Serving almost 47 years, he was the second most senior member of the Senate when he died and is the fourth-longest-serving senator in United States history...

 of Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

, Ron Wyden
Ron Wyden
Ronald Lee "Ron" Wyden is the senior U.S. Senator for Oregon, serving since 1996, and a member of the Democratic Party. He previously served in the United States House of Representatives from 1981 to 1996....

 of Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

, and Mark Dayton
Mark Dayton
Mark Brandt Dayton is an American politician, the 40th and current Governor of the state of Minnesota. Dayton previously served as United States Senator from Minnesota from 2001 to 2007 in the 107th, 108th, and 109th Congresses...

 of Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

 as one of only five senators to publicly announce their support for same-sex marriage.
On May 18, 2006, Feingold again made news with his stance on marriage when he walked out of a meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee
United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
The United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary is a standing committee of the United States Senate, of the United States Congress. The Judiciary Committee, with 18 members, is charged with conducting hearings prior to the Senate votes on confirmation of federal judges nominated by the...

 shortly before a vote on a constitutional amendment
Federal Marriage Amendment
The Federal Marriage Amendment H.J. Res. 56 was a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution which would have limited marriage in the United States to unions of one man and one woman...

 to ban same-sex marriage. After Feingold objected to both the amendment and decision of Chairman Arlen Specter
Arlen Specter
Arlen Specter is a former United States Senator from Pennsylvania. Specter is a Democrat, but was a Republican from 1965 until switching to the Democratic Party in 2009...

 (R-PA at the time) to move the meeting to an area of the Capitol Building
United States Capitol
The United States Capitol is the meeting place of the United States Congress, the legislature of the federal government of the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., it sits atop Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall...

 not open to the public, Specter told Feingold, "I don't need to be lectured by you. You are no more a protector of the Constitution than am I. If you want to leave, good riddance." Feingold then replied, "I've enjoyed your lecture, too, Mr. Chairman. See ya." He then left the room and did not return. Later that day, the committee voted to send the amendment to the full Senate.

On July 29, 2006, Feingold was the keynote speaker at the Human Rights Campaign
Human Rights Campaign
The Human Rights Campaign is the United States' largest LGBT advocacy group and lobbying organization; according to the HRC, it has more than one million members and supporters...

's annual gala at the Moscone Center
Moscone Center
Moscone Center is the largest convention and exhibition complex in San Francisco, California. It comprises three main halls: Two underground halls underneath Yerba Buena Gardens, known as Moscone North and Moscone South, and a three-level Moscone West exhibition hall across 4th Street...

 in San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...

.

1992 U.S. Senate


Feingold's senatorial career began in 1992, with a victory over incumbent Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 Senator Bob Kasten
Bob Kasten
Robert Walter "Bob" Kasten, Jr. , is a Republican politician from the state of Wisconsin who served as a U.S. Representative from 1975 to 1979 and as a U.S. Senator from 1981 to 1993.- Background :Kasten was born in Milwaukee...

. Feingold, who had little name recognition in the state and was campaigning in a primary against a pair of millionaire
Millionaire
A millionaire is an individual whose net worth or wealth is equal to or exceeds one million units of currency. It can also be a person who owns one million units of currency in a bank account or savings account...

 opponents – Congressman Jim Moody
Jim Moody
James Powers "Jim" Moody is an American economist, and former member of the U.S. Congress. Moody represented Milwaukee, Wisconsin in Congress from 1983 to 1993.- Background :...

 and attorney Joe Checota – adopted several proposals to gain the electorate's attention. The most memorable of these was a series of five promises written on Feingold's garage door in the form of a contract
Contract
A contract is an agreement entered into by two parties or more with the intention of creating a legal obligation, which may have elements in writing. Contracts can be made orally. The remedy for breach of contract can be "damages" or compensation of money. In equity, the remedy can be specific...

. These were:
  1. I will rely on Wisconsin citizens for most of my contributions.
  2. I will live in Middleton, Wisconsin. My children will go to school here and I will spend most of my time here in Wisconsin.
  3. I will accept no pay raise during my six-year term in office.
  4. I will hold a "Listening Session" in each of Wisconsin's 72 counties each year of my six-year term in office.
  5. I will hire the majority of my Senate staff from individuals who are from Wisconsin or have Wisconsin backgrounds.


Also noted was Feingold's advertising campaign
Advertising campaign
An advertising campaign is a series of advertisement messages that share a single idea and theme which make up an integrated marketing communication...

, which was widely compared to that used by progressive
Progressivism
Progressivism is an umbrella term for a political ideology advocating or favoring social, political, and economic reform or changes. Progressivism is often viewed by some conservatives, constitutionalists, and libertarians to be in opposition to conservative or reactionary ideologies.The...

 candidate Paul Wellstone
Paul Wellstone
Paul David Wellstone was a two-term U.S. Senator from the state of Minnesota and member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, which is affiliated with the national Democratic Party. Before being elected to the Senate in 1990, he was a professor of political science at Carleton College...

 in his victorious Senate campaign in Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

. Shot in the form of home movies
Home movies
A home movie is part of the motion picture filmmaking process made by amateurs, often for viewing by family and friends. When the hobby began, home movies were produced on photographic film, but accessibility of video production with video cameras and low cost data storage devices has made the...

, the ads attempted to portray Feingold, who always referred to himself as "the underdog
Underdog (competition)
An underdog is a person or group in a competition, frequently in electoral politics, sports and creative works, who is popularly expected to lose. The party, team or individual expected to win is called the favorite or top dog. In the rare case where an underdog wins, the outcome is an upset. These...

 running for U.S. senate," as a down-to-earth, Capra-esque
Frank Capra
Frank Russell Capra was a Sicilian-born American film director. He emigrated to the U.S. when he was six, and eventually became a creative force behind major award-winning films during the 1930s and 1940s...

 figure, taking the audience on a guided tour of the candidate's home and introducing them to his children, all of whom were enrolled in public school
Public education
State schools, also known in the United States and Canada as public schools,In much of the Commonwealth, including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, the terms 'public education', 'public school' and 'independent school' are used for private schools, that is, schools...

.

The ads also contained a significant amount of humor. One featured Feingold meeting with an Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King"....

 impersonator, who offered Feingold his endorsement. (Bob Kasten
Bob Kasten
Robert Walter "Bob" Kasten, Jr. , is a Republican politician from the state of Wisconsin who served as a U.S. Representative from 1975 to 1979 and as a U.S. Senator from 1981 to 1993.- Background :Kasten was born in Milwaukee...

 responded to the Elvis endorsement with an advertisement featuring an Elvis impersonator attacking Feingold's record.) Another showed Feingold standing next to a pair of half-sized cardboard cut-outs of his opponents, refusing to "stoop to their level" as the two were shown literally slinging mud at one another.

During the primary campaign, Feingold unveiled an 82-point plan that aimed to eliminate the deficit by the end of his first term. The plan, which called for, among other things, a raise in tax
Tax
To tax is to impose a financial charge or other levy upon a taxpayer by a state or the functional equivalent of a state such that failure to pay is punishable by law. Taxes are also imposed by many subnational entities...

es and cuts in the defense budget
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

, was derided as "extremist" by Republicans
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 and "too liberal
Liberalism
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

" by his Democratic opponents. Feingold also announced his support for strict campaign finance reform
Campaign finance reform
Campaign finance reform is the common term for the political effort in the United States to change the involvement of money in politics, primarily in political campaigns....

 and a national health care system
Universal health care
Universal health care is a term referring to organized health care systems built around the principle of universal coverage for all members of society, combining mechanisms for health financing and service provision.-History:...

 and voiced his opposition to term limit
Term limit
A term limit is a legal restriction that limits the number of terms a person may serve in a particular elected office. When term limits are found in presidential and semi-presidential systems they act as a method to curb the potential for monopoly, where a leader effectively becomes "president for...

s and new tax cuts.

Feingold won by positioning himself as a quirky underdog who offered voters an alternative to what was seen by many as negative campaigning of opponents Jim Moody
Jim Moody
James Powers "Jim" Moody is an American economist, and former member of the U.S. Congress. Moody represented Milwaukee, Wisconsin in Congress from 1983 to 1993.- Background :...

 and Joe Checota. On primary day, Feingold, whose support had shown in the single digits throughout much of the campaign, surged to victory with 70 percent of the vote. Seven weeks later, while Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

, George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

, and Ross Perot
Ross Perot
Henry Ross Perot is a U.S. businessman best known for running for President of the United States in 1992 and 1996. Perot founded Electronic Data Systems in 1962, sold the company to General Motors in 1984, and founded Perot Systems in 1988...

 split the Wisconsin presidential vote 41%-37%-21%, Feingold beat Kasten by a margin of 53 percent to 46 percent.

1998 U.S. Senate


During his 1998 re-election campaign, Feingold once again eschewed big-money campaigning, despite the fact that the National Republican Senatorial Committee
National Republican Senatorial Committee
The National Republican Senatorial Committee is the Republican Hill committee for the United States Senate, working to elect Republicans to that body. The NRSC was founded in 1916 as the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee...

 had targeted him for defeat. Feingold placed a cap on his own fundraising
Fundraising
Fundraising or fund raising is the process of soliciting and gathering voluntary contributions as money or other resources, by requesting donations from individuals, businesses, charitable foundations, or governmental agencies...

, refusing to raise or spend more than $3.8 million (one dollar for every citizen of Wisconsin) during the campaign. In addition, he placed the same limits on his fundraising
Fundraising
Fundraising or fund raising is the process of soliciting and gathering voluntary contributions as money or other resources, by requesting donations from individuals, businesses, charitable foundations, or governmental agencies...

 that he would have faced under the McCain-Feingold bill. He refused to allow his party to raise any soft money to air ads favoring him, and he requested that several lobby groups, including the AFL-CIO
AFL-CIO
The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, commonly AFL–CIO, is a national trade union center, the largest federation of unions in the United States, made up of 56 national and international unions, together representing more than 11 million workers...

 and the League of Conservation Voters
League of Conservation Voters
The League of Conservation Voters is a political advocacy organization founded in 1969 by American environmentalist David Brower in the early years of the environmental movement. LCV's mission is to "advocate for sound environmental policies and to elect pro-environmental candidates who will adopt...

, refrain from airing pro-Feingold "issue ads." His Republican opponent, Representative Mark Neumann
Mark Neumann
Mark W. Neumann is a businessman and politician. He represented from 1995 to 1999. In 2010, Neumann lost a bid to become the Republican nominee for Governor of Wisconsin. Neumann is currently a candidate for U.S...

, also limited himself to $3.8 million in spending, but allowed soft money to be used in his favor by a variety of pro-Republican groups. Other Democrats and supporters were angry at Feingold for "putting his career at risk" with these self-imposed limits. On election day, a strong showing in the Democratic strongholds of Milwaukee
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee is the largest city in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, the 28th most populous city in the United States and 39th most populous region in the United States. It is the county seat of Milwaukee County and is located on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan. According to 2010 census data, the...

 and Madison
Madison, Wisconsin
Madison is the capital of the U.S. state of Wisconsin and the county seat of Dane County. It is also home to the University of Wisconsin–Madison....

 allowed Feingold to win by around two percent.

2004 U.S. Senate


In the 2004 Senate election, Feingold defeated the Republican candidate and construction magnate Tim Michels
Tim Michels
Timothy J. Michels is a former U.S. Senate candidate from Wisconsin. He earned the Republican nomination on September 15, 2004 for the U.S. Senate to run against the incumbent Senator, Russ Feingold. He defeated well-known car dealer Russ Darrow, Jr., State Senator Bob Welch, and attorney Robert...

 by 12 percent (56 percent-44 percent), earning a third term. During the campaign, Feingold refrained from imposing spending caps on himself as he had in the past, and raised and spent almost $11 million. Although critics attempted to use that fact to paint him as a hypocrite, Feingold's records showed that more than 90 percent of the money came from individuals, that the average contribution was $60, and that a majority of it was raised from Wisconsin residents. Feingold won some counties that supported a second term for Republican President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

.

In late December 2004, Feingold was appointed to be one of four deputy whip
Whip (politics)
A whip is an official in a political party whose primary purpose is to ensure party discipline in a legislature. Whips are a party's "enforcers", who typically offer inducements and threaten punishments for party members to ensure that they vote according to the official party policy...

s for the Senate Democrats. Feingold pledged that the new role would not sway his "maverick stance" within the party or the chamber.

2008 possible Presidential bid


In late January 2005, Feingold told the Tiger Bay Club
Tiger Bay Club
The Tiger Bay Club is a Florida-based political club. It is considered non-partisan or bi-partisan. The organization is open to professionals interested in political dialogue and discussion. There are groups with similar sounding names but no official relationship in many Florida cities. The...

 of Volusia County, Florida
Volusia County, Florida
Volusia County is a county located in the state of Florida. The U.S. Census Bureau 2010 official county's population was 494,593 . Its county seat is DeLand, and its most populous city is currently Deltona....

 that he intended to travel around the country before deciding whether or not to run in 2008. In March 2005, his Senate campaign staff registered the domain www.russfeingold08.com, as well as the .org and .net versions. On June 1, 2005, Feingold launched a political action committee
Political action committee
In the United States, a political action committee, or PAC, is the name commonly given to a private group, regardless of size, organized to elect political candidates or to advance the outcome of a political issue or legislation. Legally, what constitutes a "PAC" for purposes of regulation is a...

 (PAC), the Progressive Patriots Fund; launching a PAC is seen as an important step in running for President. A "draft Feingold" movement was established, independent of the senator's campaign.

On August 17, 2005, Feingold became the first U.S. Senator of either party to suggest a firm date for American withdrawal from the Iraq war, saying that he favored a complete withdrawal by no later than December 31, 2006.

On September 22, 2005, during the hearing
John Roberts Supreme Court nomination and hearings
The Senate hearings on the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court, began on September 12, 2005, with U.S. Senators posing questions to Roberts, who was nominated by President George W...

 on Judge John Roberts's nomination for Chief Justice of the United States
Chief Justice of the United States
The Chief Justice of the United States is the head of the United States federal court system and the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Chief Justice is one of nine Supreme Court justices; the other eight are the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States...

, Feingold was one of three Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee to vote in favor of sending Roberts's nomination to the floor for a full vote. He also announced that he would vote to confirm Roberts. (Feingold graduated in the same Harvard Law School class (1979) as Roberts, as did Spencer Abraham
Spencer Abraham
Edmund Spencer Abraham is a former United States Senator from Michigan. He served as the tenth United States Secretary of Energy, serving under President George W. Bush. Abraham is one of the founders of the Federalist Society....

, former U.S. senator from Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

 and former United States Secretary of Energy.) Many members of the Democratic blogosphere
Blogosphere
The blogosphere is made up of all blogs and their interconnections. The term implies that blogs exist together as a connected community or as a social network in which everyday authors can publish their opinions...

 predicted that this vote would have a negative impact on his presidential aspirations, but Feingold's supporters pointed out that this was not the first time Feingold voted in favor of Bush's judicial nominees. However, Feingold voted against Samuel Alito
Samuel Alito
Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr. is an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He was nominated by President George W. Bush and has served on the court since January 31, 2006....

 in committee and voted against cloture
Cloture
In parliamentary procedure, cloture is a motion or process aimed at bringing debate to a quick end. It is also called closure or, informally, a guillotine. The cloture procedure originated in the French National Assembly, from which the name is taken. Clôture is French for "ending" or "conclusion"...

 of debate regarding Alito's nomination on the Senate floor.

Although Feingold usually received support in the single digits in opinion poll
Opinion poll
An opinion poll, sometimes simply referred to as a poll is a survey of public opinion from a particular sample. Opinion polls are usually designed to represent the opinions of a population by conducting a series of questions and then extrapolating generalities in ratio or within confidence...

s featuring various potential Democratic presidential candidates, he was highly popular among Democratic grassroots
Grassroots democracy
Grassroots democracy is a tendency towards designing political processes where as much decision-making authority as practical is shifted to the organization's lowest geographic level of organization: principle of subsidiarity....

 activists
Activism
Activism consists of intentional efforts to bring about social, political, economic, or environmental change. Activism can take a wide range of forms from writing letters to newspapers or politicians, political campaigning, economic activism such as boycotts or preferentially patronizing...

.

Following Democratic victories in the November 2006 mid-term elections, Feingold announced that he would not run for president in 2008. He said that running for president would detract from his focus on the Senate, and the likely prying into his recent divorce "would dismantle both my professional life (in the Senate) and my personal life." In his parting comments, he warned his supporters against supporting anyone for the presidency who voted for the Iraq War, whether they later regretted it or not, saying his first choice for president in 2008 was someone who voted against the war, and his second choice is someone who wasn't in Congress but spoke out against the war at the time.

On February 22, 2008, he stated that he voted for Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 as the Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 nominee for the 2008 presidential election.

2010 Senate election loss



Feingold was defeated for re-election on November 2, 2010 by Oshkosh
Oshkosh, Wisconsin
As of the census of 2000, there were 62,916 people, 24,082 households, and 13,654 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,662.2 people per square mile . There were 25,420 housing units at an average density of 1,075.6 per square mile...

 businessman Ron Johnson by a margin of 52% - 47%.

Electoral history

1992 U.S. Senate Race — Democratic Primary
Candidate Pct Candidate Pct Candidate Pct
69% Jim Moody
Jim Moody
James Powers "Jim" Moody is an American economist, and former member of the U.S. Congress. Moody represented Milwaukee, Wisconsin in Congress from 1983 to 1993.- Background :...

14% Joe Checota 14%

Wisconsin Senator (Class III) results: 1992–2004
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
1992
United States Senate election in Wisconsin, 1992
The 1992 United States Senate election in Wisconsin was held on November 3, 1992. Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Bob Kasten ran for re-election to a third term, but was defeated by Russ Feingold- Campaign :...

1,290,662 53% 1,129,599 46% Johnson Independent
Independent (politician)
In politics, an independent or non-party politician is an individual not affiliated to any political party. Independents may hold a centrist viewpoint between those of major political parties, a viewpoint more extreme than any major party, or they may have a viewpoint based on issues that they do...

16,513 1% William Bittner Libertarian
Libertarian Party (United States)
The Libertarian Party is the third largest and fastest growing political party in the United States. The political platform of the Libertarian Party reflects its brand of libertarianism, favoring minimally regulated, laissez-faire markets, strong civil liberties, minimally regulated migration...

9,147 <1% Independent
Independent (politician)
In politics, an independent or non-party politician is an individual not affiliated to any political party. Independents may hold a centrist viewpoint between those of major political parties, a viewpoint more extreme than any major party, or they may have a viewpoint based on issues that they do...

3,264 <1% *
1998
United States Senate election in Wisconsin, 1998
The 1998 United States Senate election in Wisconsin was held on November 3, 1998. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Russ Feingold won re-election to a second term.- Campaign :...

Russell D. Feingold 890,059 51% 852,272 48% Robert R. Raymond U.S. Taxpayers
Constitution Party (United States)
The Constitution Party is a paleoconservative political party in the United States. It was founded as the U.S. Taxpayers' Party by Howard Philips in 1991. Phillips was the party's candidate in the 1992, 1996 and 2000 presidential elections...

7,942 <1% Tom Ender Libertarian
Libertarian Party (United States)
The Libertarian Party is the third largest and fastest growing political party in the United States. The political platform of the Libertarian Party reflects its brand of libertarianism, favoring minimally regulated, laissez-faire markets, strong civil liberties, minimally regulated migration...

5,591 <1% Eugene A. Hem Independent
Independent (politician)
In politics, an independent or non-party politician is an individual not affiliated to any political party. Independents may hold a centrist viewpoint between those of major political parties, a viewpoint more extreme than any major party, or they may have a viewpoint based on issues that they do...

4,266 <1% *
2004 Russell D. Feingold 1,632,697 55% Tim Michels
Tim Michels
Timothy J. Michels is a former U.S. Senate candidate from Wisconsin. He earned the Republican nomination on September 15, 2004 for the U.S. Senate to run against the incumbent Senator, Russ Feingold. He defeated well-known car dealer Russ Darrow, Jr., State Senator Bob Welch, and attorney Robert...

1,301,183 44% Arif Khan Libertarian
Libertarian Party (United States)
The Libertarian Party is the third largest and fastest growing political party in the United States. The political platform of the Libertarian Party reflects its brand of libertarianism, favoring minimally regulated, laissez-faire markets, strong civil liberties, minimally regulated migration...

8,367 <1% Eugene A. Hem Independent
Independent (politician)
In politics, an independent or non-party politician is an individual not affiliated to any political party. Independents may hold a centrist viewpoint between those of major political parties, a viewpoint more extreme than any major party, or they may have a viewpoint based on issues that they do...

6,662 <1% *
2010
United States Senate election in Wisconsin, 2010
The 2010 United States Senate election in Wisconsin was held on November 2, 2010. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Russ Feingold ran for re-election to a fourth term, but was defeated by political newcomer Republican Ron Johnson.- Candidates :On the ballot...

1,020,860 47% 1,125,637 52% Rob Taylor Constitution
Constitution Party (United States)
The Constitution Party is a paleoconservative political party in the United States. It was founded as the U.S. Taxpayers' Party by Howard Philips in 1991. Phillips was the party's candidate in the 1992, 1996 and 2000 presidential elections...

23,349 1%


After the Senate


Following his defeat, Feingold announced that he "will teach an elective course called Current Legal Issues: The U.S. Senate . . . to upper-level law students" at Marquette University Law School
Marquette University Law School
Marquette University Law School is the professional school for the study of law at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and one of only two law schools in Wisconsin. With 45 full-time professors and approximately 760 J.D. students, the law school is ranked in the top tier among American...

 in Milwaukee, and also plans to write a book and support President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 in his reelection bid in the 2012 presidential election
United States presidential election, 2012
The United States presidential election of 2012 is the next United States presidential election, to be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. It will be the 57th quadrennial presidential election in which presidential electors, who will actually elect the President and the Vice President of the United...

.

Personal life


Feingold has been married and divorced twice. Russ and Sue Feingold were married from 1977 until 1986. They had two children, Jessica and Ellen. He then married Mary Speerschneider (also previously divorced) on January 20, 1991. Mary (née Erpenbach) had previously been married to Timm Speerschneider, a Madison
Madison, Wisconsin
Madison is the capital of the U.S. state of Wisconsin and the county seat of Dane County. It is also home to the University of Wisconsin–Madison....

 attorney, with whom she had two children: Sam and Ted. Sen. Feingold's 2003 income tax return
Tax return (United States)
Tax returns in the United States are reports filed with the Internal Revenue Service or with the state or local tax collection agency containing information used to calculate income tax or other taxes...

 showed two home mortgages
Mortgage loan
A mortgage loan is a loan secured by real property through the use of a mortgage note which evidences the existence of the loan and the encumbrance of that realty through the granting of a mortgage which secures the loan...

 and ownership of an $8,000 1998 Buick
Buick
Buick is a premium brand of General Motors . Buick models are sold in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China, Taiwan, and Israel, with China being its largest market. Buick holds the distinction as the oldest active American make...

. On April 11, 2005, Russ and Mary Feingold jointly announced that they would be seeking a divorce. When not in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, Feingold resides in Middleton, Wisconsin
Middleton, Wisconsin
Middleton is a city in Dane County, Wisconsin, United States. It is a western suburb of the state capital, Madison but it was actually founded before Madison. It got its name from Middletown, Connecticut; the "w" being dropped was due to a paper work error made by long time historian Edward Kromrey...

. He is a member of Beth Hillel Temple in Kenosha, Wisconsin
Kenosha, Wisconsin
Kenosha is a city and the county seat of Kenosha County in the State of Wisconsin in United States. With a population of 99,218 as of May 2011, Kenosha is the fourth-largest city in Wisconsin. Kenosha is also the fourth-largest city on the western shore of Lake Michigan, following Chicago,...

.

External links




Articles
  • Russ Feingold Interview, Matthew Rothschild, The Progressive, May 2002
  • Sen. Russ Feingold: Dems Platform on Iraq a “Mistake”, Democracy Now, July 29, 2004
  • Southern strategy for Feingold, Craig Gilbert, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, March 31, 2005
  • Q&A with Russ Feingold by C-SPAN
    C-SPAN
    C-SPAN , an acronym for Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network, is an American cable television network that offers coverage of federal government proceedings and other public affairs programming via its three television channels , one radio station and a group of websites that provide streaming...

    's Brian Lamb
    Brian Lamb
    Brian Patrick Lamb is the founder and chief executive officer of C-SPAN, a television network dedicated to coverage of government proceedings and public affairs. Born and raised in Lafayette, Indiana, Lamb earned a degree from Purdue University before joining the United States Navy...

     (description), February 2, 2005
  • American Prospect: Solid Feingold, Robert Kuttner, The American Prospect
    The American Prospect
    The American Prospect is a monthly American political magazine dedicated to American liberalism. Based in Washington, DC, The American Prospect is a journal "of liberal ideas, committed to a just society, an enriched democracy, and effective liberal politics" which focuses on United States politics...

    , October 11, 2005
  • Feingold Beats Bush In Patriot Act Fight, The Nation
    The Nation
    The Nation is the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the United States. The periodical, devoted to politics and culture, is self-described as "the flagship of the left." Founded on July 6, 1865, It is published by The Nation Company, L.P., at 33 Irving Place, New York City.The Nation...

    , December 16, 2005
  • Democratic senator says Bush violated law with wiretaps: He is a president, not a king, The Raw Story, December 17, 2005
  • The Lone Patriot, Robert Kuttner, The American Prospect
    The American Prospect
    The American Prospect is a monthly American political magazine dedicated to American liberalism. Based in Washington, DC, The American Prospect is a journal "of liberal ideas, committed to a just society, an enriched democracy, and effective liberal politics" which focuses on United States politics...

    , February 21, 2006
  • Feingold Introduces Senate Resolution to Censure Bush, Allen White‚ Beyond Chron, March 14‚ 2006
  • A Peculiar Politician, William Greider
    William Greider
    William Greider is an American journalist and author who writes primarily about economics.His most recent book is . Before that he published The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy, which explores the basis and history of the corporation and how people can influence further...

    , The Nation
    The Nation
    The Nation is the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the United States. The periodical, devoted to politics and culture, is self-described as "the flagship of the left." Founded on July 6, 1865, It is published by The Nation Company, L.P., at 33 Irving Place, New York City.The Nation...

    , March 27, 2006
  • A Bad Day for Democracy, Bob Edgar, The Christian Science Monitor
    The Christian Science Monitor
    The Christian Science Monitor is an international newspaper published daily online, Monday to Friday, and weekly in print. It was started in 1908 by Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist. As of 2009, the print circulation was 67,703.The CSM is a newspaper that covers...

    , January 22, 2010