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50 Blogs for Feingold Action Team
β€œIt's time to stand up - not to cheer, but to fight back.”
--Senator Russ Feingold, On Executive Power. (Daily Kos, 2006-02-02)

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Ohio for Feingold Mailing List

Like Russ for President? Live in Ohio? If so, then the OhioForFeingold mailing list is available to you. Here's the skinny:

Welcome to the ohioforfeingold group at Yahoo! Groups, a
free, easy-to-use email group service. Please
take a moment to review this message.

To learn more about the ohioforfeingold group, please visit
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ohioforfeingold

To start sending messages to members of this group, simply
send email to ohioforfeingold@yahoogroups.com

If you do not wish to belong to ohioforfeingold, you may
unsubscribe by sending an email to
ohioforfeingold-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

To see and modify all of your groups, go to http://groups.yahoo.com/mygroups

Results from the USA-PATRIOT Act Cloture Vote

The Senate voted 69-30 yesterday to close debate on the amendments to the USA-PATRIOT Act, despite a number of statements on the floor that these amendments are not sufficient to guarantee the civil liberties of Americans.

As usual, Russ Feingold was leading the charge, and was mentioned several times during the debate.

A number of other Democrats are apparently laboring under the misconception that America is not watching them. That donors to and activists for the Democratic party aren't watching them. They are wrong. Dead wrong.

Here are the so-called Democrats that caved.
  • Biden (D-DE)
  • Clinton (D-NY)
  • Carper (D-DE)
  • Feinstein (D-CA)
  • Landrieu (D-LA)
  • Lincoln (D-AR)
  • Nelson (D-FL)
  • Nelson (D-NE)
  • Pryor (D-AR)
  • Rockefeller (D-WV)
  • Schumer (D-NY)
We should remind these folks of a little procedure that's been in place in the Senate for over two hundred years called a fillibuster. If they truly wanted to serve their country, and were physically unable to vote 'nay,' they could have had the decency to sit at home and not give the Repblicans the 60 votes they needed. Especially the first two, who for some reason have presidential ambitions.

Hillary, are you listening? Joe, how about you?

But, I digress.

Here's all Russ was asking for:
  • On Section 215: "the government should be required to convince a judge that the records they are seeking have some connection to a suspected terrorist or spy."
  • On Section 215 and National Security Letters: "The recipient of a Section 215 order is entitled to meaningful judicial review of the (permanent, secret) gag order."
  • On National Security Letters: "[T]he NSL provision should sunset in no more than four years so that Congress will have an opportunity to review the use of this power."
  • On "Sneak and Peek" searched: "The draft conference report requires the government to notify the target of a 'sneak and peek' search no earlier than 30 days after the search, rather than within seven days, as the Senate bill provides and as pre-Patriot Act judicial decisions required."
His assessment of all the Senate's hemming and hawing on the issue? Here's part of it:
Again, those quotes are from a letter that we sent late last year. Now, you might ask, in this newly announced deal on the Patriot Act, have any of these five problems been solved?

The answer is 'No.' Not a single one. Only one of these issues has been even partially addressed by this deal, but it has not been fixed.
Keep fighting Russ, we're rooting for you. And see if you can knock some sense into Hillary and Biden.

Feingold's Lobbying and Ethics Reform Act of 2005

Senator Feingold's "Lobbying and Ethics Reform Act of 2005" will not solve all the problems of government corruption, but it is a step in the right direction, and is worthy of being made law. He introduced the legislation on July 14, 2005 and it was sent to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, where no action has been taken on it.
The bill, incredibly, has no cosponsors. It amends the McCain-Feingold "Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995" to require:

  • every member of the executive and legislative branch must identify all lobbying contacts made
  • decreases the "revolving door" syndrome by extending from one to two years the ban on senior government employees acting as lobbyists
  • "requires public disclosure by Members of Congress of employment negotiations"
  • establishes fines and penalties for wrongfully influencing "on a partisan basis, an entity's employment decisions or practices."
  • "Amends the Code of Official Conduct in the House to prohibit favoritism."
  • "Eliminates floor privileges and other perks for" lobbyists who formerly served in Congress."
  • "Prohibits Members of Congress from accepting gifts from lobbyists."
  • "Requires Members of Congress to provide increased disclosure of his or her official travel."

You can urge your Senators to support this important bill by clicking here calling (202) 224-3121 or by e-mail.

(previously posted at Headstrong America.)

Feingold and the Last ACLU Scorecard

The ACLU Scorecard for the 108th Congress is up and has some interesting points.

Among all Senators, Russ Feingold (89%) is in a three-way tie for second behind John Kerry (100%). This number is a little misleading though, due to the fact that Kerry only voted on one of the nine issues the ACLU used for the scorecard, while Feingold voted on all nine.

The one vote where Feingold didn't support the ACLU's position was the so-calledBan on Raves. No Senator voted against this bill, and it passed 98-0. Here's the ACLU's precis of the issue:


On April 10, 2003, the Senate passed S. 151 by a vote of 98-0. This legislation included provisions that would unfairly target property owners who host social gatherings such as raves by making them legally responsible for the acts of their patrons. The ACLU opposed this legislation because it contains provisions that threaten free speech and inhibited federal judges' sentencing discretion.


On the other hand, Feingold did support the ACLU position for the other 8 votes, including issues ranging from a woman's right to choose, the redefinition of marriage, travel, government surveilance, media ownership, Guantanamo detainees, and secrecy in the intelligence budget.

Hillary Clinton supported 7 of these positions, Biden 6, Lieberman 5, Bayh 5, and McCain 2.

This is just another of a long list of examples of Russ Feingold fighting for our rights, better and harder than any other '08 hopeful. President Feingold is the cure to 8 years of Resident Bush.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Russ Still Fighting the Good Fight on the USA-PATRIOT ACT

Today at 3PM EST, the Senate resumes consideration of S. 2271 the USA-PATRIOT Act Amendments bill. Last Thursday, the Senate voted 96-3-1 that the Amendments as proposed were "good enough." Russ took the whole Senate to task, saying:


Back in December, 46 Senators voted against cloture on the conference report. I think it's clear by now that the deal makes only minor changes to that conference report. The Senator from Pennsylvania, chairman of the Judiciary Committee and primary proponent of the conference report in this body, was quoted yesterday as saying that the changes that the White House agreed to were ``cosmetic.'' And then he said, according to the AP, ``But sometimes cosmetics will make a beauty out of a beast and provide enough cover for senators to change their vote...''

It's hard for me to understand how Senators who blocked the conference report in December can now say that it's such a great deal. It's not a great deal--the conference report is just as flawed as it was 2 months ago. No amount of cosmetics is going to make this beast look any prettier.


Robert Byrd, Jim Jeffords, and Russ Feingold were the only Senators to vote against moving ahead with this deeply flawed legislation.

Hillary Clinton thought these cosmetic changes were good enough. John Kerry thought they were good enough. Harry Reid thought they were good enough. Evan Bayh thought they were good enough. Do we want any of these sellouts as our next President?

Not me. Russ Feingold in 2008.

Feingold vs. Gore: Big Differences

This is the third post in a series of ideological comparisons (using analysis from http://www.ontheissues.org) between Russ Feingold and other 2008 Democratic hopefuls. Today, we'll look at differences between Feingold and Al Gore.

Al Gore has said time and again that he has no intention of running in 2008. Nonetheless, there is a significant movement amongst the NetRoots to urge him to run. I applaud the determination and passion of this movement. I also enthusiastically concur that he was elected President in 2000 by both the Electoral College and the popular vote, but that this victory was stolen by a conservative, activist Supreme Court. I've signed all the petitions and sent all the e-mails.

But, there is a but. And that is this: I have some serious ideological differences with President Gore. Based on those differences, he is not my pick for 2008. These differences hinge on three things: free trade, separation of Church and State, and his approach to law enforcement.

Russ Feingold is not, by any means, the only 2008 hopeful that shares my views on these topics. Wes Clark is dead on as well. Even the much maligned DLC sweethearts like Hillary Clinton and John Kerry toe the party line on these important issues.


Feingold

Gore

Overall Rating

Populist-Leaning Liberal

Moderate Populist

Permit Prayer in Public Schools

Strongly Opposes

Favors

Death Penalty

Strongly Opposes

Favors

Mandatory Three Strikes Laws

Strongly Opposes

Strongly Favors

Support and Expand Free Trade

Strongly Opposes

Favors

Link Human Rights to Trade With China

Strongly Favors

Strongly Opposes

Allow Churches to Provide Welfare Services

No Opinion

Strongly Favors

I want to restate that these ideogy models are obviously simple pictures of a complex reality, but I've found them quite telling and a good starting point for deeper debate.

One need only look at this page to see that I'm not a disintrested observer on this question. However, the only bias I can imagine that I put into this table is the choice of issues to show. If you feel the comparison isn't fair, I encourage reasonable responses.

The sources for this table are http://www.ontheissues.org/Senate/Russell_Feingold.htm and http://www.ontheissues.org/Al_Gore.htm.

Feingold vs. Bayh: Big Differences

Since yesterday's post comparing Russ Feingold to Mark Warner was so well received, I'm going to run with the idea and do comparisons featuring Russ versus various contenders from the far right wing of the party.

Today, we'll look at Evan Bayh. I want to restate that these ideogy models are obviously a simple pictures of a complex reality, but I found them quite telling and a good starting point for deeper debate.

Here are the differences that I found most interesting:


Feingold

Bayh

Overall Rating

Populist-Leaning Liberal

Moderate Liberal Populist

Abortion is a Woman's Right

Strongly Favors

No Opinion

Privatize Social Security

Strongly Opposes

No Opinion

Death Penalty

Strongly Opposes

Strongly Favors

Mandatory Three Strikes Laws

Strongly Opposes

No Opinion

Support and Expand Free Trade

Strongly Opposes

Strongly Favors

Link Human Rights to Trade With China

Strongly Favors

Strongly Opposes

Allow Churches to Provide Welfare Services

No Opinion

Favors

One need only look at this page to see that I'm not a disintrested observer on this question. However, the only bias I can imagine that I put into this table is the choice of issues to show. If you feel the comparison isn't fair, I encourage reasonable responses.

The sources for this table are http://www.ontheissues.org/Senate/Russell_Feingold.htm and http://www.ontheissues.org/Senate/Evan_Bayh.htm.

Added 3:20 PM: Bayh got a 56% rating from ACLU in the 108th Congress. Feingold scored 89%. The ACLU Scorecard is here.

Feingold and Warner: Big Differences

Out of curiosity, I went to ontheissues.org and compared Russ Feingold's ideology to Mark Warner's. These ideogy models are obviously a simple pictures of a complex reality, but I found them quite telling and a good starting point for deeper debate.

Here are the differences that I found most interesting:

Feingold

Warner

Overall Rating

Populist-Leaning Liberal

Moderate Populist Conservative

Death Penalty

Strongly Opposes

Favors

Mandatory Three Strikes Laws

Strongly Opposes

Strongly Favors

Absolute Right to Gun Ownership

Strongly Opposes

Strongly Favors

Decrease Overall Taxation of the Wealthy

Strongly Opposes

Strongly Favors

Support and Expand Free Trade

Strongly Opposes

Strongly Favors

Seek UN Approval for Military Action

Favors

Opposes

Drug Use is Immoral: Enforce Laws Against It

Strongly Opposes

Strongly Favors

Allow Churches to Provide Welfare Services

No Opinion

Favors



One need only look at this page to see that I'm not a disintrested observer on this question. However, the only bias I can imagine that I put into this table is the choice of issues to show. If you feel the comparison isn't fair, I encourage reasonable responses.

The sources for this table are http://www.ontheissues.org/Senate/Russell_Feingold.htm and http://www.ontheissues.org/Mark_Warner.htm.

Sign Feingold's Petition on Bush's Illegal Wiretapping

Dear Headstrong America,

Today the Senate Judiciary Committee will be holding hearings on President Bush's domestic spying program - a government program that illegally wiretaps the phones and emails of American citizens without a warrant. Please sign my petition today to help me hold President Bush accountable for this outrageous power grab.

Click here to sign my petition.

When Attorney General Alberto Gonzales appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee during his nomination hearing last year, I asked him directly about the legality of just such a program. Gonzales dismissed my question as a "hypothetical situation." We now know that not only was such a program already in existence, but as a key advisor to the President, Gonzales had full knowledge of the domestic spying program.

Today, while I'm holding Gonzales accountable for his misleading answers last year, I need you to help me hold President Bush accountable for his actions in authorizing this illegal spying program. A week ago, in his State of the Union address, President Bush made no apologies for this illegal program. We need to show him that the American people will not stand by as he authorizes the government to invade the privacy of law-abiding Americans by bypassing the laws of this country.

Click here to sign my petition to hold President Bush accountable for his actions. Our goal is to collect petitions from ten thousand Americans, letting the President know that they are outraged at his actions and his lack of candor. We can vigorously fight terror without sacrificing our rights and freedoms.

Sincerely,


Russ Feingold
United States Senator
Honorary Chair, Progressive Patriots Fund

Join the POL Wiretapping Discussion

Feingold Kicks Ass in Online Polls

The MyDD Feburary Straw Poll is well underway, with around 2,600 ballots cast. The current final four are:
Russ Feingold1,005(40.2%)
Wesley Clark805(32.2%)
Mark Warner412(16.5%)
John Edwards278(11.1%)

In the final round, with votes redistributed, the current results are:
Russ Feingold1,325(54.4%)
Wesley Clark 1,109 (45.6%)

You can cast your ballot here and read Chris's analysis here.

I found this bit particularly interesting:

Since November, as of this writing, there have been 9,994 votes in MyDD straw polls. In all four polls, Clark and Feingold have been the two candidates in the final round. Feingold has received 4,914 votes, or 49.2%, and Clark has received 4,471 votes, or 44.7%.

MyDD flipped from Clark/Feingold to Feingold/Clark in December. The Daily Kos Straw Poll did the same flip in Janurary when Clark dropped 4K votes and Feingold picked up 11K.

Check out the 2008 Candidates Discussion at progressivesonline.

Graph Rates 2008 Hopefuls on the Issues

Using data from ontheissues.org, Headstrong America has created a nifty graph rating 2008 presidential hopefuls on their adherence to liberal, progressive values.

The candidates are rated on 20 social and economic issues against ontheissues.org's responses for the "ideal liberal." Russ Feingold and Ralph Nader came closest to the ideal responses.

Tightly clustered towards the liberal end of the spectrum are John Kerry, Hillary Rodham Clinton, John Edwards, and Wes Clark. Another cluster in the center of the spectrum contains Al Gore, Joe Lieberman, Evan Bayh, Mark Warner, and Bill Richardson.

Republicans John McCain and George W. Bush are clustered in the conservative edge of the spectrum as a reference.

The spreadsheet used to generate the graph is available at Headstrong America. The issues on which the candidates were ranked are as follows:

Economic IssuesSocial Issues
Require companies to hire more women & minoritiesAbortion Is A Woman's Right
More Federal Funding For Health Coverage Sexual Orientation Protected By Civil Rights Law
Privatize Social Security Permit prayer in public schools
Reduce use of coal, oil, and nuclear energyParents choose schools via vouchers
Decrease overall taxation of the wealthy Mandatory "Three Strikes" Sentencing Laws
Immigration Helps Our Economy – Encourage ItAbsolute right to Gun Ownership
Support and Expand Free TradeLink Human Rights To Trade With China
More Spending on Armed ForcesDrug Use Is Immoral: Enforce Laws Against It
Reduce spending on missile defense (Star Wars)Death Penalty
Allow Churches To Provide Welfare Services
Seek UN Approval for Military Action


ontheissues.org has a series of ideological matching quizzes which are a hoot to take. See, for example The Political Celebrity Matcher.

Sen. Feingold Asks For Your Input

Fast emerging as a real, dynamic leader in the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, Senator Russ Feingold asks for your opinions on The USA-PATRIOT Act, the Supreme Court Nomination, and issues from Energy to Foreign Policy at his Official Web Page.

Having stood up for our real American Values with respect to the Gulf War, the USA-PATRIOT Act, government ethics, the "Anti-Torture" Amendment, and the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge, I feel strongly that this is a leader who listens to "We The People."

By so ably fulfilling his responsibility to listen, to represent us on Capitol Hill, he reminds us of our responsibility as citizens to talk. I encourage every visitor to this page to show Sen. Feingold that we appreciate his receptiveness and open a dialogue with him on the issues that matter to you.

Headstrong-America has collected a list of On-Line Action Campaigns related to Sen. Feingold, including a petition to encourage him to run for President at HAPAD.

Here are some of the comments on the petition:
  • "This is Chris Bowers of MyDD. The day after the midterms are over, I'm ready to work for Senator Feingold in 2008."

  • "An honourable man and senator, I salute you."

  • "I would miss you as my senator, but you could do great things for our country!!"

  • "We need a strong leader that is not in the pockets of special interests. Russ Feingold could help bring back the respect and decency that America used to be known for."

If you know of other On-Line Action Campaigns related to Sen. Feingold, please take a moment to submit them to the directory. (I will approve the links without reciprocal links back to the directory.)

10 minutes later: another way I know Sen. Feingold's got his thumb on the pulse of the American People is all the hits I keep getting from senate.gov. :)