I'll be brief and to the point: Russ Feingold launched a political action committee yesterday, and I am hoping that you will give him some money. I just did.
This is not the first time I have stumped for Mr. Feingold. Back during the last presidential campaign, candidate Barack Obama had promised to filibuster legislation that would give retroactive immunity to giant telephone companies for illegally conspiring to spy on the general public. That was during the Wisconsin primary, and Obama wanted Feingold's endorsement. Obama said:
I am proud to stand with Senator Feingold and a grassroots movement of Americans who are refusing to let President Bush put protections for special interests ahead of our security and our liberty. There is no reason why telephone companies should be given blanket immunity to cover violations of the rights of the American people -- we must reaffirm that no one in this country is above the law... It is time for this politics of fear to end. We are trying to protect the American people, not special interests like the telecommunications industry.
Then Obama won the primary, decided he didn't need Feingold anymore, and not only did not filibuster against the bill but voted for it.
At the time, I used this blog to suggest that everyone who was sending the Obama campaign a monthly donation should steer one month's worth of their money to Feingold, and according to his office, a large number of readers actually did.
Feingold was the only senator to vote against the USA PATRIOT Act when first voted on in 2001, and in 2005 became the first senator to call for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq. Believe it or not, the guy is a politician with principles. Feingold lost his Senate seat in the conservative wave of the most recent election, but he is not going anywhere. I can imagine that in some ways he might be even more effective running a PAC than sitting in the Senate. But he will need some money. So if you can afford it, please give him some.