Politics & Policy

Feingold Breaks Garage Door Promise

During his successful 1992 Senate campaign, Sen. Russ Feingold famously made a contract with “the people of Wisconsin” and wrote it on his garage door:

He touted this pledge in a well-known campaign ad:

Notice item #1: “I will rely on Wisconsin citizens for most of my campaign contributions.”

Well, people of Wisconsin, consider your contract void. According to Feingold’s third quarter FEC fundraising report, 72 percent of donations to his campaign came from outside the state:

Russ Feingold Q3 Fundraising



In-State Donations


28 %

Out-of-State Donations


72 %




In-State Dollars Raised


42 %

Out-of-State Dollars Raised


58 %

Indeed, once it became clear that Feingold was in trouble, Hollywood and other liberal interest groups like MoveOn.org opened their wallets to save their “progressive hero.” Now we’re seeing the result. For Feingold, the self-professed “clean campaigner” and co-author of campaign finance reform legislation, this is probably not how he wants to finish out what is likely to be his very last Senate campaign — coffers filled with George Soros and Big Hollywood money. Maybe that’s why he’s been putting out such fluffy campaign material lately.

Unfortunately for Feingold, he’s not running in California. The latest Rasmussen poll shows him trailing Republican Ron Johnson by seven points — 53 to 46 percent — among likely voters, with just one percent undecided. Looks like Feingold’s contract is about to expire anyway.

Johnson campaign manager Juston Johnson issued the following statement to BATTLE ‘10:

Career politicians’ promises don’t mean much. Russ Feingold promised to reduce the deficits, yet he’s voted to pass the largest deficits in history onto the backs of taxpayers. Russ Feingold promised to tackle the debt, but it has grown by a whopping $10 trillion since he entered office. Now, who can be surprised that he turned his back on one of the first promises he made to the voters of Wisconsin by taking the lion’s share of his campaign contributions from out-of-state. Russ Feingold isn’t a maverick, isn’t independent, he’s just another Washington politician.

Who else is covering this? Certainly not the Associated Press.

Andrew StilesAndrew Stiles is a political reporter for National Review Online. He previously worked at the Washington Free Beacon, and was an intern at The Hill newspaper. Stiles is a 2009 ...


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