- Russ Feingold was the only U.S. Senator to vote against the Patriot Act in 2001.
- He was one of the first and most outspoken opponents of the Iraq war.
- He's one of the greatest champions against money in politics in American history.
This race is a national bellwether, a key test for whether the progressive movement has what it takes to go up against the Koch brothers and their secretive network of mega-donors.
But for me, it's also personal.
In the summer of 2001, I was lucky enough to serve as an intern for Russ Feingold in his Senate office in D.C. A lot of Congressional interns end their summers disillusioned. For me, it was the opposite: I left brimming with idealism.
There was one detail I'll never forget.
On our first day, Russ sat down with all of us interns and told us that we were there to serve the people of Wisconsin—not ourselves. From that moment forward, we had to follow the same rule he set for his staff, and for himself: we couldn't accept any gifts that were given to us because we worked for him.
No exceptions. No free t-shirts. No free drinks. If we attended an interest group's briefing for Hill staffers that offered free lunch, and we wolfed down a sandwich, then we had to write a check for the sandwich's value to the U.S. Treasury, where it would pay down the federal deficit.
I'll be honest—it was kind of a pain. Most D.C. interns basically live on free food. But Russ's point was crystal clear: he couldn't be bought. If we wanted to work for him, neither could we. And that point of pride was worth a hell of a lot more than a few turkey sandwiches.
On election night 2010, as I watched Russ give his concession speech, I cried. But yesterday, he stepped forward to say that the fight isn't over. And it's our time to step forward with him.
Will you chip in $3 today to help send Russ Feingold back to the U.S. Senate?
Getting elected takes money. To raise money, most candidates have to make a lot of promises.
Russ makes only one promise: he'll do what he thinks is right.
Today, let's prove that, even in this day and age, there's no promise more valuable than integrity.
Thanks for all you do.–Ben W., Jadzia, Ilya, Matt, and the rest of the team
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