DraftRuss.Org Blog

Russ Feingold for President

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Tell Everyone About the Progressive Patriots Fund

There is no better way to support Russ Feingold for President than to support his Progressive Patriots Fund.

If you want Russ to keep spreading his message in as many states as he can, contribute to the fund.

If you want to support a real progressive message and help build a foundation of support from inside the party for Democrats in 2006 and beyond, sign up now.

If you still want to do more to help build Russ' name recognition and convince him to run for president in 2008, then stay tooned.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Feingold wants US out of Iraq - introducing resolution

MyDD :: Due Diligence of Politics, Election Forecast & the World Today: "U.S. Senator Russ Feingold announced today that he will introduce a resolution in the Senate tomorrow calling on the administration to report to Congress on a timeframe for achieving its military goals in Iraq and withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. The resolution calls on the President to identify the specific missions that the U.S. military is being asked to accomplish in Iraq, as well as the timeframe in which those missions can be successfully achieved. Most critically, Feingold's resolution calls on the President and his administration to report to Congress with a plan and timetable for the subsequent withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. Feingold was in Iraq with four of his Senate colleagues in February. He has long called on the administration to level with the American people regarding the nature and length of the U.S. military commitment to Iraq.
Feingold issued the following statement on his resolution today:
'While I was in Iraq in February, I was able to witness firsthand the truly amazing resolve all of our troops in Iraq - I cannot describe how very proud I am of all of those who serve. It is with that trip and those soldiers in mind that I will introduce a resolution tomorrow that calls on the President to clarify the objectives and timeframe of the current U.S. mission in Iraq, including a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops. And I will work with my colleagues to hold the Administration accountable for meeting our goals and achieving clear standards of success.
We owe our brave servicemen and women a concrete timetable for achieving clear goals, not vague, open-ended commitments. Having a timetable for the transfer of sovereignty and having a timetable for Iraqi elections have resulted in real political and strategic advantages. Having a timetable for the withdrawal of troops should be no different.'"

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Feingold Not Happy with Centrists' Deal

Daily Kos: "This is not a good deal for the U.S. Senate or for the American people. Democrats should have stood together firmly against the bullying tactics of the Republican leadership abusing their power as they control both houses of Congress and the White House. Confirming unacceptable judicial nominations is simply a green light for the Bush administration to send more nominees who lack the judicial temperament or record to serve in these lifetime positions. I value the many traditions of the Senate, including the tradition of bipartisanship to forge consensus. I do not, however, value threatening to disregard an important Senate tradition, like occasional unlimited debate, when necessary. I respect all my colleagues very much who thought to end this playground squabble over judges, but I am disappointed in this deal."

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The five most successful Senators and Representatives at passing legislative ammendments are:

The five most successful Senators and Representatives at passing legislative ammendments are:

MyDD :: Due Diligence of Politics, Election Forecast & the World Today: "Top 5 Senators: John McCain R-AZ); Orrin Hatch (R-UT); Jeff Bingaman (D-NM); Charles Grassley (R-IA); Russell Feingold (D-WI).
Top 5 Representatives: James Saxton (R-NJ); Ron Paul (R-TX); Christopher Smith (R-NJ); Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA); Charles Rangel (D-NY)."

To get anything done in Congress, you must be bi-partisan. Here's an example of how Russ Feingold isn't just some crazy liberal who offers amendments that are far left of center.

The five most successful Senators and Representatives at passing legislative ammendments are:

The five most successful Senators and Representatives at passing legislative ammendments are:

MyDD :: Due Diligence of Politics, Election Forecast & the World Today: "Top 5 Senators: John McCain R-AZ); Orrin Hatch (R-UT); Jeff Bingaman (D-NM); Charles Grassley (R-IA); Russell Feingold (D-WI).
Top 5 Representatives: James Saxton (R-NJ); Ron Paul (R-TX); Christopher Smith (R-NJ); Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA); Charles Rangel (D-NY)."

To get anything done in Congress, you must be bi-partisan. Here's an example of how Russ Feingold isn't just some crazy liberal who offers amendments that are far left of center.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Comments enabled

Comments on this blog are now enabled - I had thought it was set to allow them but I was wrong.

Flame away folks!

Daily Kos has it wrong - completely

Daily Kos: "(Incidentally, I'm not a Feingold supporter for president. Anyone who attempts to regulate blogs -- like he has -- is instantly on my s*** list). "

What Feingold has said...

(from different statements and testimony)

"For example, last week the charge was made that McCain-Feingold would go after bloggers. Nothing could be further from the truth, as you know."


There is simply no reason - none - to think that the FEC should or intends to regulate blogs or other Internet communications by private citizens. Suggestions to the contrary are simply the latest attempt by opponents of reform to whip up baseless fears.


The FEC must tread carefully in the area of political communications on the Internet. Political news and commentary on the Internet are important, even vital, to our democracy, and becoming more so. For starters, the FEC should provide adequate protection for legitimate online journalists. Online journalists should be treated the same as other legitimate broadcast media, newspapers, etc. and, at this point, I don't see any reason why the FEC shouldn't include legitimate online journalists and bloggers in the "media exemption" rule.


I see the major problem with McCain-Feingold - is that hardly anyone understands it. But clearly the bill author's intent is not to "regulate" blogs - for Kos to be claiming that is nonsense, and dare I say fearmongering.

The End Already?

JS Online: Feingold, wife announce plans to end marriage: "'This is the end of his presidential hopes, at least for 2008,' said the University of Virginia's Larry Sabato, an expert in presidential campaigns.
'The Democratic Party is much more tolerant of things, but a twice-divorced single man would have very little chance of being elected president. That is not something that would appeal to any red state.'"

Not to mention that the red states have a higher divorce rate than the blue states. But all of that aside - apparently Senator Feingold will be having a divorce. From personal experience, I can't think of a much more painful thing for a family. I wish the Feingolds all of the best. I didn't post this to get into anyone's personal lives.

Some believe that this will kill his 2008 aspirations. Hopefully not.

Charles O. Jones, emeritus professor of political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, takes a different view. "I think today it (two divorces) could be overcome, that's my impression. Today, versus 30, 40 or 50 years ago, divorce is not as much a scandal as it had been."

So can a single man win the Democratic Nomination, let alone the Presidency? Dennis Kucinich had no luck, but then again, Feingold would hopefully have a better campaign. Could a twice divorced man do those things? It's tough to say, but Senator Feingold, if you are considering this still, don't not run just because no one has been elected like that before. There are first times for everything.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Who's Better Off?

This is the best article I've read in weeks:

Who's Better Off?

It's a statement made by Rep. Ron Paul of Texas on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. The shocker:


This clearly outlines why the Iraq war was wrong, is wrong, and, barring an act of God, will continue to be wrong. It was, in hindsight, clearly not something that we should have done. If you're not sure you agree, read Mr. Paul's statements.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Seeing red early in '08

MyDD :: Due Diligence of Politics, Election Forecast & the World Today: "Wow, get ready to visit 'Bama.... no wonder Russ Fiengold has been visting early and often (just kidding). The Alabama House voted 52 to 40 on Wednesday in favor of a bill to move the presidential preference primary in 2008 to the first Saturday after the New Hampshire Primary...If it passes the Senate and the Gov signs, Alabama voters in 2008 would be among the first in the nation to go to the polls to choose Republican and Democratic candidates for president under a bill that has passed the Alabama House.... The bill now goes to the Senate for debate. "

Saturday, April 02, 2005

MSNBC: A Democratic dark horse poised to emerge

3/30/05: MSNBC -

A Democratic dark horse poised to emerge

We're not sure that there's much else to say.

~DraftRuss Staff

Friday, March 25, 2005

Cheney urged to run for president in 2008

Cheney urged to run for president in 2008 - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics - March 25, 2005: "Vice President Dick Cheney, in public and private, is being urged by a small but growing number of conservatives to reconsider his refusal to run for president in 2008. So far, the vice president is unmoved by the fledgling Cheney-for-president boomlet.
'I'm not running for president in '08,' the vice president told columnist and TV host Lawrence Kudlow last week. 'Four years from now, I don't plan to be here.' "

That's scary. Actually, that's scarier than a Bush third term. But with the man's health, I can't see it.

"It's a field of strong individuals, each with a particular weakness," Mr. Barnes said. "Every one of them seems to be weak in one area or another. I don't think Cheney is."

Cheney isn't weak? Well, last I remembered, he had abysmal favorable/unfavorable ratings. I just can't see him selling the "compassionate conservative" message with a smile on his face. Actually, I can't imagine him with a smile on his face, period.

I can just see it now:

"The danger is, if we elect Russ Feingold, you'll have terrorists going through your trash, stealing your kids' lunch money, kicking your dog, and setting off a dirty bomb in your mailbox."

Man of his word

ABC News: The Note: Lessons, Questions, and Choices: "Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) is scheduled to spend next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in Alabama, returning to the site of his vacation last fall that spurred him to write a Salon op-ed about the need for Democrats to reach out to Americans in the South.
Feingold spends Monday touring Greenville, where he'll visit the high school and a car parts plant and speak at a city council meeting. On Tuesday, he'll visit Montgomery, where he'll visit the Civil Rights Memorial and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Then he heads to Birmingham for a health care round table, talk with community leaders, and speak to a meeting of the city's Democrats"

Senator Feingold said he'd go back to Greenville, and he is going to. I'm sure it'll be very hard to break through some of the barriers that Northerners face in the South. I find it bewildering that every time I go to the South, there still is a animosity toward Northerners. I'm glad to see Senator Feingold hasn't written off the South, like many Democrats. When you refuse to compete in the South, you're conceeding parts of the North that are like the South. Have a safe trip, Senator.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

pairNIC - Domain Name Registration

pairNIC - Domain Name Registration

Russ' folks have set this up:


No - he's not running for Senate in '08. This, my friends, is a VERY positive sign.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Fightin' Russ?

A Senator from Wisconsin spoke these words:

IN these days whenever an American citizen presumes to question the justification, either in law or morals, of our participation in the European war, he is at once denounced by the war party and the war press as disloyal to the country.

The war party in the United States seeks to justify our entrance into the bloody conflict on the ground that it is in the interest of democracy. But every man and every woman knows that there is a struggle going on today in every civilized nation between democracy and autocracy.

Every nation has its war party. It is not the party of democracy. It is the party of autocracy. It seeks to dominate absolutely. It is commercial, imperialistic, ruthless. It tolerates no opposition. It is just as arrogant, just as despotic, in London, or in Washington, as in Berlin. The American Jingo is twin to the German Junker.

In times of peace, the war party insists on making preparation for war. As soon as prepared for war, it insists on making war. If there is no sufficient reason for war, the war party will make war on one pretext, then invent another, possibly more effective, pretext after war is on.

Before war is declared, the war party assumes the divine right to denounce and silence all opposition to war as unpatriotic and cowardly.

After Congress has been bullied into a declaration of war, the politicians, the press, and the mercenaries of the war party assume authority to deny the right of American citizens to discuss the necessity for the war, or the ultimate object and purpose of the declaration of war.

Today Secret Service men, United States District Attorneys, United States Marshals, United States Court Commissioners, and other federal officials are rankly abusing their authority on every hand. People are being unlawfully arrested, thrown into jail, denied the right to employ counsel, or to communicate with their friends, or even to inform their families of their whereabouts, subjected to unlawful search, threatened, intimidated, examined, and cross-examined. The most sacred constitutional rights guaranteed to every American citizen are violated in the name of democracy.

It appears to be the purpose of those conducting this procedure to throw the country into a state of terror, to coerce public opinion, stifle criticism, suppress discussion of the issues of the war, and put a quietus on all opposition. . . .

It is time for the American people to assert and maintain their rights.

Russ Feingold? Nope. But it sure did sound like him, huh? Try Robert M. Lafollette.

My grandfather loved Fightin Bob. In fact, he changed his middle name to Lafollette, and did his hair like him. My grandfather was a South Dakotan, then Iowan farmer.

Back in the day, apparently you could be liberal, AND be a Republican. Long gone are those days. Don't get me wrong, I believe in a big tent party, but why are there still conservative Democrats?

Monday, March 14, 2005

Propaganda Hides Your Scum

I mentioned recently that I support expanding journalistic protection to bloggers. What I don't support is putting up with government-made "news" programs as if they were objective or reliable.

I'm sure that most of you remember when this administration produced a video about the wonders of the their Medicare bill. If you know about that, then I'm sure you also know that the "reporter" failed to say anything about the huge increases in funding that weren't accounted for anywhere in the bill or in discussions about it. That's not only deceptive, it's vile.

But they keep on making this stuff. The New York Times recently ran a story on these prepackaged TV segments, and I, for one, am sick of it. This kind of thing is unacceptable, especially since Bush and pals claim to have the market cornered when it comes to morals. Here's an excerpt from the Times:

Under the Bush administration, the federal government has aggressively used a well-established tool of public relations: the prepackaged, ready-to-serve news report that major corporations have long distributed to TV stations to pitch everything from headache remedies to auto insurance. In all, at least 20 federal agencies, including the Defense Department and the Census Bureau, have made and distributed hundreds of television news segments in the past four years, records and interviews show. Many were subsequently broadcast on local stations across the country without any acknowledgement of the government's role in their production.

But what can you do? Demand an apology and a promise to knock it off. Contact your Senator and representative in the House. Tell them to put pressure on this administration for their ridiculous propaganda.

Then tell the white house that this is absolutely unacceptable.

ARTICLE: Study: Post-9/11 news drove liberals toward a harder line

ARTICLE: Study: Post-9/11 news drove liberals toward a harder line: "Liberals who gleaned most of their news from television in the days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks increased their support for expanded police powers, bringing them closer in line with the opinions of conservatives, a study by a UW-Madison researcher shows.
In contrast, heavy newspaper reading by liberals was related to lower levels of support for expanded police powers and for limits on privacy and freedom of information, basically reinforcing the differences between liberals and conservatives, says Dietram Scheufele, a journalism professor who conducted the study."

During the period after the 9/11 attacks, I didn't have cable. I lived on a farm outside of Cedar Falls, Iowa, while I was attending Northern Iowa with a few other guys. I worked at a gas station (that Senator Grassley frequented) and read about 4 newspapers daily out of boredom, between ringing up peoples petro and cigarettes. It was during this time that I first learned about Feingold's opposition to the USA PATRIOT Act, and when I, like many people, started shaping my post 9/11 views regarding sercurity and civil liberties.

I believe that if I had somehow watched Fox News during that period, I'd believe the same thing. But I'm not totally sure about others who aren't as interested in world affairs as me. Perhaps this is because newspapers don't seek to scare the crap out of it's consumers. Fox, CNN, MSNBC, and the rest clearly do.

When I finally got cable, I was astounded at how much off I was from the mainstream cable viewing crowd. I mean, didn't everyone know that Seddam Hussien didn't plan 9/11? Doesn't everyone know that US citizens can apparently be held without charges, or a trial, or even the ability to see a lawyer? Don't people think that's wrong? Why was Donahue the only person on TV with guests that were balanced? Why was he cancelled right away after I got cable? Why don't I have cable now?

MSNBC - Rice says 'I won't run' in 2008

MSNBC - Rice says 'I won't run' in 2008: "During a discussion with editors and reporters at The Washington Times, Rice was asked, Would you consider running for president in 2008?
I have never wanted to run for anything, Rice said in the interview published Saturday. I dont think I even ran for class anything when I was in school."

Well, I never ran for a class office when I was in school, but that doesn't mean I won't run for office someday. But either way, she said repeatedly on the show, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO.

She wouldn't rule it out in her words, I guess, but the RW blogosphere may need to find a new candidate in '08. If she ever did, I'm still waiting to find out where she stands on issues. I have always assumed she's more of the libertarian type of Republican, rather than the Jerry Falwell type, but who knows.

O'Reilly: "I saved SpongeBob single-handedly. A ... [Media Matters for America]

O'Reilly: "I saved SpongeBob single-handedly. A ... [Media Matters for America]: "O'REILLY: OK, but wait. There's one big, big fallacy in your argument, with all due respect. I agree with you on SpongeBob, and we mocked that, and, as soon as we did that, it went away -- and people say to me, 'O'Reilly, you do X, Y, and Z' -- I saved SpongeBob single-handedly. All right? As soon as I ran it on [FOX News'] The [O'Reilly] Factor [on January 24], Dobson and his crew shut it down. Did you notice that, doctor?
THOMPSON: No, I didn't notice that direct correlation --
O'REILLY: It was over the next day. Believe me, all right? I saved SpongeBob's reputation. SpongeBob's my best friend now."

This man's ego has officially gotten so large his head must have exploded.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Get Off My Property, You Brain-Eating Zombie Blog-Haters!

There has been a buzz recently on the internet about how the U.S. Gov't will, in the long run, react to blogs - especially those with political content. Some have speculated that the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law will help those who, essentially, hate internet freedom by allowing them to shut down and fine blogs and political web sites.

Thats not right, and I'm not just saying this as a political blogger. It's one thing to regulate internet-based fundraising, but it's entirely insane to try to classify those who link to a candidate's web site or support a candidate's cause as "contributors to his/her campaign". This debate has been going on mostly between bloggers who are fearful of being wrongfully restricted, and I can understand the concern. It's a big deal to folks like us.

Enter Russ Feingold. Yesterday, Mr. Feingold posted on his new blog at mydd.com. He also promises that he will continue to keep up his blog and respond where necessary. That, my friends, is excellent news.

Here are a few excerpts from Senator Feingold's first blog post:

As one of the main authors of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law, also known as BCRA, it is particularly difficult to hear the mistaken belief that the law was somehow an attack on our cherished First Amendment rights. It is not. The law was found to be constitutional and it accomplished what we wanted it to do without infringing on First Amendment rights: stopping Members of Congress from soliciting enormous campaign contributions from monied interests; and reducing the corrupting influence of big money donations. Despite the naysayers, and despite shamefully poor and often deliberately harmful interpretations of this law by the agency charged with enforcing campaign finance law, the Federal Election Commission, McCain-Feingold worked in the 2004 election.

McCain-Feingold and the blogs both had a positive impact on the 2004 election and many people don't realize how similar their impact truly was. Both the blogs and BCRA empowered average citizens. By channeling the power of average citizens to speak out on the Internet, the blogs revitalized the political process last year. In the same way, the power of small contributions was greatly increased by BCRA, and someone who could only send $5 or $50 to a political party has become a sought-after donor. Many parts of BCRA were handled irresponsibly by the FEC, and bloggers are understandably concerned that some members of the FEC may again try to cause trouble by overreaching in the area of free speech on the Internet.

No one is more articulate than Feingold when it comes to explaining the McCain-Feingold law. He knows exactly what it does - and what it doesn't do. We can all expect that he will continue to work on this issue as vigilantly as he has for years to fill in the gaps where applicable.

The FEC must tread carefully in the area of political communications on the Internet. Political news and commentary on the Internet are important, even vital, to our democracy, and becoming more so. For starters, the FEC should provide adequate protection for legitimate online journalists. Online journalists should be treated the same as other legitimate broadcast media, newspapers, etc. and, at this point, I don't see any reason why the FEC shouldn't include legitimate online journalists and bloggers in the "media exemption" rule.

This is dead-on, and I couldn't have said it better. Add this to the list of reasons why Senator Feingold ought to be President in '08.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Gore is out

Politics1 - American Politics, Elections, Candidates & Campaigns: " MSNBC's Chris Matthews had an 'exclusive' Monday night, as he disclosed that former Vice President Al Gore will not challenge Senator Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for President in 2008. Matthews said that Gore wanted to 'end speculation about a campaign that will never occur.'"

Al, you broke my heart. Or not.

Feingold Testimony re: Regulation of Internet Political Activity

MyDD :: Mccain/Feingold Statement regarding possible regulation of Internet Political Activity: "For example, last week the charge was made that McCain-Feingold would go after bloggers. Nothing could be further from the truth, as you know."

There is much, much, more to what Senator Feingold has said regarding his landmark bill. Please follow the story link to read what he has to say.

Many in the so-called "blog-o-sphere" are worried about the impact of the law on their blogs. But I contend that McCain-Feingold is what has allowed the blogosphere grow and become the fundraising force (or virtual ATM machine if you're John Kerry) it is.

Take this snippet of Sen. Feingold's testimony:

We ended the corrupting influence of unlimited corporate, union, and individual contributions. Some thought this would destroy the parties - in fact, they have flourished. In the last election, for the first time in nearly two decades, our parties and our candidates concentrated on raising money from average citizens empowered by our
reform effort. And they raised more hard money in 2004 than they had raised in soft and hard money combined in the 2000 cycle.

So, where did Dr. Dean raise all that money? I swear the only thing that John Kerry's internet team used the internet for was fundraising from small donors. By being able to connect those small donors to causes, candidates, and the parties, the blogosphere has taken advantage and flourished because of the law.

IF the election were held today...

MyDD :: Due Diligence of Politics, Election Forecast & the World Today: "four months later, Bush would still beat Kerry, Zogby found, 46-42 percent, with 7% choosing 3rd party."

I think that this really points out how much the Democratic Party needs a leader like Sen. Feingold. Seven percent would choose a third party today, after seeing what kind of a candidate the John Kerry was.

When over half of the country doesn't approve of either Bush's foreign or domestic policy, and he'd still win election, we have a serious problem. And that problem was that people felt there wasn't much of a choice between the parties. Apparently, they still do.

Kerry and Bush were very different, I believe. But Kerry didn't campaign that way. Even he was afraid to be call himself what he is, a liberal.

Bush drops 4 points, Kerry drops 6 points from his total, and "Third Party" increases by 5-6 points. People are disillusioned with both parties, but tell me, what party do you think an increase in support like that would mostly come from?

Follow The Money

ABC News: The Note: Follow The Money: "Zachary Coile of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that on his visit to Washington where he visited with the President, Karl Rove, and Cabinet secretaries Leavitt, Spellings, and Norton, Schwarzenegger spent much of his time raising cash from lobbyists representing drug firms, Wall Street, and the entertainment industry, causing his critics to wonder if he's giving too much access to special interests. Coile Notes that Schwarzenegger collected $500,000 from his 21 Club fundraiser in New York Monday night."

I normally don't have much to comment on California politics, as I don't follow the subject quite as closely as others. But I do remember the now Governator promising to "terminate" the special interests in Sacramento.

Oh, wait. They're not "special interests" if they agree with you, I suppose. Stunning!

McCook Daily Gazette: Story: Hagel in New Hampshire?

McCook Daily Gazette: Story: Hagel in New Hampshire?: "Dear Editor,
Why, one wonders, is Senator Hagel sending his 2004 Year End Report, 'prepared, published and mailed at taxpayer expense' off to a Democrat in New Hampshire?"

An error, perhaps? Or, rather, I'd count Hagel in for the GOP in 2008. Overall, I don't think Sen. Hagel is nearly as scary as many Republicans, but I am not so cool with using taxpayer money to send his constituent reports to those who aren't his constituents.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Politics1 rocks

Politics1 - American Politics, Elections, Candidates & Campaigns: "Meanwhile, there is also an active draft group -- DraftRuss.com -- that is operating to encourage my favorite hopeful, Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI), to run for President."

I've been an avid reader of politics1.com for a while now. In the past few months, the site has been less frequently updated than in the past, but is still an excelent resource for all things political. I enjoy the ability to see who is running for House and Senate in all 50 states the most, I'd say.

Either way, Ron Gunzburger, the webmaster of the site, gave us a shout out on his front page, which we're very grateful for.

Ron himself is a Feingold supporter, and mentions this in about every post he writes.

Our Condolences

Daily Kos: "Sen. Feingold's mother just passed away."

I just learned this. I wish to extend our deepest sympathies to Senator Feingold's family.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Tom Vilsack: Run another term? The Iowa Gov race in 2006

ABC News: The Note: What Do Mindy and Katie Think About Iran's Nuclear Capability?: "
There's a movement afoot in Iowa to convince Gov. Tom Vilsack to please, please, run again, and while it cites David Yepsen for inspiration, it is not a special access program masterminded by the influential political journalist. Some of Vilsack's prominent supporters have created a website, LINK , that urges the governor to keep his mind firmly in Des Moines, forget about 2008, and seek a third term.
By announcing the Web site, Vilsack drafters hope the governor will use it as a way to open the door to another run. He is not term limited, but long ago announced his intention to not seek another four years.
But the door to re-election is shut for now. An adviser to Vilsack says he doubts the governor will change his mind soon; asked on Monday, Vilsack said he wasn't inclined to run and said there are many good candidates preparing to run.
Now then: Vilsack could take Yepsen's advice and at least drop hints that he might be willing to do it, and then he'd have some oomph to put behind his efforts to deal with Medicaid costs and property taxes this term.
The Web site names Jerry Crawford, Gordon Fischer, and Rev. Carlos C. Jayne as alleged supporters of its effort.
Iowa SoS Chet Culver (D) has coveted the seat for years; development czar Mike Blouin is another potential Democratic candidate and is reportedly a favorite of the governor. State Assembly Minority Leader Mike Gronstal is also thinking about a run.
Some Vilsack supporters are worried that Culver will win the nomination but lose the general election.
Republicans angling for the state house include Rep. Jim Nussle, Bob Vander Platts, and Doug Gross. Nussle and Gross will tussle for GOP establishment support. "

Although I'm uncommitted to the idea, I am interested in this. Tom Vilsack has done something, like most politicians, to make everyone mad at him at some point or another. This includes myself. But overall, I must say that he's been a great governor. He's had very little to work with in terms of cooperation from the legislature, and I like him because he's a sincere advocate for children. This is not surprising, considering his background and his childhood. Vilsack has said repeatedly, NO! We'll see if he's sincere.

I've heard talk of Tom Harkin stepping in the race. A Tom Harkin versus Jim Nussle race would be the most insane, dirty, and intense campaign I could think of. My money would be on Harkin in that knife fight. But I think Harkin probably enjoys his 6 year terms and the work he does in the US Senate.

All of this talk is because the Democratic field is looking pretty thin for winners. The leading favorite is Chet Culver, son of former Senator John Culver, and the current Secretary of State. Chet seems pretty thin on details, and it's hard to have much of a broad range record as Secretary of State. He's taken lots of heat from the press and the GOP about how he handled the 2004 election, specifically sending out voter information packets, which the GOP of course claimed was a waste of money. Being known as a waster of government resources won't get you elected governor of Iowa.

I personally really like Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal. He's a good and able man, but I'm not sure how he'd play across the state. He's really a wild card.

State Rep. Ed Fallon is the most progressive Iowan alive perhaps, but I can't see him winning. Plus, when he endorsed Nader in 2000, that really upset many Democrats, just as Nader himself still does to this day. It is worth noting that Rep. Fallon was also the only legislator to endorse Dennis Kucinich in 2004.

Mike Blouin is also interesting. He's a former Congressman, and also head of Dept. of Economic Development. I'm not totally sure, but I believe he is pro-life, which could turn off the Democratic base.

For the GOP, Rep. Nussle is one of the most powerful men on Capitol Hill. He's chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. In other words, Chairman Nussle is in charge of the committee that writes the budget. And we all know what great budgets congress has put out in the past few years. I personally don't see Nussle winning, but I've been wrong about plenty of things.

Bob Vander Platts is a Sioux City businessman. Think of a stereotypical conservative midwestern Republican businessman. That's this guy.

Des Moines Lawyer Doug Gross lost to Vilsack in 2002. He's got a permanent scowl on his face. He really didn't look like a compassionate conservative one bit. Gross is very smart and able, but I can't see him winning an election for anything, ever.

Letters from around the world

So far, in just one month, we've received hundreds of letters of support for Senator Feingold. We're currently going through them, and weeding out freepers. There haven't been to many of them, and the few who have, have been sorely lacking in wit. That kind of goes without saying when thinking about the rhetorical skills of 90% of freepers.

These letters have been moving and inspiring. From mothers of Iraq War veterans to people without health care, to those who feel like their rights are slowly being taken away, people across this nation are responding to Senator Feingold. We've received letters from all across the US, from many adoring constituents of Wisconsin, from citizens in other nations, and from US Territories. The message is clear:

Senator Feingold, the nation needs you.


ABC News: The Note: What Do Mindy and Katie Think About Iran's Nuclear Capability?: "AmericansForRice, the first major Web-based movement to urge Secretary Rice to run for President, will be expanding its online presence in the next few weeks.
Matt May, formerly a C-SPAN archivist, will be their blogmaster. And the group will soon install a dedicated phone line to reach its staff, which, while it ain't a fundraising team or a caucus commitment, is a good place to start. AmericansForRice is the brainchild of Dr. Richard Mason, a Miami Republican, and has active co-chairs in at least three other states. Mason and his allies plan to seed movements in all 50 states."

I really can't see Dr. Rice as too much of a politician. While it is obvious that being National Security Advisor and Secretary of State are such high profile jobs that they are political in nature, I haven't seen her excel in this whatsoever. Not to mention, that it's not really clear what her views on domestic issues are, and therefore, not clear what her appeal to the Republican base would be.

Either way, it's something to be aware of. The Draft Russ website wasn't started by anyone employed by the media (like this), nor party insiders (like Draft Wesly Clark). Just two dudes from Iowa - a student and a food bank worker.

Monday, February 14, 2005

ABC News: Bush Urges Renewal of Patriot Act

ABC News: Bush Urges Renewal of Patriot Act: " President Bush on Monday urged Congress to reauthorize the USA Patriot Act, the Justice Department's widely criticized anti-terrorism law.
'We must not allow the passage of time or the illusion of safety to weaken our resolve in this new war' on terrorism, Bush said at a swearing-in ceremony for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales at the Justice Department. "

Senator Feingold was the only US Senator to vote against the USAPATRIOT Act. What bothers me, is that this act is frequently called the USA Patriot Act, by the media, by right wingers and conservatives, and even by liberals and progressives.

There is nothing patriotic about the act of stripping civil liberties of free citizens of a democracy. The "USAPATRIOT" part, is merely an acronym, that stands for "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act." Nothing about the bill is "USA," or American, and nothing about the bill is patriotic. It's just an acronym, and a cheesy one at that.

So no more USA Patriot Act. It's the USAPATRIOT Act. I'll also accept the U.S.A.P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act, but by using this silly name, we're playing in the the hands of those who wish to trade away right for the feeling of security.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

What John Edwards is up to now...

News From The Associated Press: "MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) -- Former Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards, getting the 2008 campaign cycle off to an early start, said Saturday that poverty 'is one of the great moral issues of our time' and he pledged to help fight it.
'It may seem like an impossible task to end poverty, but that's what skeptics have always said about the great struggles we have faced,' he said. 'If we can put a man on the moon, cure polio, and put a library on a little chip, then we can end poverty.'"

John Edwards' message has always really appealed to me. The "Two Americas" stump speech that he developed over the course of the campaign really resonated with my core Democratic instincts. It was, in essence, everything Kerry was trying to say about the economy throughout the 2004 general election. John Kerry, unfortunatley, speaks "Senate-ese." (Hint to John Kerry: We speak many languagues in the US, but that is not one of them) I'm giving away a little secret here, but in the 2004 Caucuses, John Edwards is who I was counted for (for those unfamiliar with our strange process, we don't exactly cast ballots) and I am proud of that.

There is little doubt that John Edwards will run for President once more. Fighting poverty is very near to my heart. In my real-world job, I work for a Food Bank and I am involved with advocacy for low income people, mostly dealing with hunger. I sincerely hope that John Edwards will work hard for this now (since he doesn't exactly have a job) and not just talk about it.

I would still support a Russ Feingold candidacy over a John Edwards one. I had real problems with Edwards' record, or lack thereof on many things. That is why he wasn't my first choice at the caucuses. Senator Feingold is someone that I believe really has both the message, and the record to successfully sell that age old Democratic message to all Americans, both red and blue staters.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Feingold on C-Span's Q&A

>> Feingold's Q&A Interview

Senator Feingold was on C-Span's Q&A last night, covering topics from 'what it means to be progressive' to 'why the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform was effective and what to do next' to 'why earmarks should be separate votes', just to list a few.

The appearance was excellent. Feingold's answers, as always, gave me further insight into where he stands and why. One particularly interesting bit caught my attention:

"I grew up believing that marriage is between a man and a woman. That’s the way I understood it. But I don’t think it’s my job to sit in judgment on people on that issue. I believe this is up to the states. And I generally think a society where people who are monogamous, where people who love each other come together and form stable families is better than the opposite. And so, I don’t think it’s my job as a United States senator to pass judgment on who should be married."

This is one of the strongest stands I've seen Feingold take yet in favor of getting the government out of our bedrooms. This is a big issue for me because I've never seen the purpose of letting someone in an office somewhere tell you who you can love and how you can love them, permitted you're not infringing upon anyone's rights.

One final note: www.draftruss.com was mentioned on the program. We were referred to as "a blogger who follows your every move". That's not entirely the case, given that we are more than a blog, we're a movement. Every time that anyone out there gets involved, you are as important as we are

It's somewhat amusing,though, that we were painted this time as being one person with an obsession while last time, on The Note, we were more or less accused of being a task force on the senator's payroll. One of these days those silly pundits'll learn that not everything works in extremes.

Friday, February 04, 2005

The Netroots and Russ Feingold

MyDD :: If these were the choices in 2008, who would you support?: "If these were the choices in 2008, who would you support?

Evan Bayh 17 votes - 8 %
Hillary Clinton 18 votes - 8 %
John Edwards 44 votes - 21 %
Russ Feingold 107 votes - 51 %
Bill Richardson 22 votes - 10 %

208 Total Votes"

It's not scientific by ANY measure, but I think that it's a sign of the netroots' support. No, Feingold isn't probably supported by 51% of the netroots, but think of it in this way. With Dean now a reformer at the helm of the party, the netroots want to a reformer as the candidate.

There are many things I could say about the netroots, but most importantly, the community is mostly reformers. Until they had a way to communicate (through blogs and the internet), no one would listen - at any level of the Democratic Party.

JS Online: Feingold sizes up presidential race

JS Online: Feingold sizes up presidential race: "Talking at length about his political plans and the future of his party, Sen. Russ Feingold said he would consider running for president in 2008 if there is enough encouragement and interest from Democrats and if he thinks he has a real shot at winning the nomination. "

Well our goal is simple - he's already thinking about it - and we need to convince him that "there is enough encouragement and interest" out here for him to take that chance.

"If at some point people say, 'Hey, we think you ought to run for president' (and) it's a serious thing, I'm going to listen. I would only run if I honestly believed that I was the guy that really could win, that I was the person who was the best candidate to run," said Feingold, who sat down Wednesday at a reporter's request to talk about the Democratic Party and the 2008 presidential contest.

We are the "some people" he is talking about. You are the "some people" he's talking about. Please send him a letter of encouragement, or get ahold of us. It's 2005, but we're building a movement here.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

A WORD TO ABC "The Note" - Check your facts

ABC News: The Note: Like Going to the Racetrack: "Martin 'Lowell's Son' Meehan, John 'My Consultants Are Telling People I'm Running in 08' McCain, Christopher 'I'm The Key to Karl's Connecticut Hopes' Shays and Russ 'Draft Me For President' Feingold, the quartet behind BCRA, the first campaign finance bill that President Bush, ah, enthusiastically signed into law, has proposed legislation to reform the so-called 527 groups that famously brought us the Swift Boat veterans, the Texans for Truth, Ashley's Story, and the zillions of outside Democrats who swarmed Ohio on Election Day. "

Ok, so yeah - I don't work for Senator Feingold. I don't even live in Wisconsin. Nobody affiliated with the draft movement on ANY level I know, is involved with the Senator.

So, ABC News, quit making allegations. Ever think to check into it? Would you like to email me and ask me?


Feingold on the Death Penalty

Statement by WI Sen. Russell Feingold from Congressional Record for
Jan 24...

Abolish the Federal Death Penalty
By Russ Feingold

Monday 24 January 2005

Statement on Introduction of the Federal Death Penalty Abolition Act
of 2005.

Mr. President, today I introduce the Federal Death Penalty
Abolition Act of 2005. This bill would abolish the death penalty
at the Federal level. It would put an immediate halt to executions
and forbid the imposition of the death penalty as a sentence for
violations of Federal law.
Since 1976, when the death penalty was reinstated by the Supreme
Court, there have been almost 1,000 executions across the country,
including three at the Federal level. At the same time, over 100
people on death row were later found innocent and released from
death row. Exonerated inmates are not only removed from death row,
but they are usually released from prison altogether. Apparently,
these people never should have been convicted in the first place.
While death penalty proponents claim that the death penalty is
fair, efficient, and a deterrent, the fact remains that our
criminal justice system has failed and has resulted in at least
117 very grave mistakes.
Nine hundred and forty-four executions, and 117 exonerations in
the modern death penalty era. That is an embarrassing statistic,
one that should have us all questioning the use of capital
punishment in this country. And we continue to learn about more
cases in which our justice system has failed. Since I first
introduced this bill in November of 1999, 36 death row inmates
have been exonerated throughout the country, 12 since I introduced
this bill in the last Congress in February 2003. Since I last
introduced this bill, 115 people have been executed nationwide.
How many innocents are among them? We may never know.
While executions continue and the death row population grows, the
national debate on the death penalty intensifies and has become
even more vigorous. The number of voices joining in to express
doubt about the use of capital punishment in America is growing.
As evidence of the flaws in our system mounts, it has created an
awareness that has not escaped the attention of the American
people. Layer after layer of confidence in the death penalty
system has been gradually peeling away, and the voices of those
questioning its fairness are growing louder and louder. Now they
can be heard from college campuses and courtrooms and podiums
across the Nation, to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing room,
to the Supreme Court. We must not ignore them.
That our modern society relies on killing as punishment is
disturbing enough. Even more disturbing, however, is that our
States' and Federal Government's use of the death penalty is often
not consistent with principles of due process, fairness, and
justice. These principles are the foundation of our criminal
justice system. It is clearer than ever before that we have put
innocent people on death row. In addition, statistics show that
those States that have the death penalty are more likely to put
people to death for killing white victims than for killing black
After the death penalty was reinstated by the Supreme Court in
1976, the Federal Government first resumed death penalty
prosecutions after enactment of a 1988 Federal law that provided
for the death penalty for murder in the course of a drug-kingpin
conspiracy. The Federal death penalty was then expanded
significantly in 1994, when the omnibus crime bill allowed its use
to apply to a total of some 60 Federal offenses. Since 1994,
Federal prosecutions seeking the death penalty have now
A survey on the Federal death penalty system from 1988 to early
2000 was released by the U.S. Department of Justice in September
2000. That report showed troubling racial and geographic
disparities in the Federal Government's administration of the
death penalty. In other words, who lives and who dies in the
Federal system appears to relate to the color of the defendant's
skin or the region of the country where the defendant is
prosecuted. Attorney General Janet Reno was so disturbed by the
results of that report that she ordered a further, in-depth study
of the results. Attorney General John Ashcroft pledged to continue
that study, but we still await the results of that further study.
The Federal Government must do all that it can to ensure that no
person is ever subject to harsher penalties because of the color
of the defendant's skin.
I am certain that not one of my colleagues here in the Senate, not
a single one, would defend racial discrimination in this ultimate
punishment. The most fundamental guarantee of our Constitution is
equal justice under law, and equal protection of the laws. Yet we
have a system in place today that raises grave questions about
whether that guarantee is being met.
While the Federal death penalty system is clearly plagued by
flaws, there are 38 States across our Nation that also authorize
the use of capital punishment. And like the Federal system, those
systems are not free from error.
Five years ago, Governor George Ryan took the historic step of
placing a moratorium on executions in Illinois and creating an
independent, blue ribbon commission to review the State's death
penalty system. The Commission conducted an extensive study of the
death penalty in Illinois and released a report with 85
recommendations for reform of the death penalty system. The
Commission concluded that the death penalty system is not fair,
and that the risk of executing the innocent is alarmingly real.
Governor Ryan later pardoned four death row inmates and commuted
the sentences of all remaining Illinois death row inmates to life
in prison before he left office in January 2003:
Illinois is not alone. Four years ago, then Governor Parris
Glendening learned of suspected racial disparities in the
administration of the death penalty in Maryland. Governor
Glendening did not look the other way. He commissioned the
University of Maryland to conduct the most exhaustive study of
Maryland's application of the death penalty in history. Then faced
with the rapid approach of a scheduled execution, Governor
Glendening acknowledged that it was unacceptable to allow
executions to take place while the study he had ordered was not
yet complete. So, in May 2002, he placed a moratorium on
executions. Unfortunately, Governor Bob Ehrlich later lifted that
moratorium and executions have resumed in Maryland.
The Maryland study was released in January 2003, and the findings
should startle us all. The study found that blacks accused of
killing whites are simply more likely to receive a death sentence
than blacks who kill blacks, or than white killers. According to
the report, black offenders who kill whites are four times as
likely to be sentenced to death as blacks who kill blacks, and
twice as likely to get a death sentence as whites who kill whites.
Maryland and Illinois are not exceptions to a rule, nor anomalies
in an otherwise perfect system. In fact, since reinstatement of
the modern death penalty, 81 percent of capital cases across the
country have involved white victims, even though only 50 percent
of murder victims are white. Nationwide, more than half of the
death row inmates are African Americans or Hispanic Americans.
There is evidence of racial disparities, inadequate counsel,
prosecutorial misconduct, and false scientific evidence in death
penalty systems across the country. While the research done in
Maryland and Illinois has yielded shocking results, there are 36
other States that authorize the use of the death penalty, most of
them far more frequently. Twenty of the 38 States that authorize
capital punishment have executed more inmates than Maryland, and
14 of those States have carried out more executions than Illinois.
So while we are closer to uncovering the unthinkable truth about
the flaws in the Maryland and Illinois death penalty systems,
there are 36 other States with systems that are most likely
plagued with the same flaws. And yet, the killing continues.
At the beginning of 2005, I cannot help but believe that our
progress has been tarnished by our Nation's not only continuing,
but increasing use of the death penalty. We are a Nation that
prides itself on the fundamental principles of justice, liberty,
equality and due process. We are a Nation that scrutinizes the
human rights records of other nations. Historically, we are one of
the first nations to speak out against torture and killings by
foreign governments. We should hold our own system of justice to
the highest standard.
Over the last few years, some prominent voices in our country have
done just that. And they are not just voices of liberals, or of
the faith community. They are the voices of Justice Sandra Day
O'Connor, Reverend Pat Robertson, George Will, former FBI Director
William Sessions, Republican Governor George Ryan, and Democratic
Governor Parris Glendening. The voices of those questioning our
application of the death penalty are growing in number, and they
are growing louder.
And while we examine the flaws in our death penalty system, we
cannot help but note that our use of the death penalty stands in
stark contrast to the majority of nations, which have abolished
the death penalty in law or practice. There are now 117 countries
that have abolished the death penalty in law or in practice. The
European Union denies membership in the alliance to those nations
that use the death penalty. In fact, it passed a resolution
calling for the immediate and unconditional global abolition of
the death penalty, and it specifically called on all States within
the United States to abolish the death penalty. This is
significant because it reflects the unanimous view of a group of
nations with which the United States enjoys the closest of
relationships and shares the deepest common values.
What is even more troubling in the international context is that
the United States is now one of only five countries that imposes
the death penalty for crimes committed by juveniles. So, while a
May 2002 Gallup poll found that 69 percent of Americans oppose the
death penalty for those under the age of 18, we are one of only
five nations on this earth that puts to death people who were
under 18 years of age when they committed their crimes. The others
are Iran, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, and Saudi
Arabia. In the last decade, the United States has executed more
juvenile offenders than all other nations combined.
These are countries that we often criticize for human rights
abuses. We should remove any basis for charges that human rights
violations are taking place on our own soil by halting the
execution of people who were not even adults when they committed
the crimes for which they were sentenced to die. No one can
reasonably argue that executing child offenders is a normal or
acceptable practice in the world community. And I do not think
that we should be proud that the United States is the world leader
in the execution of child offenders.
As we begin a new year and another Congress, our society is still
far from fully just. The continued use of the death penalty shames
us. The penalty is at odds with our best traditions. It is wrong
and it is immoral. The adage ``two wrongs do not make a right,''
applies here in the most fundamental way. Our Nation has long ago
done away with other barbaric punishments like whipping and
cutting off the ears of criminals. Just as our Nation did away
with these punishments as contrary to our humanity and ideals, it
is time to abolish the death penalty as we seek justice in this
new century. And it is not just a matter of morality. The
continued viability of our justice system as a truly just system
that deserves the respect of our own people and the world requires
that we do so. Our Nation's striving to remain the leading
defender of freedom, liberty and equality demands that we do so.
Abolishing the death penalty will not be an easy task. It will
take patience, persistence, and courage. As we work to move
forward in a rapidly changing world, let us leave this archaic
practice behind.
I ask my colleagues to join me in taking the first step in
abolishing the death penalty in our great Nation. I also call on
each State that authorizes the use of the death penalty to cease
this practice. Let us step away from the culture of violence and
restore fairness and integrity to our criminal justice system.
I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be printed in

Bush plan - doesn't solve a thing - according to them

ABC News: The Note: Like Going to the Racetrack: "'A Bush aide, briefing reporters on the condition of anonymity, was more explicit, saying that the individual accounts would do nothing to solve the system's long-term financial problems.'
'That candid analysis, although widely shared by economists, distressed some Republicans.'
''Oh, my God,' one GOP political strategist said when he learned of the shift in rhetoric. 'The White House has made a lot of Republicans walk the plank on this. Now it sounds as if they are sawing off the board.''"

Then someone PELASE EXPLAIN, why in the hell is the President doing this? Oh, because it has nothing to do with "saving the system," and has everything to do with destroying Roosevelt's New Deal. It's not about what actually good for the Social Security program, what would make it better, if it needs to be made better.

It's about starting a "ownership society." Whatever that really means.

All of the Republicans (and the fainthearted Democrats too) that walked out on that plank deserve to get whatever they get. I gave up having faith in this President a LONG time ago.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

PISTONS CORNER: Rasheed disdains political basketball

PISTONS CORNER: Rasheed disdains political basketball: "What will Rasheed Wallace and President George W. Bush talk about when the Pistons visit the White House at 3 p.m. today? Foreign policy? Defense strategy? Try nothing.
When asked what he would say to the president, Wallace said: 'I don't have (expletive) to say to him. I didn't vote for him. It's just something we have to do.'"

Well, the city of Detroit is what carried Michigan for Kerry. I don't have much to say about this other than to point out it's funny.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Feingold in Florida

The Daytona Beach News-Journal: West Volusia: "DAYTONA BEACH -- One of President Bush's most vocal opponents in the Senate is weighing a 2008 run for the presidency.
U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., told the Tiger Bay Club of Volusia County on Friday that he'll decide whether to run after 'going around the country' working to return a Democrat to the White House.
In Bush's first term, Feingold opposed the president's policies on the Iraq war, USA Patriot Act, Medicare reform, education policy, environmental regulation and abortion rights. He made clear he was leaving his own presidential options open after a club member asked if he plans to run.
For now, Feingold said, he wants to be 'part of the process' of identifying a candidate likely to succeed George W. Bush in 2008. That involves helping to create 'national organizations of people to make that happen,' he said."

While it is unclear what Senator Feingold's intentions are at this point, it seems as though running for President in 2008 is something he is considering.

I found this line most telling, and exactly why Russ Feingold is exactly the kind of candidate the Democratic Party needs.

Club member Al Smith, a local physician and registered Democrat, asked Feingold if "the party can stand another liberal from the Northeast (as a candidate) and still survive as a party?"

Feingold replied that the country is looking for a candidate they can feel connected to, whether liberal or conservative.

I don't think we can stand another liberal from the Northeast. Not because they are liberal, not because they are Northeastern. Show me a Northeastern politician who could compete on a national level besides Howard Dean who isn't considered an "elite" or who isn't easily branded so. But the Senator is exactly right. Bush connected better than Kerry - even though the voters wanted a change. Something to think about.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Alberto Gonzales is Not Fit to be Attorney General (Sign On)

Alberto Gonzales is Not Fit to be Attorney General: "Alberto Gonzales is Not Fit to be Attorney General"

Not only does Russ Feingold oppose Alberto Gonzales, so do we here at the draftruss.com blog and website. Only in the Bush Administration could someone be promoted to Attorney General, the nation's highest law enforcement officer, who says (paraphrasing) "It's not torture unless there is organ failure."

If you have a weblog, please sign on to this "No to Gonzales" petition. It was started by DailyKos, and follow the link to read or sign on.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Feingold votes NO on Gonzales -

Daily Kos: "As all of my colleagues on this Committee know, I believe that Presidents are entitled to a great deal of deference in their cabinet nominations. I have voted in favor of a number of this President's nominees, including the current Attorney General, with whom I had serious disagreements on matters of policy and general ideology. My votes may not have always pleased my political supporters, or my party's leadership. But in carrying out my part in the constitutional scheme, as one who is asked to advise on and consent to a President's nominations, I am guided by my conscience, and by the history and practices of the United States Senate. Rejecting a cabinet nominee is a very rare event. The decision to do so must never be taken lightly.
Mr. Chairman, I have reached the conclusion, after a great deal of thought and careful consideration, that I cannot support Judge Gonzales's nomination."

In his own words. Considering Senator Feingold's view of confirmations of Presidents' nominees, this is a big deal.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Russ versus Condi

CNN.com - Rice, Boxer spar in�confirmation hearing - Jan 18, 2005: "Sen. Russell Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat, criticized the administration for focusing too much on Iraq and allowing other terrorism hot spots, such as Somalia, to fester and grow.
'I think the balance has not been correct,' he said.
But Rice insisted: 'I do sit every day and look at the terrorist threat report that's coming in. ... We are making a lot of progress on this.'"

Sure Condi...I'll be posting the good Senator's full questions and her lame answers to them later.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Is it getting crowded in here?

ABC News: The Note: If You Guessed This One Is Not Like the Others...: "'THAT it could get crowded for the Democrats in 2008. John Kerry has said he won't rule out running again, and now comes word Tipper Gore is telling friends that Al is eyeing another race himself.'"

I admit that a Gore candidacy could make things harder. But, on the flipside, Gore clearly falls into the "party elite" category, and in many ways, Russ Feingold could benefit from this.

Let's just play a sesame street type game here - which one of these things is not like the other? Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Al Gore, John Edwards, Russ Feingold? Yeah, there's only one clear reformer there. I'm sure the field would include more than him, but you get the point.

A crowded field could really help out Russ Feingold in the primary season.

Monday, January 10, 2005

ABC News: The Note: Gingrich in 2008?

ABC News: The Note:: "'Republicans close to Gingrich said he privately has mused about potentially running for president in 2008 or beyond. These officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because Gingrich would not approve of public speculation, said odds are against him seeking and winning the White House.' "

Looks like Newt may put out another "Contract on America." I would agree that the odds are against him as well, but stranger things have happened.

MyDD :: If Howard Dean wins DNC Chair, whom will the netroots most favor for 2008?

MyDD :: If Howard Dean wins DNC Chair, whom will the netroots most favor for 2008?: "If Howard Dean wins DNC Chair, whom will the netroots most favor for 2008?

Evan Bayh 43 votes - 3 %
Wes Clark 247 votes - 20 %
Hillary Clinton 64 votes - 5 %
John Edwards 82 votes - 6 %
Russ Feingold 455 votes - 37 %
John Kerry 42 votes - 3 %
Bill Richardson 78 votes - 6 %
Mark Warner 102 votes - 8 %
Tom Vilsack 8 votes - 0 %
Other 90 votes - 7 % "

Just an online poll, but something to think about.

Would Russ Feingold really be benefitted by Dean? Well, I've been listening to Dean and what he has to say about this. First and foremost, Dean talks about being a reformer.

I did not support Howard Dean in 2004, but I believe he'd be a great chair. First, he can raise money from small donors like no one we've seen recently. Secondly, he is a strong voice for the party and can debate anyone, anytime, about what he believes in, and what we stand for. But third, this isn't about right or left, or views such as opposing or supporting a war. It is about reforming the party structure and campaigns so that we can win again.

"Why aren't I running for President in 2008? Because I believe that a Democrat won't win in 2008 unless the party changes."

-Howard Dean

It's just my own personal opinion, but I think he's right.

JS Online: Bigger things seem possible for Feingold

DraftRuss in Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel!!!
JS Online: Bigger things seem possible for Feingold: "'I think Russ Feingold is exactly the type of candidate that the Democratic Party needs,' said Charlie Wishman, 24, a Des Moines, Iowa, food-bank worker who with his friend Eric Hungerford and a few hundred bucks set up www.draftruss.com.
Hungerford said the Web site already has generated 15,000 hits and likely would be getting more in coming days as he spreads the word on other progressive Internet forums.
'We definitely aren't doing that bad, considering we haven't really done anything to get the word out,' he said."

A shameless plug for ourselves. But check out the article. One of many to come, we're sure of it.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Boxer Rebellion - the results and the aftermath

Bush was NOT in jeopardy of losing his Ohio electors yesterday. That wasn't even the point. But you certainly wouldn't have known from the debate yesterday.

While Senate and House Democrats talked about election reform and the desparate need for fair and open elections, the GOP spent their time debating a straw man. No Democrats were claiming that John Kerry won the election, but that there are serious problems with the voting system in America. The GOP's arguments centered around, "you're sore losers, you're trying to steal the election, this is all Michael Moore and the internet's fault."

Anyone watching or listening to the debate could figure out that the Democrats were on the side of reform, and the GOP was on the side of the status-quo.

I will continue to make the point - we need to be the party of reform - if we want to win again.

I sincerely hope that the Democrats bring forth an election reform package this year or next. This would either fix some, or hopefully all of the problems with voting in America, or show the citizenry that the GOP is really the party of the status quo if it fails to pass or be brought up because of their actions.

Tsunami Relief and Presidential Aspirants

I saw this on Kos and decided to share it with those of you who haven't seen it.

Daily Kos: "Just before his helicopter lifted off, Frist and aides took snapshots of each other near a pile of tsunami debris. 'Get some devastation in the back,' Frist told a photographer."

And as Kos put it, that is "real classy."

I think it's a real possibility that Sen. Frist will be joining the 2008 GOP field. I'm sure that many aspiring candidates are heading to South Asia to show off or build their foreign policy credentials.

So, why did Governor Jeb Bush travel there with Secretary Powell this week? What does the Governor of Florida know about South Asia? He knows it is a great photo op for him. And of course, so does his brother, so Jeb heads out on this trip as well. Hopefully for him, like Frist, he got lots of debris in the background of photos of his him.

It's sad that a disaster of this magnitude is all part of someone's 2008 campaign.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

The Boxer Rebellion

ABC News: The Note: Wise to Resolve, and Patient to Perform: "Sen. Barbara Boxer ended speculation about what she'll do with a letter to Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH), saying that she will join the objection, delaying the inevitable certification for a few hours."

I personally haven't seen enough evidence to say that Ohio was stolen or that there was some kind of widespread GOP fraud. I have seen enough evidence to say that the vote has some serious questions about the vote, in many states besides Ohio. Congress definitley needs to look into how we vote.

What I don't get, is how that this year, the Congressional Black Caucus can get a Senate sponsor for their objections, and in 2000, when the election was pretty much outright stolen, they couldn't.

Rep. John Conyers of Michigan and others have said they will rise to protest the Ohio electoral allotment specifically. They will charge that the vote certification is not legitimate, that the Secretary of State there ruled with bias, that the exit polls differed from the vote tallies, that minority communities experienced long lines and voter intimidation, that county election officials made mistakes, or worse, when canvassing the ballots.

The chambers will then separate for 2 hours, and probably ignore all of those complaints.

There was plenty of high-level Democratic pressure to talk Boxer out of doing this. They do not welcome the spectacle of Jesse Jackson and Granny D holding little rallies outside the Capitol. And they acknowledge it makes them look like poor losers, since, after all, Bush did win Ohio by more than 100,000 votes.

"Senate Democratic aides say few if any Democratic Senators will vote to support the challenge, with the exception of Boxer," ABC News' Linda Douglass reports. "Some Democrats, like Ted Kennedy, may make floor statements calling for election reform but not challenging the outcome of this election. It is not clear how many will speak, since many senators have already left town," Douglass reports.

"Republicans are delighted. A leadership aide calls this a 'golden opportunity to remind people that President Bush won and John Kerry lost. Bring it on.'"

I guess I belong to the Granny D wing of the Democratic Party. I guess who cares about how it looks, I care about if it's the right thing to do. Yes, we need election reform. Hopefully we can get at least that out of this disappointing election season, something we sorely need in some form or another.