DraftRuss.Org Blog

Russ Feingold for President

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´┐Żconfirmation 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.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Shirley Chisholm dies at age 80 - Jan 3, 2005 - Unbought and Unbossed

CNN.com - Shirley Chisholm dies at age 80 - Jan 3, 2005: "'I ran for the Presidency, despite hopeless odds, to demonstrate the sheer will and refusal to accept the status quo,' Chisholm said in her book 'The Good Fight.' 'The next time a woman runs, or a black, a Jew or anyone from a group that the country is 'not ready' to elect to its highest office, I believe that he or she will be taken seriously from the start.'"

That's something to think about as we all work towards nominating and electing someone that at one time many people would have thought the country was 'not ready' for.

For those younger people who don't know who Shirley Chisolm was, you shold find out. For those who do, take a moment to remember those who have been fighting the fight in previous generations. The movement of today didn't start just during this previous election season, the social movements of the 60s didn't start then, the labor movement of the 1930s didn't start during the great depression, and the populist movements didn't start just in the 1880s. We always must take time to remember those who came before.

Check out:
The above is from the amazing site "4president.org." If you are interested in previous candidates for president and political history at all, just take some time and check it out.

Daily Kos: Feingold testing 2008 waters?

Daily Kos: "Russ Feingold testing 2008 waters?

Washington Whispers seems to think so:
Keep a lookout for Sen. Russ Feingold , the second half of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance duo, who just won a third term from Wisconsin voters. He's on a nationwide mission to test out his progressive message that's liberal on some issues, like universal healthcare, and conservative on others, like the deficit. Fans think he can bridge the blue-state-red-state divide, making him not just a voice for a changing Democratic Party but a possible '08 presidential candidate. He's not the only one: Republicans are keeping an eye on Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney , who's on his own message tour.
Feingold inadvertently helped create the netroots revolution with McCain-Feingold. Devoid of big dollar donations, the party had to suddenly court small dollar donors online and off. Beforehand, getting the million dollar checks was the easier route to take.
A Feingold trial balloon should be fun to watch. "

It looks like more and more now people are looking to Russ Feingold as a real possibility for 2008. With his most recent editorial in Salon, and numerous periodicals starting to taking note of him, I think there definitely is a buzz out there for his name. And hey, in January of 2005, a buzz is about the most you can ask for.

The assertion that Feingold "inadvertently helped create the netroots revolution" with his campaign finance reform bill is a new one. Raising money and organizing online would have happened to someone whether or not the law took away large donations. Anyone who's been watching trends online could see that donating online is very popular and becoming more so, just because of the ease of it. Small grassroots campaigns like Dean or Kucinich would have been forced to do that anyways. But to the DNC or campaigns like Kerry, Edwards, Gephardt, and the rest of the old school types McCain-Feingold may have made them them look elsewhere for money.

What do you think?