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Posts tagged with “Russ Feingold”

Predictibly, the Anti-ANWR Spin Came on Cue

On Saturday, the Wisconisn AP reported that both GOP Senate candidates — Ron Johnson and David Westlake — were in support of opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or ANWR ,to drilling, especially as an option to off-shore drilling.

Both Republican candidates in Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate race want to see an environmentally sensitive region of Alaska land opened up to oil drilling, a solution they say would help avoid such catastrophes as the BP oil spill fouling the Gulf of Mexico.

Sen. Russ Feingold, the Democratic incumbent, disagreed, saying the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is too sensitive to withstand large-scale drilling.

In interviews with The Associated Press, businessmen Ron Johnson of Oshkosh and Dave Westlake of Watertown said it’s safer to drill in Alaska’s so-called ANWR (pronounced ON’-wahr) region because any spill would be immediately accessible to emergency crews.

“ANWR may be environmentally sensitive but it may be easier to drill up there and with less environmental impact than trying to drill in very deep water,” Johnson said. “You know, these oil rigs are being forced so far offshore. By doing that we’re just increasing the risks.”

Johnson and Westlake will square off in a Republican primary in September. The winner will take on Feingold.

On cue, two of the more environmentally-minded liberal bloggers in the state, James Rowen and Bill Christofferson pounced on the news.  Christofferson going so far as putting up the following “Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day-Approved” photo of ANWR on his blog post.

Pretty isn’t it?  Here’s the problem, while this is ANWR, it is not the proposed drilling site.  In fact, where Christofferson has shown above is literally hundreds of miles from the proposed drilling site near ANWR’s northern coast along the Arctic Ocean.

In 2001, as the debate about re-opening ANWR came forward for the first time, National Review Online Editor-at-Large, Jonah Goldberg took a trip via airplane (it was too cold to get there via land transportation) to the proposed drilling site for an article for the magazine.  Here’s what he came back with:

As you can see, it’s a lot different than the one “Xoff” has on his blog.  In fact, here’s what Goldberg wrote about all the pretty mountains and other common themes from the “We’ll kill the environment!!!” crowd on ANWR.  (Feel free to use the URL links to the photos he’s highlighted.  Above is picture 150.)

Now, as for the mountains in ANWR: There are many beautiful mountain ranges in this South Carolina-sized wilderness. But the ones closest to the coastal plain are not covered in lush trees, as you might think from looking at the media coverage. This far north it’s too cold, dark, and bleak during the winter for trees to survive. So these mountains are impressive geologically, but — at least from what I saw — they look like barren, massive piles of gravel. For example: [169] [179] [171]. And some have really cool glacier-ice formations on them, like this [178]. But remember, these [180] are still very far from this [150].

I did see some caribou closer than this [150] but I didn’t snap any good pictures. As you can see [151], they are hanging out on the shore of the Arctic Ocean trying to escape the bugs. I like to call the one on the very far left-hand corner Arthur. Speaking of the Arctic Ocean, the ice never really goes away [152]. Here you can see the dividing line between what were two giant sheets of ice [154]. That line is not man-made in any way.

And finally, this is me [131] looking like a doofus in hardhat and goggles at the Alpine Oil installation. The reason I don’t look fatter is that standing against a large petroleum facility has a beneficial slimming effect, which is the real reason why I am favor of opening up ANWR. I do not pretend that you couldn’t take prettier pictures up close on the tundra where the drilling might be, but that’s not why I was there. And, besides, you couldn’t take pictures of beautiful mountains where the drilling would be because, well, there are no mountains of any kind where the drilling would be.

Pictures do indeed say a thousands words, especially the ones being used which are blatantly false.

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But Again, Russ Feingold is NOT, I Repeat, NOT in Trouble

Seriously, one would almost think God is intentionally making the liberal bloggers in this state look like fools when a story like this appears after they have spent countless blog posts trying to tell us all that Russ Feingold — a guy who still hasn’t hit over 50 percent in any re-elect poll by any polling firm — isn’t in some form of trouble.

Tell that to the fund raising appeal.

Vice President Joe Biden will return to Wisconsin later this month to attend a fundraiser for former Senate colleague Russ Feingold in Milwaukee.

The $500 per ticket fundraiser, featuring Biden and Feingold, D-Middleton, is set for June 24 at the Pfister Hotel. Biden was last in the Badger State in April for a financial reform roundtable with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

A $500 a ticket fundraiser at the Pfister with the Vice President of the United States.  Wow, that’s the sort of thing usually reserved for someone…in trouble.  Clearly, the Feingold Campaign must have issued this as some sort of mistake.

As for the per-person cost, I leave the remaining amount of my time to Zach W of Blogging Blue, who in the past had explained to us all what is the proper price for a political fundraiser in Wisconsin.

By the way, the Feingold fundraiser is twice as much per head than the Walker one Zach pointed out in February.

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Daily Quick Hits

Video of the Day

A quick capture by the NRCC of Kagen in full “Talking Point Regurgitation Mode.”

You know, the job of a Press Secretary is to be on top of things to make sure her boss doesn’t make a fool out of himself in front of a national cable audience.

By the way, it’s never a good sign when you have a White House Press Secretary tell the press at the briefing ‘The attorneys are looking at it.’

The “What the $^&*” Story of the Day

There’d be comedy in this, if it weren’t so sad given his addiction and how no one in Madison seems to give a damn about getting him the help he needs because Democrats need his vote.  Tragedy thy name is enabling.

Rep. Jeff Wood had more than eight times the “therapeutic” range of an ingredient found in cough syrup when he was arrested in September 2009.

A state lab test result, which was obtained by the Wisconsin State Journal through a state open records request, showed Wood had high levels of Dextromethorphan (DXM) in his system when he was arrested by the State Patrol in Marathon County in September.

The drug is an over-the-counter cough suppressant commonly found in cold medications, which is often abused by adolescents to “generate euphoria and visual and auditory hallucinations,” according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Illegal use of DXM, which is also known as “poor man’s PCP,” is often called “Robo-tripping” or “skittling.”

PPP’s Russ-Tommy Poll

I know a bunch of liberal bloggers in Wisconsin are over-joyed by it (The Chief, dude, seriously, language.)  But I noticed this; as did the state media, Feingold went from being up 9 last November to being up 3…in a Democratic Polling Firm’s poll.

(Maybe if they keep calling Tommy a lobbyist some more…)

USPS Requests to Go Five Days-a-Week

Congress must still approve the move; but the time has come, and kudos to the Post Office for either seeing its own likely demise because of technology ahead of time.

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The Democratic Game Plan Against Tommy

When is a guy who never lobbied anyone; let alone even registered to lobby as a lobbyist in Washington?  When he’s Tommy Thompson, former Governor of the state of Wisconsin and former HHS Secretary, and he has to audacity to even contemplate challenging Russ Feingold to a Senate race.

As clearly pointed out by “DPW’s Brain,” Bill “Xoff” Christofferson, this memo by Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling out of North Carolina seems to indicate the question about lobbying and who loves them is being asked.

We’ll have our full Wisconsin Senate numbers out tomorrow, and it’s a close race between Russ Feingold and Tommy Thompson. But there was one piece of information in the poll that bodes particularly ill for Thompson…and Dan Coats in Indiana as well.

1% of Wisconsin voters have a favorable opinion of Washington lobbyists. I think something polling at 1% is a new one for us. 77% view them negatively. And you better believe that if Thompson gets in the race that Washington lobbyist card will get played over and over and over again.

Tax and spend liberals, which Feingold is sure to be labeled as, are considerably more popular than Washington lobbyists. Only 53% of voters have an unfavorable opinion of them, and 18% even like them!

A bad national political climate has Feingold looking potentially a lot more vulnerable than would have been expected a year ago, but what Thompson’s been doing since leaving the Bush administration could end up being baggage on par with Feingold’s association with an unpopular Congress. We’ll have those numbers out in the morning.

PPP’s numbers are supposed to be out today.  I’m sure if they show Thompson in the lead, Christofferson will call them WPRI-paid shills.

Thompson may never even enter the race.  So admittedly, it is fun watching the Feingold campaign and other liberals chase shadows until a decision is made.

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Maybe Tommy for Senate is Happening

Admittedly, I’m still in the camp of “Believe it when he announces,” but this story in today’s Politico does make it look like a “Tommy for Senate” Campaign might be moving out of the “Hey, that’s a nice idea / match-up” stage, and actually into the “planning stage.”

Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, who served four terms as Wisconsin governor, is securing financial pledges and ramping up his outreach to longtime political aides in preparation for a possible campaign against Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold.

Thompson has alerted his Washington-based law firm of his moves and is contacting key clients about the prospect of challenging Feingold, the most tangible signals yet that he’s seriously exploring a 2010 campaign.

“The governor has taken additional steps in the past week and will continue to do so over the next several weeks. If the meetings go well, you can expect to see an exploratory committee set up near the end of March,” former state commerce secretary and Thompson campaign manager Bill McCoshen told POLITICO.

Another longtime Thompson ally said the governor already has $200,000 in potential donations for a campaign that doesn’t yet exist.

“If you talked to me two weeks ago, I would have put it at a 50-50 shot. Now it’s at 70,” said the Thompson aide, who requested anonymity to avoid offending his friend. “He’s asking serious questions like, ‘Who would run the campaign? Who would do the fundraising? When would we announce? How much could we raise?’”

“Gov. Thompson has taken every opportunity in the media to try to remind voters he’s popular and get his ego stroked,” said Sachin Chheda, a Democratic consultant and chairman of the Milwaukee County Democratic Party. “We’re not seeing anything other than the usual dance where he likes to see his name in the paper, which occurs every few years when an election comes up.”
The Politico reports Thompson insiders say any sort of announcement for a Senate run won’t occur until the State GOP Convention, which is May 21-23, in Milwaukee.
Tommy does like the big lights and the big events ah?
Frankly, I think waiting that long is a bad move.  Especially, if he’s not running since he’ll be taking away momentum which could go to the Terrance Wall candidacy if that’s all Republicans in Wisconsin end up with.  It’s not fair to the Wall or Westlake campaigns, just as it wasn’t fair to the Green and Walker campaigns in 2006.  Somewhere, Thompson probably knows this.
You just wonder if his ego cares.

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Russ Feingold: Man of Principle

From an RPW press release, which may or may not have been taken from this post by Jim Geraghty at National Review.

“Reconciliation is intended for legislation that reduces the deficit. I have strongly opposed past efforts to use reconciliation to address policy matters, such as drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It wasn’t appropriate then; it isn’t appropriate now.” (Sen. Feingold, Congressional Record, S.4289, 4/2/09)
“U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold said Saturday he supports the movement within the Senate to pass a health care bill with a public option under reconciliation rules, which require a simple majority without a filibuster.” (La Crosse Tribune, 2/21/10)

How “mavericky” of Russ?  No wonder OWN and DPW are focusing on Wall’s tax record, they can’t seem to be able to defend a Feingold “Flip-Flop.”

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Food for Thought

Every time I read a story, see a press release, or hear a sound clip from Sen. Russ Feingold about the recent Citizens United Supreme Court case, I sort of feel his pain.

I mean, the guy has got to be depressed on some level — beyond frothing with anger that we’ve seen in the two weeks since the case was announced.  So, in that point of view, as Russ continues his quixotic quest to revive what is officially dead in McCain-Feingold, I offer Wisconsin’s junior Senator the following sentiment.

He deserves it after all.

(Bonus points to anyone who in the comments drops the original political use of this picture.)

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McCain: Campaign Finance Reform is Dead

Has anyone told Russ Feingold, or the Feingold sycophants, this yet?

Sen. John McCain says the movement he led to reform how political campaigns are financed is dead.

McCain says the Supreme Court has spoken on the constitutionality of political contributions by corporations. The Arizona Republican had sought to regulate them with a landmark campaign finance law he wrote with Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis.

Last week the Supreme Court ruled that corporations may spend as freely as they like to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress.

McCain says there’s not much that can be done about campaign financing now. Still, he predicts a backlash over time from voters once they see the amount of money that corporations and unions pour into political campaigns.

McCain spoke Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

A few left-wing  bloggers in both Wisconsin and the rest of the nation have urged Feingold should keep fighting for his (not to mention Mike Ellis and Jon Erpenbach’s) fool’s errand of violating the U.S. Constitution and systematically raping the 1st Amendment.

According to Feingold’s bio, he’s a former Rhodes Scholar.  Aren’t those guys supposed to be very smart?  So all we’ve gotten from Feingold is stubborn arrogance on this matter.  Not sure how smart that is.

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Yes, But Will Tommy Pull the Trigger

Every time I read a “Thompson Mulling Senate Run” story, I flashback to the 2003 Wisconsin Republican Convention in Stevens Point where I was sitting with the Outagamie Co. delegation begging with the rest of those present for the former Governor-turned HHS Secretary (or was he former Secretary in May 2003…) to run against Russ Feingold.  As history, he turned down the request of the crowd, and in fact, started naming legitimate candidates to run in his stead.

(Former Lt. Governor Margaret Farrow was one of them if memory serves…)

Well, the Politico has another one of these stories today.  I’ve had numerous talks with numerous people and I keep telling them the same about a Tommy Senate run: “I don’t know.”

Then the topic would change to a “Well, what if Scott Brown wins in Massachusetts” scenario.  Again, my answer was: “I don’t know.”

So once again, if Tommy jumps in, I’m gonna say I’ll back him all the way, but can “Hamlet-Brett Favre” act stop once and for all?

Former Wisconsin Gov. and Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson is still considering a challenge to Sen. Russ Feingold (D).

In a brief interview Wednesday about the possibility of a Senate run this year, Thompson, a Republican, would only say: “I’m not saying no.”

The former governor mused last fall about a potential gubernatorial or Senate run, but if he does mount a campaign this year, it’s now almost certain to be a run against Feingold.

A Thompson-Feingold contest could become one of the country’s marquee matchups. Republicans have so far been unable to recruit a top-tier challenger to take on Feingold, who is one of the body’s most liberal senators.

That Thompson is seriously weighing a bid against Feingold illustrates how promising Republicans believe this November could be for the party. Following Scott Brown’s shocking win Tuesday in the Massachusetts special Senate election and victories in the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial contests last November, GOP officials believe it will become easier to woo potential candidates.

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Feingold First Dem to Criticize Reid

Well, points for consistency for Russ.

Sen. Russ Feingold (Wis.) became the first Democrat to openly criticize Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) use of racially insensitive language and declined to endorse Reid’s continued tenure as Majority Leader.

In an interview with ABC affiliate WISN, Feingold criticized Reid’s characterization of President Barack Obama as “light-skinned” without “Negro dialect.” Feingold called those comments “unfortunate and racially insensitive.”

When asked whether he would call on Reid to step down, Feingold said he was still considering that option. “I’m thinking about that and we’re going to be getting together as a caucus next week and the topic will come up. I have not decided whether these comments merit that or not.

“They’re very unfortunate. They should have never been said. So, I need to think about it,” Feingold said.

Feingold is the only Democrat to criticize Reid, and his comments could severely undercut claims by Reid’s office and other top Democrats that the Majority Leader enjoys the full support of his Conference.

No word from the HerB.O.T. 5000 yet.

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