Russ Feingold has already been sorely missed in the US Senate, in debates like extending provisions of the Patriot Act. When he lost his election, I proposed that he run the ACLU or some such organization, and be an independent voice outside of government for progressive issues.
Feingold took my advice. He started a PAC called Progressives United, dedicated to blunting the power of corporations in our democracy. Here’s an excerpt from his email to supporters (unfortunately, the site’s pretty slow at the moment, so you might want to check back for that):
For too long, we’ve witnessed the ever-increasing, corruptive power of corporations over our democracy.
As you know, I spent much of my career in the Senate fighting that corruptive power. I am no longer in the Senate tp represent Wisconsin, but I have no intention of giving up that fight — or giving up on you and all the people who have fought it with me.
Today I am proud to announce that progressives — demanding change and demanding action — have come together to help me launch a new group: Progressives United.
Together we will empower Americans to fight back against corporate influence and corruption in Washington, D.C., and demand democratic reforms to our election system. We will support candidates who will work for the people, not the corporations. We will call out the media when they hide from the real story.
And we will do it all united.
Feingold specifically cites the Citizens United decision as contributing to the corporate takeover of democracy, so we can expect that to be a focus of the organization. The website says that Progressives United is an “effort dedicated to mitigating the effects of, and eventually overturning, the Citizens United decision.” There are other organizations that take this angle, but Feingold’s a pretty high-profile spokesman and leader. He also cites his votes against the Patriot Act, the Iraq war and NAFTA in his opening message. Feingold has also been one of the more vocal national figures in condemning Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s play to strip collective bargaining rights from public employees.
If there’s one thing that’s needed in our political landscape, it’s an independent progressive voice not tied to one party or another. Feingold showed that ability on many issues while in the Senate, and I hope he continues it with Progressives United