Closing out June
Just in case I am not able to blog for the 4th a July, I want to wish everyone a safe and fun time. This 4th of July will mark the one year
since the national online movement to draft Russ Feingold for President kicked off. In just one year, we have created a movement that have shook the socks right off the D.C. establishment. We have in other words, not just put Russ on the map, but, some folks even look at him as a contender. Yep, just look at it this way. In 2004, no one outside of Wisconsin, knew who russ was. In 2005 political types began to take notice, as he called for the withdrawl of U.S. troops in Iraq, fought against passing CAFTA, and gave one hec of a fight to rewrite the USA PATRIOT ACT. Now, in 2006, people are looking at him and seeing a possible 2008 Presidential prospect. When 2007 rolls around, pundits might say that he could get a VP nod but never head the democratic ticket. Then, in 2008, the American people will see the greatness that is Senator Russ Feingold, as we together, watch him sworn in President in 2009. Its just going to take some time, and a whole lot of spending money my sweet child.
Russ this week voted against a constitutional amendment to make Flag burning illegal
. For all those who say Russ is against freedom of expression and individual liberty because of McCain-Feingold, I rest my case. Russ also, as always, voted against the unfair Oman Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
Unfortunately, Michigan was split on both issues. Levin went along with Michigan voters and voted along side Russ. Stabenow chose not to vote on the OFTAIA but did vote yes on the Flag burning amendment. C'mon Debbie, we know your better then that. The month of June has been pretty nice to Russ in statewide polls
. Russ Trails Kerry by only one point in Florida and Georgia. He is tied with Kerry in Michigan and New Jersey. In Pennsylvania he is beating Kerry by 1 point and has almost doubled him in Washington as he is just 1 point behind Edwards. In Wisconsin, he is in a statistical tie with Hillary for first place. To add a cherry on top of that, remember that these polls are done by Strategic Vision. From my findings, they are a bit Republicanish. So if their polls are finding this, then you know Russ is all good BBQ with the American people.
Always Russ, All for Us
Russ was great this past Sunday on "Meet the Press
". He was very confident in saying that he believes he would prevail against Hillary in a debate on the Iraq war, the Patriot Act, and the Illegal wiretapping. It was great to hear that he was not endorsing Joe Lieberman in CT. Instead he says that he will endorse the winner of the democratic primary. So go out there and get Ned Lamont the nomination CT dems. Even if Russ does not run for President. He needs people like Bernie Sanders
and Ned Lamont
in the U.S. Senate with him.
GQ Magizine also had a nice article about Russ. It was an interview
that showed the senators light humor side. Then again, don't we want a President with a bit of personality, humor, and charm? Thats whats really is great about Russ. He knows when to be laid back and when to be principled and hard on important issues. A great example is how he wants to bring about a vote in the senate on pay raises. Russ, as he promised in 1992, has never taken a pay raise while in office. So, in a week where the senate shot down raising the minnumim wage
, they have no problem giving themselves a pay raise. Russ just simply wants those who feel this is ok, to vote yes on it. Once again, Russ is there to take on the issue based on principle and keep the politicians honest.
All 4 Russ and Russ 4 all
Polls, polls and more polls. Russ in the latest poll out of Wisconsin had 31% to Hillary's 32%. This puts them at a statistical tie and is the first poll that has Russ in second place. More recently was the Wisconsin State Democratic convention where a straw poll of the delegates puts Russ at 53%. Al gore had 10% and Hillary at 9%. So the question is, are these delegates more representative then the polls or vice versa? Either way, it looks that Russ has pretty much got Wisconsin backing a possible presidential run. This homegrown strength doesn't look like it can be said for Iowa Guv Tom Vilsack.
In the latest Poll from the Des Moines Register, Vilsak has only 10% with the leaders being Edwards, Hillary, and Kerry. Russ recieved only 3%, the most though for "no national name" candidates. The excitement here is that this is the first poll that I have ever seen, out of Iowa too, where Hillary is not winning. The first place winner is John Edwards with 30% Hillary is second at 26%. This is one of the first polls that also did not include a run by Al Gore. This may have made the difference, although, a year and a half before the Iowa Caucus and Hill, is already beatable.
Rounding out other states, Russ is now leading 2004 Nominee John Kerry in Pennsylvania and Washington State. He is tied with Kerry in New Jersey and Michigan. Infact, this is the second month in a row that Russ is tied with Kerry in Michigan. He was tied with him in May and in June polling. I would have to bet my bottom dollar that in July he will break it and be hot on John Edwards' trail. The bottom line is, Russ is gaining in the polls month after month. Plus, out of all the candidates without national spotlight, Russ leads big. Once folks learn more about Russ and even meet him, they will easily vote for him.
The Take Back America Conference
in D.C. was Great. I got to meet Senator Feingold and he recieved many standing ovations when he spoke. We, the crowd, even chanted "We want Russ!!! We want Russ!!!" As he walked on stage to deliver his speech. Hillary was given plenty of boos at the convention when she did not support a timetable withdrawl on Iraq. Kerry was also given a standing ovation when he said that he was wrong on Iraq and it was time for a withdrawl. However, no one recieved higher praise at the convention then Russ Feingold.
At the convention Kerry said he was going to demand an up and down vote later the next week in the senate on a new direction with Iraq. This faild 93-6-1 not voting. This promted two amendments to be voted on this week. The First was the Kerry-Feingold Amt
. calling for a timetable withdrawl of U.S. Millitary forces from Iraq by July 2007. This failed in the senate 86-13-1 not voting. The next was the The Levin-Reed Amt
. which called for a withdrawl of troops starting this year but with now timetable. This faired better, but still failed 60-39-1 not voting. All 2008 democratic contenders in the senate voted to support the Levin-Reed Amt. Although, Russ, has not just been one of 23 senators to vote against the war, but the first to demand a time table withdrawl of troops last summer. It just seems that Russ is always ahead of the democratic pack by at least a year on all major issues. First they scoff him, but then later try to join him with a version of their own. Either way, Russ has what it takes to get Democrats moving. Oh! Go and vote for Jennifer Granholm
right now!!! Plus, Vote Russ
in the strawpoll!!!
Summer Blues? Not with Russ
Well there is plenty I could say but, I will have much, much more at the end of next week. I have been very busy working on a congressional campaign
in Michigan. I actually have a number of things I am doing for the fall now that I think about it. Eitherway, I 'm still all systems go for Russ. This Monday I am going to be in D.C. for the Take Back America conference
. It is the largest gathering for progressives in the USA. This is the 4th annual one, and Russ is Speaking
right from the start 9am Wednesday. As I said before. I am going to be gone for a bit but will have plenty of things to say next week. Maybe even Pictures! So see you guys next week. I hope someone else can blog for our MI Russ fans while I am gone. Great to have Fitzy back. Oh, I soooo have my new 10 or so Russ Backers. Feingold is like Ice cream in the summer. No one in Michigan can say no.
Feingold and the Federal Marriage Amendment
As many of you probably know already, the Senate is debating the Federal Marriage Amendment
, which proposes to amend the Constitution to define marriage. Its text, as follows:
Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.
This, of course, is the most important issue America faces, according to the Republican Party. The war, the deficit, rising fuel costs, global warming
, poverty, improving education, stablizing the economy, and a host of other issues are nothing compared to the threat of two people that love each other getting married. And, then, there's the immigration problem: all those people flocking across the border, with no respect for our immigration laws, all to escape same-sex marriage in Canada. It is Canada that all the illegal immigrants are coming from, right?
Thank goodness someone's saving us from those activist judges. They'd probably just make another radical, horrible decision
Sarcasm aside, it's clear that this won't pass, and is merely homophobia and hatred in its worst form. And, stopping by Daily Kos
this morning, Senator Russ Feingold called it what it was-- A Shameful Political Ploy
The federal marriage amendment, which would write discrimination into the Constitution, is an obvious attempt to change the subject from topics that the Congress should be addressing to a hot button social issue intended to appeal to certain factions. On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Frist plans to hold a vote on this mean-spirited proposal. It has no chance of receiving the two-thirds majority required for constitutional amendments. The only thing bringing it up now will accomplish is to push Congress further away from the issues it should be addressing and engage the Senate of the United States in a shameful political ploy.
The last thing we should be doing right now is playing politics with the Constitution, or with the lives of gay and lesbian Americans, who see this proposal for what it is - discrimination, pure and simple. Gay and lesbian Americans are our friends, our family members, our neighbors, and our colleagues. They should not be used as pawns in a political exercise.
Senator Feingold also spoke
this afternoon in the Senate against the amendment.
Mr. President, the Constitution of the United States is an historic guarantee of individual freedom. For over two centuries it has served as a beacon of hope, an example to people around the world who yearn to be free and to live their lives without government interference with their most basic personal decisions. I took an oath when I joined this body to support and defend the Constitution. I am saddened, therefore, to be once again debating an amendment to our Constitution that is so inconsistent with our Nation's history of expanding and protecting freedom.
There is no doubt that the proposed federal marriage amendment would alter the basic principles of federalism that have served our nation well for over 200 years. The framers of our Constitution granted limited, enumerated powers to the Federal government, while reserving the remaining powers of government, including family law, to state governments. Marriage has traditionally been regulated by the States. As Professor Dale Carpenter told the Constitution Subcommittee in its first hearing on this topic nearly three years ago, “never before have we adopted a constitutional amendment to limit the States’ ability to control their own family law.” That is exactly what this proposed amendment would do. It would permanently restrict the ability of States to define and recognize marriage or any legally sanctioned unions as they see fit.
Mr. President, we should not write discrimination and prejudice into the Constitution. And we should not prematurely cut off the important debates taking place in States across the country about how to define marriage by putting in place a permanent, restrictive federal definition of marriage.
As we sit here today, there are Americans across our country out of work, struggling to pay the month's bills, worrying about their lack of health insurance or their ability to put their kids through college. Instead of spending our limited time this session on a proposal that is destined to fail and will only divide Americans from one another, we should be addressing the issues that will make our Nation more secure, our communities stronger, and the future of our families brighter.
I urge my colleagues to oppose this unnecessary, mean-spirited, divisive and poorly thought out constitutional amendment.
I've included just a few highlights from both his DKos comments and his speech, but both are worth reading in full. Senator Feingold isn't taking the popular position on this issue, but he's taking the right position, and that's important.
Also, don't forget the pro-Feingold blog for gay and lesbian supporters, Equality for Feingold
, if you want more on his support of equal rights throughout his career.