Progressives United blasts Dems who disapprove of executive order on disclosures

posted at 4:10 pm on May 19, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Former Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold’s Political Action Committee this week sent an e-mail blast to members soliciting $5 donations to place ads intended to “shame” three of Feingold’s former Democratic colleagues because they disagree with him about one aspect of campaign finance.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) have all expressed disapproval of President Barack Obama’s recent draft executive order to force would-be government contractors to disclose political contributions to be eligible for government business. Feingold just can’t have that.

“This culture of corporate influence and corruption is precisely what we as Progressives United want to change,” Feingold wrote in a Tuesday fundraising e-mail sent by his PAC. “So we’ve decided to take on those legislators who are unwilling to stand up to corporate power, and we’re naming names.”

Feingold launched Progressives United in February with the goal of holding elected officials on both sides of the aisle accountable, particularly over campaign finance rules and the fallout from the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling.

But it’s not a question of “corporate influence and corruption.” It’s a question of free speech.

Ultimately, of course, the executive order pertains to the prerogative of corporations to engage in free speech in the form of political donations. But on that, the courts have already ruled. In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court upheld the right of corporations to engage in political speech — including the funding of independent political broadcasts in candidate elections.

Congress has weighed in on the issue, as well, failing last year to pass the DISCLOSE Act, which would have reversed the Citizens United decision.

If President Obama decides to issue the executive order, he’ll be acting unilaterally. Heritage’s Hans von Spakovsky put it this way: “It really is amazing — they lost in the Supreme Court, they lost in Congress, they lost at the FEC, so now the president is just going to do it by edict.”

It’s also a practical matter. Disclosure requirements would politicize what should be a straightforward contracting process. The government should contract with whatever company offers the highest value for the lowest price — period. What political donations those companies have made in the past should be irrelevant.

McCaskill, Hoyer and Lieberman were right to say the draft EO might hike the price of contract work for taxpayers. Of course, Feingold, as the architect of comprehensive campaign finance reform, would naturally approve of the president’s unilateral edict to limit political speech — but, still, shame on him for making this so personal.


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Former Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold

The word, former, is so sweet.

Mason on May 19, 2011 at 4:13 PM

Hey John, proud that you partnered with this half-as*ed fascist? Thanks for the legacy.

rrpjr on May 19, 2011 at 4:15 PM

See Russ….this is why you’re no longer a Senator.

capejasmine on May 19, 2011 at 4:16 PM

Free Speech is fine…for liberals. Anyone opposing the liberal viewpoint? Not so much.

search4truth on May 19, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Progressives United?

steebo77 on May 19, 2011 at 4:17 PM

rrpjr,
my first thought, this guys was a chief ally of our nominee 2008.

rob verdi on May 19, 2011 at 4:18 PM

Just like Whip-poor-wills in the Spring, you know presidential season is here when the Moonbats come out.

cartooner on May 19, 2011 at 4:20 PM

“— they lost in the Supreme Court, they lost in Congress, they lost at the FEC, so now the president is just going to do it by edict.”

Now everyone knows what he was talking about…

Seven Percent Solution on May 19, 2011 at 4:24 PM

Perfect videos for ads, if he gets the risible idea to run for the Senate.

Schadenfreude on May 19, 2011 at 4:24 PM

Free speech for me, but not for thee.

rbj on May 19, 2011 at 4:28 PM

Alternate headline: Feingold demonstrates lack of interest in re-entering political office

MadisonConservative on May 19, 2011 at 4:39 PM

I ♥ Tina’s work so far.

UltimateBob on May 19, 2011 at 4:42 PM

Feingold’s signature accomplishment of his trivial, icky life has been eviscerated, and he sits in the corner, pulling his pud, threatening the people outside the asylum window that he’s still gonna get them some day.

Akzed on May 19, 2011 at 4:43 PM

It’s also a practical matter. Disclosure requirements would politicize what should be a straightforward contracting process.

Erm, so we are supposing that federal contracts never go to campaign donors, and that corruption is not a problem?

When did that become the conservative position?

An EO is probably not the way to do it, but, seriously?

Aquateen Hungerforce on May 19, 2011 at 4:46 PM

So this is what Russ is doing with all his free time…?

d1carter on May 19, 2011 at 4:57 PM

Feingold launched Progressives Communists United in February

darwin on May 19, 2011 at 5:22 PM

progressivism is to progress as pedophilia is to childcare – - all about power, control, and screwing the weak.

the murmur on May 19, 2011 at 5:24 PM

Somebody tell Russ, “We won.”

College Prof on May 19, 2011 at 5:47 PM

Government of on the people, by at the people, and for the people friends and contributors only!!!

landlines on May 19, 2011 at 6:51 PM

“Congress has weighed in on the issue, as well, failing last year to pass the DISCLOSE Act, which would have reversed the Citizens United decision.”

How exactly can “Congress” reverse a Supreme Court ruling by enacting a law? It is the norm that the SCOTUS decides on the constitutionality of laws, so passing another “law” ain’t gonna cut it.

You know, just like Congress cannot “reverse” Roe v Wade and make abortion illegal.

Jack Bauer on May 20, 2011 at 6:13 AM