This fall, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are not the only ones sparring for a seat in public office.
Senator Ron Johnson is facing reelection against former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold. The pair faced off in the 2010 election where Ron Johnson won the vote by a slim margin.
Johnson has been a champion for conservatives in the senate by sponsoring legislation to help veterans and protecting whistleblowers. One of the top priorities of Republicans is to keep taxes as low as possible. Johnson has stricken down almost all legislation in the senate that would increase any estate taxes, carbon taxes and others.
On the other hand, Russ Feingold feels confident that he will be victorious in November since the people of Wisconsin have become more progressive and aligned with him. The big reason Feingold lost in 2010 was because he refused to accept any money from the Democratic National Committee or any Super PAC.
Unfortunately, 2010 was during the rise of the Tea Party movement and when big money dominated politics.
When Feingold was in the Senate he was the only person, Democrat or Republican, to vote against the Patriot Act.
The Patriot Act was legislation that was passed in 2001 during the George W. Bush presidency which was written in response to 9/11. The act is an acronym that stands for Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism. It allows the government to more easily tap into the citizens to check for possible terrorist connections. Barack Obama extended its provisions in 2011.
The other thing that Feingold is famous for is co-sponsoring the McCain-Feingold Act in 2002 with Arizona Senator John McCain.
The McCain-Feingold Act, also known as the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, was an act to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1974. Eight years later the issue was brought to the Supreme Court in the case Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Campaign, and the court ruled against the 2002 act.
So far in the polls, Feingold held a steady lead over the summer by ten points. As November approaches, the gap has been narrowing.
Austyn Zarda, junior political science major and history minor, said “Russ Feingold is one of my favorite politicians – Russ was the only one to vote against the Patriot Act and wrote the McCain-Feingold Act to get money out of politics.”
In an interview with WISN 12 News Ron Johnson was asked to draw a contrast between him and Feingold.
Johnson said, “Thirty four years in politics, literally what did he ever accomplish? During the same 34 years I helped start, build, and grow a business creating hundreds of Wisconsin jobs. And then, in my short time in the senate I became the chairman of homeland security. Senator Feingold has one accomplishment: Campaign finance reform, which was ruled unconstitutional by the supreme court.”
Senator Bernie Sanders has been in Wisconsin earlier this month campaigning for Russ Feingold, someone who he believes is an identical candidate to himself.
On Oct. 5, during a speech in Madison, Sanders said “Russ and I have worked together for years and I can not wait, believe me, to see him back at my side in the U.S. Senate. And when we talk about issues you, what you know, and what Russ know’s is this movement towards oligarchy. There are too many billionaires controlling this country. The Koch brothers and others have bought the United States Government.” Sanders continued, “Maybe I’m old fashioned but I kind of believe democracy is one person one vote, not billionaires electing their candidates.”
There will be a debate on Friday, Oct. 14 in Green Bay. The debate can be viewed via live stream online.
In less than four weeks, when starting at your ballot, make sure you pay attention to all the names listed and not just Trump and Clinton.