• WisPolitics

Friday, June 07, 2013

 9:37 PM 

Feingold tells delegates he won't be a candidate in 2013, 2014, 2015

Former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, often mentioned as a possible candidate for his old job in 2016, teased Dem delegates tonight about his future.

He told the convention he is not addressing them as an office holder.

"I don't come to you tonight as a candidate," Feingold said as some booed lightheartedly, before adding "At least in 2013, 2014 or 2015."

Feingold encouraged delegates to to remember "who we are" when they support candidates.

He said they should vote for people who vote against trade agreements that ship jobs overseas, who "opposed the Iraq War in the first place," those who voted against the Patriot Act, and those who will stand up for Social Security and Medicare.

At the state level, Feingold said they need to pick candidates who will "choose the cause of restoring our collective bargaining rights."

"Not as an item on a checklist, not as something to be mentioned in the middle of a speech, but at the top and the center of every single speech and appearance until we bring back the right of collective bargaining for public employees in the state of Wisconsin," Feingold said.

Feingold also dismissed the talk of Dems needing a farm team or a bench, saying Dems elected a new generation of legislators last fall that he predicted will be "one of the greatest generations in the history of Wisconsin politics."

Feingold offered his usual critique of Citizen United and took some digs at Republicans in the state Legislature.

He even raised the question why Dems stand for allowing the governor's office to be on the ballot in mid-term elections rather than with the president, when more people turn out to vote. He said guvs used to be elected every two years and suggested it may be time to consider going back to that model.

"Why let the Republicans have a stranglehold on the state Capitol, relying on the fact that less people vote?" Feingold said.

"The Republicans think the Capitol is their property, but it is all of our property."

Listen to the speech.

-- By JR Ross


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