• WisPolitics


Friday, June 03, 2016

 9:54 PM 

Feingold says Johnson has outsourced campaign to Koch brothers, out-of-state special interests

Russ Feingold on Friday accused GOP U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson of outsourcing his campaign to out-of-state special interests, particularly the Koch brothers.

In contrast, Feingold said his campaign hasn’t been conducted in corporate board rooms or the RNC in Washington, D.C. Instead, he has gone out to where people live, declaring, “My desire to serve the people of Wisconsin, all of the people of Wisconsin, has never been stronger.”

But some elected officials don’t believe it’s their job to listen to the people of Wisconsin.

“We won’t pay our bills with anger and insults,” Feingold said. "Complaining doesn’t create good-paying jobs. Showing up all the time on Fox News doesn’t clean our drinking water. Sitting behind a desk deciding which religion or ethnic group to blame today won’t move Wisconsin or the United States forward.”

Feingold ticked off a series of Johnson comments, from calling the animated “LEGO” movie propaganda against business to saying some take out student loans because it’s free money. Feingold said while on the campaign trail, he heard from some young people who say they spend their first dates talking about who has the most student loan debt.

“I think our people deserve a better ice breaker,” Feingold said, calling the issue the one he heard the most about while on the campaign trail.

Feingold vowed if elected he would sponsor legislation from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., that would have allowed people with college loan debt to refinance at lower interest rates.

The former senator, who Johnson defeated in 2010, also called for making broadband a utility, saying it has become a necessity for young people to compete. He told activists about getting out the World Book when he was in school to do his homework. That isn’t an option anymore, he said.

Instead, you see kids after school huddled together in their cars in parking lots or outside the library. They’re not up to no good, Feingold said, they’re trying to get wifi.

“This needs to be a utility. That’s what it needs to be,” Feingold said, calling for legislation to break up the monopolies that some have over providing the internet.

Feingold said student loan debt and broadband were two of the things he heard about most while on the campaign trail. What he didn’t hear about, Feigold said, was anyone calling for a wall with between the U.S. and Mexico or one along the country’s northern border.

“Those of us from Wisconsin know that would be very hard to do because we actually have a lake in the way,” Feingold said about the border with Canada.

He also said the businesses he’s spoken with want the nation’s infrastructure rebuilt. He said the state’s roads are crumbling, pointing to one study that put them fourth worst in the country.

“I know. I can feel it,” he said, noting he’s driven 40,000 miles already in the campaign.

Listen to Feingold's speech.

-- By JR Ross

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