The verdict’s in….Russ Feingold broke campaign finance laws in 1998

As the U.S. Senate blocked the Russ Feingold sponsored DISCLOSE Act yesterday, many Wisconsinites don’t know  that Feingold broke the laws he championed for in 1998.

According to records obtained from the Federal Election Commission, the Feingold Campaign blatantly violated the 48 hour rule.  The rule requires all campaigns to report all contributions over $1,000 to the FEC within 48 hours.  This is in effect during the last 20 days of the election. 

Evidence in the 56 page complaint found the campaign failed to disclose 41 contributions totaling over $54,726.73.  A good chunk of the contributions came from labor union PAC’s which would be exempted from  the DISCLOSE Act if it became law.

The following are the contributions Feingold failed to report in the last 20 days of the 1998 election:

Name                                                                Date                    Amount
AFL-CIO Education Cmt’e PAC         10/15/1998        $3,000
Committee for Dem Action PAC    10/15/1998        $1,000
Polaris Industries PAC                          10/15/1998        $1,000
Retired Federal Employees PAC       10/15/1998        $5,000
Sharon Canter                                           10/15/1998        $1,000
James Crow                                                10/15/1998        $1,000
Peter Perlman                                           10/15/1998        $1,000
Ron Thorstad                                            10/15/1998        $1,000
Richard Villasenor                                  10/15/1998        $1,000
Daniel Wallach                                          10/15/1998        $1,000
Roy Zuckerberg                                        10/15/1998        $1,000
FIRSTPLUS Financial PAC                  10/16/1998        $1,000
Georgia Peach PAC                                  10/16/1998        $1,000
H. Fisk Johnson                                         10/16/1998        $1,000   
Progressive Politics Network              10/16/1998        $1,000   
Transport Workers Union PAC         10/16/1998        $2,500
Benjamin Harris                                        10/19/1998        $1,000   
Michael Spector                                         10/19/1998        $1,000
National Auto Dealers PAC                  10/19/1998        $5,000
North Central Ampi, Inc. PAC            10/19/1998        $5,000
Treasury Employees PAC                    10/19/1998        $2,000
Michael Allured                                         10/21/1998        $1,000
Mark Dayton                                               10/21/1998        $1,000
Irwin Berkley                                              10/23/1998        $1,000
Deborah Bouknight                                  10/26/1998        $1,000
Laura Chasin                                                10/26/1998        $1,000
Richard Chasin                                           10/26/1998        $1,000
Joanne Crown                                            10/26/1998        $1,000
Terrence Metvhill                                    10/26/1998        $1,000
Nancy Meyer                                              10/26/1998        $1,000
Nat’l Cmt’e to Preserve SS PAC          10/26/1998        $1,226.73-In Kind
Jonathan Soros                                           10/26/1998        $1,000
Frederick Wade                                          10/26/1998        $1,000
Marc Weiss                                                   10/26/1998        $1,000
Nancy Pinter                                                10/27/1998        $1,000
Tom Yin                                                          10/28/1998        $1,000
Ann Sperry                                                    10/29/1998        $1,000
Elizabeth F. Bragley                                   10/30/1998        $1,000
Arjay Miller                                                   10/30/1998        $1,000
Frances Miller                                               10/30/1998        $1,000
Andrea Soros                                                 10/30/1998        $1,000

There are some notable contributions that Feingold failed to disclose including  Andrea and Jonathan Soros, children of liberal billionaire George Soros.   In addition,  Feingold failed to disclose donations coming from the heir of S.C. Johnson Wax, a current member of the UW System Board of Regents, and one of the original owners of Thorstad Chevrolet in Madison

Also, Feingold accepted money from the defunct FIRSTPLUS Financial PAC.  FIRSTPLUS was a disgraced mortgage company that was tied to Philadelphia mobster  Nicodermo Scarfo, Jr.  In addition, Feingold accepted money from the Polaris PAC.  Polaris recently moved operations out of Wisconsin. 

Any campaign found in violation of the 48 hour rule is fined $110 plus ten percent of each contribution that violated the rule.    The Feingold Campaign accepted a settlement from the FEC in 1999 and was fined $9,000.

The evidence we presented  is what Senator Feingold doesn’t want to tell voters while he presses the Senate to pass the DISCLOSE Act.  It’s time Feingold comes clean to the voters and owns up to his own hypocrisy on campaign finance reform.   The hypocrisy that labor unions win big at the expense of stifling political free speech for the rest of us. 

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8 responses to “The verdict’s in….Russ Feingold broke campaign finance laws in 1998

  1. Umm, Tater? You miss a couple of points.

    #1- You didn’t “expose” anything. You dredged up a twelve-year-old case that’s been settled for, well, for twelve years. Not really much “news” there.

    #2- Feingold didn’t “fail to disclose” but rather “failed to disclose within the time limit” a distinction apparently lost on you.

    #3- It was the Roberts Court of GWB which decided that Unions should have the rights of citizens in political campaigns. You have only the “conservatives” to thank for that abomination.

    #4- “One of the original owners of Thorstad Chevrolet” probably fails to rise to the level of dread you imagine. If the support of local car dealers becomes suspect in political campaigns Russ Darrow is in a world of hurt.

  2. Grumps, this had to be brought up because Feingold is two-faced on campaign finance reform.

    Also, you seem to be dismissive about the truth we digged up. This was to prove that Feingold relied on dirty money to win a tight race in 1998. If the DISCLOSE Act passes, Feingold gets exemptions from disclosing what his union buddies would give him at the last second. The people of Wisconsin would be outraged if they do not know which union crony paid for shady ads in the last 20-30 days of the general election.

    You act in your own hypocrisy thinking its OK for unions to spend unlimited amounts of money without disclosure while bashing grassroots groups and corporations. That’s a DOUBLE STANDARD!!!!

  3. Kyle- I didn’t say unions should have free-spending. It was the Roberts Court that ruled that way.

    What, besides your fevered imagination, makes those contributions “dirty?” You don’t care for the people who made them but that is not the same as evidence.

    And lastly, I am not dismissive of what you digged up. If you’d brought it forward in 1998 you’d have been a hero. There’s no disgrace in paying the price for inadvertantly missing a deadline. Hell, RoJo missed by weeks with his disclosure. And there’s no hypocrisy in calling for reform of a system when the redporting deadlines may be hard to meet.

    Call me when you’ve digged up a reason that Scott Walker’s campaign staff are the only ones who can’t figure out how to use the system of reporting in a timely manner.

  4. How about Feingold accepting $1,000 from a mortgage company that was tied to a Philly mobster. That’s dirty money just for starters.

  5. Its news Zach when Russ Feingold attempts to pass the most sham campaign finance reform bill ever. Sham because labor unions get big time exemptions under the law. Remember, the 1,000,000 member clause under the bill.

    Feingold is a total hypocrite when he wants disclosure, but he got caught in 1998 for not reporting close to $50,000 in the last 20 days before the election. You think $50,000 is nothing to not disclose, then you got a serious problem.

    With Feingold pressing for the DISCLOSE Act, it was a perfect time to show how much of a hypocrite this Senator is.

    This post also exposes why he is too much in bed with the unions. Labor unions spend unlimited amounts of money too like corporations. Before you yell “it’s the corporations”, your labor union buddies Zach get away with it too.

  6. It is a pattern, violated campaign finance laws in 1998, co-authored McCain Feingold, which certain parts were found to be unconstitutional, and ran tv adds which used NFL copyrighted material and did not get permission from the NFL. Russ Feingold is a lawyer and should know better. No wonder why he wants to be a career politician, as he could never make any money in the private sector with that kind of track record.

  7. The evidence we presented is what Senator Feingold doesn’t want to tell voters while he presses the Senate to pass the DISCLOSE Act. It’s time Feingold comes clean to the voters and owns up to his own hypocrisy on campaign finance reform. The hypocrisy that labor unions win big at the expense of stifling political free speech for the rest of us.

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