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.