NRSC Relishes Making Russ Feingold Eat His Own Words

Feingold supporters plan a fundraiser for him at 201 Bar on Tuesday.(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Feingold supporters plan a fundraiser for him at 201 Bar on Tuesday.(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted November 13, 2015 at 4:11pm

Supporters of Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold’s Senate campaign plan to welcome their candidate back to D.C. next week with a fundraiser at 201 Bar — a spot the former lawmaker once cited as a key place where influence is bought and sold.  

In a video released by the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Feingold tells audience members at the 2012 Chicago Humanities Festival how things really get done in Washington.

“Typically a member of the House or Senate will be having a fundraiser and the lobbyist will bring in a few people and a bunch of checks and this is, you know, the same lobbyist who’s arranging to have meetings and talk to this guy about policy in his office the next day,” Feingold tells the audience. “Hopefully they’re not doing the same thing in the office the next day because that’s illegal. But, I mean, it’s across the street. You know it’s 201 Club or, you know, at the Monocle.”  

Both locations are, in fact, quite popular for fundraisers.  

That’s probably why the folks at “Russ for Wisconsin” reserved a 90-minute block of time at 201 Bar on Tuesday for those interested in sharing appetizers, drinks and some face time with the 2016 hopeful. The suggested donation is $150 per person, while premier host opportunities top out at $2,700.  

Team Feingold did not respond to a request for comment about his upcoming appearance.  

Feingold and incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., are neck and neck in cash on hand after the third quarter; Johnson currently holds a roughly $100,000 lead ($3.5 million) over Feingold ($3.4 million).  

Those contributions are pouring in from very different sources, with Feingold raking in approximately $4.4 million from individual contributions and $340,000 from PACs versus Johnson’s $3.6 million in individual contributions and $870,000 from PACs. The NRSC chipped in approximately $47,000 to Johnson’s campaign.

An aide with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin told CQ Roll Call the difference in outside contributions between the two campaigns is that Feingold “doesn’t accept contributions from federally registered lobbyists.”

Feingold earlier this year proposed having both sides shun super PAC dollars.  

The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report /Roll Call rates the contest Tossup .  


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