Former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold Considering Another Shot at Politics
Also in the news, the GAB approves the recall petition for Wisconsin state Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, and our elected officials react to the recent May employment statistics.
Former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold is contemplating a run at his fellow party member Herb Kohl's Senate seat, once Kohl, a Democrat, retires from office.
Speaking to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on Thursday, Feingold said, "I am looking at it, but I feel I should take some time to think this through."
Feingold set a deadline of Labor Day for announcing any Senate campaign plans.
When asked if running for Governor against Scott Walker might be more appealing, Feingold told the Journal-Sentinel that "I don't have any specific thoughts about the different offices."
A recent poll conducted by Public Policy Polling showed that Feingold was a favorite among eight different potential candidates for the Democrats, with an astonishing 70 percent support for his candidacy among Democrats.
After being ousted by Sen. Ron Johnson in the election last November, Feingold has been teaching at Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee.
- On Tuesday, May 31, the Government Accountability Board approved the recall election for Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, as well as her colleagues Sen. Robert Cowles and Sen. Alberta Darling. The recall election for Harsdorf has been scheduled for July 12.
- Harsdorf spent the majority of last week in committee meetings, as the Joint Committee on Finance met several times to work out the details of Gov. Scott Walker's budget proposal. Changes made during the committee meetings included requiring that newly hired Wisconsin State Patrol officers and inspectors would have to pay more for their pensions and health care benefits, and a tax break for manufacturers that will cost Wisconsin $128 million a year in tax revenue.
- Harsdorf has no committee meetings scheduled for the week.
- On Tuesday, May 31, SB 117 was introduced to the Wisconsin Senate. Co-Sponsored by Rep. Dean Knudson, this bill (along with AB 156 in the Assembly) seeks to change statues relating to the venue for legal action and appeals by the state or state workers. Under current law, all actions in which the sole defendant is the state, a state board or commission, or certain state officers, employees, or agents must be brought in Dane County. This bill permits the appellant to select the court of appeals district within which to bring the appeal, but the court of appeals district must not contain the circuit court from which the judgment or order was issued. The legislation has been referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Utilities, Commerce, and Government Operations.
- Knudson has a Committee on Education meeting scheduled for Thursday, June 9.
- On Friday, June 3, Sen. Ron Johnson issued a press release in response to the recent national employment numbers. Johnson stated that "These disappointing numbers clearly show the failure of the Obama economic record. Instead of focusing on genuine incentives for job creation, the president has continued to pursue a job-destroying, Washington-knows-best approach."
- Johnson has no committee meetings scheduled for the week.
- Tweet of the week: "The Senate defeated the President’s budget 0-97. The House rejected his debt ceiling request 318-97. It’s time to get serious about the debt."
- Sen. Herb Kohl has a Committee on the Judiciary meeting scheduled for Wednesday, June 8.
- Kohl has a Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs meeting scheduled for Thursday, June 9.
- On May 31, Rep. Ron Kind voted in favor S. 1082, the Small Business Additional Temporary Extension Act of 2011. The bill extends the programs under the Small Business Act that were set to expire May 31, 2011; extending said programs until July 31, 2011. The legislation passed with 387 voting in favor, 33 voting against and 11 not voting. Having already passed the U.S. Senate, S. 1082 was signed into law by President Obama on June 1.
- On May 31, Kind voted against H.R. 1954, to implement the president's request to increase the statutory limit on the public debt. The legislation failed to pass the House of Representatives, as only 97 Representatives voted in favor, 317 voted against it.
- On June 1, Kind voted in favor of H.R. 802. The legislation directs the secretary of Veteran Affairs to establish the VetStar Award Program, to annually recognize businesses for their contributions to veterans' employment. The legislation passed by a vote of 408-11.
- On June 2, Kind voted against H.R. 2017, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2012. The bill lays out the budget for the Department of Homeland Security through 2012. Having passed the House of Representatives with a 231-188 vote, it now awaits action in the Senate.
- On June 3, Kind voted against H. Res. 292. The resolution declared that President Obama could not deploy, establish or maintain a troop presence in Lybia. The resolution passed with a 268-145 vote; 19 Representatives did not vote.
- On May 31, Kind released a statement on his vote against H.R. 1954, the President's request to raise the debt ceiling. Kind commented that "this isn’t a serious attempt to address our long-term deficits. It’s merely political gamesmanship. My Republican colleagues need to be careful not to play with fire when it comes to our economy and job creation."
- On June 3, Kind issued a press release commenting on the May employment numbers. Kind stated that "though May marks the 15th consecutive month of private sector job growth, with 83,000 private sector jobs added, the numbers are disappointing. It is obvious that even though our economy is recovering, it’s still slow moving. There is a lot more that needs to be done."
- Kind has no committee meetings scheduled for the week.
- In his weekly Youtube video, Kind discusses the nation's debt ceiling and the May job reports.
- Tweet of the week: "Keeping Our Promise to America's Veterans http://bit.ly/jeIi2m."