Former Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold, who for years has championed campaign finance rules that would increase donation transparency, stuck by his principles after a Democratic group launched new campaign groups Friday that will take corporate funds without disclosing them.
“Democrats who mirror the right-wing tactics of Karl Rove and David Koch do our nation no favors,” Feingold said. “Our democracy is best served by rejecting the fundamentally corrupt strategy of embracing unlimited corporate influence.”
Feingold formed the grassroots advocacy group Progressives United in 2011 to “stand up against the exploding corporate influence in Washington” after leaving the Senate last year.
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to allow corporations the ability to spend an unlimited amount of money on political speech, Republican campaign groups raised millions of dollars for the mid-term elections last year to spend on independent ads. Democrats, including Obama, tried to quell the flow by adding new disclosure rules before the elections, but they never made it through Congress.
Democratic strategists announced Friday they would launch their own independent campaign group this week, Priorities USA and Priorities USA Action, which will accept undisclosed donations in the same way Republicans did last year. In June of 2010, President Obama, who’s campaign will benefit from the donations from Priorities USA, called the GOP groups “shadowy threats to democracy,” but welcomed the new Democratic groups.