Russ Feingold is known for his independence, his honesty and his work ethic on behalf of Wisconsin families. He has always stood up for the middle class families, students and workers who need economic opportunity, often drawing the ire of wealthy special interests and lobbyists.
A lifetime Wisconsin resident, Feingold represented Wisconsin in the U.S. Senate from 1993 to 2011, earning a reputation for doing what’s right, not what’s politically convenient. Whether it was opposing the war in Iraq, serving as an early voice for fiscal responsibility, or being the only Senator to oppose the Patriot Act, Feingold has shown that you can make a difference if you’re willing to speak truth to power.
As one of the namesakes of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, Feingold established himself as a bipartisan voice and an accomplished legislator who is leading the fight against runaway special interest money in American elections.
In Wisconsin, Feingold has been known for truly listening to the people of Wisconsin. Every year as a senator, Feingold visited each of the 72 Wisconsin counties, in an effort to hear what Wisconsin families expect from their government.
He’s worked to improve care for veterans, fought against unfair trade agreements that ship American jobs overseas, and supported the growth of Wisconsin’s economy by listening to Wisconsinites and fighting for their needs.
In an effort to increase opportunity for Wisconsinites, Feingold worked to make college more affordable for Wisconsin students by investing in Pell Grants. He fought to help Wisconsin’s farmers get access to desperately needed credit during the recession and helped expand access to broadband across Wisconsin for small businesses, schools and clinics.
After serving in the U.S. Senate, Feingold taught at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Lawrence University in Appleton and Stanford University in California. He served as United States Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo at the State Department. And he founded the group Progressives United to continue his fight against special interest influence in our political system. In 2012 he authored the book While America Sleeps, A Wake Up Call For The Post 9/11 Era.
Feingold’s family settled in Janesville, Wisconsin in 1917. Raised by Sylvia and Leon Feingold, Russ went on to graduate from Janesville Craig High School, UW-Madison and Oxford University, before receiving his law degree from Harvard.