Democrat Russ Feingold is a former U.S. senator from Wisconsin.(Photo: Greg Moore, Associated Press)
Former US Sen. Russ Feingold says he is launching a new group that will advocate for voting rights, redistricting reform, campaign finance laws and the abolition of the Electoral College, among other things.
In an interview, Feingold said the common thread in these issues is shoring up a political process that he says is losing legitimacy in the eyes of many voters.
For example, the Wisconsin Democrat cited the election in recent years of two presidents who lost the popular vote (George W. Bush in 2000 and Donald Trump in 2016), saying the Electoral College is eroding public confidence in democracy and should be scrapped.
Feingold said partisan gerrymandering, voting restrictions and deregulation of campaign fundraising and spending were also distorting elections and “having a devastating impact on people’s faith in our government.“
The former senator said his group would also focus on the handling of Supreme Court nominations, citing the refusal of Senate Republicans to grant a hearing last year to President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland.
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Vouchers are a form of private-school choice. Here's how they work. WochitBuy Photo
Chilton Area Catholic School in Chilton, Wis. The school is one of many new parochial schools poised to participate in the state's four-year-old statewide voucher program.(Photo: Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)Buy Photo
When Superintendent Sue Kaphingst moved to Chilton less than a year ago, she marveled at how the northeastern Wisconsin community rallied around its local school district.
Nestled to the east of Lake Winnebago about 75 miles north of Milwaukee, Chilton and its 3,900 residents felt cohesive. Football stars acted in the high school musical. Parents, students and school board members created a yarn art installation on the Chilton Middle School lawn to demonstrate that they were all connected. The high school theater was built with millions from a local family who owned pet supplies company Kaytee Products.
State Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa) testifies in favor of an education-related bill during a new conference in 2014 at the Capitol in Madison.(Photo: Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)Buy Photo
BROOKFIELD - Frustration over school choice and the continuing effects of Act 10 were among the issues raised by constituents at a town hall meeting with Republican lawmakers in Brookfield on Tuesday.
State Sen. Leah Vukmir and Reps. Dale Kooyenga and Rob Hutton, all from Brookfield, hosted the session, they said, to get constituents' feedback in advance of hearings on Gov. Scott Walker's 2017-'19 budget proposal.
The 90-minute session was one of the more civil town halls in recent weeks. But some of the more frustrated exchanges focused on school choice, state-funded vouchers for private schools and the residual effects of Act 10, the 2011 law that eliminated collective bargaining for most public employees.
"Please explain how Wisconsin can afford several school systems — public, voucher, independent charter — that are all drawing from the same pool of funds," said Mary Young, president of the advocacy group Support Our Schools Wauwatosa.
Jeffery S. Lovick(Photo: Dane County Sheriff's Office)
A Dane County man has been arrested for allegedly shooting a photojournalist with a pellet gun at the scene of a fire, the sheriff's office said Tuesday.
Jeffery S. Lovick, 51, admitted to shooting at television news crews Sunday on Larry Lane in the Town of Burke because they were infringing on his property, according to a news release.
The victim, a 40-year-old man employed by WKOW-TV in Madison, was struck from behind and suffered minor injuries, according to the station and the sheriff's office.
Lovick was arrested Monday for allegedly endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon, the sheriff's office said.
State court records showed no charges filed in connection with the case and Lovick was not in custody as of Tuesday afternoon, according to Dane County Jail records.
"Our photojournalist was doing his job, covering a fire as a journalist," WKOW News Director Ed Reams said in a story posted on the station's website Tuesday.
Wisconsin State Patrol(Photo: USA TODAY NETWORK Wisconsin file photo)
A Manitowoc man fleeing state troopers Tuesday crashed through a gate and onto the runway area of Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, forcing airport personnel to divert aircraft, according to the Wisconsin State Patrol.
The incident began shortly before 2 p.m. when a trooper attempted to pull over the 56-year-old man for speeding in a 2001 Toyota Celica on northbound I-41 south of State Highway 44, according to a news release.
The man refused to stop, exited Highway 44 and turned onto Knapp Road before entering airport property and ramming through a gate, according to the release.
He then drove around several access roads before entering the runway area, where his vehicle became disabled between two of the runways.
The man was arrested and taken to a hospital with injuries that are not life-threatening, the Winnebago County sheriff's office said.