Sen. Feingold with Courage in Texas- Update
by KTinTX, Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 12:15:50 PM EDT
Update [2006-4-19 1:40:30 by KTinTX]:: Photos from today's Feingold/Courage Listening Session on campus this afternoon are now available here. This picture captures some of the fun and energy that was shared between the two men on stage. Though I also like this one and this one should be used for any future Feingold campaign...
12:40 Our guests have entered to a standing ovation and now being introduced by UDems Vice President Ali Puente.
John Courage (Congressional Candidate and winner of Feingold's first Progressive Patriot award) introduces himself, and looks forward to being the next Congressmen to represent the people in this room.
Russ Feingold takes the mike. He mentions he's here because he supports a 50 State Strategy and this district (TX-21) is exactly the kind of place where we can win and we must fight.
Sen. Feingold explains his listening sessions, where he pledged to hold one per year in each of Wisconsin's 72 counties per year, a pledge he made when he was at 1 percent in the polls before he was first elected. Now he has taken them nationwide and will complete his 1000th session later this year.
Feingold: Believes in voluntary public financing of all campaigns in America- it's the only way all Americans can feel welcome into our political system.
Courage: Agrees and mentions how he's worked in Bexar County towards this effort. "Make sure legislation in this county is written for the public interest and as part of that I believe we should look into having public financing for campaigns."
Q: Which elements are essential in immigration reform bill?
Feingold: McCain-Kennedy bill is a pretty decent bill that gets us going in the right direction.
Q: What is your stance on same-sex marriage.
Courage: "I believe this country is one where people have a sense of decency. ... I respect the right of every human being to live with dignity to be viewed the same way through the courts to live with the same legal rights as everybody in this country."
Q: Problems with the party in terms of inclusiveness?
Courage: Diversity of the party is the strength of the party. Sometimes it is like trying to herd cats. But we still have a strong core of a progressive populist backbone in the party. But I welcome a party with diverse ideas, pro-life on one side, pro-choice on the other, we're all still Democrats.
Q: What are your feelings about McCain running for President.
Feingold: I think he's going to run. Once joked with him that if we ran against each other he'd beat me even in Wisconsin. Some people in our party think Hillary will have problems winning the election, I'm not taking a position, I'm just stating that each candidate may have trouble with the nomination.
Q: Who is your political hero & favorite book?
Courage: JFK- he moved me to be involved in politics. I still remember where I was when... I'm a fan of JRR Tolkein Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Feingold: Robert F. Kennedy and then MLK. The people I looked up to were each assassinated. Book- The Stranger by Albert Camus
Q: About getting involved in politics.
Courage: "For years, I've worked in the trenches. Politics is the means to become a public servant."
Feingold: "I'm the least wealthy member of the Senate and still somehow I made it there." - is why "I fight so hard for finance reform to each of us has a place at the potluck table of American politics."
1:10 Q: Ideas to promote keeping American jobs in US or to create more low-skilled jobs? Outreach to middle-lower class Democrats?
Feingold: "I was in the Senate when all the trade agreements were proposed, voted against every one of them. One side of table is big corporations and the other are countries that don't care about labor or environmental regs. And because it's fastracked, we can't amend it in the Senate. These deals are rotten."
Courage: "We've sold out American jobs, the American manufacturing industry, to globalism." It may mean that we have to make a bit of a sacrifice to pay more for the products that make our life a little easier.
There have been fewer and fewer Democrats stepping up to offer a strong Democratic choice. As Jim Hightower says, "There's nothing in the middle of the road except yellow stripes and dead armadillos."
Feingold on Courage: "I'm not being gratuitous, I've seen a lot of people come and go, but this guy would be a great Congressman.
1:20 What about censure? Some say it's not far enough, but why is the Dem caucus not getting behind you?
Feingold: Mentions Daily Show experience. Censure hasn't been used in 170 since Jackson. Considers that the President probably has committed an impeachable offense, but worries that impeachment would not be best for the country. Respects the office, respects the man, but something should be said and the country can move on.
Courage: Speaking on the war. Was against it when it was brewing and still is. Has served this country, wore the uniform, carried the weapon, stood at post in defense of this country from 71-75 at tail end of Vietnam war. Would like to serve on the Veterans Affairs committee.
Feingold: Mentions the 50 Democratic veterans running this year.
Q: What about Bush's new saber rattling?
Feingold: "Let me speak to Iran first, which I'm assuming you are referring to, unless the President has announced a different country today.""I think it would be irresponsible for the President to take war off the table" when it's where he should have been focusing 3 years ago instead of Iraq, where we have now ended up with a proxy government for Iran, that's how bizarre it's gotten.
There is more form here, including an amazing speech by Courage in response to one question that I can't do justice from memory. The event has been audio and video recorded and I'll link to podcasts when they are available.