On Thursday, former Senator and Marquette Law School professor Russ Feingold appeared at Eckstein Hall for "On the Issues, with Mike Gousha." The law-minded liberal statesman from Wisconsin is now running a political action committee called Progressives United, which focuses on preventing further corporate influence on elections.

The topics of the day seemed to narrow in on two things: US foreign policy, and the Citizens United ruling from 2010. Oh, and the president's performance in the previous night's debate was a hot topic as well.

Of course it was. A discussion in the heat of election season between to politically inclined individuals to a room full of (presumably) intelligent people had to cover an even as important as the presidential debate. That conversation went as expected. Gousha asked about the president's poor performance and Feingold, ever the Democrat, managed to spin it in Obama's favor.

Defending Obama by saying things like "He was staying above the frey," Feingold turned to attack Romney's economic policies. To be fair, though, Feingold was tough on Obama's on stage demeanor, questioning weather or not he should have spent so much time studying the grain in his podium.

More interesting was Feingold's criticism of US foreign policy. As a former member of the US Senate committee on foreign relations, and the chair of the Subcommittee on African Affairs, Feingold is one of the most well versed in the intricate details of foreign policy. He said that he believes that both sides are politicizing the attacks on US embassies abroad, rather than having real discussions about the topic. He also spoke for some time on the US Drone programs, warning of the dangers of unmanned drone strikes, and the legal ramifications of declaring somebody guilty of crimes against the US without a proper trial.

The topic that Feingold spoke most passionately on was Citizens United. As many of you remember, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission was a landmark case in which the US supreme court ruled that corporations could not be limited in the money they spend on campaigns. Feingold now leads a pac against this rulling, believing that it was a travesty to the law ad can only lead to coruption on both sides of the aisle.

It was a great event. I have been to a few of these "On the Issues" and have never been disappointed. It will be interesting to see what the next one has in store. I will be attending the event featuring US Senator Ron Johnson on the 23rd, expieriencing vies opposite those of Feingold. Johnson is the man who took Feingold's senate seat in 2010 as an affiliate of the Tea Party. It will be interesting to hear Johnson's views on the same subjects talked about Thursday. They will certainly put the former Senator's in perspective.
 





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