Feingold talks about election, Walker and disappearing senators - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Feingold talks about election, Walker and disappearing senators

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By Bob Schaper - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MADISON (WKOW) -- In one of his first televised interviews since leaving office, former Sen. Russ Feingold says "he's well aware" that for the first time in 28 years he isn't an elected official.

But that's not stopping him from talking like one -- or from blasting the Republican administration that's running the state.

"He has damaged our state for many years to come," Feingold said, referring to Gov. Scott Walker. "And that's something that's not worth it for whatever political agenda or fantasy he might have about his future."

Feingold said his election defeat to Sen. Ron Johnson last November had nothing to do with partisanship or anything else.

"It was a sweeping election that had very little to do with individuals," he said.

As for his plans, he refused to rule in or out a future run for public office.

"Some of (being a senator) I miss, some of it I'm really happy about," he said. "But life goes on and I have a good life, so I'm happy."

 These days, Feingold is concentrating on his new political action committee, Progressives United. The group's goal is to stop the corporate influence on American politics.

"What better illustration from our own state, some guy who's been a governor for just a few weeks -- he hasn't even shown he can pass one state budget -- decides to rip our state to shreds," Feingold said. "That's what big money can do."

He also pointed to a prank call Walker took last week, in which he thought he was talking to billionaire David Koch, a major campaign contributor to Republican causes.

"To speak the way Gov. Walker did to this guy, to act like he was part of this guy's agenda, rather than Wisconsin's agenda, was to me one of the most embarrassing moments in the history of our state," Feingold said.

As for the 14 Democratic senators who fled the state to avoid a showdown on Walker's budget repair bill, Feingold said it was an unusual situation that would not likely repeat itself.

"What they're doing is to stop what is essentially a fraud."

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