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Feingold Gets Big Spike in PAC Donations


WASHINGTON Apr 20, 2006 (AP)— Sen. Russ Feingold's call for censuring President Bush appears to have paid dividends for the senator's political action committee.

Feingold's leadership PAC, the Progressive Patriots Fund, pulled in $282,000 last month, according to a report filed Thursday with the Federal Election Commission. In February, the PAC raised $105,000.

Feingold, D-Wis., announced in March that he introduce a resolution to censure Bush over the administration's eavesdropping program.

"I bet that really did stimulate contributions a lot," said Charles Franklin, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "The censure resolution, and lack of any other Democrat backing it, really put a lot of Bush-haters onto Feingold."

Politicians use leadership PACs to make contributions to other candidates and finance political travel. The Progressive Patriots Fund has helped Feingold do both, elevating his profile in the process. That will help Feingold if he decides to run for president in 2008.

Earlier this week, the PAC launched a Web ad that mockingly refers to Bush as "king of the United States." The PAC's Web site has a link allowing people to "co-sponsor" Feingold's censure resolution.

George Aldrich, a spokesman for Feingold's PAC, said the spike was probably related to the censure resolution as well as other positions Feingold has taken such as his call for a timeline for U.S. troops to come back from Iraq and his opposition to the Patriot Act.

Feingold's PAC finished the period with $466,000 in the bank.

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