Ex-Sen. Feingold says Lieberman, McCaskill, Hoyer fit for 'shame'

Former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) has tabbed two Democrats and Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.) as fit for "shame" for being too beholden to corporate interests. 

Feingold, the former liberal senator who leads a new PAC called Progressives United, singled out House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Lieberman (Conn.), an independent who caucuses with Democrats, for a close relationship with corporations.

"This culture of corporate influence and corruption is precisely what we at Progressives United want to change. So we've decided to take on those legislators who are unwilling to stand up to corporate power, and we're naming names," Feingold wrote in an email, asking for $5 donations to "shame" those lawmakers with online ads.

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Feingold also went after Republicans — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio) and Rep. Darrell Issa (Calif.) — over their opposition to an executive order favored by President Obama that would increase transparency in corporations' political contributions. 

"Some Democrats are joining Republicans in pressing to keep the cycle of political money and federal contracts hidden," Feingold wrote. "Incredibly, they're claiming that transparency will somehow lead to more corruption. I spent nearly two decades in the Senate, and I can tell you: that's just baloney."

That sort of act is likely to make Feingold no friends, especially as a number of Democratic leaders are looking to him as a possible Senate candidate now that Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) has announced he'll retire at the end of his term. It's also conceivable that Feingold might be jockeying for support in a potentially crowded primary field, which could include another liberal darling, Rep. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.).