MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold fired up dozens of budget protesters camping on the streets outside the state Capitol Sunday evening.
Feingold told supporters that Republicans "went right for the jugular" when they chose Wisconsin to cut collective bargaining for most state employees. The Democrat talked about political steps for the near future, including taking back the majority in the state Senate and Assembly and defeating Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
The State Journal reports (http://bit.ly/mDhOqF ) that chants of "run, Russ, run" arose during Feingold's speech, but the former senator didn't mention his political future. Feingold lost his seat in November to Oshkosh businessman Ron Johnson, a Republican. Feingold is currently teaching at Marquette University.
The protest campers call their tent city "Walkerville," named after the "Hooverville" shantytowns set up during the Great Depression.
On Sunday, demonstrators in "Walkerville", the tent city set up as a protest to the budget, are preparing for the legislature to take up Governor Scott Walker's first budget.
Demonstrators got a visit from Wisconsin's Former Democratic U.S. Senator. Russ Feingold spoke to those rallying on the capitol square. He says he's voicing his opinions on the budget and collective bargaining as a concerned citizen.
"The fact that this continues, that people are not moving onto the next thing, onto their summer vacations, indicates this is a permanent injury to the people of Wisconsin. We will not give up until this law is reversed, however they try to pass it," Former Senator Russ Feingold said.
Some in the audience shouted pleas to Feingold, asking him to run for governor. But Feingold says the focus needs to remain on the issues.