Image of Hidden video: Feingold says Clinton might issue gun control executive orders - Watchdog.org
Hidden video: Feingold says Clinton might issue gun control executive orders - Watchdog.org
MADISON, Wis. – U.S. Senate candidate Russ Feingold once declared that he was “one of the true leaders in fighting for a greater right to bear arms.”

But in a new undercover video released Thursday, the Middleton liberal seems to relish in the idea that a President Hillary Clinton would issue executive orders eroding the Second Amendment.

“Well, there might be an executive order,” Feingold tells a disguised James O’Keefe III at the home of a wealthy Northern California campaign cash bundler for top liberals.

Feingold, who is running to take back the seat he lost to Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, was unwittingly caught in the latest undercover report by O’Keefe’s Project Veritas, the controversial journalism firm that has exposed the alleged misconduct of many a politician and liberal activist.

In the video, Feingold is referring to an executive order on gun control Clinton might sign should she be elected next month, according to O’Keefe.

“He (President Barack Obama) did some executive orders with the aspects of waiting periods. But what we all need to win is the Senate, have her (Clinton) there (in the White House), and then put pressure on the House. And we might win the House,” Feingold tells O’Keefe.

Feingold was the guest of honor at an Aug. 17  private fundraiser for the Senate candidate. The cocktail party was held at the posh Palo Alto, Calif., home of liberal heavyweights Amy Rao and her husband Harry Plant, tech executives in California’s Silicon Valley.

Donations were going for $2,700 for the biggest of big-ticket donors to Feingold’s campaign, and $500 for less generous contributors.

The California fundraiser ran counter to the godfather of campaign finance reform’s long-abandoned pledge to not take big money from outside Wisconsin. But it was the sometimes Second Amendment defender’s view on Clinton’s gun control plans that are on full display in the O’Keefe video.

In the video, O’Keefe, looking the part of a younger Bill Gates double (bad haircut wig, horned-rim glasses, charcoal sport coat, sans tie) asks Feingold about guns in Wisconsin, a state that takes the Second Amendment very seriously.

“But what I do is, I go with the majority view of the people of the state, which is very common sense,” Feingold says in the video. “They believe there should be background checks. Overwhelmingly, they believe there should be background checks for the Internet and for gun shows.”

The Feingold campaign did not respond to a request for comment, but his defenders in the press quickly asserted that his comments were “something any attentive voter” already knew.

A Marquette University Law School poll in January found that 63 percent of those Wisconsin voters supported the state’s concealed-carry law.

The same poll found 85 percent of registered voters in favor of background checks for private and gun show sales, with 12 percent opposed.

Feingold has been a supporter of background checks, but he also voted against extending the federal ban on so-called assault weapons.

Feingold certainly could have been preaching to the choir at a Northern California mixer where he accepted big checks from some of the most anti-gun people in America.

O’Keefe plays the part of a Bay Area gun hater, asking Feingold donor Leah Russin why Feingold would defend handguns.

“He wants to be elected. He is from Wisconsin,” says Russin, executive director and co-founder of grassroots advocacy group Vaccinate California. Russin previously served as senior advisor in the Obama administration’s Department of the Interior and environmental adviser to U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

In the video, Russin seems to lament Feingold’s mixed record on gun control.

“I wanted him to be stronger. No one needs a frickin’ handgun,” she says.

Earlier this year, Feingold criticized his incumbent opponent, telling the Wisconsin State Journal that Johnson does the bidding of the National Rifle Association.

“People deserve an independent voice on this issue, and that’s what I provide,” he told the newspaper.

Asked about the context of the video, O’Keefe, who has been accused of selective editing, said the “video speaks for itself.” He said he didn’t break any laws, that he attended the fundraiser legally.

“Everyone in that room is against the Second Amendment so it may be a slight bit of him (Feingold) trying to appeal to those folks,” O’Keefe told Wisconsin Watchdog.