Senator Feingold’s Botched Response to Tomah Scandal Raises More Questions

Published on Tuesday, January 26, 2016

MADISON– A spokesman for Senator Russ Feingold told USA Today in 2015 that a “thorough review” of Feingold’s Senate records produced no evidence that Feingold received a memo outlining deadly prescription practices at the Tomah V.A. However, Congressman Obey – who is also listed as receiving the memo – claimed “Such incoming correspondence would have been destroyed when they left office.”

Public pressure has mounted on Feingold to come clean with Wisconsin about his failure to act on a memo marked as “hand-delivered” to his office – outlining the over-prescription of narcotics to veterans at the Tomah V.A. Medical Center. Feingold received the memo five years before a 35-year-old Marine died from an overdose at the Center.

Wisconsin Alliance for Reform released a statewide radio ad which describes the deadly consequences that can occur when elected leaders fail to take action.

The ads provoked a scrambled response from Senator Feingold’s campaign, resulting in conflicting accounts and inconsistent statements about the widening scandal.

The author of the hand-delivered memo – a union president whose organization has endorsed Feingold and contributed to his campaigns – quickly changed her story about the memo being delivered. Days later, a newly released audio recording between the union president and police reveals she met with Feingold in 2008 to inform him about the problems at Tomah even before the memo was hand-delivered in 2009.

Wisconsin Alliance for Reform Communications Director Chris Martin released the following statement:

“As Senator Feingold and his staff scramble to get their stories straight, Wisconsin deserves answers. Given that Feingold has been out office since January of 2011, how could his staff conduct a thorough review of records from his Senate office?”