Feingold to explore action to stop AIG bonuses

In a gymnasium full of retirees, workers, educators and fourth-graders, U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis) said he was exploring what legal action could be taken to halt bonuses to AIG executives.

At one of his listening sessions, this time at Brass Community Elementary School, Feingold heard from a number of unhappy citizens who called the bonuses outrageous.

Over the weekend, it was reported that American International Group, which has received $170 billion in bailout funding, will pay roughly $165 million in bonuses to executives and employees.

Feingold said he fired off a letter over the weekend to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner asking that some legal remedy be found to halt the bonuses.

"There must be a way to prevent these bonuses," Feingold said. "The anger is justified in this case, and it’s being felt elsewhere."

In an interview after his listening session, Feingold echoed the comments of a number of citizens who said it was not right to ask autoworkers to renegotiate their contracts and pensions and not force AIG executives to do the same.

"The idea that somehow people are legally entitled to bonuses when they didn’t even do the right thing… I thought bonuses were supposed to be when you get something right instead of when you screw things up. I want some answers, and I want to know here this money is going," Feingold said. […]