Monday, January 09, 2006

The view from the cheap seats

Indulge me while I follow up the latest Mark Graul report. The Green Bay Press Gazette:

Mark Graul, who is now campaign manager for Green's gubernatorial bid, acknowledges attending a Milwaukee Bucks-Washington Wizards basketball game as a guest of lobbyist Jennifer Calvert [who worked for Jack Abramoff's lobby firm] in 2000.

Congressional staffers are allowed to accept complimentary tickets to sporting events and shows as long as the face value of the ticket is less than $50.
OK, here's what the best $48 seat would look like for Monday night's Wizards game. It's what Al McGuire called the nosebleed seats. This photo is taken from the front row of the $48 section. The top row would give you vertigo.

That would be a funny way for a high-roller like Abramoff -- who was taking Congressmen on all-expense paid golf trips to Scotland -- to treat a guest, even a Congressman's chief of staff like Graul was at the time.

Of course, there are a couple of things Graul and the Press Gazette didn't mention. First of all, he was listed for two tickets, so even in the cheap seats they were worth more than $50, the limit under House ethics rules. (UPDATE: My mistake. It was 4 tickets.)

More importantly, the tickets in question were for Abramoff's skybox. Those seats certainly go for $100 a pop or more -- not to mention the food and drink that are usually available free in the suites.

Why can't Graul just make it easy on himself and come clean? Does he think it's too late, after all of his carefully-worded denials? The more he bobs and weaves, the more like it seems he has something to hide.

And why doesn't his boss, Rep. Mark Green, tell him to 'fess up? At last report, Green was still claiming he had never even asked Graul about the freebies -- because he doesn't want to know the answer?

2 Comments:

At 4:40 PM, Blogger hoofer said...

You must be kidding right? So what a guy went to a basketball team...It's not like he picked up a check for $750,000 then let the indians expand gampbling the day after he got in office. Oh wait that would be an elected official and a democrate...Hate to see you a call it both ways...

 
At 4:50 PM, Blogger hoofer said...

real proof that Doyle's money is dirtier than anyone else's he collected thousand from a couple of guys at Knight Infrastructures- once Hurtgen's company...nice. at least you can say this about D.J. he is an equal opportunity pimp when it comes to campaign money.

 

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