Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Walker says Green should return

tainted money from Tom DeLay

The gloves may be coming off in GOP governor's race

In a major shift in the Republican governor's primary campaign, Milwaukee County Exec Scott Walker says that his opponent, Rep. Mark Green, should give back about $30,000 he has received from Rep. Tom DeLay's political action committee.

"I think (he) should give the whole thing back," Walker said in an interview with the editorial board of The Capital Times on Monday. "Why would you keep any of it?"

For months, Wisconsin Democrats have been calling on Green and Rep. Paul Ryan, who took about $25,000 in DeLay contributions, to give back the money.

They have responded with a changing list of defenses, excuses and explanations about why they can't or won't give it back, ranging from "we spent it all" to "that would be illegal" to "the dog ate it."

None of those excuses are valid. A number of other GOP Congressmen have found creative ways to either return the money to DeLay's political action committee or find another way to dispose of it, such as contributing it to charity.

Republican Lobbyist Jack Abramoff's guilty plea to three felonies today will increase the pressure, because DeLay took huge amounts of cash from Abramoff, and DeLay, in turn, distributed money to Republican colleagues -- like Green and Ryan -- and GOP candidates. Green's campaign manager is among those who have taken freebies from Abramoff, but Green has pretended he doesn't know that, or doesn't want to know.

Green and Walker have been polite to one another so far, adhering to the Republican 11th Commandment, "Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican."

Those days would appear to be over.

Perhaps even the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign will decide it should ask Green and Ryan to return the money, something it has not done so far.


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