Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Green, like Walker, was deaf and blind

while serving in the state legislature

Give me a break.

While a chorus ranging from Supreme Court Justice David Prosser to the right wing blogosphere insists that everyone in Madison knew there was widespread abuse of the legislative caucuses, and that legislative staffers were campaigning on state time, Mark Green says he never knew a thing.

This at a time when Jessica McBride is insisting that even the news media knew what was going on.

Green was Assembly Republican CAUCUS CHAIRMAN from 1995-1998, while campaigning by state employees was rampant. But he was unaware?

The Journal Sentinel obviously swallowed his story, because it didn't even make the paper, but showed up on the newspaper's Capitol blog:

Green says he never knew of campaign activity

Like Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, U.S. Rep. Mark Green says he was not aware legislative aides were campaigning on state time when he was in the Assembly in the 1990s.

In court filings last week, Supreme Court Justice David Prosser said campaigning on state time was routine when he was speaker of the Assembly in 1995 and 1996 and when he was Assembly minority leader from 1989 to 1994. Rep. Scott Jensen (R-Town of Brookfield) wanted Prosser to testify on his behalf in his trial later this month on felony charges of campaigning on state time, but Dane County Circuit Judge Steven Ebert ruled Friday former leaders could not tell jurors about how they ran the Legislature.

Green and Walker, the two Republicans seeking Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle’s job, were both in the Assembly during much of the time Prosser led the Assembly Republicans.

Walker said last week that he was unaware of any campaigning on state time because he was not in leadership. Green, who couldn’t be reached last week, said Monday he did not know what campaign work staffers for the Assembly Republican Caucus were doing either.

“I just didn’t have that sort of involvement,” Green said.

Green, of Green Bay, was in leadership at the time, serving as caucus chairman for the Assembly Republicans. In that capacity, he ran meetings of Republican representatives, but he did not supervise the caucus staff.

Green said as a leader he was not informed of campaign work by the caucus employees. Those employees did not campaign on his behalf because he never had an opponent, even when he first ran for office in 1992.

“First of all, we had a very strict rule,” he said. “Nobody who worked for me in any way shape or form campaigned on state time. And secondly, I didn’t have races.”

State campaign records list Mark Graul as the campaign treasurer in 1998 for the Teddy Roosevelt Fund, an independent group that sent mailers supporting Republicans and opposing Democrats. Graul, who is now running Green’s gubernatorial campaign, was a legislative aide to Green at the time.

Graul said he did not do any of the work for the Teddy Roosevelt Fund on state time, noting he took leaves of absence to do campaign work, such as when he ran Green’s first congressional campaign in 1998.

Graul said he had little involvement with the Teddy Roosevelt Fund, a claim backed up by Todd Rongstad. Rongstad, who worked for the Assembly Republican Caucus at the time and readily admits to campaigning on state time, said he formed the independent group to better compete with Democrats, but that all the work was done off of state time.

Rongstad said he originally planned to serve as the group’s treasurer, but then-Assembly Assistant Majority Leader Bonnie Ladwig (R-Racine) told him she did not want him listed as an officer with the group since he worked for the caucus.

Rongstad then sought out Christopher Tuttle, another Green aide, to be listed as treasurer. Graul later replaced Tuttle.

In late December 2005, Ladwig pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor ethics violation for directing aides to campaign on state time.

Investigative reports filed in the Jensen case recently show that Rich Judge admitted to rampant campaigning on state time among Assembly Democrats in the 1998 and 2000 election cycle. Judge, who is now Doyle’s campaign manager, served as deputy director and director of the Assembly Democratic Caucus during that time.

-- By Patrick Marley
Is there a reporter in the house?

Is there a newspaper in the state?

Anybody wanna buy a bridge?

This story was promoted from the blog to a spot on the bottom of page B3, so at least it's on the record for comparison when the truth comes out.


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