Monday, September 25, 2006

Extra! Green appeals, but we don't know what

Seth Zlotocha probably thought he was being funny when he wrote on Monday about Mark Green's court case:
I'm also giving 5 to 1 odds that tomorrow's Journal Sentinel article on the decision will focus on the subsequent appeal should the ruling go against Green -- and I wouldn't even put it past the news editors to run the story in the Metro section.
It turns out he was prescient, although wrong about placement; the story did run on page one.

But he got the spin and the headline right:
Green plans appeal
Judge rules against him on funds; state high court is next

Madison - Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Green vowed Monday to take his fight to spend $467,844 in out-of-state donations to the state Supreme Court, after a Dane County judge upheld an Elections Board order that he divest himself of the money.

Green campaign aides said they will ask the state Supreme Court to take the controversy directly, bypassing the Court of Appeals. The Green campaign promised to put $467,844 from political action committees in a separate account and not spend it, pending a Supreme Court ruling.
What's missing? Well, now a judge -- not just the State Elections Board -- has said that Green has $467,000 in illegal special interest money in his campaign.

You wouldn't know that from the story. The words "illegal" or "broke the law" or "violated the law" don't appear in the story.

We do get this choice, pull-out quote from Green: "Today's ruling did not give us more clarity"

Really? It seemed pretty clear. A judge agreed with the Elections Board and said Green's PAC money is illegal.

The story tells us that the judge is a Doyle appointee, but doesn't say he got the case after Green asked for a different judge; the first one was not a Doyle appointee. And its analysis of the Supreme Court fails to make it clear that there are four Republicans and three Democrats on the court. Instead, we're told:
The justices' partisan loyalties have been blurred by recent decisions, with key votes being cast by Justice Pat Crooks and Justice Patience Roggensack.
The kinds of cases they've split off on are about issues like caps on malpractice awards, not partisan issues. Crooks and Roggensack are both Republicans.

The AP plays it straighter:
Judge: Elections Board correctly ordered Green to forfeit money


MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state Elections Board correctly ordered Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Green to get rid of $468,000 in campaign donations from political action committees not registered in Wisconsin, a judge ruled Monday.

Dane County Circuit Court Judge Richard Niess rejected Green's request for an injunction to stop the board's order from going into effect. He said Green wasn't likely to prevail on the merits of his case.

"The bottom line is that the Elections Board reached the correct result, regardless of the infirmities, if any, in its process," he wrote...

The board said the money violated Wisconsin campaign finance laws requiring committees to be registered here.
Earlier: Green loses in court; conspiracy continues.

UPDATE: Green finds the missing $467,000.


At 4:55 AM, Blogger krshorewood said...

If you are a fan of the dailyhowler blog, you can see the template that was laid out by the role the national press played in tilting the public against the Gore and Kerry campaigns is being followed by the JS for Doyle.

I am sure that if someone took the time to evaluate headlines and stories the JS would come out cleerly cheerleading for the Green Team.

There is no pretense of fairness or balance, although when George Stanley is press he will claim otherwise.

At 7:26 AM, Blogger Mike said...

Could someone explain the differance between the Tom Barrett transfer in 2001 and the Mark Green transfer. Thanks.

At 7:43 AM, Blogger publius said...

Yeah, your team is clearly under siege from that damn right wing press.

How, oh how, will you ever win another election?

You should definitely blame everyone but Doyle for the biased press. Remember - it wasn't Green who went looking for this story.

Xoff - you should know better than anyone that earned media is the most unpredictable part of any campaign.

Look how apoplectic you get when you don't get your way from the press or your guy gets attacked. The cold hard reality is your side is running an anti-Green campaign and our side is running a pro-Green campaign. What's missing?

At 7:54 AM, Blogger atarijpb said...

Mike -

What does that have to do with anything? Doyle did not support Barrett's transfer either. Know your history. He has been consistent on the issue. You just don't like it because he is right (now proven not only by the Elections Board but by a court as well.)

How about that $100,000 in real estate interest money for Green? Should the slogan have been "Nobody's Congressman but yours (unless you have a big checkbook and give my campaign cash in exchange for my preferential treatment on issues which directly benefit you?)" Are you absolutely sure the "corruption through donations" argument is a winner for Green?

Face it - they are both politicians and this is how it is. Change the system if you don't like it, but you can't have it both ways. If Green were smart, he would get off this issue and try to find another with greater resonance with the Wisconsin electorate.

Unless, of course, his 72 hour grab for cash didn't raise the requested $500,000.

At 8:49 AM, Blogger Mike said...


So thats a no, you can't explain the differance. I didn't think so. I guess that answers my question.

So does that mean the the elections board in 2001 was wrong and allowed Barrett to use illigal funds?

At 8:55 AM, Blogger Xoff said...

That's exactly what it means, and what I, and the Doyle campaign, argued in 2001.

At 9:14 AM, Blogger Silent E said...

The Elections Board consistently sided with the Barretts and the Greens for the past 20 some years and all of a sudden Doyles attorney sends some emails and the rules change. Precedence was set and the Doyle campaign ran an end around to change the rules to fit it's own agenda. Doyle may have been consistent in not agreeing with the rules but the rules changed after the fact and was upheld by a Doyle appointed judge. Everyone keeps connecting the dots and they always end at Doyle. Coincidence? I think not...

At 9:23 AM, Blogger Xoff said...

Hate to repeat myself, but Green had a judge who was not Doyle-appointed, and asked that he be replaced. That's how he got the judge who heard the case.

At 9:29 AM, Blogger atarijpb said...

Silent E -

You have got to be kidding me. So Green should be allowed to complain about his Judge, even though it was his request to be reassigned to a new judge (the Doyle appointee?)

Should he be able to shop it around until he finds a judge who will be sympathetic? Illegal is illegal, no matter who rules on it.

Also - correct me if I am wrong - wasn't there lobbying from both sides?

Also, to Mike. Duh. Thanks for proving my argument. Doyle is consistent. Maybe you should question your guy about his special interests. Again I ask you - how about that $100,000? Justify it without bringing Doyle into your argument. Good luck.

At 10:00 AM, Blogger Seth Zlotocha said...

Xoff is right that the Barrett decision in 2001 was the wrong one, but there is a significant difference between that case and this one.

The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (also known as McCain-Feingold) was passed in 2002 and updated in 2004, and if you look at Judge Niess' ruling, he very much bases his decision -- and the DOJ very much based its case -- on the BCRA, which wasn't in effect when Barrett made his transfer.

At 12:30 PM, Blogger tom47 said...

Seth nails it. The judge's decision was not based upon some willy nilly partisan election board rule but upon federal law.

We are no longer talking about a measly $460 thou but about $1.1mil.

Mark has fumbled more than Ahmad.

At 1:43 PM, Blogger Kevin Ryan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 2:49 PM, Blogger Mike said...

atrijpb -

Why do you think I am from the other side. Is it because I ask questions when I am unsure of an issue? Or is it because I am interested in facts, or is it because I have high standards for my representatives?

At 6:37 PM, Blogger Harry Walker said...

Does it strike anyone as odd that Mark Green is allegedly a champion of tort reform and goes on and on about "lawsuit abuse", but when he something doesn't go his way, he is the first guy in say nothing of his expectation that the judicial seas will part and he will have full access to whatever court in the state he desires.

wow!!! What an amazing sense of entitlement. Who does he think he is? A member of Congress? You can take the boy out of D.C., but you can't take the D.C. out of the boy.


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