Monday, September 25, 2006

Green loses in court; conspiracy continues

Now a circuit court judge has ruled that Congressman Mark Green's transfer of $467,000 in federal special interest money to his campaign for governor was illegal.

Green says he's appealing directly to the State Supreme Court, but will set that money aside in the meantime and not spend it.

In last Thursday's hearing the judge suggested that Green had come into court with "unclean hands" because he had not complied with the Elections Board order to divest himself of the money within 10 days. Putting the money into escrow amounts to washing his hands.

You can read the judge's order yourself. Among other things, he suggested Green had used the wrong avenue to appeal on the board's rule.

But based on one read-through, these seem to be the key paragraphs:
In short, a "donation" under 2 U.S.C. § 439a(a)(5) is a "contribution" subject to the limitations and other regulations contained in Chapter 11 of the Wisconsin statutes governing the use of money in Wisconsin political campaigns. Thus, even if the Court were to adopt Green's argument that the Elections Board should be enjoined from enforcing its Emergency Rule and Order because they are illegal for any number of reasons -- arguments which raise some serious and legitimate questions -- Green still cannot succeed on the ultimate merits of this case because the Court cannot grant the requested declaratory judgment finding "that funds a state campaign committee has on hand when it converts from federal registration are not counted against Wisconsin's contribution limits." (Complaint, paragraph 50) Controlling federal law, through its incorporation of Wisconsin's campaign finance law, in fact compels the opposite finding. ...

For the same reasons that Green cannot demonstrate that he will likely succeed on the merits of the case, he falls short of showing irreparable harm if the temporary injunction is not granted. That is to say, whether the Elections Board is enjoined from enforcing the Emergency Rule and Order or not, Green's duties under the law remain the same. Under 2 U.S.C. 439a(a)(5) and Chapter 11 of the Wisconsin statutes which it incorporates, Green must subject the donation from the federal campaign to the provisions of Wisconsin law governing "contributions" to political campaigns. Thus, at least at this very preliminary stage of the lawsuit where the pleadings are not even complete, it is simply unnecessary for this Court to enter the thorny procedural and constitutional thicket created by the Election Board's actions in promulgating the Emergency Rule and issuing its Order, let alone allow it to sidetrack the Court's decision on Green's Motion for Temporary Injunction. The bottom line is that the Elections Board reached the correct result, regardless of the infirmities, if any, in its process.
(Emphasis mine)

Steve Walters of the Journal Sentinel starts the conspiracy theory, noting that the judge was appointed by Gov. Jim Doyle. Walters doesn't note that the original judge assigned to the case was the county's chief judge, Michael Nowakowski -- who was not a Doyle appointee, Green's campaign asked for a replacement, which is how Judge Richard Niess got the case.

UPDATE: Dave Diamond thinks it may be time for Green to move on to another subject.

MORE BAD NEWS? The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, flushed with success, says in its e-mail alert today that it is "researching the issues and evaluating whether to file a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission," which could question almost the entire $1.3-million Green laundered into his gov's campaign, not just the $467,000 in PAC money.

UPDATE: Judge rules against Green; Journal Sentinel forgets to mention it.


At 1:33 PM, Blogger Interloper said...

Do you think this will make page 1 of the Journal Sentinel tomorrow?

At 2:27 PM, Blogger GWC shadow said...

This is a bias opinion from a Doyle appointee. This will go all the way through the state courts and then to the Federal Courts to get past Doyle's slimeball thugs control. TO BE CONTINUED>>>>

At 2:37 PM, Blogger billy pilgrim said...

yeah, anytime a judge decides against a Rightwing cause celebre, the judge is automatically biased, it doesn't even matter who the judge is or what their record is; the idea that maybe, just maybe a judge makes a decision based on the facts of the case is INCONCEIVABLE! if it goes agains them...

But a rigged Supreme Court over-extending their jurisdiction to make an overtly ideologically based decision is just peachy keen.

Come up with a new script, kids, that one's boring.

At 2:56 PM, Blogger Seth Zlotocha said...

It's amazing that despite all of this evidence that the EB made the right decision regarding Green's illegal PAC money (and, in fact, that the decision didn't go far enough), the GOP still maintains the only possible reason the decision was made was because three board members were contacted by Maistelman. It just couldn't have been that the decision was based upon, as the Libertarian member of the board -- who never heard from Maistelman -- put it, "a matter of obvious law."

At 3:57 PM, Blogger Randy said...

The Republicans on the EB that abstained... did they abstain simply to not vote against Green, or was there another reason they didn't vote in this case?

At 4:18 PM, Blogger msnK said...

Is Jensen lawyer Stephen Meyer handling Green's case?! Sounds like the same lame crybaby argument.

At 4:44 PM, Blogger From Our Past to Our Future said...

Well, the whiny Green machine's argument won't go away soon, even if the state high court takes up the case soon . . . because, of course, the Chief Justice was appointed by a Democratic governor.

Thirty years ago.

And she has been reelected by the majority of Wisconsinites ever since.

But hey, if the Greenies don't respect the law, why would they respect one of the most respected legal minds in the country?

Because then they would have to discuss the issues -- and that really would lose this election for Green?

At 4:50 PM, Blogger Xoff said...

I don't suppose Steve Walters will mention that there are 4 Republicans on the 7-member Supreme Court, will he?

At 4:55 PM, Blogger GWC shadow said...

First off there is no ILLEGAL PAC money that Green has. Second, Doyle is the one who is under FEDERAL INVESTIGATION not Green for exchanging campaign money for contracts. Third, there is not one issue that Doyle can argue in his defense because all he's done is raise taxes, raised the state debt, ran jobs and businesses out of the state, raised state tuition of college students, vetoed property tax freezes, introduced free college tuition for illegal immigrants.

At 6:13 PM, Blogger tom47 said...

Boy is Green dumb. If he had just dispoed of the illegal PAC money, no one would have noticed the rest of the money was illegal under federal law.

BTW the Walters article is among his most biased. Steve, it really does not matter what the plantiff argued, what matters is what the judge says.

Also, establishing a separate trust account is not compliance with the Elections board order, Wisconsin law, or Federal law.

At 7:55 PM, Blogger badgervan said...

Hey, GWC - How do you think over half the country feels about the 2000 presidential election being decided by a leans-to-the-right Supreme Court? Every time you guys don't get your way in court, you blame the person/persons who put that particular judge in place. Quit your whining! I swear, you repubs are all starting to sound like Lieberman, the King of the Whine.


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