Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Green wants a new judge

Congressman Mark Green not only thinks the State Elections Board is unfair, but he doesn't trust Dane County Circuit Judge Michael Nowakowski, the county's chief judge, either.

Nowakowski was assigned the Green Elections Board case, but Green has asked for a substitution.

UPDATE: Green gets a new judge.
Madison - Dane County Circuit Court Judge Richard Niess has been assigned the court fight by Mark Green, the Republican candidate for governor, against an Elections Board order that his campaign divest itself of $467,844 in donations from out-of-state political action committees.

Dane County Circuit Judge Michael Nowakowski withdrew as the first judge assigned to Green's case. The request for a new judge reflected concern that Nowakowski, as chief Dane County judge, has such a full calendar that he may not be able to consider the case quickly.

When they sued last Friday, Green's lawyers said they plan to seek a temporary injunction forbidding the Elections Board from carrying out its order to divest the $467,844. The Board gave the Green campaign 10 days to divest itself of the money -- a deadline that a state Justice Department attorney said ends at midnight Monday.
Green gets a new judge, and a new spin from the JS, which says Nowakowski withdrew. Actually, Green filed for the substitution, asking that Nowakowski be replaced, claiming Green was worried Nowakowski was too busy. Nowakowski did not "withdraw."

But Doyle appointed Niess, just like he appointed some of the members of the Elections Board. Hmmmm, now what?

What's next? The Scott Jensen change of venue request, because there are too many Democrats in Dane County?

UPDATE: A lawyer who's watching the case offers this:
Green not only sued to kill the order of the SEB but he also sued for money damages and attorney’s fees and for violating his Constitutional Rights. This could back fire since he is bringing up issues other then the SEB order. The SEB could serve Green and Graul with Discovery, including to take their depositions.

This could turn into a 3 Ring Circus with questions about political donations to Green’s campaign including tickets to sporting events and concerts from Jack Abramoff.

Remember what happended to Clinton when he had to give a videotaped deposition?
Then there's this from Green's PR man Steve Walters of the JS:
Green sued all but one on board

Madison - Trivia question: Which of the nine state Elections Board members was not sued by the Mark Green for Governor campaign?

Answer: Patrick Hodan, law partner of the two lawyers, Dan Millis and Daniel Kelly, who filed the suit late Friday.

The suit asks a Dane County judge to stop the board from enforcing its order to return $467,844 in donations to Green's federal campaign from out-of-state political action committees. Those donations were part of $1.3 million Green moved from his federal campaign fund to his state account, to jump start his campaign for governor, in January 2005.

Because he is a partner in the same firm with Millis and Kelly, Hodag recused himself when the Elections Board voted to order the Green campaign to divest the $647,844 on Aug. 30. Four Democrats and Libertarian Party board member Jacob Burns voted for the order; Republican board members John C. Schober and John Savage sided with Green.

The omission of Hodan from the list of defendants is even more curious because the Supreme Court designee on the board, David Anstaett, missed the Aug. 30 meeting -- and got sued anyway by the Green campaign.
Looks like Don Millis may have a conflict of interest and may have to cease representing Green.

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Judge Niess has scheduled a pre-trial conference for Sept. 21.


At 10:29 PM, Blogger badgervan said...

What's the first thing you have to do when you've dug yourself into a deep hole, and need to escape? Evidently Green and Graul just like to dig.


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