Obeying only the laws we like
The Capital Times:
Editorial: Mark Green's lawlessnessEddie Ben Elson also announced his candidacy in the nude, as I recall. At least Mark Green spared us that.
When the late, great Madison lawyer Edward Ben Elson ran for a judgeship some years ago, he suggested that citizens should "only obey good laws."
Coming from Elson, a humane and decent man who mocked a legal system that he thought was often unfair and abusive, the line was both amusing and instructive.
But U.S. Rep. Mark Green, who is neither so humane nor so decent as Elson, has now made the political parodist's slogan the guiding principle of his Republican campaign for the governorship of Wisconsin.
Green raised almost $500,000 from out-of-state special interests who could not give to his campaign. Then he transferred the illegal money from his federal campaign account to his state account.
When State Elections Board called Green on the move, the congressman attacked the board, peddled ridiculous excuses and finally announced a plan to sue the board for wronging him by enforcing state law. At the same time he is complaining about the ethics of the man he seeks to displace, Gov. Jim Doyle, Green has displayed dramatic disregard for ethical and legal standards.
Green is now running an "only-obey-good-laws" campaign. When the law applies to him, Green neither respects nor obeys it.
Unfortunately, the Republican nominee for governor is not trying to make a ideological point in the way that Eddie Elson so well and wisely did. Rather, Green, like so many petty lawbreakers before him, is trying to take the money and run.