Trivializing Green's ethical problems
Patrick McIlheran sizes up the candidates for gov on integrity and ethics and -- surprise! -- decides he prefers Congressman Mark Green, whom he's preferred all along.
Doyle, he says, has some ethical issues. Can't prove anything, just a bad feeling.
[The Democrats']main charge is that Green often voted like a Republican and that his donors were Republican-type donors. Thus he voted for defense spending, for instance, because Lockheed Martin gave $1,000. This requires a cynical conviction that he had no prior Republican beliefs.Ah yes, $1,000 from Lockheed Martin. If only Green's problems were that simple, and that insignificant.
Green is also accused thus: His campaign manager got tickets to a Bucks game. And Green moved money from his congressional campaign fund to his gubernatorial one, something perfectly legal until state regulators made it illegal eight months later.
A few examples of where Green has raised a total of $2-million -- that's million, not thousand -- in special interest money during his time in office:
-- $408,000 from health care interests -- $60,837 from pharmaceutical company PACs, pharmaceutical lobbyists and employees of the big drug makers. Another$91,665 from health insurance interests. Add $103,485 from dentists and dental interests. And Green $153,709 from the health care industry, including health care providers, physicians and specialists. No wonder Green's health care solution is "market driven." No wonder he voted against reimporting safe prescription drugs from Canada, to ban the government from negotiating lower Medicare drug costs, and to give the pharmaceutical companies billions in windfall profits.
-- $305,000 from banks. That includes $162,582 from individuals employed by banks and investment companies and $143,175 from banking industry PACs. Gov. Jim Doyle has cracked down on Wisconsin banks who were using a loophole to avoid paying any state taxes. Green says as governor he would stop those audits and enforcement that has collected $27-million from banks so far.
-- $42,000 from oil and gas companies. They're pikers compared with the bankers and health industry, especially considering that Green backed the Bush energy bill that gave them $8-billion in tax breaks.
In three days last August, Green collected more than $100,000 in campaign cash from Realtors, builders and others in the housing industry -- right at the time he put out a proposal to ease housing regulations.
There's plenty more, but you get the idea. It's not the grand from Lockheed that has people wondering.
Did Green take the positions he did because the special interests gave him all that loot, or did they build up his bankroll because he votes the way they like?
I don't know and I don't care.
What the numbers and the votes tell you is not that Green is on the take. It's that he is on the wrong side. Mark Green stands with the big corporations and the fat cats against the interests of Wisconsin's working families.
It could not be more clear which side he's on. That's what's wrong with Mark Green.
Back to Paddy Mac for a moment: He neglected to mention that those Bucks tickets Green's staffer got (and more than once) came from the office of felon Jack Abramoff, back when Abramoff was buying and selling Congressmen like cattle.
And, despite his pronouncement that Green's money transfer was perfectly legal, both the State Elections Board and a circuit judge have ruled otherwise.
Does Paddy think that people who find their way to his obscure editorial page column don't read the news sections?
This attempt at whitewash insults his readers (who, as far as I can tell, consist entirely of lefty bloggers).
--Graphic stolen from Rock Netroots