Friday, June 02, 2006

'Good Lord'

Wisconsin Public Television's Frederica Freyburg asked Congressman Mark Green if he would pardon his old friend Scott Jensen if he were to be elected governor this fall. Green's answers – yep, he took more than one stab at the question – were as telling as they were awkward.

At first, Green simply muttered, "Good Lord." It went downhill from there.

When he served in the Legislature, Green was part of Jensen's leadership team in the Assembly and he was implicated in the caucus scandal during the former speaker's recent trial. Former caucus graphic artist Eric Grant testified that Mark Graul asked him to do campaign work for Green while Green was in the Legislature. Graul was a Green aide in the Legislature and now is his campaign manager. Among the tasks Grant said he performed for Green on state time was producing Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers football schedules for campaign use.

Grant also testified that Chris Tuttle signed off on state workers' campaign assignments and approved production of campaign materials. Tuttle was the caucus media director in 1998. Green was caucus chairman from 1994 to 1998. Yet Green lamely contended that Tuttle "didn't work for me in those days and he wasn't mentioned in any of the stories" about the caucus scandal. Tuttle went on to become Green's congressional chief of staff. It was announced yesterday that Tuttle is resigning his post in Green's office to take a job with the U.S. State Department.

Also unearthed during the Jensen trial were two memos distributed in the fall of 1998 to legislative offices seeking campaign help for legislative races and Green's first run for Congress. The memos were prepared by a group called Staff Working for an Assembly Republican Majority, or SWARM.

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