Doyle attorney caught red-handed lobbying Election Board
The Journal Sentinel’s work on the Doyle/Green squabble about Mark Green’s federal campaign money is Pulitzer quality reporting.
Steven Walters, a reporter with the Journal Sentinel, reported yesterday that Attorney Michael Maistelman, paid more than $21,000 by the Doyle campaign since January, 2004, heavily lobbied the Elections Board before their monumental decision forcing Green to return almost $500,000 in campaign monies.
The paper based their article on “e-mails and other documents obtained under the open records law.” The e-mails showed extensive conversation and arm-twisting between Maistelman and three members of the Elections Board.
Mark Graul, Green’s campaign manager, said the Green campaign did not interfere with the Elections Board deliberations. The Journal Sentinel confirms that no e-mail correspondence occurred between the Green campaign and Elections Board members.
Glance through the e-mails yourself. They show complicated legal machinations and a seamy underside to the Elections Board process, a “coziness,” as today’s Journal Sentinel editorial puts it.
Note, for example, the bottom of an 8/29 e-memo (page 8 of the .pdf) that states “I have also been told that the Gov’s Campaign and the Dem party and others will give you cover on this in the media…. Even if this ends up in Court it is a PR victory for us since it makes Green spend money and have to defend the use of his Washington DC dirty money.”
Meanwhile, the Green campaign went to court yesterday to argue against the punishing Elections Board ruling. The Board last week ordered Green to give up $467,844 of federal campaign contributions he transferred to his state campaign fund. Green’s lawyer yesterday cited three similar instances since 1977, including allowing former U.S. Congressman (and now Milwaukee mayor) Tom Barrett’s transfer to his Milwaukee mayoral fund in 2001. A ruling is expected no later than Monday, to allow time for certain appeals.
At the same time as pointing out the ethical lapses of the Doyle campaign, today’s Journal Sentinel editorial reminds us that if Mike Ellis’ ethics reform legislation, SB1, passed by the Senate with a 28-5 vote, had been allowed a vote in the Republican-controlled Assembly, the lopsided, anti-Green ruling by the Elections Board most probably wouldn’t have occurred. What goes around comes around.
Jo Egelhoff, FoxPolitics.net