Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Court delays Green decision

A nearly split state Supreme Court decided late Tuesday evening to postpone their review of an appeal from U.S. Rep. Mark Green, R-Wis., until after the gubernatorial election.

Green's appeal is in regards to a state Elections Board order that he rid his campaign of nearly $468,000 in political action committee contributions.

In its 4-3 ruling, the court said it generally will not hear direct appeals when there are challenges of facts, noting the two sides disagree on a series of issues, including whether the court will have to decide matters of federal law.


In its Aug. 30 meeting, the SEB voted Green had illegally transferred $467,844 in PAC money from his congressional account to his gubernatorial account as part of a $1.3 million conversion. The donations were from PACs not registered in Wisconsin, which are not allowed to donate to state candidates under Wisconsin law.

To block the order, Green filed suit in Dane County Circuit Court, arguing the SEB went against past precedent and retroactively applied its transferring rule. A Dane County judge ruled in favor of the SEB, and Green decided instead of filing an appeal of that case to file a direct appeal with the state's highest court.

Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle's campaign spokesperson Anson Kaye said the court's decision "leaves no doubt that Congressman Green cannot spend the nearly $468,000 in illegal campaign contributions he transferred from his federal into his state campaign account."

Green's campaign spokesperson Mike Prentiss said the campaign had money set aside to cover costs in case the court acted as it did, adding he hadn't talked with lawyers to see whether there might be any other recourse in response to the court's announcement.

The court gave Green 10 days to file a new complaint and directed the state Department of Justice, whose lawyers are representing the SEB, to respond within 10 days after. The court said it would then submit the documents to a reserve judge to determine what factual issues are in dispute, setting a deadline for Nov. 30.

Green ahead in poll

One week before Election Day, a new poll released Tuesday reports Green leads Doyle in the gubernatorial race for the first time.

According to Zogby Interactive's online poll, Wisconsin voters support Green by half a percentage point over Doyle, 47.2 to 46.7 percent.

Green campaign spokesperson Mike Prentiss said this news couldn't come at a better time because it places the Republican in a position to win.

"It's just the latest sign that momentum is on Green's side," Prentiss said, who called the Zogby Interactive poll "well-respected" and a "useful indicator."

However, Anne Lupardus, spokesperson for the Doyle campaign, is more skeptical. She called Internet polls like Zogby "unreliable" compared to surveys that utilize other collective methods, such as random telephone calling.

Zogby Interactive Polls are online surveys conducted in cooperation with the Wall Street Journal Online. This most recent survey was conducted from Oct. 23-Oct. 27 with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.

Apart from St. Norbert's recent poll that placed Doyle 13 percentage points over Green, most surveys in the past two weeks have indicated lessening gaps between the two candidates, but not nearly as close as the latest from Zogby.

University of Wisconsin political science professor Charles Franklin said he questions Zogby's findings because the poll has reported little change throughout the election compared to other polls.

"I would look for conventional telephone polls to give us a better understanding," he said.

Franklin estimated that the average poll reports Doyle leading by four or five percentage points. Because Republicans traditionally turn out in greater numbers on Election Day, he said the actual numbers may be somewhere in between the Zogby poll and others.

"It's easy to believe this is a two- or three-point race," Franklin added.

Although most experts are not predicting Green Party candidate Nelson Eisman will collect a large number of votes, Eisman believes otherwise.

"I could do as high as 20 percent," he said.

Eisman added he does not expect to attract partisan voters but rather students, environmentalists, peace activists and some portion of undecided voters. But he admitted that name recognition is not in his favor, as "most people don't even know there are three candidates in this race."

According to Franklin, the gubernatorial election is shaping up to be a tight race, but it is hard to gauge what role Eisman will play in the outcome because most polling has not reported his popularity across the state.

In 2002, Doyle was able to defeat Republican incumbent Gov. Scott McCallum for the governorship with 45 percent of the state's votes in part because Libertarian Ed Thompson collected 10 percent of the vote.

"We've seen a lot of polls, and we're going to see a lot of polls this last week," Lupardus said. "And we feel good about where we are."

Both Green and Doyle's campaigns agreed the Zogby Interactive poll will not change their campaign strategies in the coming days, but they said it helps indicate how each candidate is doing.

"You don't win a week before the election," Prentiss said. "You win in the booths."

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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