January 18, 2006
Rep. Mark Green
700 East Walnut Street
Green Bay, WI 54301
Not so long ago, I asked you to return the campaign money you received from fallen House Majority leader Tom DeLay. Since my request, DeLay has gotten deeper into trouble and numerous other peopel with connections to his funding have returned the money. DeLay was indicted 128 days ago (that’s over 4 months) and you have not returned the money, and have made up excuses as to why. I am not saying you received the money illegally or did anyone any favors in exchange for it, but the funding is tainted and does make you appear tainted by comparison – it will haunt you in your bid for governor.
And now, overshadowing the DeLay scandal is the case of Jack Abramoff. And you are again connected to the money of this man. Unlike Abramoff’s friends DeLay and Bob Ney, you have been avoding the pressure. Even President Bush is getting more flak than you (such as being demanded by Harry Reid to explain certain White House contacts Abramoff had). But this scandal is growing, and I suggest the sooner you come clean on anything you’re hiding and the sooner you dump the money from Abramoff, the sooner you can move on to a positive race for governor.
Your chief of staff, Mark Graul, took tickets from Abramoff to see the WWF on October 2, 2000 in Abramoff’s skybox at the MCI Center. He received two tickets, requested by someone named “Calvert” (a scan of the records shows that the event was also attended by Chad Calvert, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management, in the United States Department of the Interior – and his wife). This also makes me question the link between yourself, Graul and Chad Calvert, but since Calvert’s name is mostly unfamiliar to me, I would have to reserve that homework for someone else.
This is not to say the Calverts aren’t tainted. Jennifer Calvert (Chad’s wife) was a lobbyist for Abramoff and specialized in Indian affairs. Her husband Chad was at one time “coordinating department legislative policy” for “the assistant secretary for Indian affairs” for three years according to the press release fro mthe Department of the Interior when he received his current job. I definately see the connection between the Calverts and Abramoff (especially with the various Indian tribe scandals), but the connection to yourself and Graul – if any – is still a mystery. So really, this is merely a side point.
Graul has also received tickets for basketball games, and various concerts. Who knew Graul was a fan of Limp Biskit, Godsmack and DMX? On October 7, 2005, Graul denied all this: “I never went to a WWF event in D.C., don’t recall ever being asked to go to the event, and I’ve never met Jack Abramoff in my life. He could come up and punch me in the face and I wouldn’t know. I don’t know why I’m on that list.” But how can Graul not know Abramoff when Abramoff has repeatedly referred to him in e-mails? Joe Wineke, the Wisconsin Democratic Chairman, says, “The number of favors given to Green’s congressional office raises the question of why Green and his staff were such favorites of Jack Abramoff.” I have told you before and I will repeat it again: I really dislike Wineke on both a personal and professional level, but he is asking legitimate questions that both you and Graul are avoiding.
Even if you are not directly involved, is it acceptable to have a chief of staff accepting free tickets? I don’t know if ethics rules extend to staff members, but I do feel an employee’s record reflects on the employer. Wouldn’t you agree?
Representative Green, please return the money you received from DeLay, and please answer some questions about your or Graul’s connections with the Calverts and Abramoff. If this can be cleared up, please clear it up – this cancer is spreading and you may not be far behind.
Gavin C. Schmitt
209 E. 17th St.
Kaukauna, WI 54130