Saturday, February 25, 2006

Culture of Corruption: Former GOP employee testifies about political work on state time

MADISON, Wis. - State employees who worked for Assembly Republicans served as a central command for GOP candidates statewide, answering fundraising questions, developing campaign messages and churning out candidate flyers, yard signs and logos, two former employees testified Friday at the misconduct trial of state Rep. Scott Jensen.

Prosecutors in the trial of Jensen and former GOP aide Sherry Schultz - the last of six people charged in an investigation into corruption at the state Capitol - contend the activities violated the law against electioneering on state time. The defense argues that the law does not specifically outlaw the campaign work.

Ray Carey, a former director of the taxpayer-funded Assembly Republican Caucus, testified he worked closely with Jensen, then the Assembly speaker, in the late 1990s to develop campaign strategies, monitor candidates' progress and track their fundraising.

Carey, who doubled as executive director of the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee, a private committee established to raise funds for GOP candidates, said the goal of both jobs was to ensure Republicans kept control of the Assembly.

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