Jensen trial: Former Jensen employee denies boss' involvement That is The Capital Times headline. MIke Miller reports:
Former Jensen public relations director Steven
Baas insisted today that his boss didn't know about the work...
Baas said Jensen was a hands-off manager who hired bright people and let them do their work, including himself...
..In his testimony today Baas admitted to using the Assembly Republican Caucus staff to prepare some campaign matters for Jensen, and admitted he helped prepare a Speaker's Club newsletter for Jensen and letters seeking campaign donations. On direct examination by Meyer, Baas said Jensen was largely unaware of what the staff did along those lines. "I did it of my own volition," he said of some of his work which could be labeled as campaign work...
Jensen is either the biggest fool to ever hold office or this is an out and out lie. I ran for office an even dozen times; I was involved in many more campaigns. The candidate, the office holder, the politician who has to face the voters, knows that the work is being done. Jensen had to know:
- The wording of every single political document, and if he didn't, he had to know, at least, the subject matter, the purpose, the intended audience, the cost of distribution, and the scheduled release date; or
- He at least had to be briefed that a piece was prepared on a speicifc subject and the nature of its distribution; or
- He at least had to know that someone reporting to him was directing all of those things; or
- He is the most incompetent legislator to ever serve in the Wisconsin Assembly and that puts him at the end of a very long line.
His defense rests on his ignorance and incompetence; that he knew nothing of the state employees under his control doing political work on state time. Anyone who has ever dealt with Scott Jensen, from his early days running Governor Tommy Thompson's office, to his newly-elected hotshot Assembly days, to his Speakership, when he ran every aspect of Assembly business, knows there was nothing Scooter didn't touch that he didn't control 24/7. And anyone who has ever dealt with Steve Baas in his years as a Republican legislative mouthpiece knows that every statement out of his mouth was twisted for the moment. One for the deposition and one for his friend Scott.
Baas, who called himself a "dear friend," of Jensen's, was the leadoff witness as the defense began presenting its case. ...
Baas said Jensen was a hands-off manager who hired bright people and let them do their work, including himself. He also testified that it was difficult to distinguish between legislative work and campaign work, calling it a gray area...
...On direct examination by Meyer, Baas said Jensen was largely unaware of what the staff did along those lines. "I did it of my own volition," he said of some of his work which could be labeled as campaign work.
But in his cross examination of Baas, Assistant Attorney General Roy Korte produced a transcript of a secret John Doe session in February of 2002 in which Baas testified and agreed under questioning that he had been present in meetings with Jensen in which the then-Speaker asked questions about various Republican campaigns and how much money candidates had available.
"I don't recall that," Baas said today of the meetings, but upon seeing the transcript of his John Doe testimony he added, "I don't question the veracity of the transcript."
Similarly, Korte used a John Doe transcript to show Baas testified about preparing fundraising letters for Jensen on state time, using a state computer. "I will not challenge the veracity of the transcript," he repeated. "They accurately reflect my recollection at that time." (emphasis added)
Psssstt. Steve: This isn't working. I think most people can see you are telling two stories. You can't tell the truth in a deposition and then change your story at the request of a friend, even if he was Assembly Speaker.
Think Steve, think.
Even the Nixon henchmen, caught between the truth and lies, knew they either had to keep their mouths shut (and go to jail) or they would have to testify against the boss. Sorry Steve, if G. Gordon Liddy couldn't do it, I doubt you can pull it off.