Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Spice Boys are not buying it, neither am I

The Democratic Party in Wisconsin is once again attacking Congressman Mark Green for missing votes in the House.

Unfortunately for the Democrats, one of their own, Congresswoman Gwen Moore also missed as many votes as Mark Green.

Here is the story-

Everybody knows that you shouldn't throw stones if you live in a glass house.

Everybody, that is, but the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

This week, the party issued yet another press release blasting GOP gubernatorial candidate Mark Green for missing a few congressional votes. "Part-Time Congressman Mark Green Again Misses Key Votes in Congress While Campaigning in Wisconsin" screamed the latest in seven attacks on Green over this issue. The release notes that Green has been AWOL for 37 votes during the current session, which started in January 2005.

"Wisconsin families don't have the luxury of picking and choosing when they go in to work, but apparently Mark Green thinks he can skip out on his job whenever it suits him best," an indignant Democratic Party Chairman Joe Wineke said in a July 18 release on the same subject.

Not a bad shot, but you've just gotta wonder how self-righteous the Dems would have been had they taken a minute or two to check the attendance records of their own congressmen.

Just click on the Washington Post's Web site, and you'll find a voting scorecard ( showing that Green has plenty of Democratic company.

U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, a freshman from Milwaukee, also missed 37 votes, tying Green for the most by a Wisconsin congressman. The pair were followed by La Crosse Democrat Ron Kind, who skipped 35 votes. Nipping at Kind's heels was Democrat DaveObey, from Eau Claire, who wasn't around when his congressional colleagues cast 34 votes.

Overall, no one in Wisconsin's delegation is near the head of the pack for being MIA. By comparison, a number of members of the House and Senate have missed more than 100 votes during this session.

Green's campaign manager Mark Graul brushed off the repeated attacks on his boss, arguing Green has missed only 3.4% of the votes - better than his colleagues who are running for governor. Besides, he noted, the Democrats couldn't claim bragging rights on this one.

"I'm assuming," Graul said, "(the state Democratic Party) will be putting out a press release about Gwen Moore and Ron Kind's part-time status."

Wineke defended his team's repeated sniping. Green opened up the door, he said, when the Green Bay representative made the following holier-than-thou statement to The Hill, a Capitol newsletter, last year when asked in a puff piece about things he can't tolerate:

"People who don't work flat out at this job. It is an extraordinary privilege to work here every day. I have no tolerance for that."

No matter what we asked, Wineke responded by reading this quote to us, something he did at least a half-dozen times.

For instance, isn't it hypocritical for the party to attack Green when one of its own was just as delinquent?

"Absolutely not," Wineke said, followed by the quote.

When we called Graul on Wednesday, he was already familiar with the voting records of everyone in the delegation. So why did he sit back while the Democrats were peppering his guy almost weekly on this issue?

Graul answered dismissively:

"If a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, did it make a sound?"

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