Monday, October 10, 2005

Do we need photo ID for lobbyist freebies?

UPDATE: Despite denials, Green staffer repeatedly took freebies from lobbyist.

Mark Graul, Rep. Mark Green's chief of staff turned campaign manager, was on a freebie list for wrestling tickets in indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff's skybox in DC, I reported last week, based on a post on Talking Points Memo.

Graul tells WisPolitics he didn't attend the WWF match in question, and adds: "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."

I never thought Abramoff, who was busy making 50-75 million dollars from Native American tribes by pretending to lobby for them on gambling issues, was hanging out with his good buddy Mark Graul.

Does he know Susan Ralston, Abramoff's assistant, who put his name on the list? How about Chad and Jennifer Calvert, who are noted as requesting the tickets for Graul? Would he perchance know them if one of them punched him in the face?

If he didn't go to that match, did he get tickets for someone else, like another Green staffer?

Or has someone stolen Graul's identity? Maybe there should be a requirement for photo IDs when accepting freebies from lobbyists, just to make sure the right name gets on the list.

Stay tuned. This story isn't over.


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