Monday, February 27, 2006

Former Caucus Director Details Involvement in Candidate Recruitment

As former caucus director Ray Carey testified on Friday, Kratochwill said part of the ARC director job was to act as director of the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee.

Kratochwill said beginning in 2000, he was very involved in candidate recruitment for the fall election. Some weeks he would call as many as a dozen candidates. He said he never avoided using state resources for the recruitment, and Jensen never advised him not to.

He also testified that Jensen would get involved in the process when a candidate was close, and would often make calls to the potential candidates from his Capitol office. Asked if Jensen ever attempted to make these calls over the lunch hour, Kratochwill said no.

Kratochwill said in 1996 he worked on a La Crosse Assembly campaign, and then was switched to Jeff Stone's campaign in Milwaukee because it was believed Stone had a good shot at knocking off the incumbent.

Kratochwill said he discussed the move to the Stone campaign in the ARC office with Jensen and then-RPW director RJ Johnson. "I was senior staff with a lot of experience, and it was a better fit for me to go there," he said.

Blanchard introduced a memo Kratochwill wrote to Jensen and Carey on Oct. 9, 1996 that summarized Stone campaign strategy. He testified that at no time did Jensen suggest to him he shouldn't use state time or resources to do the campaign work.

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