Meyer Interested in Political, Campaign Experience and Attitudes
In a political hotbed like Madison, it would be difficult to get a jury pool that's not aware of government and politics.
Not only have at least a half dozen current or former government employees been identified among the first 27 potential jurors singled out from the pool, but several have mentioned under questioning from Jensen attorney Stephen Meyer that they are politically active.
One man said he worked on U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold's campaign.
"Do you think campaigning is an important part of the process?" Meyer asked.
"I feel it's really the only time people speak their minds on the issues," replied the potential juror.
The potential juror later said bluntly, "I really have very little respect towards Republicans." The man said, however, that he knew very little about the case. He was the first from the pool to be excused.
Another woman said she helped out with the campaign of former state Rep. and PSC chairwoman Mary Lou Munts. "Who's going to vote for you if they don't know you're out there?" replied the woman when Meyer asked about her attitude toward campaigns.
Asked whether she thought being on the jury would allow her to accomplish change in the political system, the juror answered, "Yes."
One juror said he believed abuse of power was rampant in Madison. "I think there's corruption in government from the state to the highest levels," he said. "It doesn't get any better." The juror mentioned the Chvala conviction specifically, but said he didn't believe the Chvala and Jensen cases were connected. He also remains in the pool.
Still another juror said he favors public financing for campaigns. "To obtain higher office, large sums of money are needed and those contributions often come with strings attached," said the man. "This certainly isn't the first and only time indiscretion was possibly used."
All these jurors remain in the pool, at least for now.
Several jurors also said they have written issue letters to lawmakers.