Thursday, March 02, 2006

Jensen Staffer Says She Planned Fundraisers in Speaker's Office

Carrie (Hoeper) Richard, the newest prosecution witness, said she was hired in August of 1997 by Jensen. Prior to working for Jensen, Richard was the fundraiser for Linda Cross' failed '97 DPI superintendent bid.

When she was recruited for the job, Jensen staffer Steve Baas told Richard, who was working in Gov. Tommy Thompson's Milwaukee office at the time, that Jensen "eventually wanted to run for governor."

Richard said she worked directly with Jensen, in the speaker's office, on planning fundraisers around the state. She said she and Jensen would discuss locations for the fundraisers and hosts, and she would make calls to set up hosts for the events from the office phone. She'd also contact ARC graphic designer Eric Grant to make invitations for the events.

After six or eight months, Richard said she was named treasurer of Taxpayers for Jensen. She estimated in the first six months of her job she split her time between legislative and campaign work.

Shortly thereafter, Richard said it changed, stating that after about six months fundraising took up "almost all" of her time. Richard said early '98, after Jensen became speaker, was when the shift occurred.

Richard also testified that Jensen communications director Steve Baas wrote fundraising letters in the speaker's office, using state equipment.

Richard said she participated in four to five envelope-stuffing sessions for campaign-related mailings in Jensen's office, and recalled there was a conversation between Jensen and the staff that using them to stuff envelopes was not the best use of their time.

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