Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Korte Gets Tough on Cross

Assistant AG Roy Korte tried to set the tone early in his cross-examination of Jensen, reminding the former speaker who was running the show in the courtroom.

When Jensen expounded on answers to Korte's "yes and no" questions, and Korte brusquely told him that any clarification to his questions could be offered by his attorney on redirect. "You've been here all week. You know how things work," Korte said.

"Just trying to help, sir," Jensen said.

At one point, Korte asked Judge Ebert to warn Jensen against responding beyond the scope of the question. Ebert gave Jensen the admonishment, telling him that if a question is phrased in a way that requires a yes or no answer, "that should be the response given."

Korte showed Jensen a memo from former Assembly Speaker Ben Brancel sent in '97 to legislators in which he warned against doing campaign work using state resources. Jensen said he didn't get the message because he didn't have a state computer or e-mail account at the time.

Jensen was also asked about a 2000 memo from former Assembly Chief Clerk Charlie Sanders that outlined the rules for the use of state resources related to campaign work. Jensen said again that he believes he may not have seen that memo before the trial. "I generally don't get these. I know it says legislators at the top, but I don't think I did - maybe I did," Jensen said.

Korte asked Jensen if his campaigns have ever been aided by state-paid personnel or resources, listing a litany of services -- from employees to copy and fax machines. Jensen said no to each, until Korte said graphic designers. He said he couldn't be sure whether the graphic design work done for his campaigns was done at ARC offices using state equipment or by the designers on their personal equipment.

"(The state) didn't hire anyone separately to work on my campaign, no," Jensen said.

Korte asked Jensen if fundraising was a difficult thing. "I don't think it's that difficult. It's like mowing the lawn, you've got to get it done."

But Jensen denied that his fundraising abilities gave him more sway among his peers.

"I don't know anybody in the Legislature who said, 'I'm going to vote for this because you helped me get elected," Jensen said. He said all he ever was interested in was getting a majority for the GOP.

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