Thursday, March 09, 2006

Meyer: Jensen Tried to Reform Assembly

A passionate Meyer opened by reflecting on the testimony of David Prosser, Marlin Schneider and Mac Davis, who all testified to Jensen's character.

"They all took the stand, put their reputation on the line both here and in the public, to tell about the Scott Jensen they know - a man of the utmost integrity - his word is good."

Meyer said Jensen was trying to reform the Assembly. "He pushed that institution kicking and screaming to reform itself," he said.

Meyer called Richard's testimony "preposterous," particularly her claim that Jensen made solicitations to lobbyists from his office phone. Jensen rented space in the RPW to make fundraising calls, Meyer said, to avoid breaking "the age-old rule in the Capitol - you do not solicit money from your office."

He said Blanchard's recounting of gains in Jensen's campaign account didn't point out that Richard left in '99. "These numbers aren't due to Carrie Hoeper Richard. She wasn't a fundraiser. You know staff didn't make those calls. It has to be a legislator," Meyer said.

Meyers then tried to explain why Blanchard brought up the numbers. "He wanted to make it feel like money is dirty," he said mockingly. "That's what this case is about."

Meyer said off-state payroll amounts increased while Jensen was speaker, and said Jensen's reform agenda preceded the media reports the prosecution has claimed spurred the elimination of the caucuses. Jensen, Meyer said, told Scocos to do a top-to-bottom review of the Assembly operations in January 2001 -- the first articles appeared that May.

"Now the guy who tried to fix the system is standing there with a target on his back because he didn't fix it fast enough," Meyer said.

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