Decision 2006-In Depth On The Campaign Trail With Congressman Green

By: Zac Schultz
By: Zac Schultz

As the sun rises in Chippewa Falls, there is frost on the ground and Congressman Mark Green is arriving for his first event of the day.

He's meeting with the editorial board of the Chippewa Herald newspaper. It's the first of 11 scheduled stops for the day, so when the 45 minutes are up it's back on the RV for the quick ride to a retirement center.

Green has already spoken to this group and he is hoping to pick up some free media coverage. The Congressman's schedule is tight today and he's already leaving when a local radio station asks him for a live interview.

It's the job of assistants Rob and Sean to keep Green on schedule, and they're constantly monitoring the time. Even running behind, every politician has time to shake a few more hands.

Back on the RV, the challenger talks about what drives him to work so hard for every vote. "Campaigning is at times fun, but I do it for a reason. There are things I want to do. There are things I desperately want to do for the state."

The RV is a mobile campaign headquarters. It's not exactly a smooth ride but he can still get some business done. "It's not quite as noisy so I can do some phone calls, but it still sways and bounces and all that good stuff."

On the road there are two things that rival campaigning family and the Packers. "People ask me what I do when I'm not campaigning. Well, if it's a Sunday I'm watching the Packers with my kids."

In Eau Claire the Congressman has another editorial board meeting-this time with the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram. "On nearly every challenge facing the state I think the Governor is taking us in the wrong direction," Green says.

Back on the road the RV stops in Menomonee where Green will pump up the party faithful for the final push in the campaign. "You and I know that in this state we don't have a people problem. We do have a leadership problem. And that's what elections are all about."

It's not an exageration to say Green shakes a few hundred hands each day so purelle is a travel requirement. "Gotta be healthy."

Lunch isn't scheduled today, but they scored some subs at the previous event and you gotta eat when you can. "My diet has suffered. I don't get to work out, which I would like to do. I haven't been able to do that for quite some time."

Green describes himself as an avid reader and an insomniac, which may explain the endless coffee and soda throughout the day.

In the next three hours Congressman Green will pack in 5 visits to area businesses to talk about the economy health care and meet with the parents of autistic children.

The audiences aren't big and there's no media but Green still feels they're important stops. "It's reaching out to opinion leaders and letting them know I'm aware of the challenges they're facing."

The evening ends with a speech before a local builders association and a meet and greet with supporters.

At the end of the day the Congressman will fly back to Green Bay, while Sean and Rob drive the RV home.

It's been a busy day, but Mark Green wouldn't have it any other way. "I will be a better Governor as a result of this campaign."

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