Candidate Profile from Congressional QuarterlyMark Green (R) of Green Bay
Green says one of his formative experiences was a teaching stint in an East Kenyan village, which, he said, "sensitized me to the problems of the human condition."
As a result, he calls himself a "bleeding heart conservative," although social programs are not his primary concern. Instead, the 37-year old former member of the Wisconsin Assembly ÷ where he served as leader of the GOP caucus ÷ has chosen taxes as his top issue.
Green does not have a specific proposal for the tax code other than his idea to eliminate it at a certain date in the future as a way of sparking a nationwide discussion. "My goal is to make sure we are debating tax reform in the next session," he said.
He thinks the government will move toward a flatter system and he advocates ending the so-called marriage penalty and reducing the capital gains tax. Wisconsin in recent years had one of the highest tax levels in the nation, he says, and he takes credit for helping to reduce that burden.
A former chairman of the state legislature's Judiciary Committee, Green authored a tort reform law as well as a victims' bill of rights.
He wants to delve into such subjects this year, too, saying, "I like taking on complex issues," and attempting to build coalitions.
A member who in many ways will fit into the conservative wing of the Republican Party, he says he differs from some right-leaning legislators, who merely throw bombs from the sidelines. Says Green: "The greatest challenge for a conservative is governing."