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Forgive - but don’t forget - Greene’s, Waldholtz’s acts

SHARE Forgive - but don’t forget - Greene’s, Waldholtz’s acts

Joe Waldholtz, ex-husband of former Rep. Enid Greene, was back in the news this week.

He gave interviews to The Hill newspaper, which covers Congress in Washington, D.C., and the Salt Lake Tribune from his Pennsylvania federal prison dorm. Waldholtz has several times refused Deseret News interviews, apparently blaming the newspaper for some of the troubles in his life.And Greene continues her efforts at public rehabilitation back in Utah, as well.

She was chair of the Salt Lake County Republican Convention in May, holding forth for hours on end and adeptly moving the cantankerous delegates through a series of difficult - and at times petty - floor debates.

I haven't written much about Waldholtz and Greene over the past several years because I believe they are best left alone.

Some may see the Joe and Enid affair as classic tragedy, human flaws finally pulling down two bright, promising people. I see it as political greed carried to the extreme - a case of anything to obtain political power because we are going to use that power for righteous ends.

Politics is an interesting spectator sport. Contradictions abound.

On the national scene we see Democrats and their traditional support groups - like the women's movement - making all kinds of excuses for the alleged personal sexual behavior of President Clinton.

The National Organization for Women, for example, won't support Paula Jones' lawsuits against the president. But you have to believe if it was a Republican president in the same situation and a college-educated, articulate feminist making sexual harassment charges, NOW would be backing her big-time.

In Utah, if we haven't already seen it, we probably will see Republicans making all kinds of excuses for the way Greene acted in 1994, 1995 and 1996. Forgive and forget. Don't blame the woman for what hubby did.

I go back to the lead I wrote on the deadline story of Greene's truly amazing five-hour press conference on Dec. 11, 1995, in which she made her defense clear: Joe did it. Joe did it all.

History has a strange way of rewriting itself, especially if the local chroniclers of the day - journalists and biography writers - allow it to happen or even do it themselves.

I read all the time now about how Waldholtz embezzled $4 million from Greene's father and put much of it, without Greene's knowledge, into her 1994 2nd District race.

The fact is, Greene knew, even made the original suggestion and approved, of $1 million of dad's money going directly into the campaign. It was a "trade of assets" between her father and Joe's (now known to be fictitious) property in Pennsylvania, she said.

While Greene was never indicted, the Federal Elections Commission is reportedly still investigating whether that "trade" and other actions by her campaign committee were legal.

Who knows if the FEC will ever issue a ruling? But by anyone's objective look at FEC rules, such "trades of assets" are wrong. At the very least, it's a loan to the committee and should be reported as such and never was. Greene said she didn't report it as a loan on FEC documents because it would "confuse" voters, the transaction was so complicated.

But the revisionists' thinking is to blame Joe for everything. Greene did nothing wrong, except trust the man she loved who wronged her.

And no doubt over the years we will see more news stories about how Waldholtz has lost 100 pounds, or 200 pounds, or 300 pounds and is free of drugs and wants to get a masters degree and get back in the work force (a tip to future Waldholtz employers: Watch the till) and put his life back together.

And we'll no doubt see Greene on the Utah political scene at some point, probably doing more than telling county delegates they're out of order.

But if you're tempted to give either of these people your support again, get on a computer and get online to the Deseret News (www.desnews.com), get into the archives and call up some of the original Enid and Joe stories from those turbulent years.

Read what really happened back then, not what people are saying today or tomorrow. And then think again.

It's admirable to forgive. We'd be wise not to forget.