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Rep. Joel Kleefisch Reacts To Political Heat

January 14, 2014

It is always interesting to see what a little heat can do when applied to the backside of a politician who has done something that is just plain wrong.

Such is the case with Republican State Representative  Rep. Joel Kleefisch who authored a highly controversial bill that would reduce child-support payments for wealthy individuals.  Many across the state blasted the idea including this blog.  Last week I gave my impression of the matter.

First of all no one should be aiding fathers who need to be carrying their full weight when it comes to child support payments.  What is even more particularly gross about this story is that the father in question is wealthy and can afford to pay for his spawn.  Shame on his attempt to evade full responsibility.

Second, doing political favors for donors is something that always needs to be viewed from the way it looks to the public as a whole.  While donors often have ideas of worth (that was not the case with this story) it needs to be noted by the elected official that the role of a public servant is not to play to the monied interests but those  he/she really represents when being elected.

Based on the solid disapproval from one end of the state to the other Kleefisch is withdrawing the bill.

What allows for otherwise smart politicians to do such stupid things (as in the case of this proposed legislation where a wealthy campaign donor helped craft self-serving legislation) is simply beyond me.  That it takes a loud statewide “BOO” to bring a legislator back into focus is a good reminder of the power of public participation in the political process.

I conclude with the novel idea that if Wisconsin businessman Michael Eisenga who is at the heart of this bill feels he does not have enough money to pay for his kids he might then reconsider the amount of cash he gives to political figures in the GOP.  Records show Eisenga, president of American Lending Solutions in Columbus, has donated $3,500 to Kleefisch over time and $7,500 to his wife, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch in 2010. He gave another $15,000 to Gov. Scott Walker.

Perhaps the man just needs to get his priorities in order.

  1. Solly permalink
    January 15, 2014 12:01 AM

    the best Repugnant gubment money can buy!!! too bad we can’t refine the smarmy oil emitted by he and his wife (you know, Miss we can’t have cameras in closed meetings where bidnessmen acks for corporate welfare because they’d be intimidated, but state paid staff can video them Rebecca Twitfish). Wisconsin could solve its energy needs. At least in this case and that of Scott Suder and his slimey appointment to the PSC and his slamming thru a $500,000 welfare grant to United Sportsmen Poachers & Violaters, the heat and light from the press, what’s left of it, worked!

  2. January 14, 2014 5:04 PM

    And as all sane and well-informed people know, the Federal poverty level is a fiction; people who make much more than that are nonetheless in poverty by most folks’ standards. Further, $15k per month was presumably arrived at by applying the law regarding child support obligations. If this businessman made less, I’m absolutely certain he would pay less. The idea is to provide the children with the standard of living they would have enjoyed had the divorce not happened, and as such, caps on the amount of income to be considered are out of line. Finally, there is also the fact that this was a bill written by and for one of Kleefisch’s major donors and introduced without revision. Pay to play still doesn’t play well with folks in WI, despite our apparent masochism as evidenced by the election and reelection of lizards such as Kleefisch.

  3. January 14, 2014 1:54 PM

    But the political donations listed here are only 2 months’ worth of his court ordered child support payments of $15,000 a month. $15,000 a month!!! The newspaper did not say how many children that $15,000 a month is supporting. But, consider this to put that in context: If he has 15 children, that would be $1000 per child per month/ $12,000 a year. By comparison, the Federal poverty level for a single adult is $11,700 a year. And Gov. Walker is taking thousands of adults off medicaid if they make over Federal poverty level.

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