A set of documents unearthed Saturday by the Wisconsin State Journal shows [Republican donor Michael Eisenga] and his lawyer, William Smiley, supplying detailed instructions to Republican state Rep. Joel Kleefisch on how to word legislation capping child support payments from the wealthy. Kleefisch began work on the legislation last fall, weeks after an appeals court rejected Eisenga's attempts to lower his child support payments. [...]This would be Wisconsin, a state that Scott Walker and other Republicans have already turned into an exclusive playground for The People Who Give Them Money. Michael Eisenga is a well-to-do Wisconsin businessman; Michael Eisenga had previously contributed $10,000 to Kleefisch and his wife (Rebecca Kleefisch, the current lieutenant governor); Michael Eisenga got to have his lawyer advise Kleefisch on how precisely to craft a bill that would get Michael Eisenga out of having to pay $216,000 a year in child support. (When a poor man does not take care of his own children it is evidence of a genetic malevolence on the part of poor people, mind you, but when a man worth $30 million balks at it it is evidence that some law, somewhere, needs to get rewritten by an eager political whore so that the rich man gets let off the hook. You're worth $30 million, pal, and you couldn't suck this one up? Whiny little asshole, ain't ya?)
The drafting documents, available on the Wisconsin legislature's website, leave little doubt that the bill was written to Eisenga's specifications.
Rep. Kleefisch, for his part, wants you to know that he is not in fact a two-bit statehouse whore because while the bill was crafted according to Eisenga's specifications, Eisenga wanted the bill to be retroactive to his own case, and Kleefisch bravely declined—except Kleefisch appears to be lying about that part, given that the bill indeed "requires" judges to lower current payments that would be above the newly set cap. It seems that the good man does not know what is in his own bill; he probably should have read it.
It's times like this when we should all take a moment to reflect on the the wisdom of one Anthony Kennedy, Supreme Court Justice.
The appearance of influence or access, furthermore, will not cause the electorate to lose faith in this democracy.That right there should be the new Wisconsin Republicans' state motto. It should be engraved and put over the statehouse door—along with a 20 dollar bill, if you actually want to get their attention. Make sure it's up there good and tight, though, or one of the legislators might make off with it.