A controversial bill that would allow high-income parents to avoid paying tens of thousands of dollars a year in child support was written with the help of a wealthy donor to the bill’s author, Rep. Joel Kleefisch.

The Oconomowoc Republican acknowledged Friday that Michael Eisenga, a multimillionaire business owner, and his attorney helped write the bill, which could pave the way for Eisenga to force the court to reopen his divorce settlement.

The lawmaker insisted in an interview that the measure, Assembly Bill 540, would not affect Eisenga’s case.

“I’m certain the bill would not affect Mr. Eisenga in any way because it’s not retroactive,” Kleefisch said. “He wanted it retroactive. It’s not retroactive.”

However, the bill would require judges to lower child-support payments if they are 10 percent or more above the amount that would have been ordered using the new requirement. That requirement caps incomes subject to child-support payments at $150,000 a year.

Kleefisch’s bill also would prohibit judges from taking into account a parent’s assets in determining the level of child support.

Court documents show Eisenga, a Columbus developer, owner of American Lending Solutions and the former mayor of Columbus, was ordered to pay a minimum of $15,000 a month for his three children based on his 2010 income of $1.2 million and assets of $30 million.

The bill drafting records, which include emails, letters and handwritten notes, show Eisenga and his attorney, William Smiley of Portage, made numerous suggestions for changes to the bill aimed at helping Eisenga lower his child-support payments.

An email sent to Eisenga on Friday was not returned. Smiley, reached by telephone, declined to answer questions about his role in drafting the legislation.

The drafting documents, available on the Legislature’s website, show Eisenga and Smiley worked closely with Kleefisch and his staff since early 2012 to craft the legislation, which will have a hearing before the Assembly Family Law Committee on Wednesday.

Emails between Eisenga, Smiley, Kleefisch and Kleefisch’s aides show the divorced father sought specific language to help his case.

Among the documents is a Sept. 5, 2013, letter in which Smiley tells Eisenga to request specific modifications to “the portion (of the bill) that would require the court to modify your child support order based solely on the passage of this bill.”

In an email that same day to Kleefisch, Kleefisch aide Ashlee Moore and Jeff Fitzgerald, the former Assembly speaker and now a lobbyist, Eisenga writes, “Please have the drafter make these SPECIFIC changes to the bill when she combines them.”

The next day, Sept. 6, Moore wrote Pam Kahler, the Legislative Reference Bureau staffer drafting the bill, requesting the changes.

The documents show that Moore and Kahler went back and forth on how to ensure that Eisenga’s concerns were addressed without causing all former child-support orders to be reopened.

In a Sept. 19 email, Kahler warned Moore that making the changes suggested by Eisenga and his lawyer “will potentially open the flood gates because the courts will be required to revise any child support order that was granted before the effective date, since the amount will not have been determined using the new method.”

In a followup email the same day, Kahler told Moore, “It’s hard to fashion a general principle that will apply to only one situation.”

The documents show that the two finally agreed on the 10 percent figure in the bill, requiring only child-support payments that exceed the proposed standards by 10 percent to be recalculated.

Court records show Eisenga has sought unsuccessfully several times to lower his child-support payments. His latest appeal was rejected by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals on Oct. 3. Kleefisch introduced the bill two months later, on Dec. 6.

Kleefisch said he stands by the bill and denies that its primary goal is to benefit Eisenga.

“I do a gamut of legislation with the help and assistance of many, many constituents,” Kleefisch said, “and whether they give a contribution or not has not made a difference.”

The proposal has drawn vigorous opposition, including a unanimous thumbs down from the 1,300-member Family Law Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin.

Two attorneys who represent Eisenga’s former wife, Richard Podell of Milwaukee and Michael Collins of Madison, noted Eisenga’s extensive campaign contributions to Kleefisch and other Republican politicians.

Eisenga, along with his former wife, gave at least $41,750 to Republican politicians since 2005, according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign database.

Eisenga donated the maximum amount allowed under law six times to Kleefisch, the database shows, for a total of $3,500. He also gave $7,500 to Kleefisch’s wife, Rebecca, who is the lieutenant governor, and $15,000 to Gov. Scott Walker.

“He (Eisenga) is using his power, influence and wealth to create what would be a horrible law for the people of Wisconsin,” Collins said.

Said Podell: “This is politics at its worst.”

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(255) comments

W54827
W54827

"The proposal has drawn vigorous opposition, including a unanimous thumbs down from the 1,300-member Family Law Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin."

Unanimous? I know for a fact that statement is not true.

This would not be the first statute that had some origin to the self interest of a person who was motivated enough to pursue legislative action.

Neither is Mr. Eisenga the only person in the state who contributes to political causes and individual politicians. While Mr. Eisenga's business success may allow him to be a more generous than typical contributor, my guess is that others involved on this issue make contributions of like kind (if not in like amount and if not to the same individual politicians).

So let's get to the merits of the law:

As far as the presumption of equal parenting time for each parent, why would that not be the law? Both parents enter divorce court on equal footing. If there are no clear/convincing facts to overcome the presumption, then both parents exit divorce court on equal footing. That is perfect for the children of the divorcing household. And it is more sound and efficient than the current approach -- which allows the divorce lawyers to stage a "custody battle" that as a practical matter benefits no one other than the divorce lawyers. No one in the divorce industry will be able to tell anyone that children benefit from a custody battle.

Divorce is not the time, divorce court is not the place, and divorce lawyers are not the people to be doing family-child social work.

All sorts of collateral benefits flow from divorce laws that are fair and equal as written. No one should feel an "advantage" in divorce court -- that creates dysfunction. The word "divorce" should be a noun meaning the end of a marriage and not a verb meaning the infliction of harm on children and former spouses.

As far as the proposed child support legislation, the threshold issue is that there is no accountability for the recipient of child support payments. The recipient of child support payments has no legal obligation to the children who are supposed to be the beneficiaries. That gaping hole in the child support system should be mended. The law should include accountability to the children. Otherwise it is not accurate to call the payments "child support".

What results from the lack of accountability in combination with the formulaic approach to child support payment obligations is mischief -- and attendant harm.

Under the present child support system, at some level of income (as addressed in the proposed legislation), children become a means of financial support for the recipient.

Situations may arise where both divorced parents share equal or near equal parenting time of the children and both divorced parents are healthy and employable -- but only one equal-time parent (who is under the obligation to pay "child support") is providing sole financial support for the children. The other equal-time parent (who receives "child support") can refuse to get a full-time job and live on payments that are intended for the children. In that situation, one equal-time parent could be paying over 100 percent of the actual support expenses of the children in both households.

In today's world where we are all advocates of equality, that is not a result that the law should allow.

Beyond the needs of the children, beyond the amounts actually/reasonably used for support of the children, no divorced spouse should have any entitlement to receipt of "child support".

Please share any merit-based objection you may have to the proposed legislation. In the hundreds of notes there does not seem to be much attention to the merits.

HockeyTeam
HockeyTeam

Equal parenting post divorce is a nice IDEA but completely impractical in many if not all circumstances. What would that look like? A week at mom's house then a week at dad's? Three days at one place four at the other? What if the parents reside in different school districts? Cities? States? Primary custody to one parent ensures stability for the child, which as the most vulnerable of the parties should be the primary concern.

Child support payments are, and should be awarded to the primary guardian (parent). Of course they shouldn't go to the child. This is both a practical matter and another stability issue. A child cannot have utilities, a home, health insurance, a car, car insurance etc... in it's name thus it's necessary to give the money to the caretaker for these items. The purpose of the payments is to support the child, not just provide the basic necessities. There needs to be a stable home environment which includes the other parent. So, yes payments are going to support an actual 'home environment' for the child.

The 'two employable parent' idea is also somewhat concerning. If one parent decides to leave the workforce for a lengthy amount of time to raise the kids, they will lose the skills necessary to regain employment. Further it may be that the court awarded primary custody to one parent because of the others involved work schedule. Having now two parents that cannot provide the proper time for the kids again is a no win for the kids.

Should payments be capped at some arbitrary value? The only purpose I can see for that is resentment for the former spouse. Which is understandable, of course. But you will have to show a significant trend of people who have kids solely to collect child support. Bottom line is the VAST Majority of people intend to have a partner in raising the kids. Sometimes it doesn't work out. However the missed help that occurs is worth something. Surely (like in the article) if the paying spouse wouldn't have gotten divorced he would have spent AT LEAST 15% of his time with his kids, 15% of his time is worth 15% of his paycheck.

array1
array1

Equal parenting is impractical in most cases?? Perhaps the most important thing for any child of divorce is equal access to both mom and dad.You are definitely not a parent.

willhogoboom
willhogoboom

Let me be the first to predict that this bill and it's author Rep. Joel Kleefisch will go nowhere.

taxpayerpublic worker
taxpayerpublic worker

http://www.bbb.org/wisconsin/business-reviews/mortgage-bankers/american-lending-solutions-llc-in-columbus-wi-8002394/

Mr.Eisenga and his company

graefental
graefental

Wow. Class act. Thanks for the info.

array1
array1

Certainly the number of Wisconsin parents that would file a lawuit for primary placement is far less than the number that currently must do so for equal time with their child. This must be why attorneys and those in family practie are against this becoming law.

jimatmadison
jimatmadison

I just realized this could be a money-saving deal.

Let the lobbyists write the bills (they do anyway), and just gather the Tea Partiers once a month to collect their donations and sign off on them.

Win-win. We only pay them for one or two days a month (let the lobbyists pay the rest), and we would finally have real TRANSPARENCY on how the Tea Party operates.

jimatmadison
jimatmadison

Sadly, this is the new normal for Tea Party Wisconsin.

Big contributors who pay the Tea Partiers can have anything they want.

graefental
graefental

Well, I guess this proves it. Everything in Wisconsin is officially for sale if you've got the bucks. Must be what they meant by "Open For Business".

idunoe
idunoe

Let me see if I have this right. This guy who is a supporter of the party of supposed Family Values, would rather support his politicians than his family? What a hoot.

TWalker35
TWalker35

“I do a gamut of legislation with the help and assistance of many, many constituents,” Kleefisch said.

I'm pretty sure, Joe, that the average Joe wouldn't have one iota of a chance to draft legislation. This stinks so bad - it's not surprising that Kleefisch is behind this. "Eisenga already has had to pay restitution for violating the state's No Call List - and there are several instances of him having shady dealings all over the city of Columbus.

Josam
Josam

The guy is also a tax dodger. http://addins.wkow.com/blogs/scoop/2012/05/former-walker-aide-tied-to-no-call-list-violator

FARTRADE1
FARTRADE1

This is something beyond the normal wing nut radical right bullcrap. It is so obvious, so immoral and the tea baggers are still dumb enough to support it simply because people with a heart and brains are against it. Jealous much?

Akklia
Akklia

Wow! I never thought I'd see it. A RICH dead-beat dad.
What a sperm donor, hey? Helping to write laws to get him out of supporting his very own children.

W54827
W54827


It is equally fair to say that the Wisconsin lottery should be run by the Wisconsin Lottery and not by divorce lawyers in divorce court.

Why should children be used as a means for a divorcing spouse to profit from a marriage to a wealthy person?

The point of the law -- and it is a very good point -- is that at some level of income the amount of formula-calculated "child support" payments is well beyond the financial needs of the children and the amounts actually used for the support of the children.

Would you consider the recipient of "child support" payments that are beyond what is actually spent by the recipient for support of the children who then uses the payment surplus for personal/living expenses rather than getting a job a "deadbeat"?

bro
bro

There is something definitely wrong with the posters on here defending Kleefisch. This situation explains in a nutshell what is wrong with Wisconsin. If the Washington Bridge closing took place here, we would see people coming out of the woodwork defending the closing. They would explain to us how necessary it was to close the lanes, how perfectly legal it is, and how it was the mayor's fault because he should have been ready to play hardball. Anyone defending Kleefisch is an immoral pawn.

joe
joe

I see something wrong with a lot of things in politics and maybe something stinks here, maybe it is a smear campaign.

I think the bill does have merit for all fathers who are told by the govt they can only see their children every other weekend. That is what lawmakers have to determine aside from the gossip.

You do know, however, that you can see your representative anytime and they will be glad to see you. They are your representative and they will help you with problems if they can. That is what they are there for. And you don't have to pay them or be in the same party. You are familiar with our form of government aren't you? You could possibly get them to sponsor a bill. Where do you think bills come from? They don't work in a vacuum. Do you think all the public union friendly laws in the past came from a lawmakers dream? The unions didn't push them because it hurt them.

College Didn't Take
College Didn't Take

You are either a paid troll or very naive.

W54827
W54827

@joe:

Smear campaign is right. Look at all of the nasty, nasty comments that have been made with disregard for the merits of the proposed legislation.

How many comments show any genuine concern for children or sensitivity to the harm that the current divorce system causes? Nearly zero.

Children should not be pawns/meal tickets in a divorce; children should no longer be used in divorce to make the divorce more conflictual/hostile and expensive.

Rep. Kleefisch has proposed reform legislation that is positive for children of divorcing households in Wisconsin.

How did the current legislation -- legislation that no one can defend as being positive for children -- come into existence?

Mr Mellow
Mr Mellow

Tell me again how there's no GOP War on Women.

joe
joe

So women's rights means discrimination against men?

Beingbucky
Beingbucky

Joe, has it occurred to you that divorced mothers should have equal say?

I find your "factual" approach amusing. You tell your critics to use facts. Yourself, your facts consist of statements like "This law is needed."

Joe, that is not a fact. That is an opinion. The facts are these: the proposed law was written for and by a big Republican donor. He is wealthy. He tried to put his kids on Badger Care. Keeflisch abetted the new law and then lied when he said it would not benefit his donor. Those are the facts. See the difference?

joe
joe

Being - yes they do have rights, but in this case the prenup prevented rights to his money. The support awarded is quite ridiculous. The question is, do fathers have rights? Some social worker is going to come into your home and tell you that you can only see your kids every other weekend. Then, if you make under 100k, they take 40% of your gross pay. You are OK with that? The govt telling you that you are not good for your kids, but your money is. Both parents need equal placement and involvement.

joe
joe

Being - yes, if I said this law is needed, it is an opinion. That is pretty obvious. If I said, the fact is, this law is needed, it is still my opinion.

If I say 28% of the gross pay of a father with 3 kids is taken for child support according to the DCF website, it is a fact. If I say that converts to close to 42% of his net pay if he makes 60k, that is a fact if you figure he pays about 30% in state, federal tax and FICA.

So, why don't you point out where my facts are not accurate?

joe
joe

Your facts do not address the merit of the law either which is more of the issue. If every bill was judged by how it came about, most laws would not be passed and public unions, for example, would have been gone long ago.

sdb53
sdb53

One last comment and I'm done wading in this sewer- Yes, Virginia, money buys influence in politics. How many of the dems here get the invitations to send money to this campaign or that campaign? Do you think people spend $500 a plate for a lousy chicken dinner with a candidate so they can discuss the weather with him/her? President Obama's campaign was famous for selling lottery tickets to have dinner with the President. Do you think those who had the chance to meet him talked basketball? Grow up already.

Wisconsin has some of the toughest campaign finance laws in the nation. None were broken. The records of meetings with Kleefisch and his constituent were available to anyone who wanted to look per those laws. (it must be easy to be an investigative reporter in this state) No one was trying to hide anything. No bribes were given nor received. Believe it or not even Republicans are allowed to make campaign donations and still talk with their reps about problems to ask for help.

I have not seen any postings asking why anyone would need $15,000 a MONTH to raise three small children. If this were a story about a mother who objected to paying 8 times what it really costs to raise three kids to a stay at home father would there be the same level of self righteous outrage? Does anyone think she would be called nasty names and denigrated in this comment section? Is there any doubt that the ex-wife's lawyers told her that they would try and get as much money out of the father as they could?

Just because a father can afford to pay an exorbitant level of child support doesn't mean he has a moral obligation to do so. He is free to spend as much money as he pleases on his kids but that should be his choice not the states mandate. Or perhaps the posters here who care so deeply for the children believe that men should just be squeezed as hard as possible, without any accountability that the money is actually being spent on the children.

This case illustrates why the equal placement presumption included in the bill is urgently needed. Once the state of Wisconsin acknowledges that both parents have an equal right and responsibility to provide love and support to their children and enforces those rights, this kind of nasty divorce outcome will become less and less frequent.

joe
joe

Sdb- well said. With so much to lose, I wonder how much the ex wife and her lawyers had to do with the smear campaign. If only we could look at those emails. Some of the outrage against the father for not wanting to pay $15,000 a month seems concocted. Who could really blame him no matter what he makes. I am sure the judge took placement from him against his desires as well. So a father has his kids taken from him and 15k a month after tax dollars by a judge and we are supposed to be OK with that?

sdb53
sdb53

Don't be too sure Joe although I understand why you would think that. Dads lose their kids all the time in Wisconsin. But according to court records this dad has his kids almost 45% of the time. So mom gets 15k a month when she only has the kids slightly more than half the time. How does this poor lady get by?

College Didn't Take
College Didn't Take

What smear campaign are you talking about?

freddiebell
freddiebell

sdb53: Obviously this is a very personal issue for you. It is not my purpose here to speculate upon what your own experiences have to do with the vehemence of your stance. I will note, though, that the person you reference (Eisenga) in making your points is not exactly a good role model to back up your argument. Again, from the 2012 WKOW report cited below -- a point that has gotten lost in the mix here:

"While Eisenga's children are enrolled in the department of health's BadgerCare program, he has an adversarial relationship with another state department. The department of revenue lists Eisenga on its web site of Wisconsin's worst tax delinquencies. Revenue officials have filed a court tax warrant against Eisenga, listing unpaid sales taxes, interest and penalties at over $224,000."

This is not someone whom you want to make a poster person for your reform goals. He is a deadbeat taxpayer, someone who does not inspire the confidence of the courts or the public to fulfill his obligations. He is a liability to your cause. Perhaps if you demanded more accountability from him in meeting his core responsibilities under the law, you might engender more sympathy for your position.

John Ehrlichman
John Ehrlichman

Does it not bother you that these changes are actually on behalf of one constituent? Say what you will, but Wisconsin child support laws are not significantly different than most other states. The system is not broken, Kleefisch is creating a loophole mostly for the benefit of those with significant means. Your assertions about raising three kids on 15000 dollars a month are irrelevant. A straight percentage is the fairest way possible of deciding a support amount. The kids were born into wealth and it is not unreasonable to maintain the standard of living they are accustomed to. Those are the vagaries of being "born lucky." That's all. I practice law and I have to tip my hat to family law attorneys. I'd feel safer defending Mexican drug cartel member than get into the middle of a divorce with children involved.

joe
joe

John e - This is not for one guy. It is for everyone who is being treated unfairly. The law says pay 15k. The law, therefore is ridiculous and should be changed. One guy took the initiative to try to right the wrong. It doesnt mean it only benefits him. That is something you can't seem to understand. Most divorced fathers would support this law.

John Ehrlichman
John Ehrlichman

Joe-You really need to see this for what it is. An arrogant attempt on the part of Eisenga to win a reduction in his support order that he was denied. Yes, it will benefit others similarly situated, obviously. He had a prenuptial agreement with his ex-wife that preserved all of his assets. Cry me a river. He now wants a law, that he's force-fed Kleefisch input on, to cap child support calculations to a max of 150,000 in income. Come one, Joe. Is this how you want legislative time spent? Is this going to make Wisconsin a better place? Is this going to create jobs? It's good old-fashioned political patronage. I'm surprised Kleefisch is even entertaining this-even for him.

pikerover
pikerover

sdb53 I have 5.00 for Fitz (He lives just up the road from me) ...Do you think he will meet me and talk to me about my concerns? I thought not.

Assessment Curious
Assessment Curious

The Political paybacks and Lap dances need to stop. Does anyone talk about the Federal and State matching funds that are returned to the Wisconsin counties General Tax fund Roles? Using this matter as an example- When Mr. Eisenga is ordered to pay at least $15,000 per month in support just as he should of been- That ordering County Circuit Judge's County will receive approx $22,500 per month /$270,000 per year in the Assessment refund fees to be placed into the General Tax Roles (Columbia Co. ?) This is for all Wisconsin counties but we seem never to get an active report on the the use of this specific funds generated thru the family courts ?????

number6
number6

Kleefisch, Kleefisch... where have I heard this name before?

Johnny Blood
Johnny Blood

I swear, Madison has got some of the dumbest smart people alive. You complain about something like this but consider it OK if SEIU helps Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors member David Bowen write legislation for union workers that is projected to cost taxpayers more than $27 million over the next six years. If you are OK with that (and be honest, you are), then you my friend are hypocrite. This kind of thing happens. All. Of. The. Time. On both sides of the aisle. Please don't pretend to be shocked.

The difference? The Wisconsin State Journal and your biased local media will only cover one side of this story. Why? Because they too are hacks. And lemmings. And shills for the unions and the Democratic Party.

repubsaresheep
repubsaresheep

I'm surprised you didn't find a way to blame President Obama with your complete non-sequitor.
I really like the 'both sides do it' thing. When you begin blaming everyone, you've already lost the argument. This article is about buying a singular personal benefit. And the ethically challenged republicans that participate.

As an aside, how big of an a-hole does this guy have to be to keep challenging his child support? He's worth $30 million. They're his kids. Pay it and be a good parent. Child support will end when they turn 18.

joe
joe

Johnny - great post. The hypocrisy is thick. Wait for the redirects and the hair splitting.

freddiebell
freddiebell

joe: Redirects ... like Benghazi? And Obama/0bama? And unions?

You do look quite foolish here. Speaking of hypocrisy, and to refresh your memory, here is the longstanding Fox News/Republican Party game plan on dealing with news stories that do not reflect well upon their interests:

1) Identify the problem issue to be avoided;

2) Change the subject to something more palatable, even if irrelevant (usually Benghazi), hoping to gin it up enough that someone might actually care someday;

3) Repeat ad nauseum;

4) Return to the original problem issue, after identifying a way to invert the story line such that it reflects poorly upon the Democratic side (e.g. "At least Christie took responsibility -- Obama would have avoided it or made excuses ...");

5) Repeat ad nauseum.

The only thing more egregious is the fact that so many people think we all can't see through it. The strategy is exceedingly long in the tooth and ineffective -- a reflection of the bankruptcy of the current iteration of the Republican Party on original ideas and approaches to problem solving. No wonder it is floundering so badly -- and both bleeding voters looking for a better alternative and losing its more moderate, statesman members to retirement. They are sick and tired of the shenanigans. You might want to listen to what they are saying.

joe
joe

Freddy - nice redirection.

freddiebell
freddiebell

@ joe, below: Many of us who were longtime Republicans are trying to tell you something you need to hear. There are reasons why that is the case, why we have left the party behind and moved in another direction. You can continue to be smug and pretend that you have all the answers and know better. Or you can listen to and learn from what is constructive criticism, from those well positioned to offer it, and try to have a beneficial dialogue. Your call here -- you can make either the fast choice or the smart choice. Choose wisely.

The reality is that the party has lost its way. It is losing voters, especially young ones who stand to be its future. It is losing winnable elections. Only a fool would close him-/herself off from a useful listening session toward a solution to the problem. The current Republican Party has a plethora of them right now and is moving toward irrelevance, losing the war in an effort to win some battles. If that is fine with you, keep on patting yourself on the back and burying your head in the sand. If not, give some thought to the points made and see where they might stand to benefit you and your preferences. Again ... choose wisely.

joe
joe

Freddy - as a person who has voted democrat in most elections, I have seen the depth of corruption of democrats - always under the guise of doing good, and I am sick if it. I know there is corruption on both sides. This issue is a case of a man who is obviously under financial strain if he is late on taxes. Ignorant people believe net worth means cash. It doesn't. If there is real estate, it requires huge cash flow for taxes. This guy does not have cash flow to pay 15k a month child support. Doesn't make sense. He is a victim of a stupid law that puts the dad at a disadvantage. I don't care what party a person is from. It is wrong. There is no sense in it.

NoMoreScottEver
NoMoreScottEver

Somehow, I have managed to wade my way through all the comments. Is NO ONE embarrassed to share a species, much less a state, with Mr. Kleefisch? This man insults the intelligence of every Wisconsinite, regardless of political persuasion. I mean, of all the issues facing Wisconsin right now, surely the most compelling MUST be the barrage of phone calls Mr. Kleefisch and other Republicans' offices must have been overwhelmed by....all those children calling in, "oh PLEASE, reduce the child support my father has been ordered to pay!" The bribe/request by Mr. Eisensleezewhatever is the ultimate in obnoxious. That he found Mr. "Family Values" Kleefisch to actually write the bill (albeit with the....cough.....help of others) makes me fear for the future of this state and this country. Yet, I remain hopeful that there will be are enough other sane, moral Wisconsinites that will ensure that Mr. Kleefisch and those of his party who choose to share his "Family Values" stance, will be voted out. (They've managed to change the law which would have allowed their recall.) I should probably change my screen name to NoMoreScottorJoelEver.

joe
joe

Fact - unions still exist in wi. Only the corrupt system of public unions were weakened as they should be.

NoMoreScottEver
NoMoreScottEver

Corrupt unions??? "Overpaid" public employees? How about state workers with graduate degrees and more than twenty years of experience making JUST enough to not qualify for the Earned Income Credit?

The state workers are the "haves."? And Mr. Eisensleezewhatever is one of the "have nots" of the private sector? Oh please.

John Ehrlichman
John Ehrlichman

This is addressed to "joe," who wanted some sort of a plan. Here's the plan: I takeout a $100,000 2nd on my home and I give the money to Kleefish. I then instruct Kleefish to write a bill that would, in no uncertain terms, COMPLETELY FORBID out-of-state donations to ANY candidate for State, County or Local office. Make out-of-state straw donations a felony and any candidate for judicial office who accepts an out-of-state donation would lose their law license for life. It's time we take Wisconsin back from those who could give a rat'$ a$$ about us. Anybody on board? I'm serious about this.

adamman
adamman

John, I'm totally in favor of the second mortgage. Maybe Eggo will co-sign with you if you suck up to him. (See his comments below for further information) If you give Kleefish $80,000 and give me $20,000, I'll try to talk to Kleefish on your behalf. (I need the money for child support).

John Ehrlichman
John Ehrlichman

adamman-Anybody who cares about Wisconsin would be on board with this, regardless of political affiliation. We're eating ourselves alive, it's a joke, and we're worse off for it. BTW, for a $100,000 donation, I expect to be the one doing the talking to Kleefish, sorry my friend! As for your 20K, you could work it off by planning recall campaigns against any legislator that would oppose the legislation. We'll call into question the ethics of any legislator who's opposed. We're mired in a political cesspool. It's time to start pumping or we'll drown.

adamman
adamman

Aw, shucks. How 'bout $10,000?

joe
joe

So would that apply to unions bringing in millions of dollars from out of state?

John Ehrlichman
John Ehrlichman

Yes, it would. As well as PAC's not principally based in Wisconsin.

John_Galt
John_Galt

I'd be up for that law.

Wis_taxpayer
Wis_taxpayer

So, Republicans out spent Democrats about 7 to 1 in the last election in Wisconsin…. now, as soon as you talk about limiting out of state money, what is the first thing they want?

Limits on union money! They don't care if it's within Wisconsin or from out of state…. as long as the ratio of 7 to 1 remains in their favor.

I say, let the tide turn and the Democratic money flow into Wisconsin at a rate of 7 to 1 advantage over Republicans…. after all, haven't they Gerrymandered the State so severely in their favor that the maps were declared unconstitutional?

With a 7 to 1 advantage and Gerrymandered districts, how can Republicans lose?

Oh yeah, maybe because of their far right ideology and far right wing anti-women, anti-poor, anti-LGBT, anti-minority, tax cuts for the rich policies and bills they keep pushing through.

We need to clean house in Wisconsin…. November 4th Go vote them out!

John Ehrlichman
John Ehrlichman

Only out of state money would be forbidden. I'm not politically motivated. We have all seen with our own eyes the corrosive effects of out of state campaign money. I don't care what Party you belong to. We all are part of Wisconsin. Wisconsin is a unique place, we have agriculture, manufacturing, technology, financial services and insurance sectors, an outstanding university system, and more. We don't need our politicians doing the bidding of people and organizations that don't have a direct stake in Wisconsin's success. We need politicians who will do OUR bidding. Our judiciary, while there are many fine judges and attorneys in this state, is tainted and motivated by politics. Ethics, in many instances, fly out the window.

We certainly need to clean house, however, we need deal with this scourge before we can see any real progress.

WI_Expat
WI_Expat

Not finding anything about SEIU doing much the same as ALEC any place here and yet it's regional news!

http://watchdog.org/123008/union-milwaukee-millions/

But then again, it's not the "Progressive Party Line" is it?

Booke
Booke

Hey wrongful!! You made my day!!! Keep up the good work bud!!

B-Man
B-Man

I'll remember all this when Chris Taylor introduces a bill on behalf of Planned Parenthood.

John Ehrlichman
John Ehrlichman

When will We, the citizens of the State of Wisconsin, finally say enough is enough. We have a Supreme Court that is nothing but a whore's gallery (from both sides of the political spectrum). We have legislators that, for a fee, will change child support laws to be more to your liking. The Legal Accountability Board is considering giving John Balistrieri his law license back. For those of you unfamiliar with John, he is the son of mobster Frank Balistrieri. John was convicted of extortion and aided in his Dad's casino skimming efforts. Attorneys routinely get away with things in Wisconsin that would cost you your law license other states. Wisconsin is one of the most corrupt states in the union. There are plenty of good people in Wisconsin that can run this state ethically but we are so hobbled by partisan politics that we can't do anything about this.

Comment deleted.
John Ehrlichman
John Ehrlichman

You would have been better off falling in love with your sock and a good stroke mag.

Storyhill
Storyhill

Sir - do you have no shame?

Cowboy99540
Cowboy99540

Dear Readers:

Another bill written by the rich and for the rich!

What a freaking little cry baby scumbag, this Eisenga rat is, and so is his little "boy toy" Joey "the Fish" Kleefisch.

Talking about swimming in it, I guess no stink-hole is dirty enough for the Republicans in the Wisconsin State legislature to wallow in.

The child support laws are pretty fair across the board measures, in that way, where if you have three children in Wisconsin you will pay 30% of your disposable income (not just derived from wages either) every month for their upkeep and maintenance.

This proposed law would be suicide for the GOP should they be stupid enough to pass it, because it demonstrates just how much power special interests and the wealthy have on our state legislators.

I'm surprised that Kleefisch didn't take this proposal to ALEC and get their blessing so it could be passed in others states.

In any case, this proposal holds with current republican values, which support a rich guy worth $30 million that doesn't want to give his ex and their 3-children $15,000. per month when he has all the money he could ever use.

WOW! This really gives us a good insight into our best and brightest and how they really think about family values and the world.

Cowboy

Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

Cowboy99540, you're right. The Kleefisch and Republican Party "Family Values" claim is on the line with this one. See Wis_taxpayer's comment below on how Eisenga tried to get his children off his health insurance and on Badger Care! Because nothing says "Family Values" like dumping your family on the taxpayer dole instead of paying for health insurance as a millionaire. Kleefisch's participation and promotion of "Millionaire Aid 2014" is disgusting.

This is what we get with 100% totalitarian control of our state by the Republican Party. Oligarchy, greed, and fascism made the law of the land.

joe
joe

Cowboy- you are wrong. It is 29% of gross income. The amount paid is not taxed. The father pays the tax first. So if he makes 60k, his take home is about 42k. 29% of 60k is 17.4k. The father lives off the remaining 24.6k. He pays 41% of his take home pay in support. The only thing that would change those numbers would be if he is paying support for other children.

Try to get your facts right if you want to use facts. Of course, maybe it is easier just not to use facts.

Wis_taxpayer
Wis_taxpayer

WSJ reported only part of the story…. get the rest of the story here:

Wisconsin Republican Does the Impossible, Drags State Legislature to New Low

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/01/11/1268883/-Wisconsin-Republican-Does-the-Impossible-Drags-State-Legislature-to-New-Low

Read how Eisenga also was ordered to provide health insurance for his kids, and tried to get them on Badgercare! You know, that evil Democratic thing that gives things to people so they vote for Democrats.

And it gets even worse!

A former aide and campaign worker for Governor Scott Walker who faces misconduct charges was affiliated with a business with ties to the largest alleged violator of the state's No-Call List.
Nevada state records show Kelly Rindfleisch as affiliated with National Lending Solutions, a business with a Columbus address, between December 2011 and March 2012....

The business address for National Lending Solutions is identical to the address of American Lending Solutions, formerly First American Funding Company, owned by Michael Eisenga of Columbus.


Ahhh, those Republican morals and values come shining through again.

Bushmaster
Bushmaster

This what Wisconsin has become in just 3 years. Doyle was bad but he looks like a saint compared to Walker, Kleefish and Co.

Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

Wis_taxpayer, you provide an excellent, truthful, and necessary service to the readers of this site. The Republican Party should be exposed as hypocrites for their false "family values" and "Christian morals". In truth truth, the party does not care about anyone's family, not even their own, if it gets in the way of having one thing: money. And as for Christianity? Well, why should a man from 2000 years ago, who taught that the love of money is the root of all evil, be allowed to get in the way of getting rich today? That is the true set of "family, Christian" values of the Republican party circa 2014.

Smpmadison
Smpmadison

How long are we going to allow the wealthy this kind of access to our lawmakers?

Wis_taxpayer
Wis_taxpayer

November 4th….. we vote them all out!

joe
joe

SMP - you're right. I guess only unions should be allowed access. And people who make under $20k a year? Why don't you lay out your plan for who should have access?

Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

@ joe'sSMP - you're right. I guess only unions should be allowed access.

Except that in Wisconsin, thanks to ACT 10, public service unions no longer have "access" equal to that of the wealthy.

1. Walker collected $30,000,000 in donations compared to Barrett collecting $5,000,000 in donations in the 2012 recall. Walker did NOT collect a 6 to 1 vote advantage over Barrett, so guess where all those dollars came from? Hint: Walker had 14 billionaires donating to his campaign, Barrett had zero billionaires donating to his campaign. 13 of those 14 billionaires were from out-of-state, the other was Diane Hendricks who gifted Walker with more money in a single donation than ever before in Wisconsin governor-race history.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2012/06/05/gov-scott-walkers-big-money-backers-include-13-out-of-state-billionaires/

2. Wisconsin Senate leader Scott Fitzgerald admitted publicly that by diminishing public sector Democratic Party donations it would be more difficult for Democratic candidates to win elections.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2011/03/10/wisconsin-gop-leader-admits-the-truth-its-all-about-obama/

This is blatant fascism: abusing their 100% Republican control of the state legislative assembly, senate, and governor's office to minimize the viability of an opposition party that would otherwise be able to take a stand against the Walker regime.

And while Walker calls public service unions "corrupt" he ignores his own corruption, the fascism in ACT 10, and hypocrisy in accepting money from out-of-state billionaires for in-state elections is a direct assault on Wisconsin's democracy.

Union busting by Republicans minimizes the political voice of the 350,000 unionized public servants and gives political voice to out-of-state billionaires. That is an oligarchical form of fascism that can and should be rejected by Wisconsin voters in 2014 - that is if Walker the puppet of billionaires does not outspend Burke by a 6 to 1 margin.

AllAmerican11B
AllAmerican11B

Fact or Fiction,
"Walker collected $30,000,000 in donations compared to Barrett collecting $5,000,000 in donations in the 2012 recall."

Fact or Fiction; you and others routinely spread this difference in money around as if it actually meant something important to you.

If you had a shred of honesty, you would acknowledge that Barrett was a not a good candidate to run the first time and he was a proven looser against Walker before he stepped into the ring the second time. It's as if the boneheadeds on the left either didn't want to support a looser the second time with their dollars or they had some stupid blind partisan idea that it was going to be a walk in the park for Barrett.

Wisconsin voters entered the voting booth, Wisconsin voters spoke and the election became history.

The Democratic Party FAILED miserably in the recall election! If they had properly used their momentum, gotten their ducks in a row and gotten a better candidate, they could have won the election. The recall election will go down in Wisconsin history as the first gubernatorial recall election in the state, the recalled failed, and the Wisconsin Republican Party handed the Wisconsin Democratic Party the biggest psychological loss they will probably ever have.

About campaign money in general:
Walker raised $25 million more than the proven looser Barrett, well the Democrats wouldn't support a proven looser again with their dollars, big fat hairy deal! Do you realize that Obama raised $79.5 million more than Romney; Obama raised a whopping $1.075 BILLION for his reelection campaign. Why is it we don't see you slamming Obama's campaign and bring it up at every turn, after all he "purchase" the presidency? You and others are quite hypocritical about campaign money.

Are Walker and the Wisconsin State house Republicans a bunch of fascist; the truthful answer is, absolutely not, no more than a Ford F150 is a Boeing B-52 Stratofortress. The exact same thing can be said to the wing-nuts on the right that claim that Obama is a fascist.

pikerover
pikerover

Among the 14 Defining Characteristics of Fascism ....
8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed
to the government's policies or actions.
9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

joe
joe

Fact - you are wrong. They still have access.

Cowboy99540
Cowboy99540

Dear Readers:

Fact or Fiction said it so well that now all I can do is affirm his position, as being truthful and right on, before giving him a highly deserved "Well Done" !

Well done Fact or Fiction and also very well said!

Cowboy

sammygadoodlinski
sammygadoodlinski

I hate wealthy a-holes

Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

sammygadoodlinski, when you allow others to take that kind of control of your values, you've gone down the wrong road.

Consider what Jesus teaches us in Matthew 5:43-48, and this is the teaching that the Republican Party leadership has rejected completely.

Jesus taught:

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,[b] 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren[c] only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors[d] do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

joe
joe

Fact - you took the high road on this post, but aren't you looking at the messenger and not the message in this bill? Much of the argument is about the people involved but not the content of the bill. The author has played many people on here by focusing on the wealth of a person involved with the bill because a lot of people love to hate anything associated with wealth.

Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

@ joe - read what Wis_taxpayer posted above - the story is about Eisenger, not just the bill he is promoting, because of the injustice of a wealthy man expecting everyone but himself to provide health care for his children, and for that same man who donated $15,000 to Scott Walker to claim that he is being "burdened" somehow with being "forced" to provide that same amount, as a millionaire, in monthly child support for his children. Remember, this coming from the "personal responsibility" party, the Republicans.

Wis_taxpayer - 5 hours ago
WSJ reported only part of the story…. get the rest of the story here:

Wisconsin Republican Does the Impossible, Drags State Legislature to New Low

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/01/11/1268883/-Wisconsin-Republican-Does-the-Impossible-Drags-State-Legislature-to-New-Low

Read how Eisenga also was ordered to provide health insurance for his kids, and tried to get them on Badgercare! You know, that evil Democratic thing that gives things to people so they vote for Democrats.


grantvance
grantvance

"What gives the state the power to force any parent to provide not just an adequate level of care for their child but a comfortable or even opulent one?"

The state did no such thing, dummy. Eisenga and his ex agreed to binding arbitration, he negotiated with her lawyers and then he signed off on the agreement. One of the terms was a payment floor. He didn't go back to the arbitrator and try to get the floor changed, he went to the courts. The courts said they don't have the power to change arbitration, and then Eisenga went to Kleefisch.

sdb53
sdb53


Farmer Jones and his wife got a divorce. Because Farmer Jones often worked 12-15 hours days out in the fields the judge ruled that he wasn't as good a parent as Mrs. Jones so he gave her primary placement of the children. Because it had been a good year last year and Farmer Jones did OK the judge ordered generous child support to Mrs. Jones. So she took the kids and moved into a nice apartment in town, that Farmer Jones was ordered to pay for. Farmer Jones really missed his kids and had hoped that when they grew up they could all work together on the farm. Now he would have to work the farm alone.


Next year there was drought and Farmer Jones lost money. He asked the judge if he could reduce his child support to a level he could afford but the judge told him if the farm wasn't doing well he should just get a job. So Farmer Jones took a job on the night shift at McDonalds. He still didn't make enough to keep up and was tired all the time so he asked the court if he could reduce his child support to a level he could afford. The judge suggested that he could always sell part of his farm which had been in his family for 6 generations. Farmer Jones finally said no.


The question raised by this story is- What gives the state the power to force any parent to provide not just an adequate level of care for their child but a comfortable or even opulent one? Where is the state's interest in ensuring that a kid wears $150 Nikes instead of $25 Payless sneakers? Even in a divorce situation, what gives the state the right to mandate that a parent must pay many times more than the actual cost of providing a child with shelter, clothes, food, health care etc. and threaten to throw him on jail if he does not comply? It is a good thing that there is no such thing as greedy mothers who would try to game the system for their own benefit. ($15,000 a month???)We don't have to worry about that problem because we all know only men would do anything that is not in the best interest of the children.


Most people are more than willing to support their children, even a lot of evil rich people. What they object to and I think is what this bill is intended to address is the forced re-distribution of wealth far beyond what is needed to provide a comfortable and safe environment for the children. Should a parent get sued because their 16 year old got a used Toyota instead of a Porsche for his first car? Porsches are well engineered and probably safer than that old Toyota. Surely it is in the child's best interest to drive a safer more reliable car. But isn't that the parent's decision? Of course liberals tend to think the state knows what is best for our children.

adamman
adamman

Is Eisinga really a farmer? I didn't know that! Maybe farmer Jones can ask Eisinga for some financial help, seeing that Eisinga is really wealthy.
What a bogus analogy.

witness2012
witness2012

Taking care of your kids is now "forced redistribution of wealth?" What is it called when Eisenga puts his three kids of badgercare, a program designed to cover the health insurance of low income kids, when he made $1.2 million that year? Fraud?

I hope this all gets worked out before his kids are old enough to find out what their father is doing and what poor character he has. So shameful.

truthzeeker
truthzeeker

sdb53 I love your argument that what Kleefisch proposes is redistribution of wealth. If those three children were fathered and raised under Eisenga’s roof, don’t they have some right to his wealth? Wouldn’t they get all his wealth if he would pass away. But now that he has decided to divorce his wife, the children are cast out. I guess that is the Republicans protection of “their” wealth.

And using Badger care is Eisenga’s approach to redistributing wealth up the ladder since he apparently is kicking his kids out of his life. They do not deserve to share in his wealth now. That guy is really sad! As is sdb53

grantvance
grantvance

Wonder if the geniuses arguing why the state should change an entire state's public policy for one dude know why that dude's case was rejected by the courts.

joe
joe

Grant - the law is needed. If you did any research into the current law you would know that. You have been played by the reporter and the politicians who pay her.

gobi
gobi

Next Joel will want to eliminate income taxes on rich , divorced fathers that give to his campaign. It's called bribery.

John_Galt
John_Galt

Nope, it's called being a lobbyist!

gkmoynihan
gkmoynihan

Oh please. This sort of thing has been going on for years.

http://watchdog.org/123008/union-milwaukee-millions/

"Big Labor has helped a Milwaukee County Board member write a union-boosting minimum wage proposal that could cost taxpayers more than $27 million over the next six years.

The “living wage” ordinance also could bankrupt the county’s Department of Family Care, stunt job growth and hinder future development, according to a fiscal analysis by the county’s nonpartisan comptroller’s office.

County Supervisor David Bowen wrote the legislation in collaboration with the Service Employees International Union."

adamman
adamman

There it is! The "stunt job growth" argument. Knew it was coming. Yippy Cay Ay!

gkmoynihan
gkmoynihan

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/business/216956551.html

Well it did effectively kill a hotel development project.

Bushmaster
Bushmaster

'Oh, well that makes everything O'tay then! Lets keep on this race to the bottom we are on.

Nav
Nav

What MORE evidence do the people of Wisconsin need to know that this is a Government of the rich, by the rich and most importantly FOR the rich.

If there is anyone who truly feels that that before these Republicans get busy ramming rushing through the bills through the legislature, that that they actually do a study to see how a particular law would benefit the ordinary people of WI?

Even if people are not Democrats by party affiliation, they still believe in Democracy. Democracy in our state is under major assault, and we have to set aside whatever political differences we may have and join hands to take our state back. THIS crop of legislature and this Governor has done precious little for the ordinary people of WI. hardly a day goes by that we do NOT see an article on how they are systematically destroying the fabric of our state.

Wake Up!

Lynne4301
Lynne4301

I'm sure Joey vetted Michael S Eisenga and he is a fine upstanding citizen with no ghosts in his closet.

Be careful whom you associate with.

Ignatz
Ignatz

Ok - so why is this legal? How the hell is this not bribery and graft?

Those USED to be against the law, you know.

joe
joe

Igmatz - refer to all Union laws drafted by democrats the last 40 years. Then explain why the Union involvement was legal.

Goodol'Joe
Goodol'Joe

Those who complain about Mr. Eisenga working closely with his Assemblyman to update divorce laws favorable to his case make much ado about nothing. In case you've forgotten, that's the nature of participatory democracy. This businessman and this legislator did nothing illegal, immoral or unethical. In fact, we should take a lesson from Switzerland, where private citizens can write and submit their own legislation to the national parliament. Goodol'Joe

witness2012
witness2012

rationalize it all you want. This bill will die in committee. Even other Republicans won't touch it now that the cronyism has been exposed.

And people are changing their schedules so they can be there at the public hearing next Wednesday, 1/15/14, at 10 am in 415 NW to testify against it.

It's over and you didn't get away with it. Talk to your co-parent and work out your issues for the sake of your kids and stop trying to use public policy to avoid your responsibilities.
.

array1
array1

Unfortunately, talking with your co-parent quite often does not resolve issues. The change is needed such that public policy is 50/50 placement both parents. If one parent thinks placement should not be equal then the burden should be on them to initiate the legal process. The burden should not fall upon a parent who seeks equality in time with their child.

witness2012
witness2012

array1, put on your big boy pants and figure it out. Life isn't always easy or fair, but if you put your kid's needs first and work with the professionals in the system- i.e., guardian ad-litems, family court counsellors, judges, etc.- you can work out an arrangement that you can live with.

You don't get to change policy for everyone in the state because you had a bad divorce. Grow up.
.

array1
array1

@witness;
The legal presumption of equality is as grown up as you can get. You must be an attorney.

joe
joe

Witness - I agree, keep the state out of it. Start it off at 50/50 which is fair, then go from there.

btbradley
btbradley

Are you serious? Yeah, that's true about Switzerland. But Joel Kleefisch isn't going to want to advance anything I support. Seeing I graduated with college and don't have $40,000 laying around to give his campaign. It's obviously he's doing it for his own benefit so yeah, it is unethical. I think it just died in committee.

btbradley
btbradley

I think this bill just died... now that we find out why it's being brought forward.

College Didn't Take
College Didn't Take

I doubt that. They will continue the paid spin that we're reading now on this thread. If you don't believe some of these posters are being paid, I've got a bridge in New York to sell you.

adamman
adamman

Goodol'Joe: If this is a real democracy (which it's not. Look up oligarchy in the dictionary), then tabulate all the posts today and tell us how many commenters think Kleefish and his well heeled 'constituent' are indeed unethical. Compare that number to all those who say it is just fine and dandy. Let us know who wins.

Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

adamman, you're telling the truth. Thanks.

pikerover
pikerover

Joe, Look up how much Eisenga gave to Republicans .... Think big $$$ Do Swiss citizens also send donations with their submissions?

joe
joe

Walker haters - put some reasoning in your arguments. Otherwise, you look petty.

freddiebell
freddiebell

Evidently it escaped joe's attention that the article is not about Scott Walker, but rather Joel Kleefisch, and the vast majority of comments here are geared toward Kleefisch and the ramifications of the proposed bill, political and otherwise. It appears that joe is a hater, trying to stir the pot himself here and make an issue of what is not specifically germane to the discourse. Thus the phrase fits quite well here: Mr. Black Pot meets Mr. Black Kettle.

joe
joe

Freddie - I will dub you a walker lover. My mistake. This is about a proposed law that is shot down, not on its merits, but on a presumption of misdeeds. Focus on the merit of the law as the partisan reporter did not do.

adamman
adamman

I don't hate Walker, but I'll take a shot.
1) Koch brothers
2) Walker is going to shut down 2 lanes of the Beltline in Madison to punish democrats. (The NSA has intercepted a call from Walker's office to Chris Christie's office).
3) Walker's bald spot is getting bigger. That is the political equivalent of Pinocchio's nose getting bigger.
4) Walker raised campaign funds during the Packer game. Is nothing sacred?
5) Walker lives in Maple Bluff (okay, so did Doyle. But Walker wants to live in Maple Bluff and Doyle was uncomfortable there.
6) My mom says that if Walker is ever elected President it will be "over my dead body". I think she was just being figurative, but I don't want to lose mom.
7) Walker's book was written by Dick Cheney
If I think of more 'reasoning' , I'll post them later. Check back here for the updates.

Bushmaster
Bushmaster

If Scott Walkers car started on fire and he was trapped inside, what kind of sandwich would you make?

adamman
adamman

A Crispy Critter sandwich??

Stuck In The Middle With You
Stuck In The Middle With You

What you can bet your bottom dollar on is that the only ones that will benefit from this are the wealthy donors and the sleazy recipients of the donors donations. Sorry, kids.

truthzeeker
truthzeeker

I wonder how many of the bloggers trying to support the slime of money politics would defend Kleefisch and Eisenga if they had to put there real names on their statements? It is hard to believe that there are that many people in this state that will agree that Kleefisch's bill has any moral value. And to try to defend it by attacking other bloggers who are taking Kleefisch to task shows how twisted some people have gotten. Although religion talks about how money is ruinous to people it seems the moral majority has no problem with wanting all the money they can get their hands on. It is really about control and greed. And isn’t that talked about in the bible? How sad!

adamman
adamman

truthzeeker, I agree with you but the Bible doesn't say "money" is ruinous to people, rather the "LOVE of money" Minor correction. Greed is not "good".

joe
joe

This bill does have merit. Explain why it doesn't. You may want to educate yourself on alimony and child support.

Mr_Deeks
Mr_Deeks

Have you ever said something like "there oughta be a law" when you encounter something that you, personally feel is not right or unjust from your perspective? You know that you can only influence an effort to make that law reality by organizing a group and approaching your representatives, advertising, appealing for donations, etc. What if you had the means to avoid those steps? Would you use them to shortcut all the other time consuming steps? Forget about this issue, pick one of your own. My bet would be that you would take that shorter, legal route to success. I would defend your right to do so as I defend his right to do it!

I am not a supporter of this proposed law and never will be. I have had too much contact with the mothers and children that would be victims of it. I believe, as others, that our judicial system has adequate flexibility coupled with common sense to reach fair and just judgements. The wealthy fathers also have the advantage of a higher caliber of counsel (read slick lawyers) to try to minimize the effect on their pocketbooks. No, leave it as it is, thank you.

As to defending the right to seek a law to right what an individual feels is wrong,
Sign me, Deacon Todd Martin, Roman Catholic Diocese of Madison

joe
joe

Deeks- give me an example of where a mother is hurt beyond what the father is hurt. Also, alimony takes care of the wealth inequality. Child support is supposed to be for child support.

goldennugget
goldennugget

Another case of Walker following in 0bama's footsteps. By the left's standards, Walker will be a two term President.

gobi
gobi

GN- This is not an article about Walker or Obama. Please, follow along

adamman
adamman

gobi: Priceless!

Ego Vigilabo Vigilum
Ego Vigilabo Vigilum

adamman;

"gobi: Priceless!"

I've observed that when a comment confirms your bias, your "suck up" reflex engages.

A - Is it just me, or have you observed that as well?
B - Should I not expect a Pavlovian reaction to my comment?

adamman
adamman

Eggo: Priceless!

joe
joe

So aside from payment limits, sounds like everyone would agree that placement should be 50/50 between mother and father unless very compelling evidence indicates otherwise.

If the limit was removed, the bill should pass unless we have some legislators who are sexist.

College Didn't Take
College Didn't Take

No, I wouldn't agree. KIDS need a place to call home. Fifty fifty placement is disruptive to the KIDS. This is about the KIDS, not the DICK who is their father.

ranjela
ranjela

It doesn't have to be disruptive IF the parents live in the same school district AND can peaceably cooperate about their custody agreement. (I lived this scenario 35 years ago)

joe
joe

So, you assume the father is evil and the mother is an angel. So you are sexist?

College Didn't Take
College Didn't Take

No, if you're a good father, perhaps you'll bethe person awarded primary custody.

Ego Vigilabo Vigilum
Ego Vigilabo Vigilum

College Didn't Take;

"No, if you're a good father, perhaps you'll bethe (sic) person awarded primary custody."

My sense is you aren't really familiar with the approach the legal system takes when awarding custody, are you?

joe
joe

College - like most people, you would expect that. However, placement laws in wi is archaic and is slanted heavily towards the mother. If the father is the greatest dad on earth and the mom is a drug addict, the mother would still have a better chance of placement in the right conditions.

joe
joe

College - there are numerous studies that say it is important to have a father in their children's life. You choose to ignore that?

array1
array1

Equal access for the child to BOTH parents is in the best interests for the child in cases of two fit parents. Without a doubt my friend.

PatrickL
PatrickL

In the big picture, the last two years of the Walker administration have been extremely quiet compared to the first two. But if he is re-elected, the Republican Party in Wisconsin will consider it a mandate and legislation like we see from Mr. K. will become the norm. It will be pay to play times two. It's bad enough already, with Walker's Tools of Destruction in place.

Beingbucky
Beingbucky

Lcc I would recommend you QUIT grabbing a hold of yourself; you have enough problems as it is. In this story I don't care about the rich people. I care about the slimy politician who will do anything to suck up to a campaign donor. When you ask "how can we love you more," well, this is the kind of answer you get. Sickening. I hate greed. I hate big shots who think their money makes them privileged. And I hate revenge politics.

adamman
adamman

Well put

sriver
sriver

Wow, the amazing thing is how cheaply you can buy the entire set of GOP politicians for absolutely anything you want, even if it is just for something completely amoral like screwing over your ex-wife. Wisconsin sure is Open For Business.

LeftCoastConservative
LeftCoastConservative

irisK

Did you ever ask yourself how much money the ex-wife got in the divorce?

Seriously, grab a hold of yourself.

adamman
adamman

LeftCoastCon: Why does it matter what she got in the divorce? Child support is part of the court mandated settlement. Each party submits financial statements and the court decides. Doesn't look to me that Eisenga is missing any meals.
Also, LCC: Do you ever point an index finger at your head, twirl it around and say "Cuckoo, Cuckoo"? If not try it.

ranjela
ranjela

This is about the KIDS - why shouldn't THEY still be supported (in the manner in which they were accustomed - when their father was still in their home) ??

http://www.wkow.com/story/18659052/millionaires-children-on-badgercare

concerned_citizen
concerned_citizen

more GOP "family values"

and where's the concern for the mother raising 3 kids as a single mother? "she doesn't even work!"

In Medias Res
In Medias Res

I am surprised that no one from the right has made the argument that if rich guys like Mr. Eisenga have to pay too much in child support, they will have less money left to create jobs.

LeftCoastConservative
LeftCoastConservative

You liberals are such suckers for a partisan-written article. This entire story is so biased its disgusting.
Yet you are completely unable to differentiate between journalism and an article like this.
Since when was money affecting politics such a surprise to you all? It's hilarious how you have this impression that democrats and liberals are void of money influencing their platform. Have you ever looked at how much money unions spend at election time?

irisK
irisK

Blinded by your hate for unions. Not bothered at all by the fact that a rich guy worth 20 million, who earns $700,000 a month, pays Kleefish $45,000 for a bill that screws his wife and children out of child support.

Pays Kleefish $45,000 so you and I can pay for the kids to be on Badgercare.

Oh yeah those teachers are such takers, blablabla

adamman
adamman

hey, LeftCoastCon: So, how is a genius like you able to "differentiate between journalism and an article like this"? Please share your litmus test so we "liberals" won't be fooled again.
"Look! There are the people! I must catch up to them, for I am their leader!" (especially catch up with the millionaires).

Ego Vigilabo Vigilum
Ego Vigilabo Vigilum

adamman;

"Please share your litmus test so we "liberals" won't be fooled again."

It may not be a litmus test, but rather a smell test.

Without the telltale faint whiff of wheat grass tea, tofu, reefer, hempen Homespun, Birkenstock leather, B-Cycle or Trek tire rubber, or Patchouli Oil wafting about, expect to get fooled again!

sdb53
sdb53

It is people like you that this story was written for. People who don't even bother to get the facts in the story straight before they make up their minds. Where does Dee Hall say that $45,000 was paid to anyone? The story I read says $41,000 was donated to various candidates over 9 years most of that before the divorce. $3500 to Kleefisch over 6 donations.

Why bother with the facts if they don't support your position right?.

adamman
adamman

Ego: As always, you are very verbose. However, I agree with you this time. (I think).
Somebody is calling you Eggo on here (probably short for 'egghead'). Since you are my friend, I am offended. What can I do to help?
A Dam Man

samster
samster

Really LeftCoastConservative ,Your response is just as hilarious. Who spent how much on your leader Walker? What people forget is Unions are LABOR. Labor are the workers. No union member here but I still support the WORKING CLASS PEOPLE. Oh, and by the way, no liberals here either. I just recognize the bunch running the show right now for what they are. Corporate/alec controlled stooges catering to themselves. Sounds to me like your just another sucker for Walkers lies and BS rhetoric. As for this Bill, it is typical of this bunch. Not surprised one bit.

truthzeeker
truthzeeker

What unions? What does this article have to do with unions? Just another Party-of-no going off on some other tangent in order to bash unions. Why not compare what the unions have done for our society as to what your conservatives have done? You lose!

freddiebell
freddiebell

LeftCoastConservative: Sorry to poke a hole in your theory and your spewing, but the reality is that what is in the article in many ways confirms what we have observed for ourselves in this state since January 2011. As the old saying goes, "I see better than I hear." Blame it on the media all you like. That doesn't make it so. It's just a convenient excuse for you to try to talk away what the voice of experience shows much more loudly and clearly.

As I noted elsewhere below, people like you are why I walked away from the Republican Party. You think it's always somebody else's fault. No blame attaches to you. People on the other side are too stupid to see the truth. And on and on and on. You are your own worst enemy. When will you wake up and realize that you are damaging your brand every time you act so recklessly, that you are driving voters away who are disgusted with the tactics? Say what you want about how "the other side does it too." Maybe so. But those of us who are looking for a better, higher example aren't finding it with you. Until you come up with a better, more inclusive message, you won't have much luck winning over voters with an alternative -- which is the essence of democracy, that freedom of choice. Do yourself a favor and think about it.

truthzeeker
truthzeeker

Reading all the responses I see an overwhelming disgust for another Party-of-no amoral piece of legislation. Of course there are the Party-of-no hacks who try to defend this egregious attempt to push women further down the economic ladder. All the talk in the world is not going to change the anti female power that has taken over our state. But in the next election all those Republican women can seek retribution for this war against them by voting these perpetrators of anti-women legislation out of office.

I believe there are many religious Republicans who are getting fed up with the dishonesty of their party. The only question is are they going to ignore the religious umbrella that these Republican legislators hide under and vote for someone who will give them equal footing in society and not treat them as economic slaves.

dakref
dakref

I have an elderly female relative who has formed some pretty negative opinions about republican women. Her observation is that in the 50 plus years she has observed politics, republican women tend to support whatever republican men are selling no matter if it was in their own worst interest or not. If this is true, don't count on getting much support from republican women on anti women legislation or legislators.

adamman
adamman

Regardless of whether Eisinga benefits from this bill, his agenda is clearly one of self interest. Just another example of the fact that we do not live in a 'democracy'. We live in an 'oligarchy'.

kathy6829
kathy6829

And who knows what the future brings. Maybe it's just the fat slob Joel looking out for his his own arse.

DaneCounty
DaneCounty

I think Wisconsin Republicans have ethically and morally hit rock bottom.

mollyr
mollyr

And no where....anywhere didn i see where Eisinga said we also wanted more time with his children. All about the $$$....
These are the type of scum that drove me away from the Republican party.

firefightn15
firefightn15

Well, actually there is a proviso for just that.

• Require judges to allocate periods of physical placement equally between two parents unless it could be shown through "clear and convincing evidence" that the arrangement would not be in the child's best interest.

Right now he is paying $180 grand a year for his 3 children. Do you know what it cost to raise 1 child annually....you look it up, I won't do your homework for you.

This bill may be near and dear to Eisenga's heart but even if you doubled the average annual cost of raising a child, it would still total much less than what he is paying annually. He's not looking to skate along, he's looking for a balanced fairness.

You are just looking for an argument for argument's sake along with the idea that you can have a reason to bash "us" Republican scum. Get over yourself.

freddiebell
freddiebell

@ mollyr: Ditto -- plus their propensity to justify it, call other people out rather than take personal responsibility, and change the subject whenever the heat gets turned up. These are not the kind of Republicans I used to support. They appear quite tone deaf to how many voters they have lost, and why. I don't feel sorry for them. I didn't leave the Republican Party so much as it left me. I'm certainly not the only person who is saying that these days.

In many regards the conservative movement has lost its way and misallocated its priorities. Too often it chooses to fight unwinnable battles and fails to understand the collateral damage that it is causing. It also is showing a poor ability to change, evolve with the times, and recognize where the country is going -- with or without it. History is rife with examples of groups and organizations that took that path, only to realize too late that they had become obsolete and irrelevant. The current Republican Party may have to suffer the same fate in order to get back to its roots and redefine itself for a new era and a different world around it.

mollyr
mollyr

As I said in the initial story.....this was all about Kleefisch trying to help out his wealthy friends. His ilk makes me sick....

Jambalaya
Jambalaya

53562.... You really defend this?? Wow.

freddiebell
freddiebell

53562 is only here to tell us what he/she is against, not what he/she is for. It is the mark of an intellectual vacant argument. You can safely disregard anything he/she says as being no less biased than what perceived prejudices he/she chooses to rail about.

Jambalaya
Jambalaya

John galt.... Since when is being ordered to pay 10% of your income to support your 3 children "taking everything away from you"? The standard child support payment is 17% for ONE child.

John_Galt
John_Galt

How much marital property did the wife get in the divorce? State law requires a 50/50 split.
I know many families that live on less than 5k per month, his kids need 5k per month to live on why?

bluffsinview
bluffsinview

He got almost all of the assets. It's in the court documents. He has assets worth over $30 million.

Jambalaya
Jambalaya

This story makes me sick. Why is the Milw Journal Sentinel not reporting this??

BadgerFan12345
BadgerFan12345

Those of you defending this are just as immoral and disgusting as Eisenga and Kleefish.

geo_
geo_

On the bright side we have another woman and some children who see that republicans are selfish, greedy it's all about me takers. This man has the option of appealing to a judge to get his child support payments reduced as have every other child support payer in the history of Wisconsin. Because he's wealthy enough to buy the favors of his representative he feels he deserves special treatment. Then there's Joel, is he incapable of writing a bill? What about Joel's lie that this bill will not benefit his patron?

JEANNE TARANTINO
JEANNE TARANTINO

And his aide is setting a new percentage standard for families. Nice.

freddiebell
freddiebell

As easy as it is to excoriate Kleefisch on this, what of the others on his side of the aisle who actively support it? They, too, should be called out for their position on it. The generic "look what Wisconsin is turning into" statements here do not do justice to their culpability. They should be asked, directly, if they support this bill, and if so why, and be made to take a public position on it. Who is willing to pose these questions to their representatives?

witness2012
witness2012

fb, don't worry. The public hearing on this bill next week should be quite lively. Not only has the family law section of the state bar condemned it, but anyone who works closely with divorced families and child support oppose the idea of removing judicial discretion and changing the standard percentage for child support.

Kleefisch may be stuck supporting this bill, but I'd be surprised if any other Republicans come out publicly in support of it.

It will die in committee. .

Comment deleted.
johndoe
johndoe

What legislator did she bribe for her benefit?

blitzgirl
blitzgirl

Isn't this about the kids? Should they not be continued to be raised in the life style they are used to?

College Didn't Take
College Didn't Take

The irony here is rich: Most of the damage is being done to Republican women. How do you gals like the Republican war on women now? Get right in that voting booth and reelect these clowns. You never know when one of the laws they pass will affect you.....LOL.

snootyelites
snootyelites

Democrat Party's War on Women! Just the facts!

The number of employed women 16 and over declined by 20,000 from November to December, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The number of women employed dropped from 67,882,000 in November to 67,862,000 in December.

Additionally, the number of women who are not in the labor force climbed to a record high of 55,028,000 last month. That was up slightly from the 55,026,000 women who were not in the labor force in October, and up 203,000 from 54,825,000 women who were not in the labor force in November.

In December, according to BLS, the labor force participation rate for women was 56.9 percent, marginally down from 57.0 percent in November but up from 56.8 percent in October. The unemployment rate for women also decreased from 6.7 percent in November to 6.5 percent in December.

The labor force participation rate, as calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is based on the civilian non-institutional population, which is the number of people in the country 16 or older who are not in the military or an institution. The labor force participation rate is the percentage of this population that either has a job or actively sought one in the last four weeks.

In November, according to BLS, the female civilian labor force was 72,730,000. In December it dropped to 72,614,000—a decline of 116,000.

johndoe
johndoe

Let me guess:

a) It's Obama's fault

b) It's Doyle's fault

c) It's both their fautl

johndoe
johndoe

Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi, IRS IRS, IRS, fast and furious, fast and furious, fast and furious..........................The more I repeat it, the more you will become under my spell!
Repeat after me: Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi, IRS, IRS, IRS, fast and furious, fast and furious, fast and furious...............The more I repeat it, the more you will become under my spell.
Repeat after me..........................

College Didn't Take
College Didn't Take

How did Romney/Ryan do with that pesky gender gap?

pete
pete

bridge, bridge, bridge, lane closure, lane closure, lane closure....

freddiebell
freddiebell

@ pete, below: "Stupid is as stupid does." (F. Gump)

Ego Vigilabo Vigilum
Ego Vigilabo Vigilum

snootyelites;

"Democrat Party's War on Women! Just the facts!"

Cheap shot; I challenge you to find anyone shown a greater, more consistent interest in women than the likes of Bob Filner, Eliot Spitzer, & Bill Clinton.

Deserving of mention is also Uber-Feminist Hillary Clinton. Her clear, concise adherence to advancing the cause of females by exemplary example should be an inspiration to any and all.

The numerous gals she summarily kicked to the curb for standing up against the Predator-In-Chief? Well, sacrifices need to be made.

No Tammy Wynette she!

Crow Barr
Crow Barr

Eggo--I like Hillary Rodham Clinton!
A woman with a bit of an "Ego" gets under your skin, eh, Ego Amigo?

Ego Vigilabo Vigilum
Ego Vigilabo Vigilum

Crow Barr (below);

"Eggo--I like Hillary Rodham Clinton! " Thanks for clearing that up!

HRC lover + vikies/bares fan = Glutton for Punishment.

FTR, her gender meant nothing as my opinion of her politics has "evolved."

adamman
adamman

Ego: Did I detect a note of sarcasm in your comment?

Ego Vigilabo Vigilum
Ego Vigilabo Vigilum

adamman (below);

"Did I detect a note of sarcasm in your comment?"

While that would be completely out of character, it is not only possible but damned likely.

Why you ask? I've been off my feed the last couple of days after another commenter (for whom I embrace nothing but unqualified respect and admiration) referred to me as a "boy named Suh."

Several brief taps on a keyboard, yet a lifetime on the heart!

JEANNE TARANTINO
JEANNE TARANTINO

This isn't a partisan issue. The Republicans are in power now and should be working on good public policy, not engaging in an egregious pay-for-play scheme like this especially with consequences for women and children for generations to come. This is indefensible and to suggest that we should turn a blind eye because Democrats have a war on women waging is ridiculous.

number6
number6

When the Marx Brothers movie is produced, don't forget a scene about American Lending Solutions, LLC: "Can my loan be sold? Your loan can be sold at any time. There is a secondary mortgage market in which lenders frequently buy and sell pools of mortgages. This secondary mortgage market results in lower rates for consumers." The background for this scene can be families in foreclosure while Jamie Diamond lights a cigar with a C-note. Or maybe local talent, say, in Columbus, could buy that role in the cast.

Instead of buying legislation to lower child support, why not just monetize these settlements, bundle them and sell to the highest bidder? Think of the commissions! 'Rates' could be lowered for the divorcees, and we'd all be better off, at least until the market crashed.

graefental
graefental

Wow, Gov. When did you learn a word like "irony"??? You even used it correctly in a sentence!

jimatmadison
jimatmadison

These Tea Partiers use the government like their own personal ATM.

John_Galt
John_Galt

That's rich!
The tea party was started when enough of us got sick and tired of the government using the people as their ATM!

freddiebell
freddiebell

John_Galt: The fact of the matter is that the tea party has a negative perception among a large number of Americans, and that tendency appears to be growing. Of course it might help if they were to tell us more of what they are FOR and less of what they are against. The tone is consistently negative and combative, not what I (and probably lots of other people) want to hear. It takes a toll.

You can argue the point with jimatmadison, me, and others like us all you want, but perception becomes reality at the ballot box. If you want our votes, you have to do a better job of convincing us to support your cause. It is your cross to bear, your burden to carry. You won't gain traction with the voters, and reverse the growing perception that you are little more than a bunch of cranks and wingnuts looking to gripe and moan and blame others, unless and until you find a better message, as well as a better way to articulate it. That is what you are up against.

Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

As the Republican TOTAL and TOTALITARIAN control of Wisconsin strengthens it's grip, expect ridiculous bills such as the most recent one from Joel Kleefisch to increase in frequency, audacity, and absurdity.

From Glenn Grothman's suggestion that the workers be allowed a seven-day work week, to the revelation above that multi-millionaire Eisenga finds it refreshing to give Scott Walker $15,000 - but the same amount in monthly support of Eisenga's children he finds revolting speaks to the overall Republican Party disdain for the rights of the weak and powerless - workers who fear getting fired for refusing "overtime" that never ends, and children whose wealthy fathers believe there is a limit to one man's responsibility to support his own children.

It's interesting that in the race to the bottom, a favorite preoccupation of Republican legislators, the rich and influential, characterized in this story in the actions of millionaire Michael Eisenga, that the influence-peddling wealthy conservatives now want the benefit of appearing poor before the courts - in the guise of "being a common man" when it comes to income allowed to be considered for child support payments capped at the Eisenga / Kleefisch demanded amount of $150,000. After all, they might reason, "why should success be punished?" by charging millionaires more for child support than a man who has not been so "successful".

Of course what Eisenga and Kleefisch so conveniently forget is that the true measure of a successful father is that he has unconditional love for his children, not love maxed out with a price tag of no greater than $150,000 in annual income.

This over-arching Republican theme of disdain for the weak and powerless plays itself out in bill after bill meant to give more to the rich, who after all must not be "punished" for their success, and less to the poor, who after all "deserve what they get". It is corruption of the worst kind - using one's individual wealth to custom-order legislation most suitable to one's personal benefit.

In addition to Kleefisch's apparent "for sale or rent" legislator name tag, he's also crafted, voted-for, or hung his name on quite a number of poorly thought out bills in recent months
- Concealed carry in public schools
- Urban bow hunting around PEOPLE (yes that is what urban means, Joel)
- New charter school laws that would eliminate school district oversight of such schools (opening the door for for-profit corporations to run public schools)
- Repealing damages for workplace discrimination
- Gutting environmental protections in mining laws
- Making apologies from doctors inadmissible in court for physician malpractice cases. (even though the doctor is sorry he/she screwed up, you can't hold that against him/her)
- And many more Kleefisch damage as shown here:
https://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/52014/joel-kleefisch#.UtDjptJdW_g

sdb53
sdb53

And another thing. Are Wisconsin politicians so cheap that they can be bought with just $3500 over several years time? I am from Chicago so I know something about corruption and it is more expensive than that. It doesn't seem that Eisenga dropped $50K on the Kleefisch campaign and all of a sudden this bill appeared. I see no evidence of Eisenga slipping an envelope filled with cash under the desk. Not only that, all the activities reported in the story were a public record available to any reporter intent on a hatchet job on a rich guy.

Corruption 101-Don't keep records, let alone records anyone can access!

If something unethical was going it would be the job of the GAB to do something. I see no evidence in the article that indicates the GAB had any concerns at all. No laws have been broken and I see no allegations of ethical violations.

Of course money buys access to politicians. Anyone who is surprised by that is naïve. Of course politicians help their friends. Same as above. I'm reminded of the Claude Raines character in Casablanca who is shocked to learn that gambling is going on as he pockets his winnings. If you threw out every representative of either party who has helped a friend or listened to a donor the capitol would be a cold and empty place and the state could save a lot of money.

Some posters reveal an ignorance of how the process works in Madison. Legislators work with constituents and lobbyists all the time to write bills. The citizen says "I would like the bill to say this". The representatives either says that will never work or that it might. Drafts go back and forth with input from all concerned until a final draft is produced. Then it is reviewed by lawyers at the Leg. Council and LRB for technical problems before it is finally introduced for consideration by the members. The bill must undergo consideration by the leadership and the caucus. Do you really think all those people are bought? With less than an average $5000 a year?

There is no corruption here. There is only innuendo and insinuation without any actual basis in fact. In other words - a hatchet job.

Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

@ sdb53's "No laws have been broken and I see no allegations of ethical violations."

In a technical sense only, your're right about that. But let's remember that "no laws have been broken" in the governments and legislative dealings of present day Iran or Syria, but the fascism present in those countries, who abuse their single-party control to oppress the poor and the weak, is little different than the law-abiding actions of misters Eisenga and Kleeflish. The game is the same, use government power to diminish the rights of those not in power, thereby enhancing the rights of those with government power, and their wealthy partners. It is hand-in-hand, pay to play, deals between the powerful that denies a say in the matter for the weak and powerless - in this case children who have no right to vote scoundrels such as Kleeflish out of office - but must stand by mute as their wealthy fathers such as Eisenga use "the law" to diminish child-support payments.

All this from the Republican Party, the party that insists that people take personal responsibility. Hypocrites in the extreme.

Norwood44
Norwood44

It's nice to see Fiction move from comparing Wisconsin to Nazi Germany and broaden comparisons to include Iran and Syria. Way to spread your despotic wings Fiction. It's a much broader "sky is falling" metaphor. Keep up the hysterical work.

sdb53
sdb53

Hyperbole, the favorite weapon of partisans on both sides. It's just like the worst countries you can think of. I just must not be paying attention. I see no public executions here for religious crimes. The media has failed to report the use of chemical weapons or barrel bombs on population centers here. I think we even have the right to vote here despite the best efforts of the republicans-, you know, those in power- to restrict that.

.

adamman
adamman

FOF: As usual, you have made a insightful observation.
Very well reasoned.

Comment deleted.
human
human

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem. Attacking the writer does not refute the facts.

sdb53
sdb53

What is all the controversy about here? Eisenga was mayor of Columbus and Kleefisch represents Columbus so of course they knew each other plus Eisenga was a constituent. Can any of the self righteous posters on this board honestly say that if they had a friend in the assembly and if they had donated money to that friend they would never consider asking for help wit a problem such as taxes, zoning, regulations or yes even child support.

Eisenga was a donor to the Republican party for years before any divorce why should he stop afterward?

Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

@ sdb53 I understand your point about influential donors calling in favors, and it certainly happens in both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. But what is at issue now is the overwhelming number and frequency of corruption within the Republican Party of Wisconsin, which has 100% control of the State of Wisconsin. It's that control, paid for by the wealthy such as Eisenga, that is the true corrupting presence in our once-ethical state government. And since this bill, like many others, adversely effects children, the thinking behind it, Republican thinking, is all the more perverse.

johndoe
johndoe

What other influence has his money bought?

Retired PE
Retired PE

sdb53, of course, I would ask for help. However, the real crime here is that the legislator to whom I am asking is listening and then acting on my request no matter how self-centered it may be. It "never hurts to ask," but if we had politicians with any ethics in Madison, they should NOT be listening to my request.

Retired PE
Retired PE

And, yet we as voters pay no attention and keep returning these office holders back into power. When will voters in these districts that continually keep electing these officials whose doors are open to the rich & powerful start to throw these people out of office and start to elect someone/anyone with ethics? When will voters with far less money start to realize that they would not get the same treatment from these officials? Voters keep electing these people with a clear track record, and we get what we deserve. The snowball will keep rolling down the hill as the politicians such as Kleefisch keep getting more & more brazen in their proposals because WE keep returning them to office time and time again.

Gianni
Gianni

Transactional politics. Rep. K and Gov. Dropout are peas in a pod. Their offices are like vending machines. Plug the money in, choose the law you want.

River
River

Rich guys get bored with their families too. Why should they suffer?

kooler
kooler

quit complaining we've got the best by god gubment money can buy.

Beingbucky
Beingbucky

Here's a shovel Remy. Keep digging.

remy17
remy17

gee, that one comment of mine was poorly worded a bit. my apologies. hopefully the point was made regardless.

please exercise critical, original thought before you rattle off the preconceptions from your biases and partisanship.

being the dad has been the best part of my life. i still believe the author has some homework to do.

remy17
remy17

i simply wanted to point out all the assumptions and stereotyping that come from ignorance. i always knew people could talk out their derrieres. wasn't sure until now they could type that way

remy17
remy17

being bucky, pull your ears out from your butt. the bias in these matters is obscene. once awarded custody of our child at his age of 4, i was awarded custody of that child. then given the luxury of a huge child support settlement. simply on the merits of my income.

oh, by the way, i was the payor. and the father. can you hear me yet? or are you still deaf there in your darkness?

Norby
Norby

Guess we should be proud. Wisconsin has the best government money can buy.

Beingbucky
Beingbucky

Brooklyn (53562), that blustering about the reporter is so, so weak (and predictable). If you are so concerned about her objectivity , then make your point by finding something she said that is false. Hundreds of thousands of people protested, and the further we get into Walker 's term , the more those protests make sense. Pure, utter money-grubbing, power,-drunk sleaze.

Comment deleted.
witness2012
witness2012

All you got is attacking the messenger?

Look at the draft documents and emails. Whether you like the reporter or not, they speak for themselves. Don't try to deflect attention from what is going on here.

koala
koala

Corruption. I sure hope the good people of Oconomowoc realize that, Republican or not, Kleefisch brings disgrace on their community. They could and shall do better.

BananaSplitz
BananaSplitz

If only the Marx Brothers were still around. This would make a great movie.

number6
number6

True, most of us prefer laughing to crying.

GMason
GMason

Why isn't this against the law in Wisconsin?? Bribery and attempt to bribe someone is against the law. Accepting a bribe is against the law. Where is this kook that calls himself an Attorney General?? Wisconsin is becoming Little New Jersey. Maybe you should change the name of the capital city to Walkerville. Better yet why not vote the bums out of office? I can hear Bill Evjue now. He's not saying "Hello Wisconsin" It is goodbye Wisconsin these days.

Retired PE
Retired PE

GMason, the sad truth is that "bribery or attempt to" is against the law for all the rest of us but not for the politicians that write the laws. WI is more than "open for business" it seems in that anyone now (with the right amount of money and financial support) can walk right into a politician's office and sit down and write a bill that benefits him/herself. NJ political government, it seems, has nothing over our current WI government!

freddiebell
freddiebell

GMason: Why not vote the bums out of office? Because: 1) it is more important to just enough people in WI to support job creators who aren't creating jobs, strengthen gun rights, and whack around public sector workers for a 13 dollar gain; and 2) it is easier to turn a blind eye to what one does not particularly care about, or what doesn't directly impact the self, than to turn one's back on what one perceives to be in one's own personal best interests. As long as they have a politician who tells them what they want to hear and legislates accordingly, they will vote in lockstep with that. Sadly, the latter point is true of too many people on both sides of the aisle, thus the gridlock and lack of flexibility that we must endure. There is much room for improvement.

snootyelites
snootyelites

Naked Prejudice: it's like saying poor victim of domestic abuse lobbied for the old law! Really How low can you go!

Progressives have unemployed so many women since Obama. The Progressives War on women must stop!

Comment deleted.
G Gordon
G Gordon

Joel, is that you?

Surgeonofdemise
Surgeonofdemise

“I do a gamut of legislation with the help and assistance of many, many constituents,” Kleefisch said, “and whether they give a contribution or not has not made a difference.”

LOL!!!!!!!!!! Yeah right!

CuteKitten
CuteKitten

He should name a few bills and the other constituents that helped in the drafting of those bills.

sdb53
sdb53

OK-This bill and I worked with him and his staff to draft the language of the equal placement provisions in the bill. I presented him with the language we wanted and worked with his staff throughout the process. I have never contributed to a Republican and probably never will yet Rep Kleefisch helped me too.

human
human

Columbus is not currently in Assembly District 38, which Kleefisch represents. In what sense (besides financial) is Elsenga Kleefisch's "constituent?"

endy5
endy5

Anyone else remember this? http://www.wkow.com/story/18426319/former-walker-aide-tied-to-no-call-list-violator

G Gordon
G Gordon

For those who don't: "A former aide and campaign worker for Governor Scott Walker who faces misconduct charges was affiliated with a business with ties to the largest alleged violator of the state's No-Call List.

Nevada state records show Kelly Rindfleisch as affiliated with National Lending Solutions, a business with a Columbus address, between December 2011 and March 2012.

Milwaukee County's district attorney has charged Rindfleisch with misconduct in public office for allegedly doing campaign work while on-the-job as deputy chief of staff for then-Milwaukee County executive Scott Walker. Rindfleisch was criminally charged at the same time she was listed as the business reservation holder in Nevada.

The business address for National Lending Solutions is identical to the address of American Lending Solutions, formerly First American Funding Company, owned by Michael Eisenga of Columbus."

This is just sickening. Kleefisch and his dirty, disgusting associates have turned our Capitol into a pigsty.

freddiebell
freddiebell

G Gordon: Agreed. There should be accountability. But where is the outrage? The lack of public awareness and response in some ways says more about us all than it does about them. We get what we are willing to settle for in life. In that sense, shame on us.

technomomwi
technomomwi

Big surprise.

Thinkingoutloud
Thinkingoutloud

Unfortunately some people have yet to learn it is more important to love your children more than you hate your ex.

G Gordon
G Gordon

http://www.wkow.com/story/18659052/millionaires-children-on-badgercare

Same lowlife who is worth over $20 million and enrolled his children in Badgercare. Nice friends you have there, Joel.

wissian70
wissian70

Wow. Thanks for the link.

freddiebell
freddiebell

Thanks for finding and posting the link, G Gordon. Some highlights for our collective edification -- fascinating reading and worthy of some pointed questions being asked of our elected officials:

"The three children of a Columbus businessman receive their health insurance through the state's plan for low-income families, BadgerCare, despite their father's estimated worth of $20 million. ...

Records show Eisenga owns real estate and more than a half dozen businesses, including a golf course. Campaign finance records show Eisenga has contributed a total of more than $28,000 to Governor Walker, Lieutenant Governor Kleefisch and the Republican Party since April 2010. ...

While Eisenga's children are enrolled in the department of health's BadgerCare program, he has an adversarial relationship with another state department. The department of revenue lists Eisenga on its web site of Wisconsin's worst tax delinquencies. Revenue officials have filed a court tax warrant against Eisenga, listing unpaid sales taxes, interest and penalties at over $224,000."

Beingbucky
Beingbucky

How is this not bribery? What kind of banana republic has this state become?

This is so grossly corrupt that we can count on a chorus of "obbumer" and benghazi.

witness2012
witness2012

This is appalling.

John_Galt
John_Galt

Why is this appalling?
Consider if you were a highly successful person and a loving spouse that did everything possible to make a marriage work and your spouse cheated on you or worse, then divorced you and used all the laws against you to take everything possible from you for no other reason other than it's possible?

witness2012
witness2012

JG, this man makes 1.2 million a year. He can afford the legal assistance to defend his case in court. It looks like he is doing that.

What is unconscionable is trying to give a legislator money so he changes state law to address your particular situation. Is that how it is supposed to work?

You have enough money and you buy a legislator and have him write the laws you want?

John_Galt
John_Galt

Most laws in this country were written because of public input. There is nothing at all wrong with what has happened here.
The key here is that one legislator proposed this law, now the chance it will actually pass is pretty low. I'd be shocked if it happened. That is how our system of government works.
We are all allowed by law to petition our government after all. It doesn't mean our petition will go anywhere if few others are in favor of it.

Witness2012, you have no idea who is the problem in his case and I'd hardly consider the kids to be poor at 5k/month..... Unless of course the mother is keeping all the money for her own high standard of living.

witness2012
witness2012

And, I suspect you and I have different definitions of "highly successful". For you, it seems to mean making a lot of money.

I'm looking at other criteria than income- like honor, maybe. The poor kids of this man- unbelievably tragic.

koala
koala

The law is not a game, Galt.

College Didn't Take
College Didn't Take

You mean like Randy Hopper?

freddiebell
freddiebell

John_Galt: To your hypothetical scenario ... maybe he/she should have seen it coming, made a better life choice in the first place, and/or done something to prevent the destructive behavior.

If you are a true conservative, you will advocate people taking responsibility for their actions and acknowledge that choices have consequences, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. The solution is not to buy influence and try to weasel out of it. That choice, too, has consequences -- unfortunately, for other people.

Beingbucky
Beingbucky

Yeah Remy let's discuss the reporter. That's the real story, right ? "Reporter picks on upstanding Christian politician." Go read mediatracker if you don't want the truth.

Beingbucky
Beingbucky

We are about to find out who the paid posters are . Anybody who defends either the law or the process by which it was created (or says "both sides do it") can't be sincere.

remy17
remy17

the author is most likely ill-equipped to write this. all the cliches are in there. i was most offended by the politicization and lack of open mindedness.

witness2012
witness2012

Dee Hall? She is one of the most experienced and respected reporters in the state.

The documents speak for themselves and show, btw, that kleefisch is lying when he claims that this law would not apply to Eisenga's specific situation. In fact, the purpose of the law is to allow Mr. Eisenga to be able to go back to court and have his child support payments lowered.

Read the draft documents- including those from his attorney- and then make the same claim.

G Gordon
G Gordon

Dear remy17,

Your check is in the mail. Thanks.

Joel

Norby
Norby

The new "Wisconsin way".

College Didn't Take
College Didn't Take

Nothing to see here, all politicans legislate this way. Oh, and by the way.....vote for me again.

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