The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that Waukesha District Attorney and Republican candidate for attorney general Brad Schimel has denied a request by One Wisconsin Now to investigate a pay-to-play scheme orchestrated between Rep. Joel Kleefisch and right-wing donor Michael Eisenga.
Eisenga, a right-wing multimillionaire, has given $15,000 to Scott Walker through his private business, where he happened to find a job for Kelly Rindfleisch, a key figure in the John Doe criminal corruption probe who was convicted of a felony for misconduct in public office. The Kleefisch family also received political donations from Eisenga — $7,500 to Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and $3,500 to her husband, Representative Joel Kleefisch. Earlier this year, a pay-to-play scheme between Eisenga and Rep. Kleefisch emerged showing that Eisenga bought influence in the Capitol, steering Kleefisch into writing a bill that would change child-support payments in a way that benefits Eisenga personally. Incredibly, Eisenga claimed he wouldn’t benefit from the proposed changes to the child-support laws.
Despite being worth an estimated $20 million, Eisenga worked with Rep. Kleefisch to write his own bill that would exclude assets from child support calculations. Current family law determines child-support payment based on a percentage of annual income and in some situations, assets. Eisenga’s bill would have also capped the amount of income subject to child support payments at $150,000.
In declining to investigate Kleefisch, Brad Schimel wrote to OWN that a legislator pressing for legislation that personally benefits one of their campaign contributors is “the essence of representative government.”
Kleefisch donated $1,000 to Schimel’s attorney general campaign in 2013 and Schimel’s campaign donated $100 to Kleefisch’s campaign in 2012.
Schimel has a history of declining to prosecute his political allies, most notably in the case of disgraced former Assembly Speaker of the House Scott Jensen. After being convicted on multiple felony counts for political corruption, Jensen tied the courts up in appeals for ten years and was granted a new trial. Jensen then got his former GOP colleagues to change state law so that his case could go back to his handpicked prosecutor – Brad Schimel.
Brad Schimel gave him a sweet heart deal, refused to prosecute him and now all of Jensen’s felony convictions have gone away.
“By refusing to prosecute Scott Jensen and now flat-out endorsing pay-to-play corruption, Brad Schimel has done enough damage to our democracy just from Waukesha County,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Wednesday. “The last thing Wisconsin needs is an attorney general who will further erode the public trust and hand out get-out-of-jail-free cards to Tea Party legislators and the wealthy elite who support them.”