Lt. Gov. Kleefisch Hosts Schimel Fundraiser After DA Refused to Investigate Husband’s ‘Pay-to-Play’ Allegations

Another Example of Schimel’s Warped Ideas on the ‘Essence of Representative Government’

MADISON, Wis. — Months after refusing to investigate Republican Rep. Joel Kleefisch, husband of Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, for allegations Rep. Kleefisch wrote a specific piece of legislation to benefit a compare donor to himself, his wife and Gov. Scott Walker, Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel will benefit from a fundraiser hosted today by the Lieutenant Governor at the Tory Lake Club in Oconomowoc.

“Brad Schimel wrote to us and said he believes selling legislation to the highest bidder is the ‘essence of representative government,’ said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “Tomorrow Brad Schimel gets his payoff for turning a blind eye to the scandalous misconduct of Lt. Gov. Kleefisch’s husband. Brad Schimel is doing everything but changing the signs on the border to read ‘Wisconsin is Open for Pay to Play.’”

In January, One Wisconsin Now had appealed to Schimel, as Waukesha County District Attorney, to look into potential impropriety surrounding legislation introduced by Waukesha County Rep. Joel Kleefisch. The bill in question would have specifically slashed the child support obligations of a millionaire Kleefisch campaign donor.

Schimel responded via email, “Why can’t a legislator press for legislation that benefits a person who has contributed to their campaign? Isn’t that the essence of representative government?”

Drafting records revealed that the donor and his attorneys provided detailed, line-by-line instructions to Kleefisch on how to write the legislation to ensure the bill would benefit this donor. The individual who would benefit from the bill has made campaign donations totaling $3,500 to Rep. Kleefisch, $7,500 to his wife Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and $15,000 to Gov. Walker. In addition, Rep. Kleefisch has contributed to Schimel’s campaign.

When first questioned about his “essence of representative government” comments by a Milwaukee television reporters, Schimel abruptly ran out of a interview – to attend a political fundraising event.

“Brad Schimel came right out and told us that the he believes the buying and selling of political influence is the ‘essence of representative government.’ We can only wonder what he will promise political donors Lt. Gov. Kleefisch has arranged for him to get campaign checks from and meet with,” concluded Ross.

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One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.