wisconsin capitol
Press Release
June 16, 2014

Republican Attorney General Candidate Brad Schimel Running (Literally) From Questions

Bizarrely Bolts From Television Interview When Queried About His Position on Pay-to-Play Politics

MADISON, Wis. — Piling irony on top of outrageousness, Waukesha County District Attorney and Republican Attorney General candidate Brad Schimel abruptly ran out of a television interview – to attend his political fundraising event – when asked about his comments defending a legislator’s introduction of a bill to dramatically lower the child support payments of a millionaire campaign contributor.

One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross commented, “It’s understandable Brad Schimel would find it difficult to justify his outrageous position that legislators introducing bills to specifically benefit millionaire campaign contributors is the ‘essence of representative government’. But it’s beyond belief that when confronted with questions, his excuse for literally bolting for the door was he needed to get to his own campaign’s cash grab.”

In a bizarre exchange with a Fox 6 News reporter in Milwaukee, Schimel bolted from an on-camera interview when the reporter attempted to question him about the Kleefisch bill and his apparent defense of pay-to-play politics in response to One Wisconsin Now’s request for an investigation.

One Wisconsin Now had earlier appealed to Schimel, as District Attorney, to look into potential impropriety surrounding legislation introduced by Waukesha County Republican State Representative Joel Kleefisch. The bill in question would have 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. 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 the Schimel’s campaign.

“Brad Schimel came right out and told us he believes the buying and selling of political influence is the ‘essence of representative government.’ We can only wonder what he said to his donors behind closed doors at a fundraiser after he fled his interview,” concluded Ross.

# # #

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

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