wisconsin capitol
Press Release
December 17, 2013

Taker, Not a Maker: Wisconsin State GOP Legislator Plagiarizes Three GOP Congressional Representatives in Announcement of Proposed State Legislation

One Wisconsin Now Calls on Rep. Joel Kleefisch to Apologize for Plagiarism, Using His Own Words

MADISON, Wis. — One Wisconsin Now is calling on State Representative Joel Kleefisch to, in his own words, apologize for plagiarizing three Republican U.S. Representatives in a recent legislative co-sponsorship memo on a proposed state bill allowing employers to replace overtime pay with compensatory time. A report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel details the episode in which GOP State Representative, and husband of Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, Joel Kleefisch plagiarized large sections of a memo to his colleagues soliciting their support of state legislation replicating federal legislation.

Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director, commented, “Rep. Kleefisch has revealed himself as the ultimate taker, not maker. Not only has he proposed taking away workers pay for the overtime they put in, he’s didn’t even have the decency to promote the idea he ‘borrowed’ from other legislators in his own words.”

Under the proposed federal legislation and Kleefisch’s cribbed state version of the bill, employers would be able to give employees compensatory time off at a future date instead of paying the wages they earned for the overtime worked.

One Wisconsin Now’s review of the memo Rep. Kleefisch circulated to his legislative colleagues promoting the idea found three significant instances where he failed to attribute or put in quotations the comments of sponsors of the federal legislation, U.S. Representatives Tim Walberg, John Kline and Martha Roby.

Ross concluded, “Rep. Kleefisch has outdone himself this time. He owes, in his own words, an apology to his colleagues for violating their trust and the people of Wisconsin for proposing this horrible policy.”

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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.

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