When does a political donation become bribery?

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david cohen
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When does a political donation become bribery?

Postby david cohen » Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:09 am

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/ ... a0e18.html

When you pay for a law to be written and enacted that will allow you to re-open your own legal case for your own financial benefit?

kurt_w
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Re: When does a political donation become bribery?

Postby kurt_w » Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:36 am

Wow. That is ... stunning in its blatant corruption.

Kleefisch flat-out lies about the law here:

“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.”


"The bill would not affect Mr. Eisenga in any way"? Er, it sure looks to me like it would slash his child-support payments by at least tens of thousands of dollars per year:

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.


So, currently, Mr Eisenga is paying child support based on an income of $1.2 million plus assets of $30 million. If Kleefisch succeeds in getting the Aid To Wealthy Divorced Dads Named Eisenga Bill passed and signed into law, Mr Eisenga's child support obligations would be based on an income capped at $150,000 and no assets.

Without looking into more details, just those two changes alone would slash Mr Eisenga's child support by around $120,000 a year.

More quotes from the article:
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.


In other words, they were trying to write a bill that would only affect Mr Eisenga's situation. That turned out to be difficult. But adding in the 10% threshold for re-opening cases at least meant that only a few very wealthy Dads would benefit.

I guess that was good enough for Kleefisch and Eisenga.

snoqueen
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Re: When does a political donation become bribery?

Postby snoqueen » Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:37 am

This guy Eisenga will live to regret it, because his kids are going to know what a turd he is and will never let him forget until his dying day. It's a matter of public record.

gargantua
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Re: When does a political donation become bribery?

Postby gargantua » Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:50 am

This is a particularly odious example of it, but I think that most if not all political donations are a form of bribery. I can't say with certainty that we'd get better government if all elections were publicly financed.

But it's hard to imagine it being any worse.

Detritus
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Re: When does a political donation become bribery?

Postby Detritus » Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:08 pm

snoqueen wrote:This guy Eisenga will live to regret it, because his kids are going to know what a turd he is and will never let him forget until his dying day. It's a matter of public record.

I doubt it. If he cared, he wouldn't have done it in the first place.

rabble
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Re: When does a political donation become bribery?

Postby rabble » Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:49 pm

Detritus wrote:
snoqueen wrote:This guy Eisenga will live to regret it, because his kids are going to know what a turd he is and will never let him forget until his dying day. It's a matter of public record.

I doubt it. If he cared, he wouldn't have done it in the first place.

I gotta go with flotsam and jetsam on this one. Hell, at least one of his kids might even think he's doing the right thing, depending on how much he was around while they were growing up. Apples and trees and all that.

Steve Vokers
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Re: When does a political donation become bribery?

Postby Steve Vokers » Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:56 pm

As part of my job at a purposefully-unnamed state agency, I review legislation that comes under my agency's purview. I see stuff like this all the time - bills that are drafted to benefit one or at most a few people.

So don't think for a minute that this is some isolated incident.

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Re: When does a political donation become bribery?

Postby Donald » Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:19 pm

Vokers, is right. This is quite common. It used to be more common in Washington, DC when earmarks were much more common, but it still happens. States have always found ways to carve out favors and laws for particularly favored individuals.

But consider that in the minds of certain types of folks who think in strange ways, this could be about substance. The Christian right, and I'm assuming Kleefisch, has a Biblical view of family life and political leadership. By that I don't mean an ethical view, but a view derived from social and family structure modeled on cultures that were extant during Biblical times.

Patron/client relationships were the norm in Biblical times. In Kleefisch's Biblically oriented mind, he is just repaying a favor to a patron. He thinks it's normal. In modern days and under today's law, it could be considered bribery, except we have carved out wide exceptions to bribery as it applies to political behavior. Indeed, our modern political system swings back and forth between a democratic and a patronage system. Today it is beginning to resemble a patronage system, and Citizens' United will speed that development. That's why Christian fundamentalists, who favor patronage governance, support Citizens' United-type "bribery."

Christian extremists also gravitate to male-dominated family structures, using Biblical models. In most cases bringing up children, except for discipline, is primarily a female duty. Since the 1980s I have sat through lots of testimony by so-called "Christian" lobbying groups who oppose domestic violence and child custody and support legislation. They always take the side of the violent male or the male who is skipping out on child support.

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Re: When does a political donation become bribery?

Postby kurt_w » Sat Jan 11, 2014 5:02 pm

Huh. It turns out that not only is Mr Eisenga trying to get out of his child-support payments; he complied with the requirement to provide his kids with health insurance by ... enrolling them in BadgerCare:

Millionaire's children on BadgerCare

Nothing wrong with that, I guess, as long as he's paying the full premiums. But it's a slightly odd choice. Not many millionaires choose to insure their kids through BadgerCare.

Oh, and Mr Eisenga apparently recently owed the state over $200,000 in delinquent taxes, at the same time that he was donating tens of thousands of dollars to GOP political campaigns.

Let's see, what else? One of Mr Eisenga's businesses apparently used to employ disgraced former Walker aide Kelly Rindfleisch, right up until the point when she was charged with misconduct.

And Mr Eisenga's business "First American Funding" was apparently the state's worst violator of the Do-Not-Call list. After allegedly making telemarketing calls to over a million households on Wisconsin's Do-Not-Call list, Eisenga's company agreed to a $144,000 settlement with the state.

Telemarketer? Worst violator of the Do-Not-Call list? Employer of Kelly Rindfleisch? Tax delinquent? Big-time donor to every major GOP politician in the state? Wannabe re-writer of child support laws who enrolls his kids in a health care program for low-income children despite his vast wealth?

This guy is apparently quite a piece of work.

Henry Vilas
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Re: When does a political donation become bribery?

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:45 am

After taking heat for his proposal, Kleefish withdrew his bill.

The Republican sponsor of a controversial bill that would reduce child-support payments for wealthy individuals announced Tuesday morning he is withdrawing the bill.

"After careful deliberation and consulting with my colleagues, I have decided to pull back AB 540," Rep. Joel Kleefisch, R-Oconomowoc, said in a statement.


He couldn't even get support from fellow GOPers, who told him it wouldn't be prudent.

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Re: When does a political donation become bribery?

Postby fisticuffs » Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:06 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:After taking heat for his proposal, Kleefish withdrew his bill.

The Republican sponsor of a controversial bill that would reduce child-support payments for wealthy individuals announced Tuesday morning he is withdrawing the bill.

"After careful deliberation and consulting with my colleagues, I have decided to pull back AB 540," Rep. Joel Kleefisch, R-Oconomowoc, said in a statement.


He couldn't even get support from fellow GOPers, who told him it wouldn't be prudent.


Well that sucks. Does Eisenga get his money back?

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Re: When does a political donation become bribery?

Postby minicat » Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:37 pm

Could our current state government be any shittier? Seriously, what a morally reprehensible bunch of fuckers we've got running the show right now.

Francis Di Domizio
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Re: When does a political donation become bribery?

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:38 pm

minicat wrote:Could our current state government be any shittier? Seriously, what a morally reprehensible bunch of fuckers we've got running the show right now.


They could have actually passed this bill

Steve Vokers
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Re: When does a political donation become bribery?

Postby Steve Vokers » Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:21 pm

fisticuffs wrote:
Henry Vilas wrote:After taking heat for his proposal, Kleefish withdrew his bill.

The Republican sponsor of a controversial bill that would reduce child-support payments for wealthy individuals announced Tuesday morning he is withdrawing the bill.

"After careful deliberation and consulting with my colleagues, I have decided to pull back AB 540," Rep. Joel Kleefisch, R-Oconomowoc, said in a statement.


He couldn't even get support from fellow GOPers, who told him it wouldn't be prudent.


Well that sucks. Does Eisenga get his money back?


His monthly statement will show a credit until his next legislative need arises.

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Re: When does a political donation become bribery?

Postby kurt_w » Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:48 pm

The fascinating story of Michael Eisenga, Joel Kleefisch's VIP donor

The embarrassing incident for Kleefisch comes on the heels of a behind-the-scenes video that shows his wife, the lieutenant governor, talking to a number of representatives from large companies, asking them what the state could do to "love you more."


:roll:


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