6 more special-interest bills Joel Kleefisch could get behind

Give Rep. Joel Kleefisch his due. He believes in government of the people, by the people, and for the person. And that person just happens to be multimillionaire GOP donor Michael Eisenga, whose hefty donation to the assemblyman apparently included a promise ring, a high school letterman’s jacket, and a giant cake for Kleefisch to jump out of whenever Eisenga entertained important clients.

Last week, the Wisconsin State Journal reported that Kleefisch was withdrawing a bill, AB 540, that would have lowered child-support payments for wealthy individuals.

Of course, in order to withdraw a bill, you first have to introduce it, and that was Kleefisch’s doing as well. And it wasn’t the first time that Kleefisch, husband of Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, had attempted to pass this exemplar of family-values legislation.

From the State Journal:

The State Journal also learned that the bill … was at least the second time Rep. Joel Kleefisch introduced legislation aimed at helping multimillionaire businessman and GOP donor Michael Eisenga reduce what he pays in child support — a minimum $15,000 a month payment for his three children.

Kleefisch … withdrew AB 540 one day after he vowed to amend the bill and other Republicans defended it.

The State Journal reported Friday that Eisenga helped write the bill, suggesting specific changes that would let him reopen his divorce settlement.

Now, 15-large is a lot to shell out every month, so it’s easy enough to sympathize with Eisenga. When I was a kid, I got 5 cents for mowing the lawn, and after a year I got a raise to 10 cents. It taught me that if you work hard and dream big, you may one day be able to lift yourself up from sallow-eyed, soul-crushing poverty to full-blown rickets. I also bought a Mad magazine about once every three months. It was heaven.

So it’s clear that today’s kids are spoiled — and maybe Eisenga’s kids fall into that camp as well — but that’s not really the point. The point is that Eisenga, a wealthy donor, was writing his own bills to serve his own needs, and that’s basically the definition of bad government.

Then again, good government is responsive to the people, and I have no doubt that Kleefisch would have gotten around to the rest of us eventually. (For example, the first draft of my Omnibus “No Making Fun of Tom Breuer’s Huge, Igloo Cooler-Sized Head” Act of 2014 is now complete and awaiting sponsors.)

But as long as Kleefisch is writing bills for small groups and wealthy individuals, here are a few more pieces of legislation he might want to consider:

  • A bill to replace the Forward statue on the dome of the state Capitol with a statue of Charles Koch on Tuesdays and Thursdays and David Koch on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
  • A bill prohibiting any child born after Jan. 1, 1998, from being taller than Herb Kohl.
  • To woo Donald Trump, a law creating a new tax break for whichever birther-believing East Coast real estate mogul looks the most like Dr. Zaius.
  • A proposal to amend the state constitution to include slightly more references to Oscar Mayer Pimiento Loaf.
  • A bill to erect another taxpayer-funded stadium for the private-sector Milwaukee Brewers, complete with a fantasy Ryan Braun PED station, where kids can learn to shoot up like a real MVP. (All fans in attendance on opening day would also receive a collectible replica clean urine carafe embossed with Tony Bosch’s signature.)
  • A bill to create a free ALEC automatic law generator. Corporate leaders could simply enter how much more money they wanted to make into one of several convenient kiosks located in the Capitol rotunda and the software’s algorithm would do the rest. Then they could select which lawmakers would be most sympathetic to their cause, and a copy of their bill would be sent directly to those legislators’ official Senate or Assembly email addresses. Now that’s responsive government!

Has Rush Limbaugh finally gone off the deep end?

I haven’t listened to Rush Limbaugh for years, for the same reason I no longer smelt my own pig iron. There are other people out there who can do the heavy lifting for me.

But while scrolling past pictures of other people’s lunches on Facebook this past week, I caught a couple of choice Limbaugh-related items.

The first involved Limbaugh’s explanation for how he decides whether someone is telling the truth.



You see, back during the Clarence Thomas confirmation brouhaha, Rush Limbaugh rushed to Thomas’ defense. Why? Because Thomas was a true conservative being hounded by leftists, and thus it was easy to suss out the truth behind Anita Hill’s accusations, even though Limbaugh admits he knew nothing about the case at the time and very little about Thomas:

I didn’t think I was risking anything. I really didn’t. If I’d had the slightest doubt of his innocence, I would have never opened my mouth. If I thought that there was just a tiny thread of possibility that what Anita Hill was saying and what the Democrat witnesses were saying was true, I would have stayed silent. But I didn’t. I went to the equivalent of the mountaintops and started shouting. Now, why? Character, conservatism, and my knowledge of the left.

Contrast that with Chris Christie — whom many Republicans do not perceive as a true conservative. Limbaugh says that conservatives aren’t coming to Christie’s defense because he’s sort of a mushy righty:

It’s just every Republican who has entered the fray defending Christie has to put a caveat out there “if he’s telling the truth.” Now, if there were a fervent ideological foundation, if there was a substantive reason of believing in Gov. Christie, then whether he lied wouldn’t matter. They’d be out there defending him left and right just to make sure the Democrats don’t get away with this. And I’ll admit that was part of the reason that I jumped into Clarence Thomas. There was no way they were gonna get away with this if I had the ability to have a little bit of something to do with it. There’s no way. I wasn’t gonna sit there and put up with this. I’d done enough to find out he was a fine man and know this was a witchhunt. They were out to seek and destroy.

Got that, everyone? True conservatives: Honest. Moderate conservatives: Suspect. Left-wingers: Liars. And never let the facts of the matter get in the way. Glad everyone’s on the same page. (For the entire jaw-droppingly Dadaistic explanation, click here.)

Meanwhile, according to Limbaugh, liberals are trying to destroy one of America’s favorite pastimes, concocting another crisis where there isn’t one — presumably so sports bars across the country can be razed to make way for more fancy wineries and Robert Mapplethorpe exhibits. Sez Rush:

Yes, the concussion thing in the NFL is political, too, folks. Just trust me. I know. … All you have to do, folks, is to find out who’s behind something. All you have to do to find out if it’s political is identify who it is that is attempting to move something along on a pathway they think it should take, and you will be answered correctly every time you ask that question.  …  Look at what they’re trying to do. There’s no science here, just like global warming.

Ah, the epistemological stylings of Rush Limbaugh. Truly a wonder to behold. You can hear more of Rush’s bizarre concussion rant here.

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