On the heels of fellow Tea Party Republican J.B. Van Hollen’s partisan decision to not represent Wisconsin election officials in a lawsuit from the right-wing group the Wisconsin Club for Growth, in an interview with the Captial Times editorial board, Republican Attorney General candidate Brad Schimel said he would handle the situation differently – completely ignoring his own personal history of partisan favors.
The Attorney General candidate’s comment ignores his record as Waukesha District Attorney, which is full of sweetheart, partisan deals designed to favor his Republican allies. Despite his comments to the Capital Times, Schimel’s record would indicate that several politicians, donors, and former bosses are above the law in his eyes.
Chris Wisemueller, a Republican attorney, who provided free legal services to Walker-aide Darlene Wink, admitted to destroying files on a client’s computer to keep them from investigators in a John Doe investigation into Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign and was not even charged by District Attorney Brad Schimel. Wiesmueller deleted files from Wink’s computer which included evidence John Doe prosecutors wanted as part of their investigation. Schimel gave Wisemueller a sweetheart deal, agreeing to not file criminal charges if Wisemueller reported the case to the Office of Lawyer Regulation – the same office Schimel now discredits in attacks on his Democratic rival Susan Happ.
Joel Hochmuth, a sex offender represented by Schimel’s former boss Paul Bucher, was allowed to avoid a trial and a prison sentence on child pornography charges. Hochmuth was charged with using the Internet to download hundreds of images of boys engaged in sexual acts with other youths and men. Hochmuth was charged with three felony counts of possession of child pornography. As part of a plea agreement that avoided a trial, Hochmuth pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography – the two other counts were dismissed. Hochmuth was sentenced to a short jail term with work release privileges – until he violated the terms of his probation and was sentenced to prison. Bucher, Hochmuth’s defense attorney, is a former district attorney who hired Schimel and was his boss for 16 years.
Schimel let fellow Republican Scott Jensen off the hook after Jensen had been convicted on three felony counts of misusing his public office as speaker of the State Assembly and sentenced to 15 months in prison. The charges involved using state staff and resources to run political campaigns for Republicans, including hiring a full-time fundraiser on the state payroll. Schimel cut a plea deal with Jensen that dropped all of the felony charges and let him plead guilty to a misdemeanor and pay a fine.
Earlier this year, it was revealed State Rep. Joel Kleefisch introduced a bill at the request of a major Republican donor, Michael Eisenga, aimed at significantly reducing Eisenga child support payments. Eisenga, has given $51,760 to Republicans since 2005, with $19,500 going to Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign and $10,000 to Kleefisch and his wife, lieutenant governor Rebecca Kleefisch, who is Walker’s lieutenant governor. Schimel commented on the scandal, saying, “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?”
“Brad Schimel has a pattern of letting his friends and allies skirt the rule of law as District Attorney of Waukesha County. I can’t even imagine what kind of back-door deals and corruption he would bring to the office of Attorney General if elected in November,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said on Thursday. “Schimel is cut from the same corrupt cloth as his Republican allies Scott Walker and J.B. Van Hollen. Wisconsin is done with corruption and deal making in the office of Attorney General, voters are ready for a new and honest approach with Susan Happ.”