The Wisconsin recall elections are coming up soon. One district has an interesting choice to make. It seems that State Rep. John Nygren didn't gather enough signatures to climb onto the recall ballot for Senator Dave Hansen's seat, leaving David Vanderleest as the sole Republican challenger. Problem is, David Vanderleest has a few legal issues that might stand between him and victory.
Specifically, he was convicted of disorderly conduct, a Class B misdemeanor, in 2007. He said the conviction was part of a plea deal in a domestic dispute.
That same year, a bank foreclosed his Green Bay house, which was sold at a sheriff's sale.
Another bank, Associated Bank, won a court judgment for nearly $30,000 against VanderLeest and his company, VanderLeest Enterprises. That sum has never been paid, VanderLeest acknowledged.
In addition, VanderLeest and his then-wife filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2006, meaning he did not have to repay most of his creditors. The bankruptcy filings show that they reported $118,341 in assets and $291,674 in liabilities, including unpaid credit card debts, health care bills and loans.
"I had a marriage fall apart and I was in real estate," VanderLeest said. "I'm not ashamed of that."
Asked why the voters should select him to oversee a multibillion-dollar budget given his personal financial problems, VanderLeest said the answer is simple.
"I represent the average person who's struggling," he said.
VanderLeest said he expects to be targeted by top officials in Green Bay. The city has taken him to court over building code violations at properties he owns, leading to more than $1,300 in fines for VanderLeest. His buildings were deemed nuisance properties.
On a personal level, I could probably overlook the foreclosure and other financial problems detailed in his rather lengthy court file. But that domestic dispute plea deal really bothers me. Domestic dispute? Was that a domestic dispute that was a really loud fight outside or was it the kind of domestic dispute where he put hands (or fists) on his spouse and left bruises? Which kind gets charges brought and a plea deal made?
TPM has the text of his one-paragraph statement in response to criticism about his litigious past. I offer it here as it was written.
I am an advocate for truth in Brown County. I have sued public officials for curruption and abuse of power, as an attempt to protect the hard working taxpayers, of NE WI. (see federal court case number 07-c-318) I am inocent of every criminal case ever brought against me. Every accusation ever brought fourth, happened because my then wife had a drinking problem, and made false accusations that she later recanted. These cases were intensified at the hand of currupt officials, who viewed me as a political threat, and wanted to silence, suppress, and minimize me, like Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairman Mike Tate tryed to do today. Crooked public officals like this do not deserve the public trust. They fear my ability to polarize the public and expose true corruption that takes place at the hand of public officials who have different political views then me. People like this have no morals, and only care about winning, at any and all cost. These officials do not care who they hurt in the process, they are simply interested in protecting their place at the public trough. Hurting David VanderLeest and his seven year old son James, are just ways of getting currupt official the means they desire.
Everyone else is corrupt, everyone else has a problem, and everyone else is conspiring against this guy to hurt him. And you know what? Even the spelling police have abandoned him.
Just what Wisconsin needs. A guy who wears the mantle of perpetual victimhood, can't spell, can't manage his finances, and expects voters to simply trust him.
Blue America is raising money to help send Republicans in Wisconsin back to the rocks they crawled out from under. If you can, a donation would be most welcome.