David VanderLeest, Republican Candidate for Wisconsin State Senate
This really shouldn’t surprise us, seeing as the GOP has been acting like criminals in Wisconsin and elsewhere, and as a national party has made it sort of cool to hire and run men who abuse their wives and use prostitutes and generally act like two year olds with no impulse control. But still….
Today we find out that David VanderLeest, Wisconsin Republican state Senatorial recall challenger to the Democratic seat held by Sen. Dave Hansen of Green Bay, has been previously convicted of two misdemeanor counts, also arrested previously, and is now being investigated by the Oconto County Sheriff’s Department on another matter. Gee, he sounds perfect for the Wisconsin GOP. On David’s Facebook Page, he claims to be a pro-Israel Christian Tea Partier, member of the NRA, and credits himself with helping to restart the Republican Party of Brown County and also, “expose ACORN”. ACORN, as you probably recall, was never actually found guilty of anything, unlike David VanderLeest.
David was also recently quoted in the Wall Street Journal praising the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Judge Sumi’s void on the union busting bill. He said, “It shows that we played by the rules in this very controversial and polarizing process.” I’m not sure VanderLeest knows much about playing by the rules.
Here’s the criminal history of this would be senator, courtesy of the Wisconsin State Journal:
VanderLeest, a Green Bay wind farm developer with a history of other legal troubles, was convicted of two misdemeanor disorderly conduct charges in 2007 as part of a plea deal in Brown County Circuit Court. Also Wednesday, Democrats pointed to at least two other times – in 2006 and 2009 – when VanderLeest was arrested on domestic abuse allegations involving his ex-wife but was not convicted….
As part of the 2007 plea deal, VanderLeest avoided a felony charge of intimidating a witness and misdemeanor battery and bail-jumping charges. VanderLeest entered an Alford plea, which means he maintained his innocence but acknowledged there was enough evidence to convict him.
In the plea hearing, the judge in the case stressed VanderLeest had received leniency, according to a court transcript released by the Democratic Party.
“I’ll be very candid with you, you really have dodged a bullet here. I am quite satisfied, from having reviewed this, that the state would have had a good prospect for success on that felony file,” said Brown County Circuit Judge Kendall Kelley.
In other incidents, police reports show that in 2006, he pulled out a chunk of his ex-wife’s hair and threw her onto the kitchen floor to stop her from calling the police. Then there is another round of charges involving battery from 2009 that were dropped. His history reads like a typical domestic abuser’s history – multiple police reports, only a few pursued, restraining orders successfully obtained against him, a plea down to misdemeanor with a judge warning him that he got off easy, and the icing on the cake, he blames not himself, but his ex-wife, for his behavior.
He is now facing yet another probe into yet another incident that he claims is related to a restraining order his ex-wife did not get. Why anyone would be investigating him for a restraining order that does not exist is anyone’s guess, but this man hasn’t been accountable for his previous behavior, so why would he start now. VanderLeest claims on his campaign website to be “pro-life”, as well as being for the “constitutional carry of a firearm” (is he allowed to carry a firearm — really, Wisconsin?), and he is in full support of Governor Walker’s “collective bargaining law” (aka: union-busting law). In other words, VanderLeest epitomizes the conservative Republican male.
Gosh, it’s a too bad he’s not going in front of Justice Prosser of the alleged choking of a female justice and esteemed member of the Wisconsin Republican Party, but he does make perfect company for Republican state Senator Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac), the Wisconsin senator who’s facing recall. Hopper, you remember, no longer lives with his wife but rather with his girlfriend (who formerly worked for a Koch lobbyist) who, in the middle of the shared sacrifice turmoil, was given a cushy state job, and this came out just days after Hopper had blamed evil union thugs for not showing up at a parade with his wife. These boys, I’ll tell ya’.
If you don’t care about integrity, honesty, ethics, temperament, the rule of law, the democratic process, women’s rights, workers’ rights, children’s safety, or the economy, these guys are your men.
The recall election is set for July 16. VanderLeest gave this comment on his many brushes with the law, “This is a dirty bastard of a world, and you can print that.”
I’ll bet his ex-wife feels the same way, only she has been the actual victim of repeated assaults and so, has more reason to be bitter about this dirty bastard of a world. There is no more grotesque pathology than that of a perpetrator of great wrong against other another human being falsely wearing the victim mantle of self-pity, while never acknowledging the great harm they have caused. This pathology, sadly, renders him perfect for the Wisconsin Republican party.
VanderLeest has no one to blame but himself for his predicament, but I doubt you’ll ever hear him admit that, let alone issue a sincere apology for terrorizing his ex-wife. Best hope he does not get elected, because someone who can physically assault and terrorize the person he swore to love and cherish with nary a drop of regret is not someone whose character is fit for office. The Wisconsin Republican Party needs to denounce VanderLeest’s candidacy if they want to claim even the tiniest shred of dignity and honor, let alone family values.
We force penis tweeters to resign, but a man with a long history of domestic violence is a Republican candidate for the Wisconsin Senate.