Wisconsin’s first recall election is here.
First up to bat, we have incumbent Democratic state Senator Dave Hansen from Green Bay against Republican challenger David VanderLeest. Hansen, whose only supposed flaw was leaving the state in the manner of Abe Lincoln to slow down the deathblow to collective bargaining which was inserted into the Republicans “budget bill” and later passed as a non-budgetary item (or voided and then passed via conservative ALEC inspired judicial activism) faces off against the still-under-investigation for an unknown issue perfect ALEC puppet, David VanderLeest.
VanderLeest offers his district the added bonus of being a wife beater. He has a history of legal troubles, and in 2006 he was convicted of two misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct. In 2007, as part of a 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.” The judge warned VanderLeest that he had “dodged a bullet” on that felony charge.
VanderLeest was arrested for allegations of domestic abuse on at least two other occasions and once 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.
In case you’re not yet sold on why you should vote, let’s take a brief walk through the David’s rotting garden of values as written about on PoliticusUSA earlier:
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…
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).
VanderLeest’s real infamy can be found in his Blood Libel moment, as he blamed his wife for the fact that he abused her for years, “VanderLeest gave this comment on his many brushes with the law, “This is a dirty bastard of a world, and you can print that.”
Hansen is staying above the fray, refusing to get down in the criminal muck of VanderLeest’s past. The Wisconsin State Journal reports:
Hansen, 68, said he wasn’t drawing attention to his opponent’s run-ins with the law because he wanted to keep his campaign positive.
“I’ll just say I think the distinction is clear,” he said. He added that he hopes for a win that could give Democratic momentum in the other eight races.
If Hansen wins, Democrats will likely say the victory shows how unpopular Walker’s policies are, while Republicans would downplay the results and try to shift the focus to the races with stronger GOP candidates.
So what we have here is a man who has been repeatedly violent to the woman he took an oath in front of God no less, to love, honor and cherish, claiming that he is a pro-life Christian and feeling horribly sorry for himself over the state of affairs. What do you get when you add far right Christian to anti-worker rights, pro-gun rights and violence against women and top it off with a large dose of aggravated self-pity?
Ah, an ALEC puppet! Perfect.
VanderLeest also has financial problems, but at least he can claim that he is not a witch. I’m sure you’re still undecided, so allow me to recap: VanderLeest The Wife Beater or Hansen, the Democrat who left the state to protect the democratic process. For those Republicans still clinging to the last vestige of their grandparent’s GOP, this is the new GOP, a party of lawless vigilantes who allowed this man to run for elected office with his criminal history and while under investigation on another matter. Does that sound like the party of law and order, let alone the party of family values?
There are nine recall elections coming up for Wisconsin, six on Republicans and three on Democrats. The Democrats need a net three gain to stop the ALEC agenda. If would not bode well for Democrats if Hansen lost this election, given his incumbency, cash advantage, and the disturbing opposition. Cast your ballot Tuesday, July 19 and if you don’t live in the area, remind your friends and family who do that freedom is crying in Wisconsin.