Image via Facebook


Meet David VanderLeest (pictured, right).

If you don’t know who David VanderLeest is, he’s the man behind the effort to recall Democratic State Senator Dave Hansen, one of the “Wisconsin 14,” the 14 Democratic State Senators who stood against Republican Gov. Scott Walker and left Wisconsin in an attempt to stop (or at least slow down) Walker’s efforts to seriously weaken Wisconsin’s public employee unions and remove many of the collective bargaining rights of public employees.

You may also remember VanderLeest for his group’s use of paid canvassers, including a violent convicted felon from Colorado who committed a new crime while working to help recall Sen. Hansen here in Wisconsin.

In addition to being the “point man” behind the effort to recall Sen. Hansen, VanderLeest has also indicated he’ll be a candidate for the seat currently held by Sen. Hansen, and shortly after VanderLeest’s intentions to run for the became known, Dan Bice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel highlighted VanderLeest’s rather, uh, “interesting” record of court activity, including a two 2006 convictions in Brown County. VanderLeest’s first conviction came in a case in which VanderLeest was originally charged with a felony (Intimidate Witness/Use or Attempt Force) and three misdemeanors (Battery, Disorderly Conduct, and Bail Jumping-Misdemeanor), only to have the case plead down to one charge of Disorderly Conduct. The victim in that case was Rachel VanderLeest, David VanderLeest’s now ex-wife. David VanderLeest was also convicted in 2006 of Disorderly Conduct in a second case involving Rachel VanderLeest, leaving me to wonder whether both incidents were domestic violence situations.

In 2009 David VanderLeest was back in Brown County circuit court, facing charges of Disorderly Conduct, Battery, and Bail Jumping-Misdemeanor in two separate cases, and in each case Rachel VanderLeest was once again listed as the victim. As recently as April 2011 VanderLeest was the subject of a child abuse restraining order and a domestic abuse restraining order (both of which were dismissed), and Rachel VanderLeest was listed as the petitioner on the domestic abuse restraining order.

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14 Responses to Meet David VanderLeest, leader of Hansen recall effort, candidate for State Senate, and convicted criminal

  1. Zuma Bound says:

    (*wingnut crickets*)…

    Hmmmm, WONDER why that is…(*laughing*)…

  2. Jeff Simpson says:

    Most of the actual elected Republican representatives are blatantly unqualified so why would the republican bench be any different?

  3. I think the GOP strategy here is that they’ll save money on campaign literature. His picture will already be up in post offices across the district.

  4. Zach says:

    Funny thing is David VanderLeest wanted to friend me on Facebook.

    Uh, no.

  5. I’m glad you guys think I’m funny. Maybe you could talk to my wife?

  6. scott says:

    ok so… I guess to me it sounds like Rachel would get mad at Dave, call the police, calm down, and drop charges…? I guess I can relate to Dave and know a lot of other guys who can too… everyone knows that women can be evil. just look at what Penelope Cruz did to Johnny Depp in the movie “Blow”… look at Kobe Bryant. Personally what disgusts me so much about politics so often… is how vicious and ruthless each side gets. they get so caught up trying to make eachother Look bad and meanwhile the issue of who’s going to do the actual job better, they just dig up every piece of dirt they can to hurt the candidates as much as possible. everyone gets hurt be result if this. let’s work together to improve Wisconsin. it might be interesting to have someone who actually can relate to all the regular people out here like myself, rather than the “establishment” who ate only interested in keeping themselves in office. I’m sorry but with the supreme court election and just about every election… I get tired of focusing on who got an OWI and who had credit problems and who had a crazy relative, wife, or employee. and from what Ive seem and heard of Mr. VanderLeest, I like his enthusiasm, charisma, leadership, and honesty. Id rather have someone like him in office than a gray haired white collar criminal. Just my thoughts. But I personally hate both parties so dont listen to me

    • Zach says:

      When all else fails, blame the victim.

      “Women can be evil” says you, while I say that David VanderLeest clearly seems to have a problem, given the multiple criminal cases filed against him, as well as his multiple convictions. I suppose it’s easier to blame the victim than it is to hold VanderLeest accountable for his behavior.

      You can blame David’s ex-wife until you’re blue in the face, but ultimately he still made choices, and from what I can tell, he made a lot of really wrong choices.

    • Zuma Bound says:

      @ scott [sic]

      Me: First of all, it appears that you have some serious issues that you need to work out somewhere else (*cough*/psychologist). . .

      Second of all, you need to realize that having people with anger management/rage problems like David Vanderleest involved in the political process taints it. Republicans know that. Democrats know that. Even most wife-beating rage-oholics know it.

      scott [sic]: “ok [sic] so… I guess to me it sounds like Rachel would get mad at Dave, call the police, calm down, and drop charges…? I guess I can relate to Dave and know a lot of other guys who can too…”

      Me: Making A LOT of assumptions there, Scott. . .

      Well, anyway, at least NOW we know where YOU’RE coming from, don’t we?

      scott [sic]: “everyone [sic] knows that women can be evil. just [sic] look at what Penelope Cruz did to Johnny Depp in the movie “Blow”… look [sic] at Kobe Bryant.

      Me: So, the experiences of fictional movie characters, and of over-paid narcissists who play a child’s game in a way that makes middle-aged white guys like you drool for some reason, and who rape women, along with your apparent personal experiences with domestic abuse complaints, THAT’S your proof for the proposition that “women are evil”, THAT’S what informs your views on David Vanderleest?!

      Can you spell, write or say dull-witted, myopic, self-serving misogyny?

      scott [sic]: “[F]rom what Ive seem and heard of Mr. VanderLeest, I like his enthusiasm, charisma, leadership, and honesty.”

      Me: “[E]nthusiasm” for what?! Beating his wife?!

      Exhibiting “[c]harisma” when? As he was beating his wife?

      “[L]eadership”?! Demonstrated when?! When he was beating his wife?!

      “[H]onesty” about what?! How much his wife deserved it?!

      scott [sic]: “Id rather have someone like him in office than a gray haired white collar criminal.”

      Me: Yeahhhhh. Then we’d have the world’s media broadcasting stories about the melees taking place in our legislative bodies, instead of stories about the ones occurring in the august legislative bodies of South Korea, the Phillipines, etc. Awesome! Just what we need.

      Now that I think about it, though, it has been getting a little boring watching Republican-controlled/dominated legislatures across America work on creating jobs by spending all of their time crafting, then “cramming down out throats”, all of those anti-abortion/”rightwing social engineering” [tip of the hat to Newton Leroy Gingrich] and “Let’s kill Medicare and unions” bills of theirs. Maybe Vanderleest’s “enthusiasm, charisma, leadership and honesty” COULD shake things up a little bit IF he were “in office.”

      Oh, brother. . .

      scott [sic]: “[S]o [sic] dont [sic] listen to me [sic]

      Me: Okay.

      • LM says:

        “Then we’d have the world’s media broadcasting stories about the melees taking place in our legislative bodies”

        Hey- They’re moving forward one branch at a time, First Prosser in the Judicial, now Hansen in the Legislative!

  7. Jeff Simpson says:

    Women are evil, look at kobe? Isnt kobe proof that men can be evil,?

  8. a50schwartz says:

    I just wanted to point out that while some women do recant their stories in cases of domestic abuse (mostly due to intimidation or from fear of making things worse for them at home) the majority of these cases are based on the lawyer representing the suspect and how good they are at negotiation. You would be surprised how many cases are pled down to Disorderly Conduct. If the charges made it through the preliminary hearing to a trial, that means that an initial judge agreed with the charges that the officers suggested at the beginning. The end result is simply the product of attorneys bargaining for their clients. There seems to be a pattern of behavior here on his behalf, and I don’t think it’s fair to even think about blaming the ex-wife who is most likely a victim more times that what was ever even reported to the police.

  9. Jeff Simpson says:

    Every time I see his picture on top all I can think of is this:

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