Rick Esenberg, apologist

The criminal complaint against Kelly Rindfleisch (pdf here) alleges that, while working in the Milwaukee County Executive’s office from “early 2010” when she started as a county employee until at least July of that year, “spent significant periods of county time” doing fundraising work for then-candidate for Lt. Gov. Brett Davis as well as coordinating with the campaign of Scott Walker, then her boss, two doors down from her.  The complaint alleges upwards of 2500 emails about fundraising and about the campaigns sent during county time, even after Walker’s email telling his shadow campaign to knock it off.

The complaint quotes Rindfleisch writing in at least one email, “I can’t have my name on it, otherwise I’d send it,” suggesting that she knew what she was doing was illegal.

Five months of this daily and repeated activity led the DA to charge Rindfleisch for felony misconduct in public office, which could mean serious jail time.

Enter attorney Rick Esenberg:

Fourteen years for sending some e-mails on fundraising from the office? Defend it if you want. I wish you luck.

Catch that?  “Sending some emails on fundraising from the office,” he writes, as if Rindfleisch just had one or two bad days when her judgment lapsed slightly and she didn’t wait until after work to send an email or three.

There is simply no way to write off Rindfleisch’s (alleged) behavior as a minor oversight or even as par for the course–the idea that most office holders and their supporters will blur the lines occasionally.  (And, recall, conservatives used to go nuts when someone sent just one fundraising email from work.) This is hard-core, premeditated and repeated lawbreaking that goes far beyond “some emails … from the office.”

For Esenberg to laugh it off is just disgusting, and indicative of how far round the bend he’s gone since the days he used to be reasonable, back before he started taking the movement conservative money.  Now, he’s just being an apologist for Walker’s regime, at the expense of any remaining shred of credibility.


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14 thoughts on “Rick Esenberg, apologist

  1. And Davis was paying her $1,000 a month? And no one asked where she was working during the day? And Davis’s team never talked to Walker’s team? And the chief of staff didn’t know how she was hired? Lots of questions.

  2. Always fun to see a right-winger employ Moral Relativism to excuse the misdeeds of a fellow RW. Any time now, Esenberg will attack “the liberals” for their Moral Relativism.

  3. Well, and Esenberg knows better. The risk of a 14-year sentence is there, but what are the chances a judge would not impose a lower sentence? It’s not as if these violations carry mandatory sentencing — like, say, some very minor drug charges.

    Moreover, when he says, “it is highly likely that, were the same exhaustive examination applied to the offices of other politicians, we’d find more or less the same thing,” he is applying the Scott Jensen defense, which amounted to: “Well, I don’t see why I should be punished just because I was unfortunate enough to get caught! Lots of other people do this all the time!” Trouble is, a goodly number of other people did get caught and punished. Apparently, deterrence is only truly effective when you execute the perp.

    1. You can hear the “but everyone does it” argument by tuning in to Charlie Sykes … really, it’s quite pathetic.

  4. Big news, her attorney is defender her.
    You guys would be outraged if he said she diserved anything less than execution.

  5. That a strange-o lawyer of no distinction who sucks on the teat of the corporate sow feeding Scott Walker would then find a way of dismissing high crimes that, by a different administration, would have him waving the bloody shirt, is something that should make us smile. If this is the best they’ve got, you know they’ve got nothing.

  6. Keep in mind that Esenberg is the guy who recently speculated that 5000 people might sign a recall petition 25 times each to inflate the numbers. He may well be a half a bubble off plumb.

  7. Rick Esenberg is a farce of a lawyer for suggesting that what Kelly Rindfleisch did was no big deal, especially considering her history with the caucus scandal.

    She knew what she was doing was wrong; it’s just a shame a someone who graduated law school doesn’t.

  8. As a wise commenter suggested at Shh ‘n Shh (was it Jeff Simpson?), if anyone is truly opposed to this campaigning on the public dime, and if both sides are doing it, then try to make a stronger law to prevent it… penalties if you’re caught, for example, like not being able to work for government again for some time. The fact is, lots of people like it. They just don’t like getting caught at it.

  9. Scott Walker could be led away in handcuffs and Rick E. would be arguing that “both sides do it.” I know the guy’s a lawyer which means he’s a moral contortionist, but at some point, he’s gonna break a bunch of bones twisting himself into a logic pretzel… Speaking of which…

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