Saturday, October 13, 2012

Walkergate: Gimbel's Gag Lines

Now that Kelly Rindfleisch took her plea bargain, even though she failed to keep her end of the deal as soon as she took it, her lawyer has been doing his job of trying to spin her felony conviction and prep the way for his inevitable appeal.

Either that or he was trying out some new lines for his stand up comedy routine.

First, he tried to explain why he had subpoenaed Scott Walker:
Rindfleisch pleaded guilty Thursday to a single felony county of misconduct in office for doing campaign work while at her taxpayer-supported county job. Walker had been subpoenaed by Gimbel to testify, had the case gone to trial.

"I expected Gov. Walker would testify that Kelly Rindfleisch never disappointed him in terms of his expectations of what she did as either his policy analyst job that she held there or as the deputy chief of staff," Gimbel told WUWM-FM.

"She was always responsive to any request for services and she performed her services very well and in an efficient, competent manner," he said.

He said she was able to fulfill all her official county duties despite time spent helping Brett Davis' Republican campaign for lieutenant governor.
Of course Walker wasn't disappointed with her job performance in her county jobs. He didn't expect her to actually do them since she was so busy doing the campaigning and fund raising for Brett Davis and himself.

I clearly remember how the County Board was taken aback when she first appeared before them, some six months after her promotion to Walker's Deputy Chief of Staff. And Walker's Chief of Staff, Tom Nardelli, had to scramble to even find a brief blurb of a bio to explain to the Supervisors who she even was. That's not exactly a sign of someone fulfilling her job duties.

Gimbel then goes into a bit about his plan to appeal Rindfleisch's conviction based on not being able to use the universal immunity defense:
Her 2002 immunity deal was a point of contention with Circuit Judge David Hansher at the plea hearing. Hansher said Rindfleisch's old immunity deal could not be the basis for an appeal, contradicting her lawyer Franklyn Gimbel's belief that it could.

"The judge and I don't agree" that Rindfleisch's guilty plea precludes her from renewing her claim that her grant of immunity for her testimony in the caucus scandal extended to her conduct in 2010, Gimbel said in an interview. Hansher also rejected that when Gimbel raised it as a pretrial motion aimed at getting the charges against Rindfleisch dismissed.

Hansher also said he was surprised to see Gimbel bring up the immunity issue as a permissible basis of appealing a voluntary guilty plea when he read it in a Journal Sentinel article on the case that broke on JSOnline late Wednesday. The judge said he consulted with several other judges on the point and they agreed with his interpretation.

"It's the court's view that (appeal) right would be extinguished" by her guilty plea, Hansher said in court Thursday.

"We're not here to discuss the merits of any appeal here with you, your honor," Gimbel told the judge.
So, the immunity she was given for a crime ten years ago in Madison should be able to be applied to a crime she committed in current time in Milwaukee, per Gimbel.

You know, sometimes you come across things that are so out there that you can't even ridicule them. This would be the textbook example of that.

Finally, Gimbel tries to play the sympathy card for his client:
Gimbel said Rindfleisch had been ostracized by longtime friends, many working in state government, because of this year's criminal case.

"She's had extraordinary stresses and pain as a result of these charges," Gimbel said. "She's feeling very relieved that this is almost behind her."
It's not surprising that she is shunned. Politics is all about image and the people currently working for the government wouldn't want to be associated with her for fear of guilt by association.

But I also find it hard to be sympathetic to someone who broke the law and helped Scott Walker cheat his way into office only to have him cause extraordinary stresses and pain on millions of Wisconsinites with his maleficent agenda. In fact, when I think of all the people she helped hurt by her misdeeds, I don't think she will be paying nearly enough for her crimes.


  1. I'm not a very smart guy, but if Rindfleisch "never disappointed" Walker, why would he have to be subpenaed? It's my understanding that you can testify without being subpenaed.

    Also, with Rindfleisch getting a bit of guff from the ol' judge and Kavanaugh being found guilty in very short order, I can't help but think that Russell is getting closer to also pleading guilty. That may explain why he just condensed his pre-trial hearing with his final motion hearing (see the just posted court docs).

    Also, Capper, with things seeming to wind down, you think you could do a post summing up the loose ends? Maybe discuss the folks that have been given immunity but haven't been directly linked to any of the trials thus far? Maybe talk about the "other investigations" brought up in the Wink plea deal? I think something like that may be worth discussing now that 3/5 of the Walker Five have been convicted.

    1. Oh? You think things are starting to wind down, do you? I think you will be very much surprised.

  2. That was one of the questions I thought Walker should have been asked about Rindfleisch from the start: "How many hours/week of (non-campaign) work did you assign to Rindfleisch? What were her (non-campaign) duties? What did you think she was doing 40 hrs/week in her office?"

  3. And, to continue with questions of Walker:

    Even aside from the principle of the thing aka the law about the clear line not to cross to do campaign work on county tie: If your staff was getting 40 hours of work done in, say, 20 hours (since Rindfleisch said in an email that she spent half her time on campaigns), why didn't you streamline your staff to half its size to save money for the county taxpayers? What happened to your grand promise of efficiency? To your grand promise of smaller government? Why did you, Mr. So-Called Conservative, act so darn liberally with the county taxpayers' funding for your office, at the same time that you claimed there was a crisis in funding for -- and slash -- parks, social services, etc.?

    Why did you allow your staff to work parttime on county work, for fulltime pay, while laying off and/or furloughing other county workers? Please explain that in terms of your alleged principles, Mr. Walker. In sum: WTF?