Republican legislative consultant (file photo)
In their continuing quest to right all of the wrongs in the state, the Wisconsin Republicans have made a great leap forward.
Assemblyman Joel Kleefisch (R-Newgate) woke up recently, opened the lid of his coffin, and said to himself “You know who has it too easy around here? Ex-cons. Blah blah!” (Note–this is only a partial transcript.) So the good Representative took it upon himself to do something to rectify this grave injustice.
He thought and he thought, and he puzzled some more, and it finally came to him. “Aha!” he said. “I’ll make it so that bosses, the most downtrodden group in this society, can refuse to hire people (or fire them) based on prior felony convictions! This will restore balance to the world, and give those poor bosses a break they so sorely deserve.”
So he drafted up a bill with the aid of the Captain up there, and presented it to his fellow freedom-defenders in the legislature today. You see, Wisconsin law already allows employers to consider convictions in relevant fields when hiring, but it’s not enough that a forger be kept away from banks and financial institutions. What about poor Wal-Mart? Who will stand up for them when a former embezzler is looking for a minimum-wage job? Joel Kleefisch, that’s who. I mean, if those felons had wanted to reintegrate themselves into society, they should’ve thought of that before they committed their crimes, right? It’s only right that someone who was once in possession ofone gram of cocaine should never be able to secure employment again. Same for someone who gets into a bar fight and gets busted for felony assault.
Thank Jesus for brave patriots like Joel Kleefisch. I know there’s no one who would be more approving of harsh penalties for criminals that Christ Himself.
And the best part of this all? There are no possible ill effects! Fine, upstanding employers get to have ever-more control over the workforce, criminals won’t be taking jobs from reg’lar folk, and everyone lives happily ever after.
In all seriousness, it’s this kind of motherfuckery that makes me cheer for that goddamn meteor. I don’t know, but I’d be willing to bet that Rep. Kleefisch has ties to the for-profit prison “industry.” By making a class of people permanently unemployable, where do you think they’re gonna be headed? And, of course, there’s the racial aspect to all of this; Black people make up about 6% of the population of the state, yet over 60% of the people sent to prison here are African-American. That’s a crying goddamn shame, and it’s a stain on the state. So who’s disproportionately hurt by this? The poor, and (especially) Black. Finally, since one of the stipulations of the bill is that counties and municipalitiescannot pass more lenient laws, I guess we can finally put that “Republicans believe in greater local control of government” bullshit to rest, right?
Will this pass the legislature, get signed, and become law? I don’t know. But in any event, this is some Class-A Motherfuckery, Joel Kleefisch.