David VanderLeest, the Republican candidate in next week’s Wisconsin recall election targeting Democratic state Sen. Dave Hansen, has signed a pledge that he will not vote to raise taxes — and does not want to talk about whether he has paid his own taxes, or any of the other personal issues that have dogged his campaign.
The report from the Green Bay Press Gazette cannot be improved upon:
VanderLeest also indicated he did not want to discuss his legal and financial problems that have become the subject of multiple television ads from liberal groups. VanderLeest hasn’t paid property taxes in three years, pled no contest to two misdemeanor disorderly conduct charges related to allegations of domestic abuse and has a bankruptcy, home foreclosure and unpaid settlement from 2006.
VanderLeest refused to answer questions about the liberal blog PoliticScoop, which reported VanderLeest receives financial assistance from the state despite being critical about welfare programs.
VanderLeest added: “We’re not talking about anything but the issues of the state of Wisconsin.”
The GOP became stuck with VanderLeest after their preferred candidate, state Rep. John Nygren, failed to submit 400 valid petition signatures. Nygren had submitted only slightly over 400 signatures for himself — despite the fact that Republicans had been able to gather 18,000 signatures to trigger a recall — with not enough of a buffer for when a few them were disqualified. Nygren initially filed a lawsuit to get onto the ballot, but lost in court and then announced he would not further appeal the decision.
VanderLeest, who had helped organize the signature drive to recall Hansen, was able to submit enough signatures to withstand Democratic challenges — and since then, has been targeted by national Dems with a TV ad campaign about his messy personal history.