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Child support bill withdrawn amid charges of impropriety

A family law story occasionally emerges that captures the attention of readers nationwide, regardless of its origin.

Such is the case with news concerning child support that is being reported in Wisconsin. We pass along the details for our Florida and other readers, believing the story might be of interest to them.

The bottom line summary is this: A Republican lawmaker in that state said earlier this week that he would stop working on and promoting a bill that would cap child support payments in that state. Given that the would-be legislation would have placed a $150,000 ceiling on income subject to support payments, it would have primarily benefited wealthy payers.

It certainly would have benefited Michael Eisenga, a businessman who is currently making monthly payments of $18,000 to support his three young sons. The obvious reason for the pullback of State Rep. Joel Kleefisch’s bill is the adverse publicity it was garnering owing to the behind-the-scenes central role Eisenga played in drafting and pushing the legislation.

In fact, and as noted by a Wisconsin newspaper, email evidence shows a two-year trail of Eisenga “offering line-by-line instructions” on what he wanted in the bill.

That is controversial, given Eisenga’s prominent support of Kleefisch’s political party. One Democratic member of the state’s legislature said following Kleefisch’s announcement that he should publicly apologize for “allowing a wealthy campaign donor to help craft extremely self-serving legislation.”

What might strike some readers as singular in the case is Eisenga’s clear ability to easily continue making his current payments. Court records show that in a recent year he had approximately $30 million in assets and earned well more than $1 million. He employs multiple bodyguards and a nanny, and has two Rolls-Royces.

An attorney for Eisenga’s former wife also notes that an arbitrator determined the support amounts during divorce negotiations and that all three of Eisenga’s sons have special needs.

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Lawmaker withdraws child support bill aimed at helping GOP donor," Daniel Bice, Jan. 14, 2014

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