May 24, 2012

So Scott Walker is being investigated for crimes

That would be the right honorable governor of Wisconsin

It must be true, because Rick Esenberg — he's a professor of teh law, doncha know — said so, and in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel even:
To establish a legal defense fund ... [i]t is only necessary that your conduct is being investigated for potential criminal violations of the pertinent laws.
Ah, so as the governor has in fact established a legal defense fund, ergo the governor is being investigated for crimes: the "pertinent" ones being, incidentally, felonies. That means they carry prison sentences.*

That's good to know! Because Walker is up for reelection in a couple of weeks. And the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, which hosts Prof. Rick's legal lessons,** thinks you should return to office a governor who's being investigated for felony crimes. But wait! Right after he just got done establishing his "only necessary" bar, Prof. Rick appears to lower it a bit:
Nor is it even necessary for Scott Walker to be the one who is being investigated. If the agent of a candidate or a public official is being investigated, he or she can establish a fund.
Prof. Rick isn't being terribly clear here, is he? I mean, for a Marquette University professor of teh law. Who is the "he or she"? Is it the agent?

Nope, it's the candidate or public official, Scott Walker (who is both).

And, being a rather coy professor of the law, Prof. Rick doesn't want to tell you what an agent is, in the legal sense of the expression. Maybe he forgot to, after all his nattering about "partisan panic" and "proctological examination[s]."*** Well, I'll tell you: An agent is a person who is authorized to act on behalf of the principal. The principal, in this case, is Scott Walker. And the agent could be one of several individuals already implicated — or soon to be implicated — in the Milwaukee County DA's investigation. Funny Prof. Rick wouldn't tell you what an agent is, huh?

Because the thing is, if the agent mentioned in the statute wasn't authorized to act by Scott Walker, then she or he is no agent at all.

Evidently Prof. Rick was seized by his own partisan panic and clenched sphincter, because for the purposes of the relevant statutes the public official and the agent(s) are one and the same, given that the authorization to act is bestowed upon the agent(s) by the public official.

"Much ado about nothing," harrumphs Prof. Rick.

Well sure it is, when you simply ignore a substantive legal term of art.

Too cute by half, this character is. God help his law students, if they're absorbing any of his special brand of Republican Party disingenuousness.

* As opposed to merely confined at David Clarke's evangelical county jail.

** He's kinda like their agent, reporting from WISGOP HQ.

*** "Elevating the discussion," is what they call this. The elevating in this instance, assumedly, is Prof. Rick's characterization of his adversaries' heads elevated up their asses: respectful debate. Thanks for that, MJS.


Anonymous said...

Great post, illy. Keep 'em coming. You wont hear a peep questioning Esenberg in the media here in Eau Claire. Heck.. the comment section on WEAU deletes any posts where I've mentioned Esenberg, MB & F, and/or Gableman.

Display Name said...

I can't find a link at the moment, but I believe the GAB recently punted on the definition of "agent" as well, and have been offering "no comment" in connection with Barrett's demands for clarification.

illusory tenant said...

Thx Anon. They need to elevate the discussion.

I believe the GAB recently punted on the definition of "agent" ...

Well it ain't Jerry Maguire.

Display Name said...

No, I think the GAB specifically said the definition of "agent" was to be construed as loosely as possible, "including fictional characters such as Jerry McGuire, or anyone else you want to defend with someone else's money."

Anonymous said...

A subordinate can be an agent that still acts without his principal's authority. That's pretty basic. But, since you aren't licensed to practice law I suppose that may have slipped your mind.

illusory tenant said...

Read the legislative history. Agent in 11.64 does not mean 'subordinate on a breakaway.' That would render the statute meaningless.