Attorney General Josh Kaul spokes to a meeting of the Green Lake County Dems & Friends last year.
When the voters in Wisconsin said last Fall that they had had enough of Republican Governor Scott Walker and Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel, what did the Republicans do?
Yup, they did what spoiled brats everywhere do. They took away from newly elected Governor Tony Evers and newly elected Attorney General Josh Kaul some of the authority and power that Walker and Schimell enjoyed. It was, of course, Ok for Walker and Schmeil to to have that authority, but since Evers and Kaul were Democrats–perish the thought–the Republicans said, in effect, we are going to limit what you can do. So they called a special session of the legislature to say to the voters, “Your wishes be damned,” we’re going to hamstring Evers and Kaul.
But Evers and Kaul are no dummies, and as a recent article in the Capital Times points out, Kaul, for one, has figured out a work-around. Instead of filing suits against the Donald Trump’s administration with the state of Wisconsin as the plaintiff, Kaul has joined with the Attorneys General of other states to essentially do the same thing. This he has the authority and power to do.
Sound complicated? Read the article. It explains how Kaul is able to legally take action that is in the best interest of the state, despite the attempt by Republican sore losers to limit his authority.
Attorney General Josh Kaul has asked Governor Tony Evers to include additional funding in Evers’ budget for more crime lab analysts. In his successful campaign for the post last November, Kaul attacked former Republican Attorney General and now Judge Brad Schimel for well-publicized delays in the processing of evidence from crime scenes.
Evers is currently working on his two-year budget, which the governor expects to unveil on Feb. 28.
Several Republican bills signed by Gov. Scott Walker in December limited both the governor and attorney general’s powers, including eliminating the state Department of Justice’s solicitor general’s office, allowing lawmakers to intervene in state lawsuits and requiring the attorney general to get the Legislature’s approval before settling laws.
In an interview with Wisconsin Public Radio, new Attorney General Josh Kaul attacked those bills while also saying that his office will do more to address the opioid epidemic and growing meth problem in Wisconsin.
” I’m going to work with law enforcement agencies at the county, local and federal level to improve coordination so that we can work together to target large scale drug traffickers, people who are transporting meth, heroin or fentanyl across county and state lines.
“I’m going to be an advocate for expanding access to substance abuse treatment in Wisconsin. One of the things I’ll be doing as (attorney general) is taking a look at where the multi-state investigation is into the pharmaceutical manufacturers because we need to hold them accountable to the extent that they’ve been responsible for the opioid epidemic through false and deceptive marketing practices.
“And then one other area is we still haven’t expanded Medicaid in Wisconsin. If we do that we’d be able to cover about 80,000 additional Wisconsinites under BadgerCare … and we’d also save the state about $190 million a year. And we can put that into a number of areas, for example expanding access to treatment.”
Wait, didn’t Gov. Evers say during his campaign for governor that he would withdraw the suit if he won. Didn’t he say he would direct new Attorney General Josh Kaul to do so. Yup, he did, but he apparently did not discuss this with Kaul. And Kaul has told Evers that the set of laws passed by the GOP during its infamous lame-duck session in December doesn’t allow Evers or Kaul to withdraw the state from the lawsuit. Only the a committee controlled by the Republican state legislature has the power to withdraw the suit.
Attorney General EversSeeking to overturn all the laws passed by the Republican state legislature’s lame-duck session last November, Gov. Tony Evers has hired a private law firm. Evers made the move after Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said his office can’t represent the state on this issue.
Kaul, who repeatedly attacked the GOP’s action, which included taking power away from Kaul’s office, when Kaul was running for the post last fall, recused himself, according to a spokesperson for Evers.