Democratic Party of Wisconsin and Democratic Attorneys General Association Launch Microsite Calling Out Attorney General Brad Schimel’s Failures in Office; Find Out More About Backlog Brad Here

Madison, Wis. And Washington, D.C. –The Democratic Party of Wisconsin joined the Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA) today to launch, Say Bye To Backlog Brad, a microsite calling out Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel’s inability to do this job. The site highlights how Brad Schimel consistently fails to understand his role as Attorney General and constantly fails to meet the needs of the people.

“Brad Schimel has not been serious about keeping Wisconsinites safe,” said Melanie Conklin, communications director of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “Not only has he failed the public by botching investigations and ignoring such vital primary duties as testing rape kits, he has instead pursued partisan political games on behalf of his special interest, high-dollar donors. This is not someone Wisconsin can trust to oversee his own office, let alone law, order and justice in our state.”

From “completely botching” a probe into abuses at Wisconsin’s teen prison by failing to review incident reports or check medical records after months of investigation, to failing to adequately address backlogged rape kits, to spending more than $83,000 on promotional gear, Schimel’s first term is marked by inadequacies and public controversy. In fact, Schimel’s first-term in office has been so ineffective that editorial boards have called for his resignation. The microsite launched today offers voters an avenue to share their grievances against Schimel and focuses on the importance of the upcoming election.

“This November, there is an opportunity to oust an Attorney General that consistently fails to do his job, and elect a new Attorney General who is ready to protect the people,” said Sean Rankin, Executive Director of the Democratic Attorneys General Association. “The role of a state Attorney General is to put the best interests of the people first—and that means testing rape kits, taking investigations seriously, and holding other elected officials accountable. Instead, Brad Schimel spent time appeasing a GOP Governor, cozying up to lobbyists, and passing out cheesy promo gear.”

Schimel was recently praised for his lobbyist-friendly tactics at a Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) hosted event that focused on the theme of “personnel is policy.” Among the lessons offered to candidates: Be nice to lobbyists, personally handle your office’s dealings with businesses, and keep a close eye on the staffers in your environmental and consumer protection divisions. On the lobbyist-friendly front, the comments at the event about Schimel included, “Schimel’s been a pro at this. I show up with my client. My client looks the other way, rolls his eyes, and then…[Schimel] makes me look good, and I appreciate it.”

Also at the event, a deputy in the Department of Justice described how the office forced out the longtime director of its environmental protection unit, noting, “And we had to, quite frankly, remove him after a while… And we had one person in our office watch every case that unit was doing.” The deputy also said the department also “paid very close attention to what was going on in consumer protection and watched every case going through.”

Additional background on Schimel’s first-term:

  • Schimel’s office spent tens of thousands of dollars on promotional materials, including bags, pistol cases, candy, custom-made fortune cookies, and challenge coins that inscribed with “KAED” (kicking ass every day).
  • Former state employees referred to Schimel’s handling of a probe into abuses at Wisconsin’s teen prison as “completely botched” due to Schimel’s failure to review incident reports or check medical records after months of investigation.
  • After receiving $4 million in grants from the federal government and New York prosecutors to address a backlog of rape kits, state leaders were outraged at the slow pace the Attorney General’s office was taking to move towards faster testing and the fraction of rape kits that had been tested after 16-months.
  • As the Alabama special election neared and news continued to break about Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore’s past as a sexual predator, Brad Schimel said he didn’t know whether or not to believe Roy Moore’s accusers.
  • Editorial boards have called for Schimel’s resignation due to his inability to do his job. The Cap Times noted, “Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel has ceased to serve as a law enforcement officer. He now acts as a partisan political operative, and his partisanship has so overwhelmed his judgment that his pronouncements can no longer be treated seriously by Wisconsinites who respect the rule of law.”