Republican candidates for governor and attorney general are sharply criticizing Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul for promising not to enforce Wisconsin law if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
“Prosecutors are supposed to enforce the law, not pick and choose which laws they like,” said Tim Michels. “The left wants to enforce mob rule and further degrade law and order in Wisconsin,” said Kevin Nicholson. “Whether you are the Attorney General or the District Attorney of Milwaukee County, you don’t get to pick and choose which laws you defend,” said Rebecca Kleefisch. “Civil society relies upon law and order, and taxpayers deserve government employees who operate with the highest level of scrutiny and confidentiality that every single public office and position commands,” said Timothy Ramthun. All four are running as Republicans for governor.
Nicholson and Kleefisch also called out Evers for his pro-abortion statements, and Michels stressed that, as governor, he would work to ensure the lives of the “most vulnerable are protected.” Ramthun said he is “unequivocally pro-life.”
Fond du Lac County DA Eric Toney, who is running in the Republican primary for Attorney General, said that Wisconsin’s top law enforcer, the AG, must enforce the state’s laws. “I am pro-life and I will enforce and defend the laws as passed by the legislature and signed into law,” Toney said.
Evers has been advocating for abortion. “Abortion is still legal in Wisconsin. An official ruling hasn’t been made yet but I’ll continue to fight for reproductive freedom and I will veto any legislation crossing my desk that will threaten access to healthcare,” he tweeted. He also called on Congress to approve legislation to protect abortion under federal law.
Kaul outright said he would refuse to enforce the law if Roe v. Wade is overturned, as a leaked draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion indicated might happen. That draft opinion would leave abortion up to the states.
It should go without saying that Josh Kaul is not the Wisconsin Legislature, which is elected by the voters to establish laws in Wisconsin. As Attorney General, he is supposed to be an enforcer of those laws. No politician is above the law, the candidates stressed.
“As long as I am AG, DOJ will not be using its resources to investigate or prosecute alleged violations of the 170-plus-year-old abortion ban on the books,” Kaul said, He said violent crime is a more pressing priority, even though his management of the state crime lab is worse than AG Brad Schimel’s, and he’s left criminal justice positions in DOJ vacant. In short, there is not much evidence that Kaul is prioritizing violent crime now.
We asked the Republican candidates for governor and AG what they thought about Kaul’s promised refusal to enforce Wisconsin law.
We also sent messages to Karen Mueller and Adam Jarchow seeking comments through their campaigns but didn’t get a response.
Here are the full comments from the Republican candidates for governor and AG, in no particular order.
“Josh Kaul is an activist. Prosecutors are supposed to enforce the law, not pick and choose which laws they like,” said Michels. “I am pro-life. It is fundamental to who I am, which is driven by my faith. Every life is precious, and as governor, I will work to ensure the lives of the most vulnerable are protected. I believe whenever possible, we should always come down on the side of life.”
“The left wants to enforce mob rule and further degrade law and order in Wisconsin – and this has to stop,” said Nicholson. “Wisconsin has a Governor who is advocating for Congress to protect abortion, an Attorney General who has said that he would not enforce current Wisconsin law, and a DA in Milwaukee County who is openly admitting that he will refuse to do his job should Roe v. Wade be overturned. Wisconsin needs new leadership – leaders that will follow the law and protect innocent life.”
Nicholson added, “I’m unapologetically 100% pro-life — and I’m honored to be the only candidate for Governor endorsed by both Pro-Life Wisconsin and Wisconsin Family Action PAC. I pray that Roe v. Wade is overturned. As Governor, I commit to protecting innocent life — which includes ending state funding of Planned Parenthood and supporting existing pregnancy resource centers around our state.”
“The abortion industry will use its pawns like Josh Kaul and Tony Evers to maintain their treacherous business as usual. Whether you are the Attorney General or the District Attorney of Milwaukee County, you don’t get to pick and choose which laws you defend. I believe in law and order, period. I’m proud to be the only candidate for governor endorsed by Wisconsin Right to Life.”
“Once again, an individual or group of individuals who are paid by taxpayers to conduct business for the people, has violated protocols and codes of professionalism in order to set their own agenda, and rile the sentiments of citizens. We’ve seen reckless conduct and disregard for procedure serve only to divide people and undermine authority within government agencies at every level. Civil society relies upon law and order, and taxpayers deserve government employees who operate with the highest level of scrutiny and confidentiality that every single public office and position commands. I am unequivocally pro-life, as is evidenced by my personal behavior, past statements, and the recent endorsement by Pro Life Wisconsin. I seek the office of Governor in the State of Wisconsin to bring accountability and responsibility to Wisconsin government.”
“This is and always should have been a state issue. I am pro-life and I will enforce and defend the laws as passed by the legislature and signed into law.”