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Politics & Government

Wisconsin Attorney General Race: Josh Kaul Would Target Drug Traffickers & Focus On School Safety


Wisconsinites will vote for attorney general on Nov. 6. It’s a position that affects the state’s policies on policing, the enforcement of environmental laws and other issues.

Democratic candidate Josh Kaul, a former federal prosecutor, is running for attorney general. He's facing off with incumbent Republican Brad Schimel who’s seeking a second four-year term.

READ: Brad Schimel Would Build Upon First Term Initiatives

Here are some highlights of Kaul's conversation with WUWM. 

Why are you the best candidate for the job?

"I'm a former federal prosecutor. I worked in one of the most violent cities in the country," Kaul said. "I prosecuted drug traffickers, gang members and murderers, and worked to make the communities safer ... and when it comes to our opioid epidemic, I think that we need to ensure that our enforcement efforts are targeting large-scale drug traffickers, and I'm proud to have worked as a federal prosecutor to dismantle drug trafficking conspiracies, but I also think we need to expand access to treatment, and ensure that the pharmaceutical companies are held accountable."

What are your main goals?

"I think our AG needs to be a leader when it comes to fighting crime and getting justice for Wisconsinites. We also need an AG who's going to be effective at enforcing the laws that protect our environment and the laws that protect consumers in Wisconsin," Kaul said. "And I think we need an AG who's going to be independent and a watchdog for Wisconsinites, who's going to stand up against public corruption, who's going to ensure that Foxconn lives up to the terms of the deal that it struck, and who's going to stand up for the rights and protections of Wisconsinites." 

How will you accomplish those goals?

"In taking on the opioid epidemic, for example, we need to ensure that our enforcement efforts are targeting large scale traffickers, expand access to treatment. And I think we need to expand Medicaid in Wisconsin, which would result in about 80,000 additional Wisconsinites being able to be covered under Badgercare and would save the state about $190 million a year that can be put to other uses," Kaul said.

He also talked about school safety, advocating universal background checks and expanding long-term funding for mental health programs in schools. He says he's against arming teachers in schools. 

What do you make of your opponent?

"We have different values that we would bring to the AG's office ... with my opponent, too often we've seen him taking the side of special interests," Kaul said. "He's received campaign contributions from political action committees, from pharmaceutical companies. He's fighting to eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions. He fought against guaranteed overtime pay for people who put in the hours and make between $23,000-$47,000 a year."

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