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Assistant AGs aren’t party activists -- Tom Balistreri

September 2, 2018

I am one of the former assistant attorneys general who signed the recently-released letter decrying the performance of current Attorney General Brad Schimel.

Schimel did not respond to our concerns, but tried to simply dismiss us as “activists.” We are not “activists.” We are mostly retired old folks who are dismayed at what Attorney General Schimel has done to the office where we were proud to spend our careers in public service.

It is Schimel who is the activist, using the taxpayer-funded attorney general’s office to advance the causes of the far right in court. Among other things, Schimel has employed his new corps of right-wing ideological lawyers to try to prevent enforcement of the Environmental Protection Agency’s clean air rules in Wisconsin. Then, when people get sick from breathing dirty air, Schimel wants to make it harder for them to get medical care by nullifying the Affordable Care Act.

When we worked in the attorney general’s office, it was a professional law firm working for the good of all the people of Wisconsin. We want to make the attorney general the lawyer for all the people again, not just the champion of the radical right.

We don’t think this makes us “activists.”

Tom Balistreri, Madison

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