|[WAUKESHA COUNTY, Wis…] Out-of-state supporters of Josh Kaul are peddling lies on television and computer screens across Wisconsin and stations here have been alerted to not air a commercial that is permeated with factual errors.
“Desperate and sad pro-Josh Kaul forces have resorted to lying about Attorney General Brad Schimel’s record, and Wisconsin voters deserve the truth,” said Johnny Koremenos, Schimel campaign manager. “TV stations aren’t required to fact-check political ads, but when they’re alerted that a commercial contains demonstrable lies, they are required to stop airing them.”
At issue is a commercial run by the People’s Lawyer Project, a shadowy out-of-state group funded by the Democratic Attorneys General Association. The advertisement contains several demonstrable lies, including referring to a phantom plea deal that never happened and attributing cases to Brad Schimel which were not his.
In a letter to television stations, Kathryn Sawyer Gutenkunst and Matthew Fernholz, Waukesha County attorneys with Cramer, Multhauf & Hammes, LLP, write: “Your continued rebroadcast of this false material could impact not only the outcome of the election, but more importantly, the victims of the above-mentioned cases, who have now suffered, yet again, by DAGA’s false and malicious statements. In addition to your legal obligations, you must consider your moral obligation to those victims, as well as the public at large.”
The DAGA-sponsored lies began running statewide on Tuesday. According to media reports, the group planned on spending $800,000 to spread those lies.
“Brad Schimel is a champion for survivors of sexual assault and has spent years winning cases and convicting rapists and predators, while Josh Kaul has never won a single conviction in a sexual assault case,” said Koremenos. “Moreover, Brad Schimel is a national leader in training law enforcement and prosecutors the process of trauma-informed investigations and prosecutions.”
The Schimel campaign sent the letter to television stations Wednesday and anticipates their immediate compliance with the request to stop running the spots.
“Wisconsin television stations understand the law and their obligation to the truth,” said Koremenos. “They’ve pulled demonstrably inaccurate commercials in the past and we expect them to do so in this instance as well.”
Koremenos said perpetuating these lies are the latest in a series of desperate moves by Josh Kaul and his supporters and he anticipates their desperation will backfire.
“Josh Kaul is the most inexperienced major party candidate for Attorney General in Wisconsin’s history,” said Koremenos. “To hide his deficiencies, his supporters have resorted to lying to the people of Wisconsin and we won’t tolerate that.”
For more information, visit http://www.bradschimel.com
False Claim #1: “But Attorney General Brad Schimel repeatedly cut plea deals for men who sexually assaulted children.”
Facts: Two of the cases listed above, Waukesha County Case 06CF650 – State of Wisconsin v. Joseph P. Betka, and Waukesha County Case 07CF634 – State of Wisconsin v. James T. White, were assigned to Waukesha County Deputy District Attorney Debra L. Blasius. The attached criminal complaints, which are marked Exhibits 1 and 2, show Attorney Blasius as the assigned attorney. This information is also publicly available on the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access Program.
False Claim #2: “He blamed underage victims of sexual assault for their quote ‘bad judgment.’”
Facts: Attorney General Schimel has a track record of taking a victim-centered approach to prosecutions and has never blamed a victim. In the case at issue, Waukesha County Case 03CF1151 – Wisconsin v. Dustin M. Yoss, Attorney General Schimel (who was at the time an Assistant District Attorney), describes how the victim had been feeling regarding the circumstances of the sexual assault. During the sentencing hearing, Schimel said, “As a matter of fact, Victoria, a/k/a Channon, has been struggling with blaming herself. She considers — and both victims consider their decisions they made that night to be very bad judgment to put themselves in the bedroom alone with Mr. Yoss. They look back now and they see they used very bad judgment. They’re struggling with that because they are — they’ve been working with others to counsel their way through this, and they know that going into the bedroom doesn’t give him permission to do anything to them.” The sentencing hearing transcript is attached and marked as Exhibit 3.
False Claim #3: “And after a lawyer for a man caught with child pornography gave thousands of dollars to Schimel’s campaign, that man got a plea deal . . . just days after Schimel took office.”
Facts: Attorney General Schimel declined to amend the charge in Waukesha County Case 13CF650 – State of Wisconsin v. Andrew M. Lambrecht. The case was set for trial until January 22, 2015, when Andrew M. Lambrecht changed his plea from “not guilty” and pled “guilty” to the original felony charge of possession of child pornography. This information is publicly available on the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access Program. Further, the mother of Andrew Lambrecht wrote the following to Attorney General Schimel’s campaign yesterday:
“I am writing you as the mother of someone in a commercial against Brad Schimel it states my sons name and case number stating his attorney gave thousands to Brad’s campaign to cut a plea deal for my son. This is TOTALLY FALSE!! There was no plea deal he was sentenced to the mandatory minimum in this state!”