Sen. Stroebel: Concerned early voting lawsuit presents conflict for incoming attorney general

Contact: Brian Sikma (608) 492-7513

Madison, WI – Pointing out that the plaintiffs in Monday’s lawsuit against Wisconsin’s revised early voting law are represented by the law firm that recently employed the incoming state Attorney General, Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Cedarburg) released the following statement today:

“The current legal fight over Wisconsin’s early voting law is rife with conflicts of interest for Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul (D). Affiliates of two of the plaintiff organizations aggressively worked to elect Kaul in November. One of the groups even credited a federal injunction against the state’s previous early voting law with helping them turn out the vote in Kaul-friendly areas.[1]

“The Attorney General-elect has said he will recuse himself from cases that involve his old law firm, Perkins Coie LLP. Twice that firm has represented plaintiffs opposed to two different approaches to standardizing early voting across the state. Both Citizen Action of Wisconsin and One Wisconsin Now Institute have affiliates that supported the election of Josh Kaul.[2] While Kaul may recuse himself from the case, inaction by, or a lack of resources at, the Department of Justice could be a tactical victory for Kaul’s political allies.

“Kaul has made it no secret that he opposes the recent change to the early voting law and other recent bills. The day after his old law firm filed the lawsuit, Wisconsin Public Radio aired an interview with him in which he called the law ‘terrible legislation’ saying ‘there are some significant problems with it.’ He also promised ‘there’s going to be litigation’ but ‘I’m going to wait to comment on that until I am in the (attorney general)’s office.’[3]

“The Attorney General-elect owes Wisconsin an explanation of how he plans on handling this new lawsuit. This suit was filed by Kaul’s politically allies less than 3 days after it became law. It is now up to Kaul to demonstrate that he will fairly and impartially allow the DOJ to do its job of defending the law.”

Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Cedarburg) represents the 20th Senate District, covering portions of Ozaukee, Washington, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan and Calumet counties. He is a member of the Joint Finance Committee and chairman of the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection.

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