‘UpFront’: Kaul says DOJ needs new leadership

Democratic candidate for Wisconsin attorney general Josh Kaul said the Department of Justice needs “new leadership in a host of areas.”

One of those areas, Kaul said, is fighting crime. He cited a backlog of rape kits that need testing and said Republican incumbent Attorney General Brad Schimel hasn’t moved fast enough.

“That should have been a priority,” Kaul said on Sunday’s “UpFront with Mike Gousha,” produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com.

“If our AG had been on top of this and really prioritized it from day one, we could be a lot further along, which would mean that justice wasn’t being delayed for survivors, and that perpetrators who have committed a serious offense would be held accountable,” he said.

Gousha asked Kaul what he would do differently on the opioids epidemic.

“I think we need to start responding to it like it’s a crisis,” Kaul said.

“One thing I think we need to do is make sure that our enforcement efforts are targeting high-level traffickers,” he said.

“That’s one of the things I did when I was a federal prosecutor, and I think our AG’s office should be more involved in those efforts. I think we need an AG who is going to be serious about holding the pharmaceutical companies accountable for the role they have played in creating and exacerbating this epidemic,” Kaul said, adding that more resources for drug treatment are needed.

Also on the program, Democratic candidate for governor Kelda Roys says her campaign continues to build momentum “all over the state.”

“I feel great about where we are,” said Roys, who is part of a large field of Democrats running for governor this year.

“I think people are really responding to our positive, forward-looking message,” she said. “I want Wisconsin to be a place of opportunity and fairness again. It’s really not about any of the other candidates or the governor. It’s about my vision for the state.”

As a former state legislator and small business owner, she said one of the things that sets her apart from the rest of the field is that she has “a great track record of turning big ideas into real results in terms of state policy.”

In the Legislature, she said she worked on a bipartisan basis to expand Badger Care to thousands of Wisconsin residents. She also said her campaign has a focus on issues that are important to Gen X and millennial voters, like reducing student loan debt.

In another segment, Milwaukee Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton said the police body cam video showing officers tasing and taking down of Bucks player Sterling Brown after a parking violation is an embarrassment for the community.

Hamilton said the Brown incident “undermines the efforts that so many officers are trying to do when they are trying to build on the positive relationships with community members.”

Hamilton said he has faith in Police Chief Alfonso Morales and said the department was taking the right steps to be more transparent after other high-profile, officer-involved shootings of African-American men in recent years.

“What we want to be able to do is change the process of how we deal with challenges,” Hamilton said.

“It’s not that mistakes will never be made. What we have to say is that they will not be tolerated when they are, and there’s corrective action, and that it’s the type of corrective action that the community can believe in when it’s made,” he said.

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