‘UpFront’: Kaul says if elected he’d seek to withdraw state from ACA lawsuit

Dem AG candidate Josh Kaul said if elected, he would ask the governor for permission to withdraw the state from a lawsuit over the Affordable Care Act.

“I would ask the governor for permission to withdraw, and if that permission is granted, I would ask the court for permission to withdraw,” he told “UpFront with Mike Gousha,” produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com.

Kaul said his opponent, Republican incumbent Brad Schimel, is a leader in a lawsuit that is “not in the interests of Wisconsinites.”

Gousha asked Kaul what he would do if he were elected, and Republican Gov. Scott Walker also was re-elected.

“I would make my best case for why I think we should withdraw from this suit,” Kaul said.

“But if he insisted that the state remain involved, then as AG I would have to remain involved,” Kaul said.

Kaul also said it’s not enough that Schimel cleared a backlog of untested sexual assault kits, because “justice has been delayed for survivors of sexual assault and dangerous criminals have remained on the street longer than they should have.”   

Kaul said no conviction has resulted yet from the testing of those kits, and only three people have been charged.

“Brad Schimel said during one of our debates that the mission had been accomplished, and I fundamentally disagree with that,” Kaul said.“

“The goal here is not simply to test these kits; it is to get justice for survivors of sexual assault, and as AG I’m going to make sure that is a priority,” he said.

Also on the program, Republican Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, a cancer survivor, said the Walker administration would be able to protect people with pre-existing conditions through state law.

“You don’t need federal law. You can do that with state law, like ours,” she said.

Kleefisch said a bill passed by the Assembly would tell health insurance companies wanting to do business in Wisconsin that “you have to cover people with pre-existing conditions, and you’re not allowed to charge us more.”

The state Senate has not yet passed the bill.

Gousha also asked Kleefisch why she went on a “tweet storm” last week against her Democratic opponent, former state lawmaker Mandela Barnes, and his running mate, state DPI Superintendent Tony Evers.

On Twitter, Kleefisch said Barnes refused to debate her, and she was critical of the Evers/Barnes ticket on taxes, gun rights, and going “easy on violent criminals.”

“I don’t see anybody confronting these guys on this stuff,” she said, so she decided to do it.

“When I see that Mandela Barnes was the host of this crazy lingerie party years ago, I think, well why is nobody talking to him about how that’s kind of demeaning to women, and how are women like me, raising two girls, supposed to talk about the state of politics in America today when someone like that is running against their mom?” Kleefisch said.

In another segment, Bryan Steil, the Republican candidate in the 1st Congressional District, said any fix in the nation’s immigration system should reflect Wisconsin’s workforce needs.

“Our immigration system is broken. I think we’ve been let down by Democrats and Republicans alike. I think we need to step one, secure the border. I think a wall is a component to that. Two, we need to have a discussion on our legal immigration system. In particular, I think our legal immigration system should take account for our workforce needs here in Wisconsin,“ Steil said.

After the border is secured, Steil said, there is an opportunity to allow the DACA — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — individuals to “come right with the law.”

See more from the program at wisn.com: https://www.wisn.com/upfront

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