MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul went on the offensive Wednesday against the two Republicans looking to run against him, painting them both as far-right extremists.
Kaul told Wispolitics.com President Jeff Mayers during a virtual question-and-answer session that Adam Jarchow and Eric Toney are competing to see who can get as far right as possible. Both see the attorney general’s office in starkly political terms when the position is really about protecting public safety, Kaul said.
He insisted that both Republicans want to use state Justice Department resources to investigate and prosecute women who get abortions if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide in 1973. They also want to waste resources investigating election fraud conspiracy theories, Kaul contended.
“We shouldn’t be diverting resources from drug traffickers and murderers and violent crimes to serve a political agenda like the Gableman investigation,” Kaul said, referring to former state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman’s monthslong investigation into Wisconsin’s 2020 presidential election.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos hired Gableman last year to run the probe under pressure from Donald Trump, who has refused to accept that Joe Biden won Wisconsin by almost 21,000 votes. That margin has withstood recounts, legal challenges and a state audit.
Jarchow is a former state representative who now works as a private attorney. Toney is the Fond du Lac County district attorney. They’ll face each other in the Aug. 9 primary. The winner will square off against Kaul in the Nov. 8 general election.
Jarchow said in response to Kaul’s remarks that police need a stronger ally in the attorney general’s office. Toney said he has a long record of locking up dangerous criminals — he’s been the district attorney since 2013 — and accused Kaul of choosing to ignore allegations of election fraud.
Jarchow has been firing off tweets since he got into the race in October complaining about a variety of issues, including rising inflation, allowing transgender athletes to compete in women’s sports, Biden, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Evers’ COVID-19 stay-at-home order that the state Supreme Court struck down in May 2020.
“Woke liberalism destroys everything,” Jarchow tweeted Sunday. “In November, help is on the way!”
Toney has been campaigning as an experienced protector of law and order. His mantra thus far has been that Wisconsin needs a prosecutor as attorney general, not a politician — a dig at Jarchow.
Toney tweeted this month that he’ll “fight to ensure our election laws are followed and that every ballot in WI is treated and counted the same, regardless of where the vote is case, to guarantee Wisconsin has clean and fair elections.” He’s also criticized Biden, tweeting that the president lives in an “alternate universe” as Wisconsin deals with violent crime and drugs.
Follow Todd Richmond on Twitter at https://twitter.com/trichmond1
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