For Immediate Release
October 29, 2018
Contact: Courtney Beyer, [email protected]
ICYMI: Brad Schimel Refuses to Release Records on Schimel-Walker Lawsuit to Gut Protections for 2.4 Million Wisconsinites with Pre-existing Conditions
Schimel and Walker ensnared in lawsuit for potentially violating open records laws
The Center for Media and Democracy has filed a lawsuit against Brad Schimel’s Department of Justice after Schimel refused to disclose emails and documents related to his department’s involvement in his and Scott Walker’s highly controversial lawsuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act. If successful, Schimel and Walker’s suit would jeopardize health care protections for 2.4 million Wisconsinites living with a pre-existing condition.
“As if pursuing this disastrous lawsuit weren’t bad enough, now Brad Schimel and Scott Walker are trying to hide public records on the matter from Wisconsinites,” said Courtney Beyer, DPW spokesperson. “This lawsuit threatens health care access for millions of Wisconsinites, but Brad Schimel and Scott Walker refuse to answer to the public on why they pursued and continue to support this harmful suit.”
FROM WISCONSIN GAZETTE:
“The Center for Media and Democracy filed suit last month against Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel and the Department of Justice for refusing to disclose public records related to his high-profile legal war against the Affordable Care Act…
“Scott Walker supported filing the suit, even though he claims also to support providing affordable coverage for preexisting conditions. Walker punted during Friday's gubernatorial debate when asked specifically how Wisconsin would provide such coverage if the ACA is dismantled.”
“The Center for Media and Democracy submitted an open records request on Aug. 3 for internal records and communications from the offices of Attorney General Schimel and the Solicitor General regarding the ACA…
“On Aug. 20, the DOJ identified 1,940 relevant emails, but denied CMD’s request outright by claiming it would be ‘excessively burdensome’ to review and redact them.
“‘Schimel’s case against the Affordable Care Act is of significant public interest. Why he would deny the public information about this controversial suit, which may ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, is unknown. But the citizens of the state deserve answers,’ said CMD executive director Arn Pearson.”
“Two of RAGA’s top donors, the billionaire Koch brothers, have spent hundreds of millions on the ACA repeal effort since the law was enacted. Koch Industries has contributed close to half a million to RAGA over the last year and a half and $10,000 directly to Schimel’s reelection campaign. RAGA, in turn, has pumped $44,000 into Schimel’s campaign.
“‘It is puzzling that Attorney General Brad Schimel, the man who created Wisconsin’s Office of Open Government, would deny a reasonable records request that clearly meets the criteria of Wisconsin’s Open Records law,’ said David Armiak, a researcher with CMD.”