University of Wisconsin College Democrats hosted the only Democratic candidate running for Wisconsin Attorney General, Josh Kaul, Tuesday evening.
Kaul credits his upbringing in Oshkosh and Fond du Lac for his passion in addressing the specific issues facing Wisconsinites. Among his top concerns are combating voter suppression laws, addressing the opioid epidemic, undoing rape-kit backlogging and environmental regulation enforcement.
Kaul made an ostensible effort to engage playfully with the mostly young, democratic crowd, opening with one of his favorite jokes, “I’m Josh Kaul and I’m not running for governor.”
This comment was a nod to the almost 20 Democrats running for the 2018 gubernatorial race in Wisconsin. Kaul emphasized he wants voters to understand the importance of caring about the attorney general race and not just the offices for governor and Senate which tend to receive more public attention.
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Kaul believes much of the Republican leadership in the state is responsible for different forms of voter suppression targeted specifically at young and minority voters. He linked these issues to greater issues of inequality specifically facing black communities in Wisconsin, citing Milwaukee’s high rate of black male unemployment and the prevalence of gerrymandering across the country as examples of this inequality.
“[Republicans] know that the harder you make it to vote, the less people will turn out to vote,” Kaul said.
Voter ID laws are another way Republicans have made it harder for younger voters — who tend to vote Democratic — to vote, Kaul said. He also pointed to previous Republican-led rollbacks on the requirement for high schools to have someone qualified to register new voters.
Kaul said one of the issues that he finds most critical in Wisconsin is protecting environmental regulations. He focused on enforcing laws that would cut down on drinking water contamination and ensure access to clean water for all Wisconsinites.
“I don’t think anybody in Wisconsin in 2018 should worry that when they turn on the tap, brown water is going to come out,” Kaul said.
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Kaul also emphasized treatment funding for victims of the opioid epidemic and legal targeting of the suppliers of these drugs rather than the users. He also mentioned that those who care about student loan debts, the environment and the consumer rights should also see him as the most viable option for attorney general.
Kaul emphasized that the position is not one that should be overlooked, especially by Democratic voters.
“It’s the AG’s who go to court to stand up for people’s rights and protections in the Trump Administration,” Kaul said.