When 14 former Department of Justice employees held a news conference to express their distaste with the management of the government branch, citing current Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel as the epicenter of their unrest, that’s a clear signal change in leadership is in order.

When those 14 individuals belong to a group of 45 who have all endorsed Schimel’s opponent, Josh Kaul, ahead of the Nov. 6 midterm elections, their word should be taken seriously. And when 61 former state assistant attorneys general have announced they support Kaul in his pursuit to be the principal legal officer in the state, those numbers mean something.

Josh Kaul is the right fit for Wisconsin, and not just because Schimel’s execution of the position faces harsh criticism. Rather, because Kaul is qualified, passionate and determined to reestablish an expectation that the attorney general is to prioritize the interests of state residents, not special interests.

Attorney general candidates debate school safety, sexual assault, medical marijuana legalizationWisconsin’s Democratic attorney general candidate and Republican incumbent debated school safety, untested rape kits and medical marijuana Sunday night. Democratic Read…

While Schimel boasts a four-year term as Wisconsin attorney general, more than qualifying him for a second term on paper, the searing comments from those who worked closely beside him tell a tale of a man plagued by his own ego.

“He has marginalized career attorneys by cutting them out of the loop, by micromanaging their work and by basically disrespecting them as attorneys,” former Assistant Attorney General Josh Greene said. “And if the message is, we don’t want people to stick around in the Wisconsin Department of Justice, this is an excellent way of accomplishing that.”

Compounding his incompetence as a leader, Schimel has been at the center of a recent controversy in which around 6,000 rape kits were left untested in Wisconsin evidence rooms, a surplus Schimel didn’t feel the need to address until it was revealed to the general public. In true character, he denied the existence of a surplus at all.

Attorney general candidates debate school safety, sexual assault, medical marijuana legalizationWisconsin’s Democratic attorney general candidate and Republican incumbent debated school safety, untested rape kits and medical marijuana Sunday night. Democratic Read…

Schimel most commonly attacks Kaul as an outsider, saying his time in Washington D.C. and Baltimore make him too far removed from Wisconsin issues. While Kaul has not tried a criminal trial in Wisconsin, his time as a federal prosecutor in Baltimore included frequent handling of drug, criminal and gang-related cases. In a state riddled with opioid, heroin and meth usage, Schimel’s claim that Kaul will be lost in the infinite nuance of a Wisconsin criminal case is baseless.

Kaul currently works for the international law firm Perkins Coie, focusing his energy on voting rights and spearheading an effort to overturn restrictions on Wisconsin’s early voting process. Kaul refuses to be complacent with Wisconsin’s voting legislation and recognizes the importance of facilitating access to the polls. A candidate virtuous enough to protect the sanctity of the vote deserves ours.

Schimel, conversely, defended Gov. Scott Walker’s decision not to hold special elections for two legislative seats, even in the face of a Dane County judge and an appeals court that both said the state law clearly necessitates it. There’s a certain irony present in a candidate who claims to be “law enforcement’s choice” for attorney general but turns a blind eye to the law at contentious moments.

Between his experience confronting issues common to the unseen pockets of Wisconsin and his unwavering commitment to easing the public’s access to the polls, Josh Kaul is the candidate best-suited to advise the Wisconsin government in critical legal matters.

The Editorial Board serves to represent the voice of The Badger Herald editorial department, distinct from the newsroom, and does not necessarily reflect the views of each staff member.