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Attorney general candidate makes local stop

First National Community Bank’s Tom Mews (left) welcomes state attorney general candidate Brad Schimel and State Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) while Schimel campaigns in western Wisconsin. (Photo by Micheal Foley)

Brad Schimel, the Republican candidate for state attorney general in November’s general election, stopped by New Richmond on Wednesday, Aug. 6, to meet local people and spread word about his campaign.

While in New Richmond, Schimel stopped at businesses along Knowles Avenue, including First National Community Bank and the New Richmond News.

Among the topics he covered were heroin addiction, Act 10, voter ID and the role of the attorney general.

Schimel currently serves as the district attorney for Waukesha County, a post he has held since 2006. He has served as a prosecutor for more than 24 years, and has extensive experience in prosecuting drug-related crimes. He says there is no one silver bullet to solving the state’s drug issues, and bolstering the ability to catch and prosecute dealers is the first step.

“We have to deal with this on every front, and one of those of course is enforcement,” Schimel said. “We have got to take out the drug dealers. If you deliver these drugs and somebody dies, we have to be able to bust you. We have to have training, and we have to have resources to go after you and lock you up in prison. You have to know that if you traffic these drugs, you’re getting locked up.”

When it comes to addicts who aren’t dealers, Schimel prefers using drug court.

“We need to make sure every county has a drug treatment court available,” Schimel said. “We need to make sure every county has treatment resources available, because the drug treatment court only works if that treatment part is available. These are people who need to see their counselor, not just once a month, but several times a week. If they have to travel one or two counties over, that becomes a huge challenge.”

Schimel also touted drug prevention as a key tool in solving the drug problem.

“Almost nobody starts with heroin; they start with prescription drugs,” Schimel said.

He stressed the importance of educating the public about the dangers of the prescription drugs in their medicine cabinets and the way to properly dispose of them in drop boxes at police stations and pharmacies across the state.

When it comes to some of the state’s most divisive issues, such as Act 10 and the voter ID law, Schimel thinks the attorney general’s job is to represent the state — regardless of which party is in control of the administration — without letting personal views get in the way.

“It’s been a very difficult time for moving laws forward in Wisconsin,” Schimel said. “It’s got to be an unprecedented number of times that state laws are being challenged in courts. It makes for a very busy job for an attorney general. As a DA, I go to work every day putting aside the politics. I go into the office and my job is to represent the State of Wisconsin on issues in Waukesha County. It’s customer service. You focus on giving people good representation.”

Micheal Foley
Micheal Foley worked at RiverTown Multimedia from July 2013 to June 2015 as editor at the New Richmond News. 
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