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Saturday, May 25, 2024 | Back issues
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Politician’s ‘Racist’ Video Scandal Comes to a Head

MADISON (CN) - Video that purportedly shows the Republican vying to be Wisconsin attorney general making racist and sexist remarks could be released just days before the election.

Judge Richard Niess will hold a hearing Thursday on the matter in Dane County Circuit Court.

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin brought the issue to a head with an Oct. 21 petition that says Waukesha County district attorney Brad Schimel made "offensive racial remarks and ethnic slurs, including but not limited to stereotyped accents, as well as sexist remarks" during a Statewide Prosecutors Education conference.

Schimel's Democratic opponent in the attorney-general race, Jefferson District Attorney Susan Happ, has focused heavily on women's issues in her campaign.

Many of the presentations Schimel made at these SPET conferences were taped, the petition states.

The Democrats note the Wisconsin Department of Justice already declined their request to review recordings of five specific trainings featuring Schimel.

They say that the WDOJ's legal services administrator, Kevin Potter, claimed to have only two of the five videotapes, neither of which he would release.

The department allegedly said releasing the tapes would violate attorney-client privilege and victims' rights to privacy.

The Dems meanwhile say Schimel would have already violated that privacy if he discussed specific cases in a training session.

"Further, DOJ makes the incredible claim that Schimel revealed the victim's identity with such frequency at the conference that 'the level of redaction which would be required would render the end result meaningless to a viewer,'" their petition states.

The tapes were released under seal to the court after an Oct. 22 hearing. Thursday's hearing is just around the corner from Election Day.

The petitioners are represented by Michael Bauer of Bauer & Bach.

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