Attorney General candidates Susan Happ and Brad
Schimel participate in a debate at the Wisconsin State
Bar Center in Madison, Wis. Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014.
Republican attorney general candidate Brad Schimel tried
again to brand Democratic opponent Susan Happ as a liberal
activist during their last pre-election debate Wednesday,
even as his opponent lamented how negative their race has
County District Attorney Schimel is locked in a tight race
with Happ, the district attorney in Jefferson County, to
replace outgoing Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen.
The contest has grown increasing bitter as the Nov. 4
election approaches, with both candidates accusing the other
of being soft on crime. Schimel recently opened a new line
of attack by labeling Happ an activist who wants to use the
state Justice Department to advance liberal causes.
Buoyed by a
new Marquette Law School poll showing him with a slight
lead, Schimel went straight at Happ as the debate began at
the state bar association's Madison headquarters, declaring
that her liberal agenda would make life harder for
businesses. He accused her of planning to use the DOJ to
halt plans for a 4½-mile long iron mine in far northwestern
Wisconsin, even though federal and state environmental
officials have oversight of the project.
Attorney General candidates Susan Happ speaks during a
debate with opponent Brad Schimel at the Wisconsin
State Bar Center in Madison, Wis. Wednesday, Oct. 29,
activism isn't only going to affect the mine. If you run any
kind of business in Wisconsin you should fear her do-more
agenda," Schimel said.
accused her of cherry-picking which laws to defend. Happ has
said she wouldn't defend GOP-authored laws that require
voters to show photo identification and abortion providers
to get admitting privileges at hospitals.
she'd bring a partisan agenda to the department and
complained about negativity in the race, saying "the
tone and tenor of the campaign has really gone awry."
didn't shy away from taking her own shots.
Schimel desperate and took him to task for saying the
attorney general has a duty to automatically defend every
Brad, I don't think the attorney general is a robot,"
Attorney General candidate Brad Schimel speaks during
a debate with opponent Susan Happ at the Wisconsin
State Bar Center in Madison, Wis., Wednesday, Oct. 29,
criticized him for saying that giving the state Department
of Administration oversight of assistant district attorneys
was a political mistake and promising to place them under
the auspices of the DOJ. She said he's the one who sounds
like an activist.
sparred over how to tackle Wisconsin's heroin problem.
Schimel said Happ was slow to realize her county had a
heroin issue, and that he saw the crisis coming years ago.
Happ said smaller counties often lack the resources to
recognize trends immediately.
Wednesday, the state Government Accountability Board
dismissed a complaint filed by the Republican Party in
September alleging that Happ improperly offered an alleged
child molester a deferred prosecution deal because he bought
her house. Happ has insisted she had no part in the case.
for the board, Jonathan Becker, said in an email to Happ's
campaign that she did nothing wrong, that she entered into
the sale before the case came to her office and that she
wasn't involved in the case. The state Office of Lawyer
Regulation concluded earlier this month that Happ properly
recused herself from the case.
Democratic attorney general hopeful Susan Happ says she
plans to vote early.
campaign issued a statement Wednesday saying Happ plans to
vote at noon in her hometown of Jefferson. A spokesman for
her Republican opponent, Brad Schimel, says Schimel plans to
vote first thing in the morning on Election Day on Nov. 4.
Jefferson County's district attorney, and Schimel, Waukesha
County's district attorney, have been locked in a tight
race. A Marquette Law School poll released Wednesday shows
Schimel slightly ahead. The two candidates were scheduled to
meet in their third and final debate Wednesday evening.
The last Marquette University Law School poll released just
six days before the election shows Republican Brad Schimel
slightly ahead of Democrat Susan Happ in the race for
Wisconsin attorney general.
released Wednesday shows Schimel with 43 percent support
among likely voters compared with 39 percent for Happ. Two
weeks ago, Schimel and Happ were tied with 42 percent each.
margin of error is 3 percentage points.
Schimel were scheduled to meet Wednesday night for their
third and final debate before Tuesday's election.
Happ is the
Jefferson County district attorney while Schimel is district
attorney in Waukesha County.
Marquette poll of 1,164 likely voters was done between Oct.
23 and Sunday.