Schimel with reporters

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel

M.P. KING -- State Journal

Has Wisconsin's attorney general, Brad Schimel, become nothing more than a partisan hack?

What else can you call a state official elected to protect the interests of all Wisconsin citizens who only takes on cases that are pet projects of his fellow Republicans?

Schimel, the state's top law enforcement officer, has had no problem joining in lawsuits to kill the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan and other environmental protection regulations or defending his Republican colleagues' gerrymandered redistricting or going to bat for the voter ID law that has been shown to discourage many Wisconsin citizens from voting.

But he can't see fit to join 19 other states that are suing to restore the health care subsidies that Donald Trump ended earlier this month, subsidies that help thousands of state citizens afford health coverage.

When asked if he would join the fight last week, he demurred, telling reporters that he doubted Wisconsin would join the suit and adding that Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Republicans in the Legislature would probably not allow him to do so.

First off, what's partisan about helping lower-income working people afford health care coverage? Chances are that many of the thousands of Wisconsinites who buy insurance under the Affordable Care Act's exchanges are Republicans themselves.

Secondly, Trump declared his intention to end the subsidies because Congress refused to enact his own health care plan. His way of getting even is to undercut the existing Affordable Care Act, which attorneys general in 19 states view as unconstitutional.

They're hoping to save their citizens from facing premium increases of up to 36 percent. Alas, however, our own attorney general isn't so moved, sticking with the excuse that his fellow GOPers wouldn't like it.

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To Schimel, their interests are more important than the well-being of Wisconsin citizens who need help affording health insurance.

And if that's not being a partisan hack, I don't know what is.

Dave Zweifel is editor emeritus of The Capital Times. dzweifel@madison.com and on Twitter @DaveZweifel

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Dave is editor emeritus of The Capital Times.