Van Hollen Criticizes Corporate Lawsuits, Takes Credit for Corporate Lawsuit

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To read the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page (and I would try and avoid), Wisconsin Attorney General JB Van Hollen is a lone midwestern warrior who has drawn a line in the sand to stop the endless victimization of the big corporations like AIG which serve our nation so selflessly.

But a month later he took credit for a corporate lawsuit that will bring millions of
dollars to Wisconsin — and he did it even though the lawsuit was filed by his
predecessor.Turns out on January 6, Van Hollen sent a letter to Senate Banking Committee ranking member, Iowa’s Chuck Grassley rejecting a call for going after corporations who took federal bailout billions and then handed out millions in executive bonuses.

In an editorial entitled “Van Hollen, the Un-Cuomo,” the right wing’s pr firm at the WSJ Editorial just praised Van Hollen’s newly-released letter in which he firmly avers he will not “use my office to threaten litigation in an attemplt to micromanage Wisconsin’s businesses. Corporate governance is generallly a matter for shareholders, not public officeholders.”

It seems he changed his tune a little over a month later when it came to taking credit for a multi-million dollar jury decision in corporate case in which the state DOJ started, albeit, not started under his watch.

Although Van Hollen said he won’t “use his office to threaten litigation,” he did “use his office” to crow about the jury decision in the Pharmacia case, where the company would found guilt of defrauding the state. Note: This was a case brought about under Van Hollen’s predecessor, Peg Lautenschlager.

Van Hollen decided to “use his office” to send this press release within hours of the jury verdict was released out about the case, filed by Lautenschlager.

He also decided to “use his [campaign] office” to send an item out just this month about the case in his always-riveting campaign e-mail, “JB’s Journal.”

So, Van Hollen will “use his office” to send out a press release crowing about the Lautenschlager case, but he won’t “use his office” to hold corporations accountable and conduct the investigations and make communications which might return money to the taxpayers like what happened in the case he didn’t file with Pharmacia, but that he took credit for executing.

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Scot Ross served as Executive Director of One Wisconsin Now & the Institute from 2007 to 2019.