MADISON, Wis. — As a government lawyer and as a candidate for State Supreme Court Brian Hagedorn put big corporate profits before protecting seniors from abuse in nursing homes and kids from lead poisoning. One Wisconsin Now Research Director Joanna Beilman-Dulin commented that whether it’s a desperate ploy by Hagedorn for special interest spending on behalf of his campaign or his ideological agenda for the courts, it’s bad for Wisconsin families.
“Brian Hagedorn helped lead the charge to create a major loophole for nursing home operators accused of abuse and wrongful death and to protect the lead paint industry from liability for poisoning kids,” said Beilman-Dulin. “On the campaign trail he’s even said the Wisconsin Supreme Court on which he wants to sit was wrong to protect kids from lead poisoning.”
While the top lawyer for the governor, Brian Hagedorn personally lobbied on behalf law changes that shielded nursing home operators from criminal charges for abusing residents and created loopholes protect them in neglect and wrongful death cases. The same law for which he lobbied also provided protection from liability for lead paint manufacturers, identified as a contributing factor to lead poisoning in children.
Follow up legislation adopted while Hagedorn was the governor’s legal counsel made the lead paint liability provision retroactive. The law change proved to be a windfall for political allies of Hagedorn’s boss, Scott Walker. Media reports uncovered the owner of a company that was a major manufacturer of lead paint directed $750,000 to a group running ads on behalf of legislators whose support, along with the governor, was critical to passing the measure.
Hagedorn followed up his legislative advocacy with efforts in support of a conservative justice to the state Supreme Court. He wrote in an email that the conservative candidate’s election was critical to advancing a political agenda that included gutting protections from abuse for seniors and undermining efforts to hold manufacturers of lead paint accountable for their product poisoning children.
Despite his allegiance to corporate profits over protecting people, Hagedorn’s vile homophobia has proven to be too much for even the staunchly conservative groups like the Wisconsin Realtors Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. They have refused to support his candidacy after revelations that he founded and helps operate a school whose official policy excludes LGBTQ teachers and students.
He also compared a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gay rights to legalizing bestiality on a weblog he maintained, tried to undermine a Wisconsin law providing basic rights for LGBTQ couples like hospital visitation and inheritance while working as legal counsel in the governor’s office and was paid thousands of dollars by an anti-LGBTQ hate group that wants to criminalize homosexuality while he was a judge.
Beilman-Dulin concluded, “The evidence is overwhelming, Brian Hagedorn cannot be trusted to put protecting the public before corporate profits or treat everyone equally under the law.”