One Wisconsin Now Requests Van Hollen-DOJ Communications on Partisan GOP Health Reform Lawsuit

Breadth of Communications, Source of Requests Sought in OWN Ask

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MADISON, Wis. — One Wisconsin Now has filed two open records requests with the Wisconsin Department of Justice seeking copies of all correspondence to and from Republican Attorney General JB Van Hollen and DOJ staff with individuals inside and outside of Wisconsin urging Van Hollen to file a Republican-orchestrated frivolous lawsuit brought by attorneys general from 13 states around the country to block the federal Affordable Health Care for America Act signed into law Tuesday by President Obama.

“This is pure partisan politics and the people of Wisconsin have a right to these records,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “Taxpayers have a right to know who inside and outside of the state is conspiring to get Van Hollen to join this bogus lawsuit.”

In comments to the media Tuesday, a DOJ spokesperson said Van Hollen did not support the health reform act. Republicans like Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann called for Van Hollen to file suit. In addition, 34 Republican state Senators and Representatives sent Van Hollen a letter calling for intervention.

Were Van Hollen able to take action, it would not be the first time he has used the taxpayer-financed resources of the Department of Justice to intervene in serving partisan Republican interests.

In 2008 while serving as state co-chair of GOP nominee John McCain’s campaign, Van Hollen filed a lawsuit which could have disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of legal Wisconsin voters after pressuring from GOP

Madison leaders. Open records requests in 2008 showed a top Van Hollen aide had “multiple conversations” with Republican Party of Wisconsin Chair Reince Preibus preceding Van Hollen’s intervention in that case.

“Wisconsin taxpayers have already seen their tax dollars wasted by JB Van Hollen for partisan political interests,” said Ross. “First, it was to deny hundreds of thousands of eligible Wisconsinites access to the voting booth and his next victim may be those Wisconsinites and small business owners and employees who will benefit from the historic health reform package passed this week.”

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One Wisconsin Now specializes in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.