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Tuesday - July 3, 2018 5:59 am

Is AG's decision not to join opioid lawsuit the result of his ties to big pharma?

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Increasingly, Wisconsin's Attorney General is becoming an island unto himself. As a number of states filing lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies for their role in the nation's opioid epidemic, Attorney General Brad Schimel is declining to join them. The lawsuits seek to hold big pharma accountable for their role in creating the epidemic. The lawsuits seek settlements for the public health costs of prescription painkillers. Schimel is not filing a lawsuit on behalf of the state of Wisconsin, even though 71 of the state's 72 counties, including La Crosse, have passed resolutions calling for the state to sue. Schimel says he thinks a settlement is still possible with the drug manufacturers. But that certainly doesn't mean he can't sue. Lots of lawsuits are settled out of court, before they go to trial. Schimel's critics are quick to tie his lack of support for a legal remedy to his connections to the pharmaceutical companies. Schimel will benefit in his upcoming campaign for re-election from donations from the Republican Attorneys General Association, which accepted more than a half million dollars from Purdue Pharma, one of the drug manufacturers that the lawsuit targets. Schimel may be correct that seeking a settlement is better than filing a lawsuit, but as long as he is lining his pockets with special interest cash, the appearance of impropriety will be enough to cast doubt on his real motivation.

Last modified on Wednesday - July 4, 2018 12:09 am
Scott Robert Shaw

Scott Robert Shaw is the Program Director for both 1410 WIZM and 580 WKTY.   He's currently the morning news anchor on 1410 WIZM, Z93 and 95-7 The Rock.  He joined Mid-West Family Broadcasting as a reporter/anchor in 1989 and served as News Director from 1990-2015.   He's been the winner of several Wisconsin Broadcaster's Association awards for Best Editorial in Wisconsin.  He enjoys traveling, bicycling and cooking.

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