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Holder Visits Wisconsin To Endorse Dallet, Criticize Walker

Former Obama-Era Attorney General Stops In Milwaukee, Madison

former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
A March 4, 2015 file photo of former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaking at the Justice Department in Washington. D.C. Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was in Wisconsin this week partly to campaign for state Supreme Court candidate Rebecca Dallet, but he had other issues on his mind as well during his stops in Milwaukee and Madison.

Holder now chairs the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, which supports a legal challenge to Wisconsin’s legislative district maps. The U.S. Supreme Court is currently deliberating that case.

Holder said Dallet, a Milwaukee County Judge, has committed to an “appropriate” political redistricting process in Wisconsin. He also said he likes Dallet’s past work as a prosecutor and her temperament.

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Holder said he doesn’t like that Dallet’s opponent, Sauk County Judge Michael Screnock, has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association.

“You know, the gun lobby is supporting him and I think that says a lot about what they expect from him, were he to be the next Supreme Court justice. I think she’ll (Dallet) be for the people. I fear he’ll be for the special interests,” Holder told reporters on Thursday in Milwaukee after speaking to Black Leaders Organizing For Communities.

Holder’s group has already spent $140,000 backing Dallet. Holder said it’s a “distinct possibility” that more money will be put into Wisconsin’s Supreme Court race.

A spokesperson for Screnock said Dallet laughably claims to be non-partisan while accepting money and endorsements from Democrats.

During his stops, Holder also took on Gov. Scott Walker after he called for a special legislative session to focus on a school safety package. Walker’s move came three weeks after the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, of which Holder is chair, sued the governor for refusing to call special elections to fill two open legislative seats.

Holder said his point has been proven.

“Those districts where those two people who left and joined his administration, they would be without a voice at that special session. He only strengthens our lawsuit by calling this special session,” he said.

The governor’s office said there was no need to call the elections because they would occur after the special session ends and there are staff in the legislative offices until new leaders are elected in November.

Walker spokeswoman Amy Hasenberg said: “Eric Holder and this Washington, D.C.-based special interest group want to force Wisconsin taxpayers to waste money.”

Holder is scheduled to speak Friday morning to college students and young activists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Memorial Union.