Attorney General JB Van Hollen’s attempt to sue the federal government over health care reform may be the best thing to happen to AG candidate Scott Hassett. His campaign website has not been touched in months, even my Google alerts have been silent. But now that Van Hollen has managed to politicize his office even further (see failure to defend domestic partner registry and non-incarcerated felon folly) more people will become aware of Hassett’s candidacy.
Van Hollen initially appeared to reject the possibility of a lawsuit. This Capital Times story was originally headlined “Van Hollen too smart to challenge health reform” before a change in the headline and some of the text. Apparently Van Hollen is dumb enough to challenge reform, and waste taxpayer dollars (in short supply, if you hadn’t heard) doing it. This stunt is so partisan you’d think he was running for governor.
One Wisconsin Now is already seeking copies of correspondence between Van Hollen and the 13 other attorneys general who have filed suit, along with the other top tier Republicans (I don’t mean it as an insult) in the state. Considering Van Hollen’s initial apprehension it could be interesting to see what changed his mind. Republican Party of Wisconsin stuntman Reince Priebus has come out publicly in support of tax money being flushed down the toilet, along with gubernatorial candidates Scott Walker and Mark Neumann. Some states are lucky enough to have an AG not interested in political games, but we are not one of them.
Thankfully our governor, one gubernatorial candidate, and current legislative leaders have the power and wisdom to deny Van Hollen his blank check to deny reasonable health care to Wisconsinites. Let’s be sure this fall’s election keeps things that way, and keeps these guys out of power.
We’re still waiting on word from Tommy Thompson regarding his flip-flop on insurance mandates, but he only acts like a candidate when it is convenient for him so it might be a while. Will he toe the Republican line? I wouldn’t bet against it.
If Hassett doesn’t sieze the opportunity to capitalize on Van Hollen’s partisan power grab he may be facing opposition from Madison talk show host Dan Potacke, who has tweeted about a possible candidacy. Hassett has failed to impress me thus far, so the coveted Pretty Important Endorsement is up for grabs. Potacke isn’t good at much, which would make him a great successor to Van Hollen.