Videos allegedly showing Wisconsin GOP attorney general candidate Brad Schimel making potentially racist and sexist remarks will not be released after state judge previously ordered them to be shown to the public.
The videos in question were recorded in 2009 and 2013 during statewide prosecutors education conferences.
According to Court House News, Democrats from Wisconsin say the videos depict Schimel making, “offensive racial remarks and ethnic slurs, including but not limited to stereotyped accents, as well as sexist remarks…”
Judge Richard Niess from Dane County in Wisconsin, originally ordered the videos to be released last week. However, according to the Chippewa Herald, the state’s Justice Department appealed the order and Judge Niess cancelled his order shortly afterward.
Judge Niess is saying he found no evidence of any off kilter remarks on the videos and the remarks were not “earth-shaking in any respect.”
Democrats in Wisconsin are fighting this though, saying the videos should be released since they fall under the state’s open records law. With the election being one day away, Democrats in the state are also saying material within the videos is relevant to the political climate and the public has a strong interest in seeing the recordings.
Daniel Bach, the attorney for the Democratic Party, said in a statement, according to the Raw Story, “If the public does not have the opportunity to view these tapes by tomorrow, this case is mooted.”
The Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General Anthony Rossomanno, however, said releasing the videos could potentially reveal strategies used by prosecutors, as well as the identities of several victims of sexual predators who were used in examples at the conferences.
The Justice Department also asked the court to consider the fact that the information was being requested by Schimel’s election opponents. They said, in a statement, “A further issue is whether the court improperly gave weight to public interest in discerning whether there is misconduct by public figures when the requesters themselves created the public interest in that controversy and provided no factual basis for it.”
As of now, the videos will not be released to the public.