MADISON, Wis. — Republican State Rep. and candidate for State Senate Howard Marklein touts his political independence while on the campaign trail, but a review of his voting record in Madison tells a very different tale. According to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, an analysis of Marklein’s 2013 legislative session voting record reveals he voted with the GOP leadership 99.3 percent of the time and in the 2011 session, towed the party line 99.1 percent of the time. In addition the state big business lobby, the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC), legislator scorecards show Marklein has only cast two votes against their wishes.
“Far from being independent, Howard Marklein is the party bosses’ and the big business lobby’s man in Madison,” commented Ross. “Only in Howard Marklein’s mind is it independent when you vote with your political party leadership over 99 percent of the time.”
Ross noted that just some of votes on which Marklein towed the party line included:
- Giving $2.3 billion in tax breaks overwhelmingly benefitting the wealthy and corporations; [Legislative Fiscal Bureau, 6/9/2011]
- Made the largest per pupil cuts to K-12 public education in the country; [2011 Assembly Bill 40, Assembly Vote] [US Census Bureau: Public Education Finances 2012, Table 20, p. 28]
- Going along with Gov. Walker’s plan rejecting federal Medicaid funds and taking state healthcare away from thousands of people in Southwestern Wisconsin; [ASA 1 to AB 1, December 2013 special session, Assembly vote] [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8/17/2014]
- Meddling in women’s health care decisions including requiring women to get an ultrasound before they have an abortion and eliminating aid for women’s health centers that provide needed services like cancer screenings; [2013 SB 206, Concurrence, 6/13/2013; 2011 Assembly Bill 40, introduced 3/1/2011; Assembly Roll Call; 2011 WI Act 32 signed into law 6/26/2011]
- Opposing a bill to allow borrowers to refinance their student loans, just like you can with a mortgage or auto loan. [Assembly Roll Call, 2/13/2014]
While his willingness in Madison to unquestioningly follow along with his GOP leadership and big business lobby hasn’t been good for Southwestern Wisconsin, it has been lucrative for Marklein’s campaign. The special interests he’s voted to help have funneled massive amounts of campaign cash to Marklein and the WMC is now buying large amounts of TV ads to try to boost his campaign.
Ross concluded, “The only independence Howard Marklein has displayed is that he cares exactly zero percent for what’s best for the people he’s supposed to serve at home when he’s getting his orders on how to vote from the party bosses and special interests in Madison.”