MADISON, Wis. — Rep. Howard Marklein has puts claims of his political independence front and center in his campaign for state Senate. But his longtime Republican legislative colleague Dale Schultz isn’t buying it, commenting recently on a radio program that, “ … when Howard Marklein says he’s an independent to me it’s like the Russian News Agency saying they’re independent of Vladimir Putin. It’s just not believable when you look at his record.”
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross commented, “It’s not just his voting record of following the his party bosses more than 99 percent of the time that say Howard Marklein is full of it when he claims he’s independent. His own Republican colleague Sen. Schultz says it too.”
During an interview on the Drive Home With Sly show, longtime Republican State Sen. Dale Schultz, who has served for four years with Rep. Marklein, was asked about Marklein’s campaign claims that he serves as an independent voice in the state legislature in Madison. Schultz replied:
“Look, when Howard Marklein says he’s an independent to me it’s like the Russian News Agency saying they’re independent of Vladimir Putin. It’s just not believable when you look at his record. And you know what there’s nothing wrong with being a party man and voting a straight party line but I guess if I was doing that I’d say I’m proud of it and here’s why. And…..to me Howard’s a guy who voted the party line 99.9% of the time and the only time I can think when he voted against it or voted no was 45 seconds after he voted yes on the budget to move it to final passage….it’s like a friend of mine once said I might have been born on a weekend but it wasn’t last weekend.”
Ross noted that research of Rep. Marklein’s voting record found that in the 2013 legislative session 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 during his time in office. WMC is sponsoring a huge television ad buy attacking Marklein’s election opponent.
Ross concluded, “Sen. Schultz has been around politics for a long time and has seen enough to know when someone’s selling him a line. And now that he’s retiring, he’s speaking his mind. Sen. Schultz’s opinion and the facts on Rep. Marklein’s voting record both say that Marklein is about as party line as they come in Madison.”