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January 23, 2019

12/31/2018 11:22:00 AM
Wisconsin citizens lose by a single vote

Dear Editor:
I am a political independent, having voted for Republican Tommy Thompson four times and Democrat Jim Doyle twice for governor. Every resident of SW Wisconsin, whether they follow politics or not, should know what happened in our state capitol earlier this month. Within hours after Democrat Tony Evers defeated Republican Scott Walker in November, the Republican power brokers went to work behind closed doors, rushing to develop a scheme to limit the powers of the incoming governor and attorney general and restricting voting opportunities in areas where Democrats did well.
Citizens from both parties were outraged. Two former Wisconsin governors, one from each party, spoke up against the so-called emergency Lame Duck session of the Legislature. Journalists across the country described the legislation as a blatant power grab by the party that lost the governor's chair. Most importantly, citizens of SW Wisconsin flooded their elected officials with hundreds of phone calls, emails and social media posts, nearly all in opposition.
Representative Todd Novak (R-Dodgeville) was the only Republican in the Assembly with the courage to stand up to his party bosses and vote "no." In the Senate, Rob Cowles of Green Bay was the only Republican to do the same. With Cowles' "no" vote, the people of the state of Wisconsin only needed one more vote to end this blatant political farce.
The State Senator from our district, Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green), had just won re-election with a campaign that said, "I don't care for political gamesmanship." So surely he would not support this embarrassing political circus, especially since 99% of the tidal wave of calls to his office were from voters in his district urging him to vote "no." Right?
Wrong. Howard caved to his party bosses and voted in favor of all of the Lame Duck bills. There is nothing in these bills that benefit SW Wisconsin or the state as a whole. They do nothing but attempt to solidify the power of one party, plain and simple. They hadn't even been vetted to determine their financial impact on the state. And Howard is an accountant!
This is no way to run state government.
Howard Marklein is getting hammered in the newspapers and on social media for his vote. Just check out his Facebook page.
His vote will be remembered for a long time, by us and by him. Long after he is out of office, he will reflect on his time representing the 17th District and the state and remember that, at a most critical time, when he could have taken a stand for the democratic process, he bowed to his Republican party bosses and voted against the people of his district and the state.
So, the next time you see him at a town hall meeting, or when he comes to your farm or school to talk and pose for pictures, look him in the eye and ask him, "why?"

Jim Stroschein
Mineral Point, WI

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