Monday, January 27, 2014

State Sen. Dale Schultz's Planned Retirement A Wisconsin Loss

It is regrettable - - but neither surprising or baffling - - that pragmatic, old-school State Sen. Dale Schultz, (R-Richland Center), announced over the weekend he would not run for re-election this fall.

His party has been angry with him since he held up an atrocious iron mining bill after Scott Waller's election because the industry-written plan endangers the state's public water trust.

He was eloquent, fact-driven and completely transparent about it in local and state media.

His reward: Republicans vilified him through their talk radio machine - - even dispatching the private-sector obeisant DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp to lead the attack - - and lined up an opponent for Schultz cloned in the Right-Wing Robotics factory.

Two other consensus-building State Senators - - Democrats Bob Jauch of Poplar and Tim Cullen of Janesville - - are also calling it quits after this session.

Again, who can blame them for wanting to use their productive years in an atmosphere less toxic?

Like Schultz, they are veteran lawmakers who have fought the good fight in a now-militarized State Capitol where moderation is treated by leadership like a virus and special interests serving donors have been given all the keys and access codes.

As Schultz explained a few months ago, citing the mining bill:

Over in the Assembly this bill arrives, nobody is the father of it until (the Republican leadership) all stood up and said, ‘I’m Spartacus,’” he chuckles.
“Silly us that thought we were going to have some opportunity to impact something,” he adds, referring to the alternative mining proposal he worked on with Sens. Tim Cullen, D-Janesville, and Bob Jauch, D-Poplar.
For what purpose do people even pursue elected office these days, he wonders.

“When some think tank comes up with the legislation and tells you not to fool with it, why are you even a legislator anymore?” he asks. “You just sit there and take votes and you’re kind of a feudal serf for folks with a lot of money.”

I wish these gentlemen well and thank them for the time they've put in.


Anonymous said...

Walker has contaminated the political climate in Wisconsin to the point where a longstanding member of his own party can not stomach the GOP agenda. Unfortunately, Dale was the only GOP with the courage to stand up for his constituents. Hopefully the Dems put up a viable candidate to run for this spot.

Anonymous said...

The best lack all conviction. While the worst a re full of passionate intensity.

Anonymous said...

He will probably be a good witness for the prosectuion.

Jake formerly of the LP said...

There has to be some good stories about those GOP caucus meetings....and the threats involved to stay in line.

Boxer said...

Too bad the only voice of reason is leaving the state GOP. God only knows what kind of craziness they'll get up to now.
Unless the only Voice-of-Reason-On-This-Blog, Reagan's Disciple (aka Rayguns) runs for Schultz's seat. He can't campaign here, though. James listened to his inner voice of reason and kicked Rayguns off for bad language.

James Rowen said...

Yes, I did. Something along the lines of women not bright enough to stop getting pregnant, though I have cleaned up his language, as this is a family blog.