When state Sen. Dale Schultz (R–Richland Center) announced in January that he was not running for reelection, he gave the impression he wouldn’t be endorsing anyone to succeed him in the 17th Senate District.
That is not the impression given by a mailer sent by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin last week.
The mailer announces that “Pat Bomhack has the Dale Schultz Stamp of Approval,” citing a story in The Capital Times in Madison Oct. 8 that quotes Schultz as saying that “Pat Bomhack is a good fit for the district because his values and positions on the issues that people care about, from my perspective, are similar to mine.”
Bomhack is running against Rep. Howard Marklein (R–Spring Green) Nov. 4.
Schultz was traveling Tuesday and didn’t comment, but his campaign director, Todd Allbaugh, did.
“Dale has said, ‘Of the two guys running to replace me, Pat Bomhack’s views are the most similar to mine on issues like rural schools and hospitals, mining, local control and an honest accounting of our state budget. Clearly he’s the right fit for the district,’” said Allbaugh. “Dale has also said he felt Howard Marklein was ‘out of step with the district.’”
Allbaugh said Schultz appeared on the Sly talk show on WEKZ radio in Monroe last week.
“When pressed by Sly on whether he really felt Howard was independent, Dale said, ‘Look, Howard Marklein saying he’s independent is like the Russian news agency saying they’re independent of Vladimir Putin, it’s just not believable when you look at his voting record. The guy has voted the party line 99% percent of the time, and about the only time he voted no was 45 seconds after he voted yes on the budget to move it to final passage.’”
Schultz’s campaign blog claimed a “98.7 percent Republican voting record” when Marklein announced he was running in April 2013.
Schultz refused to endorse Marklein in January, saying, “Howard made it clear in his announcement challenging me that his top two reasons for doing so were my votes on Act 10 and mining. It’s pretty difficult to support someone who’s so out of step with the views of my constituents on major issues they care deeply about.” But when asked if he would endorse anyone else, Schultz replied, “I am a Republican.”
Last week, though, Allbaugh said, “When asked by Sly if Dale was endorsing, Dale said, ‘I think people are smart enough to read between the lines, and I encourage them to do their research and come to their own conclusion.’”