State Senator Howard Marklein, who represents south-central Wisconsin’s 17th Senate District, just decided that the Koch brothers and other out-of-state billionaires do not have enough influence on Wisconsin government. With his vote for what Wisconsin Republican legislators call campaign finance reform, Marklein voted to allow the Koch brothers and other billionaires to vastly increase the amount of money they can contribute to political candidates, and to change Wisconsin laws so that nobody will know where the money is coming from.
To make matters worse, Marklein deceived us about it. In his newsletter he blamed it on a United States Court of Appeals decision, but that is simply not true. The Court decision did NOT suggest that Wisconsin had to increase the amount of campaign contributions and did NOT suggest that contributions should be hidden from the public. In fact the Court has supported disclosure. Marklein is simply deceiving us on both counts.
This is just another example of how Marklein consistently cons us. Earlier this year, he suggested at a meeting in Mauston that Wisconsin legislation pending at that time was not intended to boot Justice Shirley Abrahamson from her position as chief, when everyone else in the room—perhaps everyone in the state—knew that was exactly what was happening.
Marklein even suggested that the majority of conservatives on the Supreme Court might elect a liberal judge. It is an indication for Marklein’s arrogance–and his low opinion of our intelligence–that he thinks we will believe such ridiculous statements. Now he has done it again.
Howard Marklein does not approach his job of Senator as a statesman. His approach more closely resembles that of a con artist: Give the Koch brothers and other billionaires what they want, then cover it up with dishonesty and bullpucky.