Vote on records disqualifies Marklein -- Matthew Gregg

September 10, 2018

For the past four years, state Sen. Howard Marklein, R-Spring Green, has been my state senator. After reviewing his legislative record over that time, I see several red flags. But his inclination to bypass established and ethical procedures is by far the most concerning.

Marklein voted along with 11 Republican colleagues on the Joint Finance Committee to approve “Motion 999” during the Fourth of July holiday in 2015. This would have made sweeping changes to Wisconsin’s open records law by secretly inserting an amendment into the state budget. The changes would have allowed for government officials to hide certain legislative endeavors from the public. The effort was widely repudiated and hastily removed when it was exposed by other legislators and the press.

The “Motion 999” affair alone should be worn like a scarlet letter by each of the legislators involved. Their attempt to conceal any part of the lawmaking process from the citizens of Wisconsin is a transgression committed against people of all political persuasions. It was a breach of trust that should preclude Sen. Marklein’s re-election.

Marklein possesses neither the integrity nor the political will to adequately fill the seat of his predecessor, Dale Schultz (a Republican who was respected for his independence and decency). I will be voting for Kriss Marion in November.

Matthew Gregg, Dodgeville

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