Wisconsin state Sen. Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center, will not ride off quietly into the sunset. In an appearance on the Devil’s Advocate radio show (The Mic/92.1 FM) last week, Schultz told hosts Mike Crute and Dominic Salvia that his party’s support for a series of election law changes was indefensible. “I am not willing to defend them anymore,” he explained when Salvia asked why Republicans sought to limit the number of voting hours a municipality could offer. “I’m just not and I’m embarrassed by this.” Since announcing his retirement in the face of a tough primary challenge from conservative state Rep. Howard Marklein, R-Spring Green, the Republican iconoclast has become more strident in criticizing the party in which he has made a political career. Schultz has served as a legislator from southwestern Wisconsin since 1983, including two stints as Senate majority leader in 2003 and 2005. Last week, Schultz argued that there were no legitimate justifications for some of the election reforms pushed by Republicans. “It’s all predicated on some belief there is a massive fraud or irregularities, something my colleagues have been hot on the trail for three years and have failed miserably at demonstrating,” he said.
However, the suggestion that his party holds a sincere but misguided belief constituted one of Schultz’s gentler criticisms of the GOP. He hinted that Republicans are trying to gain an electoral advantage by depressing voter turnout.
“It’s just sad when a political party has so lost faith in its ideas that it’s pouring all of its energy into election mechanics,” Schultz said. “We should be pitching as political parties our ideas for improving things in the future rather than mucking around in the mechanics and making it more confrontational at the voting sites and trying to suppress the vote.”
Although Schultz voted for the voter ID bill passed by the Legislature in 2011, now tied up in the courts, he said he now believes that a lack of access to the polls poses a far greater threat to the integrity of state elections than voter fraud.
Full Article: Dale Schultz: ‘I am not willing to defend them anymore’ : Ct.