Bruce Murphy
Back in the News

Dale Schultz’s Last Hurrah

The retired Republican lawmaker dumps on his party and explains how Walker snookered him on Act 10.

By - Mar 5th, 2015 10:32 am
Dale Schultz

Dale Schultz

Longtime Republican state senator Dale Schultz, who recently retired, is not heading quietly into the sunset. Instead he’s been firing shots at the party which he represented during 32 years as a state legislator. Schultz served in the Assembly from 1982 to 1991 and in the Senate from 1991 to 2015, including a stint as Senate Majority Leader from 2004 to 2006. He represented what had been a swing district in western Wisconsin, prior to the 2010 redistricting, and was known as a moderate. Schultz worked with Democratic state senator Tim Cullen to create a compromise mining bill, with more protections for the environment, which Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-dominated legislature rejected.

As the Cap Times has reported, Schultz appeared in December on the “Devil’s Advocate” radio show in Madison, where he blasted Republicans. And he just did an interview with liberal blogger Bill Kaplan, taking more shots.

The most interesting revelation, as reported by Kaplan: Schultz says he was prevented by Walker from proposing an amendment to Act 10. The senator wanted to create a sunset for the law, which largely eliminated collective bargaining for public employees. He was “decoyed” into a fruitless meeting with the governor, Schultz says, and thus never proposed the amendment. At the time the Senate vote was a such a close call a moderating amendment stood a chance of passage.

Other Schultz comments from both stories:

-On Act 10’s sweeping impact: “I had not at all realized the revolutionary nature of what was going on.”

-On the partisan divide: “How much pain do we have to dish out in this state to one another before we finally realize that we have to get along and… compromise with one another?”

-On passage of the right-to-work bill: “It’s a cowardly move to make certain the public can’t be heard on this issue and rush it through in a special session. They ought to be embarrassed or ashamed.”

-On the impact of right-to-work: It “is going to hurt Wisconsin employers terribly in the long run, as the workforce gets more angry. I represented a lot of blue-collar labor people, both union and non-union. So I know that even the wages of non-union workers are determined by collective bargaining…it has an impact.”

-On the impact of Republican changes on public schools: “The K-12 system in the last few years has laid off 3,000 personnel, and it looks to me like that’s going to accelerate. Out my way, I would not be shocked if a huge percentage of school districts wind up going to referendum to have the privilege of raising their own property tax because the state has walked away from its principal responsibility of providing for a free, appropriate and near equal education for everybody.”

-On the impact of expanding school vouchers: “We can’t afford one system in this state. How we are going to… fund two is beyond me.”

-On the UW System funding: “The university has been absolutely eviscerated in the last budget… we’re in a position to do real damage to a world-class university.”

As to the long-term impact of the Republican revolution, Schultz says, “the hangover from Walker will be spectacular.”

17 thoughts on “Back in the News: Dale Schultz’s Last Hurrah”

  1. Rich says:

    -On the retirement of Dale Schultz: It is a greater shame that people such as this are leaving government (in many spots around the country) creating a vacuum in which Tea Party and other short-sighted idiots get elected.

  2. Labitokov says:

    On Act 10’s sweeping impact: “I had not at all realized the revolutionary nature of what was going on.”

    Did he not read the bill?

    Did he not listen to those who told him what exactly was in the bill?

  3. Frank Galvan says:

    I’ll bet that he would have given a straight answer if asked about the theory of evolution or our President’s love for his country as well.

  4. Doug Robertson says:

    I tend to agree with the Labitokov comments above. Although I was pleased that Schultz stood with the “Wisconsin 14” in opposition to Act 10, his comment that he “didn’t realize the revolutionary nature of what was going on” indicates that he either didn’t read and therefore didn’t understand the bill or that he is deficient in his thinking abilities and I don’t believe that the latter of those two options is believable. The first option, however, does seem to me to indicate that he was derelict in his duty as a law maker for the state.

  5. Labitokov says:


    I think it goes to the delusion (willful?) of the eternal centrist. Do they not realize the radical nature of neo-liberalism?

    Tariq Ali calls the dominant clique that is now running the show the “extreme center.”

    This group is not really that concerned with the old rules of liberal democracy (think of the switcharoo with ACT 10 when they first said that they needed a quorum to vote on non budget items) and use the state to create complex trade agreements to funnel profits upward.

    The tools are working.

  6. DHRadcliffe says:

    If he had not retired and voted his heart, the Senate votes would be tied, I believe.

  7. Bill Marsh says:

    The democrats like Schultz because he really is a democrat (similar to David Clarke running as a democrat). The jig is up. Dale Schultz is the type of republican that helped Wisconsin become a top ten taxed state ( and he will not be missed by the taxpayers in his former district.

    PS- When is the Act 10 armageddon going to start?

  8. HolgerAwakens (@HolgerAwakens) says:

    The article states ” and was known as a moderate.” Which means he was and is a Democrat thus the rest of the article is a complete waste of time.

  9. fightinbobfan says:

    “PS- When is the Act 10 armageddon going to start?”

    The minute it was enacted. Poor Scott Walker is diving into the presidential campaign and will have to run on the basis of a poor economy, brought about in part by limiting the disposable income of 13% of the state’s workforce.

  10. The Rev says:

    Good Riddens Dale

  11. PMD says:

    Schultz is hardly me hero or anything but it’s a sad state of affairs when certain people lambast a Republican who isn’t a rabid right-winger and was actually willing to work with the other party.

  12. David says:

    An experienced lawmaker caved to Walker, a proven corrupt liar and snake-oil salesman that is all about himself and his extreme warped policies that harm the majority of citizens in WI. Just like KS, WI has fast become a worst in class state and the downward spiral will continue with right-wing fascist policies from ALEC.

    Beatings will continue in WI till morale improves.

    As for tax breaks – where are they? Must be an illusion.

  13. Paul says:

    He was a RINO, and we are glad he is gone

  14. PMD says:

    A RINO! By today’s standards Reagan was a raging liberal.

  15. Observer says:

    If Dale Schultz was a RINO and you’re glad he’s gone imagine having a DINO as your High Sheriff and wishing he’s gone. Hey “Paul”, did you ever own Larry’s Drug Store on 111th & Greenfield?

  16. Rich says:

    RINO, DINO, who gives a crap about the name or label.

    There may very be some salt from Schultz trying to rewrite history and leave a positive spin, but in general, the quotations in the original article at least give the appearance that somewhere there’s some thinking and thoughtful consideration going on, even if it apparently wasn’t enough thinking to avoid getting duped.

    Problem is, he’ll be replaced by someone doing even less of that and who cares more about the label.

  17. Sandra says:

    Dale was so right about gerry wandering and control of messaging? He has the guts to admit he was wrong. I respect him greatly!!

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