The lone Republican Senator to vote against the GOP rollback on collective bargaining is calling for unity going forward. In an interview with WRCO, Senator Dale Schultz of Richland Center said he was surprised by Wednesday’s actions, which took a modified version of Governor Scott Walker’s budget repair bill to the Senate floor. “A number of my colleagues were talking about compromise, and then in a very short period of time when I had left the caucus to meet with Farm Bureau representatives, the tide shifted quickly, and people wanted to vote immediately,” Schultz said.
Schultz said he believes Senate Republicans and Governor Scott Walker could have gotten “ninety five percent” of that they wanted through negotiation. “I just think that this ‘we won the election, now get over it’ sort of attitude that we see swinging back and forth in this political pendulum is not really doing our state or the country any good,” said Schultz. “We need to find a way to come together. We can’t have people at each other’s throats over sensitive issues like this.”
Schultz, who grew up in Madison, compares the protests around collective bargaining to those surrounding the Vietnam War. “I want to be clear, what I have seen in Madison has been extraordinarily peaceful and passionate at the same time,” he said. “I have not seen any damage anywhere other than the damage to the lawn with so many people crowding around the Capitol.”
Recalls are now looming against Republican and Democrat state Senators. “This issue in my opinion is not likely going to go away, and unfortunately what I see coming out of this is another year’s worth of elections,” said Schultz. “Most of the folks I know think we need that like another root canal.”
“For me it’s about doing the job,” Schultz said. “I’ll be glad when my Democrat colleagues come back, so we can get on with the business of the legislature, and get on with the business of rebuilding a real positive image for Wisconsin. I don’t think any of this has really done a lot for our state as a place to do business, or raise a family and earn a living, and that saddens me.”