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Senate Ag Committee Chair Marklein Explains 'No' Vote
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 11/06/2019

One of the five Republican members of the Senate Agriculture Committee who previously supported Secretary-designee Brad Pfaff's nomination to lead the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture is Howard Marklein of Spring Green, who serves as chair of the panel. He released the following statement explaining his decision to vote against Pfaff during his confirmation hearing on Tuesday:

"I have been very disappointed in Mr. Pfaff's politicization of DATCP, which has traditionally been a non-political agency that supports farmers and consumers. Last February, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Revenue & Financial Institutions voted to move Mr. Pfaff's appointment through our committee.

My philosophy, as leader of that committee, was to provide the time for a public hearing and swiftly move each appointee forward for consideration by the full Senate. I have followed this process with all appointees before the committee. At the time, I was hopeful that Mr. Pfaff would be a positive, strong leader for an agency that has traditionally been nonpolitical and focused on the industries it supports.

Unfortunately, I was disappointed by Mr. Pfaff's actions over the last eight months. Mr. Pfaff has played politics with information and has attacked the legislature to the detriment of his agency. He was willing to use political talking points to further a political agenda, when he should have been focused on doing what is best for farmer sand consumers.

The Governor recently said that we are in the midst of a dairy crisis. He is right. This is exactly why we need a leader at DATCP who is willing to stand up for all farmers and work with the legislature to promote policies that support agriculture, not play politics with one of our most important industries."

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