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Yesterday in La Crosse

Cheney and Kerry just missed each other in La Crosse, 20 years ago

Brad Williams



On the weekend before the presidential election in 2000, Republican Dick Cheney and Democrat John Kerry both made trips to La Crosse, but not at the same time or in the same location. Cheney was about to be elected vice president, and had a campaign rally at the La Crosse airport. Kerry campaigned for Democratic candidates, but he wouldn’t be his party’s presidential nominee until 2004. He was a Massachusetts Senator in 2000.

La Crosse County voters had a casino referendum to settle that November. The Ho-Chunk Nation had picked La Crosse as a potential site for a fourth Wisconsin casino. Foes of gambling argued that casinos pay no property tax, and predicted that a casino would drive down property values. Just as in a similar referendum five years earlier, voters in the county said no to a casino.

On TV in the fall of 2000, Bette Midler had her own sitcom. CBS revived “The Fugitive,” with Tim Daly playing Dr. Richard Kimble. And the hottest new show on the tube was the summer series “Survivor.” The tribe had spoken, 20 years ago, yesterday in La Crosse.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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