As I See It
“Fighting Bob” relative has no fight left
For the past almost half a century, lots of things have changed in Madison. We have elected several different governors and hundreds of legislators have come and gone. But the one constant has been Doug La Follette. La Follette has served as Wisconsin’s Secretary of State for 44 years, serving under both Republican and Democratic governors. But that has come to an abrupt end, with La Follette submitting his resignation just months after being elected to his 11th term. The 82-year-old La Follette cited frustration with the declining duties of his office. When he started in the 1970’s La Follette oversaw a staff of 48 people, and handled a number of administrative duties, but those duties have been stripped in recent decades. La Follette was the lone employee in his office at the time of his retirement, and his office has been banished to the basement of the Capitol. At 82, La Follette has earned the right to leave on his own terms. But we can’t help but wonder why he ran for his latest term, only to step down months later. Maybe the relative of former Wisconsin Governor “Fighting Bob” La Follette didn’t have any fight left himself. But it seems a disservice to voters. He must have been planning his retirement even as he campaigned in the recent election. If he wasn’t fully committed to serving his latest term, he should have stepped aside for someone who is.
March 21, 2023 at 5:36 am