First, I would like to thank all of the voters who supported me in the primary. Garnering 71 percent of the vote exceeded expectations. These numbers tell me that the voters want change, after Doug La Follette having been in office for 40 years. In an interview, he could not even recall how long he has been there, thought it was 25 years. He further stated he is in charge of apostilles. Then why does the Department of Financial Institutions list on their website that they do these?
As I travel the state the one thing Democrats, Republicans, independents mentioned to me is that the office needs term limits. I will propose having a two-term limit. If those term limits would have been in place, La Follette's reign would have only been eight years and the duties would not have been taken away. As an elderly man said to me, 40 years in office — it is time for him to go.
Over the reign of La Follette, the office went from 50 employees down to two. Because of his lack of leadership duties where taken away. When Jim Doyle was governor and the Democrats were in the majority, even they did not restore ANY duties back. They must have agreed La Follette could not handle them.
La Follette has wasted over $35,000 from a fund that should have been used for books at K-12 school libraries. Where did he use the money? To travel around the country and stay in four- and five-star hotels. It was not fair to the children of Wisconsin wasting kids' book money. I will cut my own compensation package by that same $35,000 in my term.
Recently, the current state treasurer said that La Follette’s pension could be $280,000 per year. That is over $23,000 per month. That’s right folks, $280,000 per year. I am sure La Follette's answer will be, "Oh that’s not true." My response: Then Doug, show us your yearly pension balance statement you receive! That La Follette needs to be defeated to stop this pillaging and the system reformed is an understatement.
My No. 1 proposed duty is to become an "election watchdog." Even La Follette's primary opponent believed in an election watchdog. In the primary he called her a “nuisance” — just another example of his arrogance of office he has shown over these last 40 years. Independent Democrats feel the same way. La Follette's answer: “I don’t get involved in elections. WOW. All we want is to ensure that all elections are fair and honest and procedures are put into place for the integrity of the vote.
The office has literally been run into the basement of the Capitol from his lack of energy for the office. With the advent of the computer age I will propose to the Legislature that the office be moved out of Madison and placed in the central part of the state, granting all citizens equal opportunity.
We need to solve the problem of an office with a salary and nothing to do. As long as La Follette remains in office nothing will change and the taxpayers will continue being ripped off.
I will support having a statewide referendum asking the voters the choice between a ceremonial office or to restore duties taken away over the years. I believe in solving problems not just milking an opportunity as has been done these past 40 years.
I will ask the governor and Legislature to restore duties ONLY for the term of office to once and for all solve this logjam from which the state and people of Wisconsin have suffered.
I ask for your vote on Nov. 6.
Jay Schroeder is the Republican candidate for Wisconsin's secretary of state.