Wisconsin’s longtime secretary of state is being challenged by an advocate for term limits in the Nov. 6 election. The term is four years. (I) indicates incumbent.
Doug La Follette (I)
Address: 1211 Rutledge St., Madison
Job: Secretary of state
Prior elected office: State senator, 1972-1974; secretary of state, 1975-1979 and since 1983
Other public service: None
Education: Research associate, UW-Madison; international research associate, University of Freiberg, Germany; doctoral degree in organic chemistry, Columbia University; master’s degree in chemistry, Stanford University; bachelor’s degree in chemistry and business, Marietta College
Address: 1295 N. Lake St., Neenah
Family: Married with four children
Job: Real estate and stock market investor
Prior elected office: Two terms on the Menomonie City Council
Other public service: Winnebago County Republican Party, past finance chairman; past elected church elder
Education: Associate degree in applied science in real estate, Fox Valley Technical College; bachelor’s degree in business administration, UW-Stout; licensed loan originator (currently inactive).
Why are you a better candidate than your opponent?
La Follette: I have the experience and understanding of the office; what has happened and what needs to be done. For years I successfully oversaw these business services; enhanced the use of technology to better serve the business community; improved online access and functions to facilitate processing and reduce turnaround time, paperwork and streamline business services.
Schroeder: I will bring truth to the office you will never hear about from my opponent. His taxpayer pension is $280,000 per year. Calling it disgusting, I am bringing it up. He has spent $35,000 from the children’s book fund meant for K-12 libraries on travel junkets. He believes after you have two children you need to be sterilized. Change is coming. [Editor’s note: La Follette wrote in his 1992 book, “The Survival Handbook: A Strategy for Saving Planet Earth,” that one way to address overpopulation is for men to have vasectomies after two children.]
What, if any, additional responsibilities should the secretary of state have?
La Follette: The campaigns this year talk a lot about creating jobs. My position of restoring the important business responsibilities to the office is part of that effort. All across the country secretaries of state handle corporations, trademarks, Uniform Commercial Code and notaries.
Schroeder: After having been in office for 40 years La Follette has had his duties cut over 90 percent yet still had the arrogance to keep collecting a salary. Neither party has ever given him one additional duty back, because of his incompetence. I will fight to become the “Election Watchdog” to ensure all elections are fair and honest and to promote voting.
Should state officeholders have term limits? Why or why not?
La Follette: I have always felt that they take away the people’s right to choose their government.
Schroeder: In collecting nomination signatures, Democrats, independents and Republicans all signed my nomination papers. The number one request in supporting me is that I fight to have term limits for a total of eight years, two terms for this office. We must be public servants not public leeches on the taxpayers.