Given the dysfunctional condition of state and national politics and our economy, it became apparent that it was time to review the life and policies of Fighting BobLaFollette, Sr. The following report and quotations are from Nancy C. Unger’s book,
Fighting Bob LaFollette: Righteous Reformer.
LaFollette lived in a time similar to ours: too much wealth concentrated in too fewhands, tax laws favoring the rich, government policies allowing corporations to do asthey wanted, without restraint. So LaFollette helped form the National ProgressiveRepublican League (NPRL). The NPRL was announced publicly on 21 January 1911.Following are the goals:
1. The election of United States Senators by direct vote of the people.
2. Direct primaries for the nomination of elective officials.
3. The direct election of delegates to national conventions with opportunity for thevoter to express his choice for President and Vice
Amendment to state constitutions providing for the Initiative, Referendum andRecall.
5. A thoroughgoing Corrupt Practices Act.
La Follette became the Independent Progressive Candidate for the US Presidency and provided these planks:
1. A thorough “housecleaning” of the Depart. Of Justice, of interior and others.
2. The recovery of the naval oil reserves and the creation of a national “super
3. The repeal of the Esch
Cummins law in favor of railroad rates based on actual, prudent investment.
4. A reduction of federal taxes on individual incomes and legitimate business.
5. A Constitutional amendment giving Congress the power to re
enact a statuteover a judicial decision.
6. Abolition of injunctions in labor disputes and protection of the right of farmersand workers to organize.
7. Adjusted compensation for World War I veterans.
8. The construction of a waterway from the Great Lakes to the sea.
9. Nomination and election of the president by direct vote of the people.
10. Foreign policy to revise the Versailles Treaty and promote treaties to outlawwar, abolish conscription and reduce armaments.
January 29, 2012
“Corporationsand individualsallied with cor- porations wereinvited to comein and take whatthey would. Idetermined thatthe power of thiscorrupt influ-ence, which wasundermining anddestroying everysemblance of representativegovernment inWisconsin,should be bro-ken.”
Robert LaFollette, Sr.
© 2011Middle Wisconsin
Continued on Page 3
By Virginia Kirsch
FIGHTING BOB LAFOLLETTE
A MAN FOR OUR TIME