In Praise Of Doug LaFollette

Tuesday evening, walking along the isthmus in Madison, was the beige-hatted man who always smiles and seems so content with life.  Every time I see him walk it always seems he has the same pace, never hurried– it appears–by events, but rather assured that whatever needs to be done will get completed in proper time. 

There was no way to discern Tuesday evening by his actions that he is a statewide elected official, or that his name was on the ballot for the Democratic primary leading up to the recall election. 

Doug LaFollette walks by our home every day, but it never struck me so deeply how calm and serene he is as a person until Tuesday evening.  I guess had my name been on the ballot my steps would have been more ‘caffeinated’.  Granted LaFollette has waged many races and is accustomed to election nights, but the historic nature of what we are now experiencing would have allowed him the right to walk with wider steps and a far-a-way look.

Yet LaFollette was the same man Tuesday evening that he was last year.  He will be the same next week as he was tonight.   I like that ‘realness’ about people, but do not always find it when it comes to politicians and elected officials.

I admire how LaFollette conducted himself in the recent campaign.  Folksy and genuine.  While all of the Democratic candidates vying for the chance to compete with Scott Walker were complete packages with skills, experiences, and political competency, there is something unique and more solid about LaFollette that stood out.

I admit several weeks ago I signed Doug LaFollette’s nomination papers for the primary race.  Some may find that hard to believe as I am a strong Kathleen Falk supporter.  But there I was walking down the street when LaFollette, an amiable and truly reflective thinker, greets me and asks if I wanted to sign his papers.  Since I had not yet signed for Falk I  was not in a position to have to say no.  As everyone can understand there also was not an artful way to say no to the request.  To be honest there was a true part of me that was proud and pleased to sign my name.

I had already heard him speak about the issue of money that was flowing into the race, and the need to think about the deeper reasons we all came together to force the recall of Walker.  How could one not agree with his message, or see that LaFollette was speaking from his experience and heart?

That is after all the type of candidate we seem to express a desire to see run when speaking about politics in the abstract.

As LaFollette walked along on Tuesday night the clouds that had left a brief shower were drifting away, and sunshine was again taking over.  He looked across the street, and I waved and shouted ‘Good Luck”.  He smiled and continued walking.

We need anchors like LaFollette in the party to remind us there are bigger goals than always winning a race.  There is something very comforting to know that sometimes a candidate has strong views and positions that are worth talking about even though the odds of victory at the polls are a long-shot.

It is nice to know that regardless of the outcome he experienced at the polls, come Wednesday evening he will again be walking his own pace through the neighborhood with a contented look on his face.

It is nice to see a politician comfortable with life.

Royce Humphrey Estate To Be Auctioned, My Family Home To Be Sold June 2nd

My Dad and Mom’s home and wooded land in Hancock, Wisconsin will be up for an estate auction on Saturday June 2nd starting at 10:00 A.M.   Following the sale of the land personal property will be auctioned.    A copy of the sale is at the bottom of this blog post.  

 My photos from summer 2010.

This past year has been an emotional one with the death of my Dad, a special uncle, and also the passing of my mother-in-law, Marion Wilson.  James and I are reminded that God does not give us more than we can shoulder, but I would not be not totally candid if I did not admit to questioning that at times. 

I keep reminding myself of something Dad told me when I was a teenager, and mentioned several times to me as an adult.  In fact I mentioned the advice the second to last time we spoke in March 2011, as a mighty fog rolled over the front lawn of the home place while we looked out from the living room windows.    This time, however, I was the one passing the wisdom back to Dad. 

Dad would hold his hands as if on a steering wheel, (and in early years would bounce around as if in a jostling truck) and then use the analogy of a snow truck driver when telling me how to handle the rough times of life. 

“Hold on tight to the wheel, drop the blade, and go straight down the road.” 

So I did.

Here is a sample of how Mom’s kitchen looked in the home.

Will Union Votes Help Kathleen Falk In Today’s Democratic Primary?

Polls close at 8:00 P.M.

One key to the outcome of today’s Democratic primary for governor will be union households.

Polls suggest they’ll make up more than a quarter of the Democratic vote.

But the candidate with the most union endorsements, Kathleen Falk, has struggled to consolidate that vote, which is vital to her hopes of upsetting Democratic frontrunner Tom Barrett.

In the combined March and April polls of Democratic primary voters by Marquette Law School, Falk trailed Barrett by 9 points among voters in union households.

The polling sample is fairly small here in the two surveys combined: 233 primary voters in union households — for a margin of error of 6.6 points. So the numbers should be taken with caution.

But even accounting for survey error, it looks like Falk’s hoped-for advantage among union voters hadn’t materialized as of late April.

The polling suggests that just a split of the union vote would be a victory for Barrett, since he led Falk by more than 20 points among non-union households in Marquette’s most recent primary poll.

How big will the union vote be?

Union households made up a little more than a quarter of primary voters in Marquette’s last two polls.

In Wisconsin’s 2008 Democratic presidential primary, voters from union households made up 35% of the vote, according to exit polls.

Senator Lugar Expected To Lose Today

This is not good news for those who think compromise and intelligence are more important in politics than shouting and spitting.

— AP’s Tom LoBianco in Indianapolis : ‘The face of Indiana politics for nearly four decades, Republican Sen. Richard Lugar is battling for political survival against a tea party-backed GOP challenger who says the senator has become more interested in compromising with liberals in Washington than representing conservatives back home. … Although polls in Indiana signaled momentum for the challenger, Lugar hoped a heavy turnout would propel him to victory against Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock. ‘If they come, we will win,’ Lugar said.’