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Tuesday - January 9, 2018 8:43 am

A La Crosse election investigated, 33 years ago

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In 1984, the Wisconsin Elections Board decided to interview certain people about charges that election laws were broken in a special La Crosse State Senate race.  Republican Brian Rude had defeated Democrat John Medinger by 700 votes, in an election to replace Senator Paul Offner, who resigned to take an out-of-state job.  There were accusations that Rude's campaign spent more money than allowed by law on advertising.  The elections board wanted to speak with WIZM Radio general manager Dick Record about ads bought on his station, and with Doug Farmer, who had run against Rude in the GOP primary.  Farmer said certain state senators, including future Gov. Scott McCallum, had offered him campaign donations.

Another future Wisconsin governor was making political plans in '84.  Tommy Thompson decided he didn't want to be a state senator, and chose to run for a 10th term in the Assembly.  Thompson claimed it was premature to think about running against Gov. Tony Earl in the 1986 election.  He eventually did run, and won.  The push to have Tommy run for Senate reportedly was designed to insure that he had a job to fall back on if he didn't get elected governor, but the man from Elroy was confident enough about winning that he gave up his Assembly seat in '86.  Thompson was speaking out 33 years ago, 1984, yesterday in La Crosse.


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Brad Williams

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from U-W-La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area.  Brad writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse.  He's been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.  

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