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Newspaper Page Text
5JWTJ'7Smiimm n jui'w1w,"WM'.7Mi!r?Jli 'i i -i m njiiJ-' "'' ' ' ' 'M'V,11 ' ll
Ipionship of the direct statewide
primary, has been the longest
fight of his .career. In 1898 he was
defeated in his campaign for gov
ernor but he wrote the platform
calling for direct primaries. Two
years later he was elected'on his
own platform, but the Stalwarts
-the anti-LaFollette 'crowd
bought the legislature away from
him. He "refused to compromise.
LaFollette stood'firmly for the
Wide-open primary, limtiation of
Jhe use of money, prohibition of
all other corrupt practices, and a
system by- which the ' nominee
.would always receive a majority'
of the votes. --
Finally a primary law was
passed with a referendum, under
which it was not to be valid until
ratified by popular
q-ave the Stalwarts
a chance to
under the old system. They laid"
their plans to capture the conven
tion by fraud and force and once
in power, 'to, undo all the LaFol
lette people had accomplished in
a decade of fighting.
Bob's delegates controlled the
convention amid the wildest dis--orderand
the Stalwarts bolted.,'
The law was ratified at the polls.
The law ws still no better than
similar laws are in most'.other
states'. Senator Stephenson took
advantage of this weakness "by
deluging the states with money.
He received mote votes ' than
anyone else, but not a majority -and
finally got-the -seat now un
der investigation. ., -
It was not until the winter o
1911 that the 'long fight ended.?
At last a legislature met which
was above corrupt control, and
devoted whole-heartedly to the
LaFollette ideals. An amend
ment was passed under which in'
the fiiture candidates will be"'
chosen by actual majority vote'J
The voter votes for both first and
second choice, so that second
choice votes of the tail-enders will"'
be given to the leaders as'cast un "
til some candidate gets a major-'
ityv Unde'r this system such are-"
suit as that in the Steplie'nson
case' is impossible. In Wiscon
sin the real desires of the votersv
will hereafter control in'nomJna-"
Plan suggested for "a govern
ment good-roads system is for the
federal government, the state and
the county each to pay one-third
hold one -more ""state "convention I of the cost of construction
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