Recall Doug La Follette from Secretary of State

There I started it. I know, he’s not eligible until January of 2012, but if they can start early for Governor Scott Walker, I figure I can start early for this one.

I’ve decided I want La Follette’s job.

Why not? I was a really good secretary back in my day. Plus, I don’t have this unbelievable I-am-god complex that makes me think every law in Wisconsin only becomes law because I Say So.

I can count and even use big numbers. I’m pretty good with the alphabet. Given the very few demands on the Secretary of State position I’m thinking it will be a great way to spend my post-homemaker retirement time. The pay certainly looks generous for the effort required. I hear the benefits are decent, too.

So that’s it. We’ll keep an eye on this thing, but I’m betting in a few months it’s a go. Then we’ll gather the signatures, have an election, and remind him once and for all he was nothing more than keeper of the paperwork, and he couldn’t even get that right.

P.S. Don’t tell the spouse yet. I need time to break it to him gently. 🙂


  1. Recall Judge Sumi and that piece of crap DA out there too.

  2. Dane County is Dane County. Sorry, but I don’t think we’ll have much influence there.

  3. The Lorax says:

    So, you’re seriously going to run?

  4. I’d vote for you, Cindy!

  5. Well, we’re going to have to recruit someone else. The spouse didn’t even laugh at the joke! Bummer. 🙁

  6. germantown_kid says:

    The Walker budget has already cut the Sec’y of State’s budget by 50%.

    A better idea would be to completely phase out this useless office–completely. Send Douggy Boy out to pasture. He has managed to diminish the LaFollette name to “Laughalot.”

  7. Ok, I’m good with that.

  8. “God complex,” really? Perhaps it’s a fear of being held in contempt of court:

    1. He is a Constitutional Officer, so if you really want to do away with his job as some of your comments suggest, you have to amend the State Constitution.

    2. As the Constitutional officer it is his authority and his alone to publish the bill… which he is enjoined from doing by a temporary restraining order.

    So unless you’d like him to willfully break the law and be found in contempt of court – he’s doing as any reasonable and responsible officeholder should do – and that is uphold the law.

    And, one snarky comment, when you see Prosser lose tomorrow night and you realize that the majority of Wisconsinites are against illegal activities of government I think you may think twice about starting that recall. Besides, you’d have to work in Dane County and as the Republican Party of Dane County clearly articulated in its ‘apology’ to Judge Sumi: Dane County is just a bunch of Leftists, who do leftist things with their leftist buddies like eat foi gras. Can you handle all those leftists?

  9. 1) Valid point. So we’ll recall instead.

    2) No. You are missing this one. You need to prove he publishes. All I can find is that the LRB publishes and he gives notice.

    He still has a few days to publish the notice before he breaks the law. 🙂

    One snarky reply: I think Prosser will squeak through, but we’ll have to wait to see. I suppose Democrats will find a reason to sue over that, too. I keep hoping you spend all your money on lawyers so you don’t have anything left or advertising.

    I have no idea about the other stuff you reference. Right now it just sounds like babble to me.

  10. Randy in Richmond says:

    Perhaps you know something other than what the law states, which is:

    Publish in the official state newspaper within 10 days after the date of publication of an act a notice certifying the number of each act, the number of the bill from which it originated, the date of publication and the relating clause. Each certificate shall also contain a notice of where the full text of each act can be obtained. Costs under this paragraph shall be charged to the appropriation under s. 20.765 (1) (d).

    Where in the written law does it state publish the law ? Please provide your source.

  11. Article IV, §17 ¶(2)
    (2) No law shall be enacted except by bill. No law shall be in force until published.

    Only the Secretary of State can publish the Law and by state statutes, which I haven’t the time to look up this morning, require it to be published in the official newspaper of the state, which has been designated to be the Wisconsin State Journal. That has not happened and the LRB or LFB cannot do that – only the Secretary of Station — now if you have a problem with our systems of checks and balances and think the judicial branch and its specific TRO that inhibits anyone but specifically the Secy of State from publishing the law, please by all means continue to propagate a general disregards for the constitution and general knowledge of our state government.

  12. To be more specific about publishing: Wisconsin Department of Administration
    State Bureau of Procurement
    Newspaper Rate Certification Program
    Ch. 985, Wis. Stats.

    Official State Newspaper State agencies are required to publish legal notices in the official State newspaper designated by the Legislature. The current official State newspaper is the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison. Ordering instructions, rates, and other details are published as State Procurement Contract 15-99955-05L, “Legal Notices in the Official State Newspaper”.

    May I ask… has the bill been published in the State Journal? No, then it is not law, and again with the TRO Secy LaFollette is not entrenched in a God complex but a legal system that inhibits him from publishing thereby enacting the law.

  13. Mark, the idea that only the SoS can publish a law has been proven incorrect over and over. The SoS has to print a notice, but they never print the law. The law takes effect after it’s been published by the LRB.

    I know you hate it, but that’s the way it is.

    Your argument is not for checks and balances; it’s only to win in this case. Checks and balances make reference to the executive, legislative and judicial branches of our government, not the “check and balance” between executive and secretary of state. As I wrote earlier last week, do you really think our legislature intended the SoS to have final veto power over an enacted law?

    Only in your dreams.

    By the way – your second comment confirms my argument that the SoS publishes a notice of the law, not the law. The only thing this documentation supports is that in a few days La Follett will be in violation of the law requiring him to publish a notice that the law is in effect.

    Both of your sources, IV sub 17 (2) and 985 fail to mention the Secretary of State at all, but you demand they are pertinent to your argument only he has the right to publish. As I wrote this morning, it’s an enormous logical disconnect.

  14. Randy in Richmond says:

    The LRB is charged with publishing the law–which it did. The SoS is charged with notification about the law–not publishing the law.

    14.38(10)(c) even states that
    ” Each certificate shall also contain a notice of where the full text of each act can be obtained.”

    Why would it require this if in fact the SoS had published the law him/her self. It would be redundant.

    Your argument about whether or not the bill was published in the appropriate newspaper(s) has nothing to do with the facts before Judge Sumi. She is considering only the notification issue of the Senate vote.

    And your link is about “Legal Notices”–not bills or laws.

  15. No, actually Randy if I understand correctly Sumi is considering if a Senate COMMITTEE vote was held in violation of the open meeting laws.

  16. Randy in Richmond says:

    Yes, there are too many notifications being discussed. I am referring to the Senate Committee’s notification on it’s vote.

  17. Oh, got it.

  18. Reference Bureau Director Steve Miller and Legislative Council staff attorney Scott Grosz both said La Follette still needs to designate a date for publication and actually publish the act in the Wisconsin State Journal — something the court order bars the secretary of state from doing.

    Also the first time in the LRB history they had to make an endnote – denoting it was not law

    But I suppose I shouldn\’t be surprised that that your arguments are delusional as the original post on this blog that the Secy of State has a God complex.

    This has nothing to do with whether I want it to be law or not – subjective opinions seem to be your department. As a former intern for Sen Mary Lazich R – New Berlin I’m severely disappointed in your deficiency in logic.

  19. Also, what part of the TRO or the judges comments about the implementation of the law being on hold let a lone not published do you not understand?

    And who is the checks and balances for the legislature if not the executive and judicial branches?

    Or the testimony of the LRB in which its own members state they believe what they did was ministerial and they DID NOT enact a law.

  20. I’ve read that document. It’s all “he thinks” stuff – not absolute. I also read that endnote, and it says no such thing. In fact, let’s look at it together:

    * Section 991.11, WISCONSIN STATUTES 2009−10 : Effective date of acts. “Every act and every portion of an act enacted by the legislature over the governor’s partial veto which does not expressly prescribe the time when it takes effect shall take effect on the day after its date of publication as designated” by the secretary of state [the date of publication may not be more than 10 working days after the date of enactment].
    † Pursuant to section 35.095 (3) (b), Wis. Stats., the secretary of state designated March 25, 2011, as the date of publication for this act. On March 18, 2011, the Dane County Circuit Court enjoined the secretary of state from publishing 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 until further order of the court. Section 35.095 (3) (a), Wis. Stats., requires the Legislative Reference Bureau to publish every act within 10 working days after its date of enactment.

    It just says the judge “enjoined the secretary of state from publishing 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 until further order of the court.” But since the LRB actually publishes and the SoS just publishes a notice, it’s a law. If the SoS doesn’t publish a notice, what’s the penalty? None is stated that I’ve seen. That’s because his publishing the notice is not optional. It’s a mandate, and no judge has a right to interfere with that mandate.

    Next “But I suppose I shouldn\’t be surprised that that your arguments are delusional as the original post on this blog that the Secy of State has a God complex.”

    It’s god with a little g. I did that on purpose. And it stands. La Follett thinks the entire law hinges on his action. Hence the god complex.

    Finally: “This has nothing to do with whether I want it to be law or not – subjective opinions seem to be your department. As a former intern for Sen Mary Lazich R – New Berlin I’m severely disappointed in your deficiency in logic.”

    Who’s supposed to be the former intern, me or you?

    I’ll keep going as you left another comment:

    “Also, what part of the TRO or the judges comments about the implementation of the law being on hold let a lone not published do you not understand?”

    When the law was published by the LRB, she had only enjoyed the SoS.

    “And who is the checks and balances for the legislature if not the executive and judicial branches?”

    Well, well. I guess you won’t bother to acknowledge this wasn’t your first argument regarding checks and balances, but I’ll bite.

    Sure, executive and judicial are a good place for checks and balances, but Sumi acted before the law was published to try to stop it from becoming law. She interfered with the LEGISLATIVE branch, not the executive, and she has no right to do so. Should someone want to file a lawsuit acknowledging the law is now in effect and ask to have that law voided based on the Senate committee vote, that would be a very appropriate example of check and balance. All the way to the Supreme Court. 🙂

    “Or the testimony of the LRB in which its own members state they believe what they did was ministerial and they DID NOT enact a law.”

    It’s my opinion the LRB “believe” what they do in order to cover their backsides. Nothing wrong with that, but it doesn’t mean they are correct.

  21. Randy in Richmond says:

    That checks and balances thing goes both ways. Only after a bill becomes law and someone properly challenges it on whatever grounds does the judicial branch get involved. Now since you say it’s not a law yet, what exactly is Judge Sumi doing in the fray ?

    Please provide any case on any bill that a court of law has becomed involved in before the bill became law. (not including this one)

  22. Perhaps it’s because I work in a legal office for my year of volunteer service with AmeriCorps, but clearly Cindy you do not understand what a TRO or temporary restraining order is.

    Any TRO is a judicial intervention into a matter of law or safety or personal asset. The judge intervened because there was enough evidence that the Wisconsin Open Meetings Laws, as last amended in 2010 by JB Van Hollen, was violated and therefore the bill is moot if not null and void.

    Thank you for taking the time to find the end note and being so gracious as to read it with me.

    You’re still missing one little constitutional requirement (gosh that document seems to keep getting in the way not only of Scott Walker and Fitzgerald but of you as well).

    The bill still is not properly published, again for the sake of relentless repetition, nothing has been published in the Wisconsin State Journal. And without proper publication it is not law.

    But don’t take my word for it – I know you won’t any way b/c it doesn’t matter if I try to have a constructive conversation with you over legal precedent or facts of law because after all my conclusion is different than yours and must be insufficient or inferior.

    How about Mike Huebsch’s opinion? He is the head of the DOA and he has stopped implementing the supposed law so he too like the Secy of State may not be found in contempt of court. But if it were a law, would he not simply press forward? Alas, he is not pressing forward and the bill is not going to become law.

    This whole mess is reprehensible. The LRB came out with the analysis and said the state would be solvent/not broke w/o the implementation of this bill in question, so why proceed? And if the state is so broke why is Brian Deschane, from my hometown and parish, making more than the average teacher in the state for a patronage job?

    But I digress, the point is we simply do not see eye to eye, and being that you have a biased opinion as I do as well and you are not an attorney I think we’ve rendered this point moot until further notice.

    Enjoy voting tomorrow, and try to enjoy the returns as well. Because you know as well as I do, what will happen to this film-flam legal argument when it hits the supreme court and prosser isn’t there to give a biased conservative majority.

  23. Randy,

    You point is well taken.

    The issue of Sumi being the fray as I see it is as follows: one you’re correct about the precedent of not being involved until something is law.

    The issue Sumi faces is not about the law in its primary purpose but of how a committee hearing was conducted (in possible violation of the States Open Meeting law). The inquest into the OML violation has subsequent actions e.g. the TRO on the bill in question from the committee meeting.

    Therefore one argument goes that the issue is the OML and if the OML is found to be in violation any subsequent action from that violation (that being the bill) would be null and void.

    If the open meetings law – which is the court case before Sumi – is ruled NOT violated, the TRO would be lifted and the bill would become law as soon as it were properly published. Let me remind you no bill has ever in the history of the state been published by the LRB alone or without the Secy of State.

  24. You allude to a constitutional requirement. Are we still talking about the one that says “publish” but does not stipulate who publishes?

    Obviously we disagree. Your insistence does not make you right. It just makes you insistent. You’re moving into rude, though, and that’s getting annoying. Now you’re throwing talking points so fast it’s getting kind of boring, too.

    We can at least agree the whole mess is reprehensible. We will still disagree as to why.

    I have two questions for you before you run away: 1) Who is supposed to have been the Lazich intern, you or me, and 2) Why is your IP from Cook County Central in Illinois?

  25. 1.) I’m not sure which one of us was supposed to be an intern, but I was from the fall of 2005 – spring of 2006.

    2. The IP address is from Cook County Illinois because I’m working in Chicago with my year of Volunteer Service ( with a placement at a legal clinic for marginalized or poorer clientele). But rest assured my absentee ballot was mailed in two weeks ago.

    Any other petulant or in this case personal questions?

    Best of luck in a re-call with La Follette, I hope it is more successful than the Utah groups attempt at recalling Fred Risser.

  26. Dear Cindy,

    I have more clients coming in so as enjoyable as this is, it will have to be put on hold. Should you like to have a less personal and more constructive debate over the law and issues we’re discussing, you’re welcome to email me at as I’m sure you don’t want my less-than-12-year-old-standard-of-arguing cluttering your blog. However if personal or petulant diatribes continue I will not take part.

  27. Less personal. You’re funny. You brought up being the Lazich intern. (I really couldn’t figure out the wording.)

    I pulled the the comment to which you refer. The timing didn’t let Randy’s in first, and I lost continuity.

    But when you act like a 10 year old, then oh well. You’ve spent how many minutes ripping on me but I’m the one posing petulant diatribes.

    petulant: cranky: easily irritated or annoyed;

    diatribe: fulmination: thunderous verbal attack

    As always, thanks for reading.

  28. Well, I admit my snarky comment was out of line and incorrect based on the results. I’m sure as it stands the election is not what you expected. It isn’t what I expected either. I do trust our state’s electoral integrity and expect that the impending recall will ensure both the integrity of the system and the top vote getter won. Until the next argument, enjoy the spring.