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The Paper


The hick from Elroy
From the Isthmus archives, Nov. 7, 1986

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"Tony Earl, one of the most competent governors Wisconsin has seen in years, was ousted by Assembly Minority Leader Tommy Thompson, a preposterous hick from Elroy who drives like an idiot and then lies his way out of traffic tickets," Isthmus news editor Bill Lueders writes in an election wrap-up column. "Thompson's campaign was based almost exclusively on misstatements of the record and shameless appeals to bigotry and ignorance. He vowed to slash benefits to the children of welfare mothers - to hell with whether doing so is constitutional or not - and raised a big stink about welfare migration, a phenomenon which, as Thompson well knows, exists only in the minds of the terminally uptight." Re-elected three times, Thompson went on to serve as secretary for Health and Human Services in the Bush administration. He's now pondering a run for the presidency in 2008. Earl, a retired attorney, was quoted in May as telling the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that he enjoys attending baseball games at Miller Park and Wrigley Field, playing cribbage and quaffing the "occasional cold beer." Bill Lueders is still raising hell as Isthmus news editor.

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