Marc Eisen opens his fine article "Looking for a New Pat Lucey" (11/16/2012) by suggesting that Wisconsin Democrats must face questions of party identity and belief existentially. He may be on to something. But then I am reminded of the last lines in the Albert Camus novel The Fall: "But let's not worry! It's too late now. It will always be too late. Fortunately!"
Of course, it is possible Marc Eisen has a different view of existentialism as an analytic tool.
Frederick M. Arnold
Not to diminish Pat Lucey's tremendous contributions to progressive policies, but Marc Eisen left out something of the downside. In those days there was a split in the Democratic Party, with Pat Lucey and John Reynolds on one side and Gaylord Nelson leading the other. When Gaylord was governor he made a plaintive plea - I think it was at the 1960 Democratic state convention - that the Lucey-Reynolds faction was endangering his reelection. Gaylord believed enactment of a sales tax was necessary to raise sufficient revenue. The Lucey-Reynolds people opposed the sales tax as regressive. Gaylord ultimately prevailed. Lucey prevailed on their choices for president in 1960. He backed Kennedy; Gaylord favored Hubert.
Eisen neglects to acknowledge that "merging the two university systems" was vigorously opposed in Madison. And Lucey's appointment as ambassador to Mexico was controversial. Media commentary said that he was not qualified. Many Democrats thought the loss of our governor was not the fed's gain.
Pat Lucey was a talented politician and a strong progressive advocate. Within the Democratic Party his leadership was sometimes controversial, even divisive.
David B. Johnson
The League of Women Voters was born out of the fight to secure women's right to vote (Letters, 11/16/2012). Would you believe that women in the United States could not vote until 1920 when the 19th Amendment passed?! It's only logical, therefore, that voting rights are a major concern of the League - that's the reason they sued over the voter ID requirement.
The claim that voter ID will save the state from widespread fraud is preposterous! Illegal voting is exceedingly rare in Wisconsin. The voter ID bill would place an unfair burden on those who don't have a driver's license or move frequently - in particular the elderly, persons with disabilities and students. There is no such thing as a "free" voter ID - there are significant ongoing costs to state and local governments, as well as indirect costs for citizens who apply for an ID.
The League never endorses any political party or candidate; officers cannot even work for a candidate!