|Name||Anthony S. "Tony" Earl|
Wausau, Wisconsin , United States
|| April 12, 1936
|Died||February 23, 2023
Mar 13, 2023 12:34pm
Navy - Catholic -
|Info||Anthony ("Tony") Scully Earl (b. April 12, 1936, Lansing, Michigan) is a United States politician and a member of the Democratic party and served as the 41st Governor of Wisconsin from 1983 until 1987. He graduated from Michigan State University. |
Earl was first elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1969, filling the seat vacated by David Obey, who was elected a member of the United States House of Representatives. In 1974, Earl left the Assembly to run for Wisconsin Attorney General, but was defeated in the primary by Bronson La Follette. Upon his defeat, then-Gov. Patrick Lucey named Earl secretary of the Department of Administration. Later, Lucey put Earl in charge of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
In 1982, Earl caught a big break when Gov. Lee S. Dreyfus unexpectedly declined to run for re-election, and soon the Wisconsin Democratic Party's hopes of reclaiming the Governor's mansion became very real. As head of the state DNR, Earl was well-received as a staunch defender of the environment and a problem-solver. Earl used that reputation to defeat former Acting Governor Martin J. Schreiber (1977-79) in the Democratic primary for Governor. Earl went on to defeat Republican candidate, Terry Kohler, in a landslide victory.
However, Earl's tenure as governor was rocky from the start. By the time he took office, Wisconsin was marred by a budget deficit of nearly $1 billion and a 12% unemployment rate. State legislators rejected his health insurance savings plan, one of the focal points in his campaign for governor. Due to disagreements over healthcare reform, prison staffing, wage freezes and other matters, Earl's relations with organized labor soured and made his stint as governor all the more complicated. Earl lost the support of organized labor, one of his key supporters.
At the height of one of the Wisconsin's worst economic predicaments in state history, Governor Earl was ousted after one term. State Assembly Minority Leader Tommy Thompson, a Republican staunchly opposed Earl's policies and was elected in 1986 to the first of four consecutive terms.
Earl currently serves on the governing board of Common Cause in Wisconsin, (CC/WI), a non-partisan, non-profit citizen's lobby affiliated with national Common Cause. CC/WI promotes campaign finance reform, ethics and lobby reform, open meetings laws and other issues concerning the promotion and maintenance accountable government. Earl is also on the board of the Joyce Foundation, a non-profit based in the Great Lakes that funds and maintains many gun control organizations. In July 2004, Earl was recognized at the 12th Annual Outreach Awards for his acknowledgment of the needs of the gay and lesbian community during his term in office; he received the organization's Political Courage Award.