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Robert M. La Follette, Sr.

Robert M. La Follette, Sr. (1855 - 1925) was a United States politician.

While Governor of Wisconsin he set up the first Workmen's Compensation bill, setting up a role model to be used later by other states. He also enacted laws that prohibited employers from barring Union activists from their shops. A shop owner could not refuse them unless there was already a union. This led to Ghost Unions or unions tightly controlled by the company.

Before his Governorship he was instrumental in the foundation of the United States Progressive Party and ran for Governor on that ticket. After his Governship he was elected to the United States Congress, where he served until his death in 1924. It was during this time that he gained the Nickname "Fighting Bob" after helping another Congressmen, Victor Berger[?] of Milwaukee, Wisconsin get his seat back. For six years Berger was banned for his staunch opposition to World War I. When Berger was re-elected despite the ban Congress held open hearings and LaFollette declared "If you call Victor Berger a Traitor then you are calling twenty six thousand people in southeastern Wisconsin Traitors, Are we a democracy or what?! Gentlemen give him his seat back!"

In 1924 LaFollette ran for President of the United States but lost a close second and died several months later.



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