1977 – Madison, WI
Dane County Circuit Court judge Archie Simonson became the first elected official in
the history of the state to be recalled, and had to face a special election on Sept.
The people of Madison were infuriated by the leniency of the sentence for three boys
convicted of a girl's rape in West High School.
Simonson gave a "boys will be boys" speech while he sentenced the three attackers to
parole and juvenile detention. He also criticized what he perceived as inappropriate
dress in schools and a general atmosphere of promiscuity.
At the sentencing of one of the three teenagers he went on at length about sexual
permissiveness, complained that attire worn by young women was of the type formerly
seen in Chicago burlesque shows, and tended to shift the blame for rapes on to women.
Prosecutor Meryl Manhardt was outraged enough to call the judge's remarks sexist to
his face. Within a day the community was up in arms over Simonson's language, and the
leniency of his sentence, which amounted to home detention. A recall petition drive
Moria Krueger, then a lawyer in private practice, won by a comfortable margin. She
went on to serve for 30 years.