In 1897, Robert M. La Follette advocated for tax reform, corporation regulation, and political democracy. He also advocated steeper railroad taxes and a direct primary. He was elected governor of Wisconsin in 1900.
As governor, Robert La Follette championed numerous progressive reforms including non-partisan elections, the open primary system, direct election of U.S. Senators and women's suffrage. Updated by: Levi Levitt
Robert La Follette Sr. made Wisconsin the laboratory of democracy by having a direct primary election rather than let candidates be decided in smoke-filled rooms. He also got initiatives and referendums passed.