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Biography James E. Doyle

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James E. Doyle James E. Doyle
James E. Doyle
Was the 44th Governor of Wisconsin from 2003 to 2011.


James E. Doyle Biography



James Edward "Jim" Doyle (born November 23, 1945) is a Wisconsin politician and member of the Democratic Party. He was the 44th Governor of Wisconsin, serving from January 6, 2003 to January 3, 2011. He defeated incumbent Governor Scott McCallum by a margin of 45 percent to 41 percent; the Libertarian Party candidate Ed Thompson carried 10 percent of the vote. Although in 2002 Democrats increased their number of governorships, Doyle was the only one of them to unseat a sitting Republican governor.


Early life

James Doyle was born in on November 23, 1945 in Washington, D.C., the son of Ruth Bachhuber and James E. Doyle, Sr. who were founding members of the modern Democratic Party of Wisconsin. James E. Doyle Sr. ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1954 and was appointed as a federal judge in 1965. Ruth Bachhuber Doyle was the first woman from Dane County to be elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1948. Doyle, who graduated from Madison West High School in 1963, attended Stanford University for three years, then returned home to Madison to finish his senior year at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. After graduating from college and inspired by John F. Kennedy's call to public service, Doyle worked as a teacher with his wife, Jessica Doyle in Tunisia, Africa as part of the Peace Corps from 1967 to 1969.


In 1972, Doyle earned his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Harvard University. He then moved to the Navajo Indian Reservation in Chinle, Arizona, where he worked as an attorney in a federal legal services office. Doyle is married to Jessica Laird Doyle, niece of former Congressman Melvin R. Laird, and great-granddaughter of William D. Connor, who was Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin from 1907–1909.They have two adopted sons, Gus and Gabe, a daughter-in-law Carrie, a grandson Asiah, and granddaughter Lily.


2010 Gubernatorial Election

On August 15, 2009 Politico announced Governor Doyle will not be seeking a third term according to sources familiar with his campaign.Wispolitics.com confirmed that he will not seek a third term and reported that Governor Doyle would make a formal announcement of that decision on Monday, August 17, 2009, Doyle officially announced that he would not seek a third term on August 17, 2009. In early polls released in March 2009 Doyle was shown defeating both Walker (50% - 43%) and Neumann (49% - 42%). Those results are in stark contrast to the most recent polls including Doyle before he dropped out of the race. In a poll released in June by Raleigh, North Carolina-based Public Policy Polling Doyle trailed both Walker (48% - 40%)and Neumann (42% - 41%).


Governor of Wiskonsin

Upon Doyle's taking office, Wisconsin faced a $3.2 billion deficit. The state ended the year 2006 with a deficit of $2.15 billion. Proposals for new programs have been constrained by continued budget-cutting and his decision to honor a campaign pledge to not raise taxes. Facing political pressure, he signed a property tax freeze that has resulted in an anticipated decrease in average statewide property taxes in 2006. Doyle's stated priorities are investing in public schools, including the University of Wisconsin system; lowering property taxes; regional economic development; transportation reform; and funding of stem cell research. In February 2007, Doyle proposed taxing oil companies more than $270 million over the next two years to help pay for the state's transportation needs. This tax did not pass in that budget and was re-introduced in the January 2009 proposed budget.


On January 2, 2009, Doyle joined the governors of four states in urging the federal government to provide $1 trillion in aid to the country's 50 state governments to help pay for education, welfare and infrastructure as states struggled with steep budget deficits amid a deepening recession. On May 7, 2009, Doyle controversially announced that the state budget was in such severe straits he was laying off 700 state workers and would lay off another 400 if state employee unions did not consent to the revocation of their contractually-scheduled June 2% raises. He also announced that all state employees would be furloughed for 16 days without pay over the next two years. His budget also raised property taxes by 4.2% mainly due to cutting state funding for education. On May 19, 2009 Doyle proposed a 75-cent per pack increase in the cigarette tax, an "assessment" against oil companies to help pay for road improvements, imposition of sales tax on music downloads and cell phone ringtones, and a 1 percent hike in the state income tax for individuals earning above $300,000 a year (approximately 1 percent of the state's population). In September 2010, Doyle was one of seven governors to receive a grade of F in the Cato Institute's fiscal-policy report card.





Updated: 3.5.2011


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