MADISON, WIS. — WISCONSIN Secretary of State Douglas La Follette has written letters to the editors of major Midwestern newspapers asking potential vacationers to consider boycotting his state to protest mining. Mr. La Follette asked readers to write Gov. Tommy Thompson if they felt much of northern Wisconsin could be ruined by widespread mining.
Governor Thompson angrily denounced La Follette's move: ``I can't believe that -- a state-elected official telling people from out of the state, `Don't come to Wisconsin.' '' The governor said his state has the toughest mining-permit law in the United States.
Wisconsin is popular with tourists from Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota, a recent state Department of Development report said.
La Follette, who has a doctorate in organic chemistry and is an ardent environmentalist, said mining companies are interested in developing 10 sites in the state.
Tourism in Wisconsin brings in about $5.4 billion a year.