REMEMBERING PEGGY ANN ``PEG'' LAUTENSCHLAGER; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 59
(Senate - April 12, 2018)

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[Pages S2117-S2118]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




              REMEMBERING PEGGY ANN ``PEG'' LAUTENSCHLAGER

  Ms. BALDWIN. Mr. President, today I wish to honor the life and legacy 
of Peggy Ann ``Peg'' Lautenschlager, whose passing at the age of 62 
leaves Wisconsin without one of its greatest public servants. Peg was a 
true trailblazer in Wisconsin politics, and her kindness, tenacity, and 
strength will be greatly missed.
  Peg was a native of Fond du Lac, WI. The only daughter of Milton and 
Patsy Lautenschlager, Peg attended Goodrich High School, now known as 
Fond du Lac High School, and graduated in 1973 as valedictorian of her 
class. Her early academic accomplishments were the initial signs of her 
future success.
  After graduating summa cum laude from Lake Forest College, Peg earned 
her law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1980. Peg 
broke through the glass ceiling of Wisconsin politics a mere 5 years 
later and never looked back. In 1985, Peg won an election as the first 
woman district attorney for Winnebago County. She later served as 
Wisconsin's first woman attorney general from 2003 to 2007. Between 
those two important bookends of her career, she spent every ounce of 
her professional energy in service to the people of Wisconsin.
  In 1987, she unseated a 32-year incumbent to win election to the 
State assembly representing her hometown of Fond du Lac. She quickly 
became well respected for her work promoting criminal justice reform, 
sexual assault prevention, fair elections, and open records. President 
Bill Clinton appointed her to serve as the U.S. Attorney for the 
Western District of Wisconsin in 1993. Peg found a mentor and a friend 
in her boss, U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, who named Peg to the

[[Page S2118]]

U.S. Attorney General's advisory committee, the first Wisconsinite to 
serve on the committee.
  Peg was unstoppable. She was one of those rare jewels who was as 
caring as she was brilliant and funny as she was passionate. She will 
go down in the history books as one of Wisconsin's most powerful women, 
and she used every bit of that power in pursuit of justice for those 
who didn't have a voice. Her greatest legacy, however, is not something 
you can point at or capture in a headline. It is the countless women 
who can see themselves in a courtroom or on a ballot because they were 
inspired by Peg's audacity in never letting anything stop her. It is 
the hundreds of young girls who can imagine themselves walking through 
doors that they had always assumed were closed to them because Peg had 
already blazed that trail.
  Peg was a brilliant attorney, a fierce friend, and a loving mother. 
Colleagues and staff struggled to keep up with her as she juggled 
dozens of legal cases, three phones, and five children. She toggled 
seamlessly between a discussion of the finer points of case law against 
drug manufacturers overcharging for pharmaceuticals and a call about 
her middle-schooler's wardrobe crisis. She tackled both challenges with 
the same passion, heart, and ingenuity.
  Peg's memory will be kept alive by her husband, Bill, her five 
children, and all of us lucky enough to have known her. She knew that 
serving as the first woman attorney general in Wisconsin was not only 
an honor, it was a momentous responsibility. She carried that honor and 
responsibility proudly. She leaves behind a legacy that will be carried 
forward by women in Wisconsin who boldly pursue success in law and 
politics.

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