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No laughing motto

MADISON, Wis. — The mayor of Wisconsin’s capital city is proposing its first official motto: 77 square miles surrounded by reality. The phrase is a take on former Republican Gov. Lee Sherman Dreyfus’ jibe in 1978 while running for governor that “Madison is 30 square miles surrounded by reality.” At the time, Madison’s Democratic Mayor Paul Soglin told a Dreyfus aide that the statement was wrong — because the city had grown to 65 square miles.

Soglin now proposes turning the phrase into the city’s first official motto. Madison is known for its liberalism and quirkiness. For example, in 2009, the city adopted the plastic pink flamingo as its official bird.

Soglin says he finds the proposed motto self-deprecating and reflective of a vibrant citizenry.

— The Associated Press


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