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Looking Back At William Proxmire — A Wisconsin Politician Who Was Popular With Voters On Both Sides

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Jason Rieve
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(From left) Tom Luljak and Jonathan Kasparek, a history professor at UW-Milwaukee’s Waukesha campus.";

As this political year continues to heat up with claims and counterclaims about which candidates are best suited to represent us, it can all be a bit overwhelming. It seems like we were never as divided as we are today. So this week on UWM Today, we're pushing the pause button on the current political debates. We're going to take a little history lesson, looking back at a Wisconsin politician who was so popular with voters on both sides of the aisle that he didn’t even have to raise any money in his last two elections — and he still won handily. That politician? William Proxmire, who served as one of Wisconsin’s U.S. senators for more than 30 years, from 1957 to 1988.

Our guest is Jonathan Kasparek, a history professor at UW-Milwaukee’s Waukesha campus. Jonathan has written the first authoritative biography of Proxmire, Proxmire: Bulldog of the Senate.

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Tom Luljak hosted UWM Today on WUWM for more than two decades and is the inaugural host of Curious Campus.