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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Proxmire Dies at 90

Former Senator William Proxmire (D-WI) died at age 90. Bill Proxmire was special to me, not just because I grew up in Wisconsin and he was my Senator, but because I really connected with his fiscally conservative side.

In school a lot of my teachers brought up his Golden Fleece awards, in which he chastised the government for wasting money. The only two things that were off limits to those awards were the Federal Dairy Price support program (still in effect, and the reason milk is almost $3.00 per gallon), and military contracts to Oshkosh trucks, two things that supported the state economy.

While Brett Favre gets a lot of attention for 200 straight football games started, Proxmire made an incredible 10,000 straight Senate roll call votes. Ask your Senator how close he/she is to that number. Most today don't make it into double digits.

Campaign finance reform, championed by current Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, was unneccesary to Proxmire. He spent about $200 per campaign in his last few re-election bids. Most of it was buy stamps to send contributions back. Hey Russ, why not try that!

Another lesson for today's politicians, from both parties, stand up to the leadership if you think they are wrong. Proxmire gave his famous "Good Bye Speech" to the Senate, his freshman year when he stood up to Lyndon Johnson about committee selections. He served 30 more years after that speech. Evidently voters like principled politicians, not someone who rolls over as soon as the party tells them too.

Washington Post has a very good 3 page article online here.

Technorati Tags: senate


Blogger Griz said...

I'm gonna miss the guy (even if he was a Democrat). Now, I don't know any politicians older than me (just kidding-but, not far from the truth).

Griz aka Barry

3:30 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

I think he'd be disgusted by today's party, and would probably perform and old fashioned beat down on Harry Reid, personally.

Prox was never a standard politician of any stripe, which may be why I always liked him.

3:49 PM  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Politicians like this are a breath of fresh air no matter what party they are from. I used to have a moderate democrat for a congresswoman. I was always impressed with her because each year she purposely didn't spend $200,000 of the tax payers' money.

5:52 PM  
Blogger Lone Pony said...

Wow. World News had a great piece on him tonight. They called him a "Maverick". Too bad we can't have more like him.

7:25 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

LMCB and Pony, Unfortunately, in today's politics the closest we have to "mavericks" are McCain and Lieberman, who agree 90% of the time with their parties, and get flack for not being 100%.

7:58 PM  

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