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Robert Kastenmeier

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Robert Kastenmeier
Robert Kastenmeier.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 2nd district
In office
January 3, 1959 – January 3, 1991
Preceded byDonald Edgar Tewes
Succeeded byScott L. Klug
Personal details
Born
Robert William Kastenmeier

(1924-01-24)January 24, 1924
Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
DiedMarch 20, 2015(2015-03-20) (aged 91)
Arlington, Virginia
Cause of deathCardiovascular disease
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Dorothy Chambers
Children
  • William Kastenmeier
  • Andrew Kastenmeier
  • Edward Kastenmeier
Alma mater
ProfessionLawyer
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1943–1946
Rank
US-O2 insignia.svg
1st Lieutenant
Battles/warsWorld War II

Robert William Kastenmeier (January 24, 1924 – March 20, 2015) was an American Democratic politician who represented central Wisconsin in the United States House of Representatives for 32 years, from 1959 until 1991.[1] He was a key sponsor of the Copyright Act of 1976 and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986.

Early life

Kastenmeier was born in Beaver Dam, Dodge County, Wisconsin, where he attended public school. After graduating from Beaver Dam High School, he enlisted in the United States Army for duty in World War II. He was on his way to the Pacific Theater as a 2nd Lieutenant when the war ended in 1945. He was discharged from the Army on August 15, 1946, with the rank of 1st Lieutenant, but opted to remain in the Philippines until 1948, working as a branch office director handling war claims for the United States War Department.[2]

After returning to the United States, he continued his education at Carleton College, in Northfield, Minnesota, and at the University of Wisconsin Law School, where he received his LL.B. in 1952. After being admitted to the state bar, he began the practice of law in Watertown, Wisconsin.[3]

Political career

In 1955, Kastenmeier was elected justice of the peace for Jefferson and Dodge Counties, and he served until 1959.

Kastenmeier made an unsuccessful bid for Congress in Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district in 1956, losing to Republican Donald Tewes by 11 points. In a rematch in 1958 he defeated Tewes by 6,200 votes, and became the first Democrat to hold the seat in 28 years. He won a third race with Tewes in 1960, and faced another close contest in 1962. However, he romped to a fourth term in 1964 and was re-elected with comfortable majorities twelve more times over the next 24 years, serving from the 86th United States Congress to the 101st.[1]

As a congressman, Kastenmeier was skeptical of American military intervention overseas, and was an early opponent of the Vietnam War, coming out in opposition in 1965.[4]

Kastenmeier was a member of the House Judiciary Committee for almost his entire congressional career. In this capacity, he played a key role in the impeachment process against President Richard Nixon, asserting that each article of impeachment should be voted on separately in order to have a complete debate on each issue.[4]

He was also Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Administration of Justice from 1969 until he left office. From this role, he worked as a key sponsor of the Copyright Act of 1976—the first major overhaul of American copyright law since 1909. The law remains the foundation of the modern American copyright law.[4]

Kastenmeier was also active for many years in attempting to advance privacy laws, sponsoring or introducing 26 such bills between 1973 and 1991 to expand protections on communications privacy, financial privacy, rights of privacy from video surveillance, and confidentiality of medical records, among other topics. His efforts culminated in the successful passage of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, which expanded government wiretap restrictions to mobile phones and electronic mail.[4]

Also in 1986, he was one of the impeachment managers appointed by the House in 1986 to conduct the proceedings against Harry E. Claiborne, a judge of the United States District Court for the District of Nevada who had been convicted of tax crimes but refused to resign his seat. Kastenmeier helped to frame the impeachment resolution against Claiborne which ultimately resulted in his conviction in the United States Senate and removal from office.[5][4]

In 1990, Kastenmeier unexpectedly lost his re-election bid to Republican Scott Klug, a former television anchor who was nearly 30 years his junior.[6] After leaving Congress, Kastenmeier served briefly on a judicial reform commission before retiring.[4]

Legacy

Kastenmeier lived in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, and then Arlington, Virginia, where he died on March 20, 2015.[7] A week before his death in 2015, in an interview with Madison's Capital Times, Kastenmeier warned of American overseas interventions, saying, "There are far too many trouble spots in the world. And we must always remember what history has taught us, that it's always very easy to get in, but terribly hard to get out."[8] In eulogizing his former colleague, Congressman Dave Obey said of Kastenmeier, "I never saw him cast a vote for political reasons. I never saw him cast a vote that was contrary to his beliefs."[4]

The Robert W. Kastenmeier United States Courthouse in Madison, Wisconsin, one of the courthouses of the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, was named in his honor.[9]

Electoral history

Year Election Date Elected Defeated Total Plurality
1956[10] General November 6 Donald E. Tewes Republican 101,444 55.32% Robert Kastenmeier Dem. 81,922 44.68% 183,366 19,522
1958[11] Primary September 9 Robert Kastenmeier Democratic 20,922 66.83% Thomas R. Amlie Dem. 10,383 33.17% 31,305 10,539
General November 4 Robert Kastenmeier Democratic 78,009 52.09% Donald E. Tewes (inc.) Rep. 71,748 47.91% 149,757 6,261
1960[12] General November 8 Robert Kastenmeier (inc.) Democratic 119,885 53.37% Donald E. Tewes Rep. 104,744 46.63% 224,629 15,141
1962[13] General November 6 Robert Kastenmeier (inc.) Democratic 89,740 52.48% Ivan H. Kindschi Rep. 81,274 47.52% 171,014 8,466
1964[14] General November 3 Robert Kastenmeier (inc.) Democratic 108,148 63.61% Carl V. Kolata Rep. 61,865 36.39% 170,013 46,283
1966[15] General November 8 Robert Kastenmeier (inc.) Democratic 70,311 58.03% William B. Smith Rep. 50,850 41.97% 121,161 19,461
1968[16] General November 5 Robert Kastenmeier (inc.) Democratic 107,804 59.88% Richard D. Murray Rep. 72,229 40.12% 180,033 35,575
1970[17] General November 3 Robert Kastenmeier (inc.) Democratic 102,879 68.49% Norman Anderson Rep. 46,620 31.04% 150,217 56,259
Lavern F. Krohn Amer. 718 0.48%
1972[18] General November 7 Robert Kastenmeier (inc.) Democratic 148,136 68.17% J. Michael Kelly Rep. 68,167 31.37% 217,318 79,969
Lavern F. Krohn Amer. 1,015 0.47%
1974[19] General November 5 Robert Kastenmeier (inc.) Democratic 93,561 64.77% Elizabeth T. Miller Rep. 50,890 35.23% 144,451 42,671
1976[20] General November 2 Robert Kastenmeier (inc.) Democratic 155,158 65.60% Elizabeth T. Miller Rep. 81,350 34.40% 236,508 73,808
1978[21] General November 7 Robert Kastenmeier (inc.) Democratic 99,631 57.68% James A. Wright Rep. 71,412 41.34% 172,740 28,219
Dick G. Fields Ind. 1,697 0.98%
1980[22] General November 4 Robert Kastenmeier (inc.) Democratic 142,037 53.98% James A. Wright Rep. 119,514 45.42% 263,133 22,523
Leslie Graves Lib. 1,582 0.60%
1982[23] General November 2 Robert Kastenmeier (inc.) Democratic 112,677 60.57% Jim Johnson Rep. 71,989 38.70% 186,034 40,688
David T. Beito Lib. 1,368 0.74%
1984[24] Primary September 11 Robert Kastenmeier (inc.) Democratic 27,967 82.32% Eileen C. Courtney Dem. 6,007 17.68% 33,974 21,960
General November 6 Robert Kastenmeier (inc.) Democratic 160,014 63.66% Albert Lee Wiley Jr. Rep. 91,357 36.34% 251,371 68,657
1986[25] General November 4 Robert Kastenmeier (inc.) Democratic 106,919 55.54% Ann J. Haney Rep. 85,156 44.23% 192,518 21,763
Syed Ameen Ind. 443 0.23%
1988[26] General November 8 Robert Kastenmeier (inc.) Democratic 151,501 58.50% Ann J. Haney Rep. 107,457 41.50% 258,958 44,044
1990[27] General November 6 Scott L. Klug Republican 96,938 53.24% Robert Kastenmeier (inc.) Dem. 85,156 46.76% 182,094 11,782

References

  1. ^ a b "Kastenmeier, Robert W. 1924". Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  2. ^ Clymer, Adam (March 20, 2015). "Robert Kastenmeier, Liberal Voice in House for 32 Years, Dies at 91". The New York Times. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  3. ^ "Robert W. Kastenmeier". Watertown Historical Society. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Schudel, Matt (March 21, 2015). "Robert W. Kastenmeier, former Wisconsin congressman, dies at 91". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  5. ^ Barone, Michael; Ujifusa, Grant (1987). The Almanac of American Politics 1988. National Journal. p. 1295.
  6. ^ Apple Jr., R. W. (November 12, 1990). "Quiet Service Since '59, Then a Stunning Defeat". The New York Times. Washington, D.C. Archived from the original on May 25, 2015. Retrieved August 1, 2020 – via Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "Ex-Wisconsin Rep. Kastenmeier, early Vietnam critic, dies". WISC-TV. Madison, Wisconsin. March 20, 2015. Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved August 1, 2020 – via Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Zweifel, Dave (March 11, 2015). "Plain Talk: "Don't give up the ship," Bob Kastenmeier urges". The Capital Times. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  9. ^ "An extraordinary member of Congress". The Capital Times. March 20, 2015. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  10. ^ Toepel, M. G.; Kuehn, Hazel L., eds. (1958). "Parties and elections". The Wisconsin Blue Book, 1958 (Report). State of Wisconsin. p. 774. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  11. ^ Toepel, M. G.; Kuehn, Hazel L., eds. (1960). "Wisconsin state party platforms and elections". The Wisconsin Blue Book, 1960 (Report). State of Wisconsin. pp. 654, 695. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  12. ^ Toepel, M. G.; Theobald, H. Rupert, eds. (1962). "Wisconsin elections". The Wisconsin Blue Book, 1962 (Report). State of Wisconsin. p. 865. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  13. ^ Theobald, H. Rupert, ed. (1964). "Elections in Wisconsin". The Wisconsin Blue Book, 1964 (Report). State of Wisconsin. p. 761. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  14. ^ Theobald, H. Rupert, ed. (1966). "Elections in Wisconsin". The Wisconsin Blue Book, 1966 (Report). State of Wisconsin. p. 752. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  15. ^ Theobald, H. Rupert; Robbins, Patricia V., eds. (1968). "Elections in Wisconsin". The Wisconsin Blue Book, 1968 (Report). State of Wisconsin. p. 721. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  16. ^ Theobald, H. Rupert; Robbins, Patricia V., eds. (1970). "Elections in Wisconsin". The state of Wisconsin Blue Book, 1970 (Report). State of Wisconsin. p. 812. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  17. ^ "Elections in Wisconsin". The state of Wisconsin Blue Book, 1971 (Report). State of Wisconsin. 1971. p. 312. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  18. ^ Theobald, H. Rupert; Robbins, Patricia V., eds. (1973). "Elections in Wisconsin". The state of Wisconsin 1973 Blue Book (Report). State of Wisconsin. p. 818. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  19. ^ Theobald, H. Rupert; Robbins, Patricia V., eds. (1975). "Elections in Wisconsin". The state of Wisconsin 1975 Blue Book (Report). State of Wisconsin. p. 820. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  20. ^ Theobald, H. Rupert; Robbins, Patricia V., eds. (1977). "Elections in Wisconsin". The state of Wisconsin 1977 Blue Book (Report). State of Wisconsin. p. 907. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  21. ^ Theobald, H. Rupert; Robbins, Patricia V., eds. (1979). "Elections in Wisconsin". The state of Wisconsin 1979-1980 Blue Book (Report). State of Wisconsin. p. 917. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  22. ^ Theobald, H. Rupert; Robbins, Patricia V., eds. (1981). "Elections in Wisconsin". The state of Wisconsin 1981-1982 Blue Book (Report). State of Wisconsin. p. 909. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  23. ^ Theobald, H. Rupert; Robbins, Patricia V., eds. (1983). "Elections in Wisconsin". The state of Wisconsin 1983-1984 Blue Book (Report). State of Wisconsin. p. 904. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  24. ^ Theobald, H. Rupert; Robbins, Patricia V., eds. (1985). "Elections in Wisconsin". The state of Wisconsin 1985-1986 Blue Book (Report). State of Wisconsin. pp. 900, 918. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  25. ^ Theobald, H. Rupert; Barish, Lawrence S., eds. (1987). "Elections in Wisconsin". The state of Wisconsin 1987-1988 Blue Book (Report). State of Wisconsin. p. 900. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  26. ^ Barish, Lawrence S.; Theobald, H. Rupert, eds. (1989). "Elections in Wisconsin". State of Wisconsin 1989-1990 Blue Book (Report). State of Wisconsin. p. 919. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  27. ^ Barish, Lawrence S.; Theobald, H. Rupert, eds. (1991). "Elections in Wisconsin". State of Wisconsin 1991-1992 Blue Book (Report). State of Wisconsin. p. 909. Retrieved August 1, 2020.

Further reading

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Donald Edgar Tewes
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district

January 3, 1959 – January 3, 1991
Succeeded by
Scott L. Klug
This page was last edited on 2 August 2020, at 07:22
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