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Robert Kastenmeier

Robert Kastenmeier, who represented Wisconsin's 2nd District in Congress for 32 years, died at 91.

It has been five weeks since former 2nd District Congressman Bob Kastenmeier passed away, but the many admirers he attracted over his 32 years in Congress are making sure he'll be remembered.

A special memorial service for the late congressman will be held this coming Sunday, May 3, at Monona Terrace at 1:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend what promises to be a celebration of all that Kastenmeier accomplished during his robust political career and his service to the people of his district.

Kastenmeier represented the 2nd District from January 1959 until January 1991. During those 32 years he was one of the country's leading advocates of civil liberties and civil rights, a champion for peace and the principal author of intellectual property laws that have served to protect the works of artists, authors and musicians in a complicated technology-driven world. 

Bob Kastenmeier was a sterling example of a politician who worries more about legislating than politicking. As his longtime colleague former Congressman David Obey said when he learned of Kastenmeier's death, he never knew of Kastenmeier to cast a vote other than on his principles.

Sunday's memorial service at Monona Terrace is just one of several events that have recounted the congressman's life.

Local radio and TV personality and community leader John Quinlan has completed an hourlong tribute to the congressman on his new show, "Forward Forum," which is produced at the Sun Prairie Media Center. I was privileged to appear on the program, which chronicles the late congressman's career from beginning to end. It can be accessed by going to www.forwardforum.net.

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Like Quinlan's program, the Sunday memorial will feature many local and national figures who were connected to Kastenmeier through his career.

It promises to be a fitting salute to a congressman who went about serving his constituents without the blare and nastiness that are so prevalent today.

Dave Zweifel is editor emeritus of The Capital Times. dzweifel@madison.com and on Twitter @DaveZweifel

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Dave Zweifel is editor emeritus of The Capital Times. dzweifel@madison.com and on Twitter @DaveZweifel