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0:00 - Introduction

0:44 - Liberal Democratic legislators prior to the formation of the Democratic Organizing Committee (DOC)

1:55 - Robert Tehan

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Partial Transcript: Not a “pathological” liberal.

2:29 - Other liberal Democrats in legislature prior to DOC

3:09 - Democratic sweep caught Wisconsin Democrats off guard

5:13 - Election

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Partial Transcript: Both Phil and Bob La Follette assisted by President Roosevelt's endorsement of Bob.

5:58 - More on liberal Democrats in legislature prior to DOC

6:58 - Creation of the Progressive Party in 1934

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Partial Transcript: Carlson circulated petitions to help create the party.

7:29 - Carlson's decision to run for the legislature

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Partial Transcript: Was interested in vocational education, especially as it pertained to agriculture.

10:03 - Elizabeth Hawkes

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Partial Transcript: Did not like Carlson. Was a Republican as late as 1940, when she was elected district attorney. Ran for Wisconsin Attorney General in 1944 on the Democratic ticket [Actually Hawkes did not run for Attorney General until 1946]. Called Carlson “a promising young upstart.” Politically “she didn't know where she was. She was not a liberal. How she ever got appointed to the Board of Regents, I don't know.” Got active in the Democratic Party in the Tenth District after 1944. An opportunist.

14:08 - Carlson was close to William Proxmire and William Evjue

14:59 - Bill Evjue took a very dim view of Phil La Follette's National Progressive Party

18:25 - Phil La Follette

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Partial Transcript: Felt Franklin Roosevelt took the “Wisconsin Idea” and the La Follettes' ideas and created the New Deal without giving proper credit. Carlson was close to Phil. Phil was too young, immature, ambitious. Would have been more successful if he had been more mature. Never recovered from his defeat in 1938.

20:17 - Bill Evjue

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Partial Transcript: He was harder on people in office who were his political allies than he was on the opposition. He was liberal until it came to his own pocket book. Pro-labor until his own newspaper and radio station were organized. Bill Walker told Carlson that Evjue resisted Carlson's advancement at WIBA radio because Carlson was too pro-employee.

23:13 - Carlson goes into business for himself

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Partial Transcript: His children were getting older and Evjue was providing him no advancement.

24:56 - Orland Loomis intended to run for governor as a Republican in 1944, if he had lived, thereby bringing the Progressive Party back into the Republican Party

25:49 - Leading Republicans encouraged La Follette to return to the Republican Party in 1946; then they turned on him

26:57 - Many Progressives were fairly wealthy

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Partial Transcript: Wanted to make the capitalist system work. Therefore at odds with the socialists. Rural northern Wisconsin followed Bob La Follette into the Republican Party in 1946 while Milwaukee labor and socialists went into the Democratic Party.

30:15 - Not much contact between Madison-Milwaukee liberals and northern liberals

31:14 - Democratic Party advocates at the Progressive Party convention

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Partial Transcript: Mainly the Milwaukee contingent and the labor people. Madison people mainly in favor of following Bob La Follette into the Republican Party.

33:58 - Carlson organized for the Progressive Party, holding many town hall meetings

35:49 - Anecdote about Evjue encouraging Lester Johnson to run for Merlin Hull's congressional seat after Hull's death

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Partial Transcript: Won and claimed later that he would never have run without Evjue's encouragement.

36:54 - More on Carlson's organizing efforts for the Progressives in the tenth district

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Partial Transcript: Thinks if the Party would have turned him loose to organize in 1946, he could have produced enough votes to give Bob La Follette victory over Joe McCarthy in the senatorial primary.

39:42 - 90-95 percent of Progressives eventually wound up in the Democratic Party

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Partial Transcript: Defection of Progressives from the Republican Party began with Oscar Rennebohm's defeat of Ralph Immel in the Republican gubernatorial primary in 1948.

40:58 - Carlson worked in Bill Proxmire's campaigns

41:53 - Shift of northern Progressives to the Democratic Party

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Partial Transcript: In 1946 and 1948 voted in the Republican primary but for Democrats in the general election. By 1950, pretty much had decided to go into the Democratic Party.

44:15 - Labor unions, Andy Biemiller

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Partial Transcript: Strong Communist influence. Communists favored Republicans in the belief that the country would fall apart under Republicans and turn to Communists. In 1941 Carlson voted against Biemiller as floor leader because of his socialism. A strong character, a strong speaker.

50:41 - Effect of Joe McCarthy's election on the Democratic Party

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Partial Transcript: Had people "scared to open their mouths." Election of McCarthy may have prompted some Republicans to switch to the Democratic Party.

0:00No transcript.