NEWS RELEASE — A widely known and regarded activist who has dedicated his life to promoting civic engagement and good public policy in Wisconsin will receive a lifetime achievement award at the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service (WIPPS) 10th anniversary gala.
Bill Kraus, a long-time Republican strategist in Wisconsin, was instrumental in the election of Governor Warren Knowles in 1964, 1966 and 1968 and in the election of Governor Lee Sherman Dreyfus in 1978. He then served as director of communications for Dreyfus from 1979 to 1983 and later as an executive for Sentry Insurance Company.
More recently, Kraus served as co-chair of Common Cause in Wisconsin from 1995 to 2017 and served on the National Governing Board of Common Cause from 2004 to 2007. Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit citizen’s lobby that focuses on campaign finance, election and lobby reform, open meetings law and other issues related to the promotion and maintenance of open and accountable government.
WIPPS will honor Kraus with its inaugural “Bill Kraus Lifetime Achievement Award for Civic Leadership” at a special program April 4 in Wausau – celebrating WIPPS’ 10 years of promoting civic engagement and community service.
“When we canvassed people around the state on both sides of the aisle, there was not a person who didn’t recognize Bill’s many years of selfless and tireless service on behalf of the public good in the state of Wisconsin,” said Eric Giordano, who has been WIPPS executive director since its inception in 2007. “We simply couldn’t find a more deserving first recipient of this award.”
When a cadre of Kraus’ friends and colleagues learned of his upcoming lifetime achievement award, they decided to join together and contribute toward annual scholarships for a college student attending the summer WIPPS Washington Seminar program. The amount of the scholarships will be announced at the anniversary gala.
A native of Marshfield, Kraus has embraced small-town values and a commitment to promoting citizen engagement to effect positive change. His political writings have appeared in many publications and online blogs, including Wisconsin Political Fix, and he is a regular commentator on Wisconsin Public Radio. Kraus attended Carleton College and is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School.
He lives in Madison and is married to Toni Sikes.