Herbert H. "Herb" Kohl (born February 7, 1935) is an American politician, business leader and philanthropist. He currently serves as the senior senator from the state of Wisconsin as a member of the Democratic Party, and is the owner of the Milwaukee Bucks National Basketball Association (NBA) team.
After graduating college, Kohl worked as an investor in real estate and the stockmarket, eventually spinning off his own company to manage these assets, Kohl Investments. He and his brother became heir to a family-owned chain that included 50 grocery stores and several department stores, pharmacies, and liquor stores. In 1970, Herb Kohl was named president of Kohl's, and he helped to oversee the merger of his corporation with BATUS Inc. in 1972. Kohl stayed on as an executive until 1979.
In 1985, Kohl purchased the Milwaukee Bucks, which owner Jim Fitzgerald had put up for sale due to health concerns. In 2003, Kohl considered an offer to sell the team to former NBA superstar Michael Jordan but decided to keep his ownership stake.
Kohl on the other hand has voted against many free trade agreements including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and more recently the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), and voted against the Freedom to Farm Act in 1996. However, has has also supported fast tracking trade normalization with China and establishing free trade with some smaller countries of the third world. He voted in 2002 to authorize military force in Iraq' however he voted against authorizing the Gulf War in 1990. Kohl has voted on a number of occasions with more liberal Democrats to reduce military spending, voting against 1996 defense appropriations increases and supporting a veto of funding new military projects. Kohl has consitantly opposed the PATRIOT Act and has voted to require warrants for wiretapping or the detention of prisoners
Kohl is strongly pro-choice and opposes the death penalty. He is highly in favor of affirmative action and supports setting aside funds for women and minorities. Although he voted in favor of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, Kohl rejected the recent proposal to ban gay marriage and has supported measures that ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. Kohl has consistently voted against the flag desecration amendment and in recent years has voted against restrictions on travel to Cuba and funding for TVMarti. In 2005 he secured a victory for one of his main causes: requiring handguns to be sold with child safety locks. The amendment was attached to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, with every Democrat and many Republicans voting in favor of the amendment. Earlier in his career, he helped push the Gun-Free Schools Act which the Supreme Court overturned in 1995 and has submitted many amendments to that effect.
The senator has generally had a pro-environmental record and has been an outspoken proponent of American energy independence. He supports increased production of hydrogen cars, establishing a federal goal for reducing oil consumption by 40%, and disallowing oil speculation in protected areas. However, he has voted against CAFE standards. Kohl has been rated highly by groups that desire universal health care. He has voted in favor of expanding Medicare and SCHIP and has desired that prescription drugs be included under federal health coverage. During his most recent election campaign, Kohl advocated that HMOs be placed under more scrutiny in order to determine if they're effectively delivering care.
Kohl is recognized as dedicated Wisconsinite and sports enthusiast. In 1985 he bought the Bucks basketball team to ensure the team remained in Milwaukee. Kohl also donated $25 million to the University of Wisconsin-Madison for construction of its new sports arena, which was named the Kohl Center. It was the largest single donation in University of Wisconsin System history.
He remains active in other charitable activities. In 1990 he established the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Achievement Award Program, which provides annual grants totaling $100,000 to 100 graduating seniors, 100 teachers and 100 schools throughout Wisconsin.
BALDWIN: YOU'RE NO HERB KOHL TAKES MAGNUM TO TASK FOR REFERENCES TO SENATOR.(ERIES:Election 2006)(SERIES: Election 2006)
Nov 02, 2006; Byline: Anita Weier The Capital Times As he has done often during campaign debates with Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, her...