Edward "Eddie" Ben Elson
  • One of Madison’s truly unique characters
  • ???? – February 8, 1983, Suicide at 41
  • On his business card: “Far Out Lawyer, Specializing in Looney Law”
  • He did sincere good works for the mentally ill and the dispossessed.
  • The Pail & Shovel Party would have never survived the many legal challenges against them if not for Eddie.
  • 1969 ran for mayor of Madison on a platform that included painting police cars psychedelic colors.
  • 1970 ran for Dane County district attorney. To show he had nothing to hide, Elson announced his candidacy in the nude (but for a strategically placed flower bouquet) from the stage of the Dangle Lounge. His mottos during the campaign were “Only Obey Good Laws” & “Elson as D.A. Will Protect You from Your Government” The fine print on his campaign literature read “Authorized and paid for with money stolen from my sister's trust fund”
  • He represented Bronson La Follette's dog, Cutter, when the canine patrol kept picking up Cutter running loose. Eddie first demanded the dog catcher pick Cutter out of a lineup, and next asked that Cutter be tried before a jury of his peers – 12 Irish setters. Finally, he demanded that Cutter be given liberty or given death. He lost the case. But Cutter lived and La Follette paid the fine.
  • 1973 Sold tickets for salvation on the Comet Kohoutek that was going to destroy earth. Read Full Story
  • 1977 Helps get reverend release from jail with “Funny Money” Read Full Story