Author

Erik Gunn

Erik Gunn

Deputy Editor Erik Gunn reports and writes on work and the economy, health policy and related subjects, for the Wisconsin Examiner. He spent 24 years as a freelance writer for Milwaukee Magazine, Isthmus, The Progressive, BNA Inc., and other publications, winning awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, beat coverage, business writing, and commentary. An East Coast native, he previously covered labor for The Milwaukee Journal after reporting for newspapers in upstate New York and northern Illinois. He's a graduate of Beloit College (English Comp.) and the Columbia School of Journalism. Off hours he is the Examiner's resident Springsteen and Jackson Browne fanboy and model railroad nerd.

Bad medicine: Trump trade wars undermine Wisconsin ginseng exports

By: - August 6, 2019

Besides the impact it’s had on much larger commodity crops like soybeans and corn, the Trump administration’s escalating trade war with China is hurting a Wisconsin export for which Wisconsin has come to virtually dominate American production. Wisconsin annually raises about 1 million pounds of ginseng and typically exports about 85% of its production of […]

Evers and Dems seek Medicaid expansion…again

By: - August 6, 2019

Gov. Tony Evers and two Democratic state legislators unveiled plans Monday to seek a stand-alone bill for Wisconsin to take federal funds to expand BadgerCare, the state’s version of Medicaid, under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The measure would be Evers’ second push to keep his campaign promise to accept the Medicaid expansion funds. The […]

Helping faith leaders “circumvent the rise of hate”

By: - August 5, 2019

For Pardeep Kaleka, the first weekend in August was already going to be a mix of joy and sorrow. Then, at opposite ends of the country, mass shootings left 29 people dead.  For the trauma therapist and peacemaking teacher — and now, the new executive director of the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee — the […]

The fight to save workers’ pensions

By: - August 5, 2019

Eight years into his retirement, Bob Amsden got a letter in October 2015 that threatened to upend his life. The lifetime retirement pension was promised to him as part of his Teamsters Union contract during his 33-year career as an over-the-road truck driver. The letter said it would be cut by more than half — […]

Senators ask for data on impact if ACA ends

By: - August 2, 2019

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) wants the Trump Administration to produce data on what would happen if a pending lawsuit to throw out the Affordable Care Act is successful. The lawsuit brought by 20 Republican state attorneys general, Texas v United States, declares the ACA unconstitutional, and a lower court judge agreed in a December ruling. […]

Summer work program abused

By: - July 31, 2019

A special visa program to bring short-term visitors to the U.S. has ballooned into “a source of cheap and exploitable labor,” says a new report — and Wisconsin ranks number three among states making use of that feature. The Summer Work Travel program, which enables foreign visitors to work during their stay in the U.S., […]

Evers focuses on lead fight with executive order

By: - July 30, 2019

Stymied in his efforts to set aside an extra $40 million in the state budget for lead abatement, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Monday signed an executive order directing the state’s Department of Health Services to name a “lead czar” charged with working across multiple state agencies “to ensure a robust and comprehensive response” to […]

If GateHouse swallows Gannett, what will that mean for Wisconsin?

By: - July 29, 2019

A looming media mega-merger is likely to cast a long shadow over Wisconsin journalism. The Wall Street Journal reported 10 days ago that GateHouse Media and Gannett were in merger talks that would combine the two newspaper chains under the GateHouse umbrella.  “It’s increasingly likely to happen,” wrote news business analyst Ken Doctor earlier this […]

Happy second birthday, Foxconn

By: - July 26, 2019

Two years ago today Foxconn announced its plan to build a new factory in Southeastern Wisconsin and a promise to employ 13,000 people in return for more than $3 billion in aid from the state.  The project has sparked enthusiasm from its backers, starting with then-Gov. Scott Walker, and opprobrium from critics who questioned the […]

Tax reform bus tour rides into Wisconsin

By: - July 25, 2019

The message on the big green bus that rolled into Madison on Wednesday morning was a succinct three words: “Tax the Rich!” It’s a message that Dana Bye, campaign director for the group Tax March, which sponsored the bus tour, says has special salience in the wake of the Trump Administration’s sweeping 2017 tax overhaul.  […]

Wisconsin voters surveyed say “Tax the rich!”

By: - July 24, 2019

Nearly four out of five Wisconsin voters support raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans, with three out of five “strongly” in favor, according to a survey released today. The poll was commissioned by Tax March, a campaign to repeal the Trump Administration’s 2017 rewrite of federal tax laws, and was conducted by Public Policy Polling. […]

Corporate political money swings heavily to GOP groups

By: - July 24, 2019

Republican state political campaigns raked in five times the amount of corporate money that Democrats did in the first half of this year, the campaign finance watchdog group Wisconsin Democracy Campaign reported Tuesday. Before then-Gov. Walker rewrote campaign-finance law in 2015, those contributions would have been illegal to make or for any political party or […]