Bill Lueders

Bill Lueders

Bill Lueders, former editor of The Progressive magazine and current editor-at-large, is a Wisconsin writer who lives in Madison. He also serves as the elected president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, a statewide group that works to protect public access to government meetings and records.

Wausau, Wisconsin

Cory Tomczyk wages war on small media outlet

By: - August 17, 2023

This is not a great time to be a newspaper. Besides continually meager, often plunging readership and ad revenues, there’s the fact that some people would like nothing more than to shut you down as a way to shut you up. Last Friday in Kansas, police raided the offices of the local newspaper, the Marion […]

Wisconsin State Capitol Police car in front of Wisconsin Capitol. (Photo: WI Department of Administration)

Don’t delay on police records

By: - August 8, 2023

Last week, I received some records from the Madison Police Department that I had requested about four months earlier. They concerned the one and only instance in which an MPD officer or employee was disciplined during the entire first three months of this year. The request, which I wrote about in the May issue of […]

Chantia Lewis

Milwaukee case spurred effort to amend campaign finance law

By: - May 4, 2023

Sylvia Ortiz-Velez admits she can be a bit nosy. The Democratic state representative from Milwaukee, who is also a member of the Milwaukee County Board, likes to poke around publicly filed campaign finance reports. “I like to look at who’s raised what,” she says in an interview. It was through such snooping that Ortiz-Velez realized […]

The soon-to-be four member majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Jill Karofsky, Rebecca Dallet, newly elected Janet Protasiewicz and Ann Walsh Bradley. (Henry Redman | Wisconsin Examiner)

Liberals haven’t controlled the Wisconsin Supreme Court for a lot more than 15 years, if ever

By: - April 14, 2023

On the day after Wisconsin’s nasty and expensive state Supreme Court election, the lead sentence of the Wisconsin State Journal’s front page election story proclaimed: “Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Janet Protasiewicz defeated conservative Dan Kelly for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court Tuesday, giving liberals a court majority for the first time in 15 […]

Church in Brooklyn, stop sign and one way sign

Dan Kelly’s divine inspiration

By: - March 2, 2023

In his Editor’s Introduction to the inaugural issue of the Regent University Law Review, the once and potentially future Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly was quite sure about both the provenance of law and its immutability.  “Law originates with God and is impressed on His creation, including mankind,” Kelly wrote in 1991, the year […]

Justice Daniel Kelly (photo from Wisconsin Eye video of oral arguments in Wisconsin Legislature v. Andrea Palm)

Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Dan Kelly makes his case

By: - February 9, 2023

What Daniel Kelly wants, what he really, really wants, is to be able to throw his support behind Jennifer Dorow, his fellow conservative candidate for Wisconsin Supreme Court, should she advance from the Feb. 21 primary and he doesn’t. “I would love to be able to make that commitment,” Kelly told a gathering of Dane […]

Elaine Benz with (most of) her family on Mother’s Day, 2017.

What I learned from my mom

By: - January 18, 2023

In January 1995 my mother, Elaine Benz, sent me a newspaper clipping of a letter she had written to the editor of the Milwaukee Journal. She was 70 at the time. I’m pretty sure it was the only one she ever wrote. It was a response to another letter writer who had opined that anyone […]

US election flag ballot absentee

Wisconsin GOP flyer warns voters: Your neighbors are watching

By: - November 2, 2022

The Republican Party of Wisconsin is distributing a mailer warning recipients that whether or not they voted is a matter of public record, and their neighbors will know if they don’t. “URGENT” declares the mailer sent to a resident in an independent living facility in Madison last week, and presumably to many others. “Don’t Let […]

Elaine Benz | Photo by Bill Lueders

Closing the book on my mother’s eviction: ‘A sad thing that happened’

By: - August 18, 2022

Last week my sister, Diane, and I met with two officials from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, at their invitation, to discuss the state’s decision to dismiss two citations it had issued against a Milwaukee-area senior care facility that last fall evicted our then-97-year-old mother, Elaine Benz. It was the first time that anyone […]

Elaine Benz meets her California-born great grandson, Felix

Records reveal state officials’ response to elder eviction

By: - August 3, 2022

The head of a state agency charged with enforcing Wisconsin’s rules regarding nursing homes and other residential care facilities was blindsided to learn that unknown others in state government had rescinded citations issued to a Milwaukee-area provider regarding the unlawful eviction of my then-97-year-old mother, Elaine Benz.  “This is news to me that we withdrew […]

Japanese Internment Memorial

Wisconsin school district rejects book about Japanese internment

By: - June 22, 2022

A school board in southeastern Wisconsin has rejected a book recommended for use in a 10th-grade accelerated English class due in part to concerns that it lacked “balance” regarding the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. The Curriculum Planning Committee for the Muskego-Norway district, which serves about 5,000 students in Waukesha and Racine […]

Great Seal of the State of Wisconsin | Image courtesy Wisconsin State Historical Society

Could sleepy office nix Wisconsin’s pick for president?

By: - June 15, 2022

After decades of having its powers chipped away by the Legislature, the Wisconsin secretary of state’s office has become largely irrelevant. The office holder’s most important remaining duty is to sit on the state Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, which oversees some state investment funds and land holdings. But the office is also the […]