Bill Lueders

Bill Lueders

Bill Lueders is editor of The Progressive magazine. 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.


DHS reversal puts seniors at risk

By: - May 3, 2022

On April 21, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) rescinded the citations it had issued to a senior health care facility for having violated state law when it evicted my mother, Elaine Benz, last fall. No reason was given for the state’s reversal. My sister, Diane, and I, who have power of attorney for […]

Speaker Robin Vos at 11/17/20 news conference

The state of open government in Wisconsin is in peril

By: - March 16, 2022

In its observance of national Sunshine Week (March 13-19), the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council has released its list of winners for this year’s Openness in Government Awards, or Opees. For the 16th consecutive year, we picked a journalist, a citizen, and a politician for special recognition.  The journalist was Isiah Holmes of the Wisconsin […]


Breaking the law, paying a pittance for unfairly evicting the elderly

By: - February 4, 2022

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services, charged with enforcing administrative code in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, has issued just two enforcement actions in the past three years for discharge-related violations in the licensing category known as Residential Care Apartment Complexes, which includes more than 350 providers across Wisconsin. These actions were brought […]

Elaine Benz | Photo by Bill Lueders

State health department should fight elder evictions

By: - January 31, 2022

The thing I want folks at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to know is that I have been rooting for them. Still am. In late October, my 97-year-old mother, Elaine Benz, was evicted from the senior care facility in New Berlin, Wisconsin, where she had lived for a decade. It happened from one day […]

Pro-Trump rally with MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell on the steps of the Wisconsin State Capitol Dec. 7, 2020 (Photo by Luther Wu)

Wisconsin Justice Hagedorn gets trashed, praised by public

By: - December 8, 2020

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Brian Hagedorn has received more than a dozen scathing office voicemail messages after siding with court liberals to reject President Donald Trump’s increasingly unhinged attempts to overturn the results of the November election. “I think you should resign,” declared one message left on Hagedorn’s public phone line by a man who […]

Mark Anthony Rolo (photo courtesy of The Progressive magazine)

 In Remembrance of Mark Anthony Rolo

By: - November 26, 2020

I wish Mark Anthony Rolo were here this Thanksgiving, to tell us what he thought. I wonder what words of wisdom he might offer about this moment, when a raging health crisis that has killed more than a quarter-million Americans and the clear result of a presidential election are both being met, insanely, with official […]

Wisconsin confirms 19 cases of COVID-19 in April 7 voters, poll workers

By: - April 22, 2020

At least nineteen Wisconsin residents have thus far tested positive for COVID-19 after voting in person or working at the polls during the state’s April 7 election, which Gov. Tony Evers had attempted to postpone, due to concerns about spreading the disease. But that effort was blocked by legislative Republicans. The number of known cases was […]

Supreme decision

By: - March 27, 2020

At a special teleconference meeting on March 18, Republican members of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, including its chair, Dean Knudson, argued that the commission should be doing whatever it can to make sure the election happens on April 7. “In the current coronavirus crisis, it’s still extremely important and vital to the functioning of our […]

Building 6 at the Central Wisconsin Center. The complex has a large collection of empty spaces the could be used in an emergency. (Photo by Bill Lueders)

An untapped resource for fighting COVID-19

By: - March 26, 2020

Lately, on daily walks through my neighborhood, I’ve been wondering: What if Wisconsin were to experience some sort of public health crisis, creating a sudden need for emergency facilities?  Perhaps it might.  If so, would it interest anyone to know that there is a sprawling complex of state-owned buildings, including some that appear under-utilized or […]

Vintage Top Secret Stamp

Want a public record from Robin Vos? Prepare to be frustrated

By: - November 25, 2019

John Public has a problem with the office of state Rep. Robin Vos, the Speaker of Wisconsin’s State Assembly.  He or she made an open records request of Vos’ office on July 1, 2019, asking for “all emails to and from your office and staff concerning public records requests for 6/26 – 6/28/19.”  In a […]

"Top Secret" stamp

Tony Evers needs to get religion on government transparency

By: - November 13, 2019

Let me be clear about this: Gov. Tony Evers does not have a terrible record when it comes to open government. The reporters I know have not flagged any major changes in terms of access to records and meetings. The one open records request that I made of Evers’ office was responded to in a […]

"Top Secret" stamp

‘Shhh! It’s a Secret’

By: - October 28, 2019

Wisconsin, over the last few years, has entered a new era, one marked by open contempt for the state’s tradition of open government from the people charged with serving the public interest. I don’t say this lightly. As president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, an all-volunteer group that advocates for access to public […]