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.

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 […]


State officials create fake document to cover up misconduct in eviction case

By: - June 1, 2022

Officials at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) have created a fraudulent document as part of an apparent cover-up regarding its investigation into the eviction of my then-97-year-old mother from a senior care facility last fall. The falsified document was recently posted on the state’s online portal for complaint investigations regarding regulated care facilities. […]


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 […]