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.

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nursing homes and other residential care facilities was blindsided to learn that unknown others in state government had rescinded citations issued to a Milwaukee-area provider regarding the unlawful eviction of my then-97-year-old mother, Elaine Benz.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 […]

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 […]