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.

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 […]

Paramedics carrying patient in ambulance at night USA, New York State, Hudson Valley

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 […]

Erupting protests? Violent riots? Assaults?

By: - August 27, 2019

Wisconsin state legislators are renewing their efforts to combat what appears to be a nonexistent problem: the trampling of the campus free-speech rights by hoards of angry students. “Campuses across the country have erupted in protest, including violent riots, as the growing debate over who has the right to speak threatens our nation’s first amendment […]

State agencies set new comment period: Zero days notice

By: - August 14, 2019

In December, the Republican-controlled state Legislature passed and lame-duck Gov. Scott Walker signed Act 369, a package of laws designed to curb the powers of the incoming governor and attorney general. Among these was a statute requiring state agencies to take new steps before approving what are known as “guidance documents,” which interpret and explain […]


The scourge of privacy

By: - July 24, 2019

I like privacy as much as the next person. I don’t want anybody tapping my phone or peeking through my windows. I’m even irked that whenever I go online to shop for, say, chainsaws or hiking boots, every other web site I go to afterward reminds me of my interest in these products. But as […]