Author

Erik Gunn

Erik Gunn

Senior Reporter Erik Gunn reports and writes on work and the economy, health policy and related subjects, for the Wisconsin Examiner. He spent 24 years as a freelance writer for Milwaukee Magazine, Isthmus, The Progressive, BNA Inc., and other publications, winning awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, beat coverage, business writing, and commentary. An East Coast native, he previously covered labor for The Milwaukee Journal after reporting for newspapers in upstate New York and northern Illinois. He's a graduate of Beloit College (English Comp.) and the Columbia School of Journalism. Off hours he is the Examiner's resident Springsteen and Jackson Browne fanboy and model railroad nerd.

"Money Pills" showing cash inside pills

Tackling prescription drug costs: ‘It’s like taking on the NRA’

By: and - August 22, 2019

Gov. Tony Evers and other Wisconsin leaders announced this week that they are taking aim at high prescription drug prices. Evers on Tuesday signed an executive order creating a task force to study the development, pricing, distribution, and purchasing of prescription drugs. “Picking up a medication shouldn’t break the bank, but it often does for […]

WEDC chief defends agency in low-key ‘exit interview’

By: - August 21, 2019

Outgoing Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) secretary and CEO Mark Hogan made his final appearance before the state legislative audit committee Tuesday, once again defending WEDC’s performance in the face of another audit reporting recurring shortcomings at the state economic development agency. The session doubled, in the words of state Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) […]

Michael Monthey, an apprentice in the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship program, moves a herd of grazing cows to a new grazing area on Scott Mericka's farm in Dodgeville.

For some dairy farmers, the future is smaller

By: - August 20, 2019

One afternoon, when he was 2 years old, Michael Monthey wandered off to the dairy barn at his uncle’s farm near Portage. He got happily stuck there.  His mother liked to tell the story. Fascinated by the large, lumbering creatures, “I just wouldn’t leave,” he says.  Now Monthey is training with an eye to possibly […]

Wisconsin death toll

By: - August 19, 2019

Life expectancy is falling in Wisconsin, as it is nationwide, a new report published on Monday found, and death rates are rising — especially for Wisconsin’s black residents. The United States has not seen a national life expectancy downturn for more than a century, the report notes. The last time life expectancy dropped was between1915 […]

‘Troublemaker’ inspires new generation of activists

By: - August 19, 2019

The March on Washington in August 1963 is best known as the scene for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous speech, a touchstone of the civil rights movement in the 1960s: “I have a dream…” Far less known is the man credited with helping organize that daylong event more than a half-century ago — and with […]

Wisconsin dairy cows in large animal feeding operation

Hearings focus on rules for CAFOs

By: - August 15, 2019

Hearings begin today on proposed revisions to state rules affecting CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) and similar large scale livestock facilities, and they promise to generate opposition from farm operations the rules target, support from environmental and small farm groups — and demands for even stricter regulation of the operations.  The state regulations under review […]

Newspaper faceoff: Frying pan, or fire?

By: - August 14, 2019

There’s a new wrinkle in the pending GateHouse Media bid to merge with Gannett, owner of the state’s largest daily newspaper. Last week, the hedge fund subsidiary that owns Digital First Media, MNG Enterprises, told the SEC it had taken a 9.4% stake in New Media Investment Group, the owner of GateHouse and the vehicle […]

Going for ‘all the collars’

By: - August 13, 2019

Josh Pade was a political unknown from Southeastern Wisconsin when he sought the Democratic nomination for governor last year. Now he is returning to the political ring for the 2020 election — this time making a bid for Congress in the state’s 1st Congressional District. So far, Pade is the only Democrat to announce plans […]

Surviving gun violence, opposing the death penalty

By: - August 9, 2019

Pardeep Kaleka knows what it’s like to lose loved ones to violent extremism. The executive director of the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee, who lost his father in the 2012 Sikh temple mass shooting in Oak Creek, has also developed an understanding that mass shootings committed in the name of white supremacy, like the one […]

Proposal to tax guns to aid to gun-crime victims

By: - August 9, 2019

A proposed Wisconsin bill would tax firearms and use the funds to pay for services to gun-crime victims, who are barred by federal law from suing firearms manufacturers for their injuries. State Rep. Jimmy Anderson (D-Fitchburg) and State Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) are circulating the bill for cosponsors; a similar bill from the 2017-18 session […]

a table filled with guns of many types

The NRA’s favorite Wisconsin state politicians

By: - August 8, 2019

Among Wisconsin state lawmakers, Republicans are the sole beneficiaries of NRA political campaign spending, and legislative records show that they’ve voted consistently with the organization to block restrictions on guns and gun ownership, according to a new report by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a nonpartisan group seeking to reform campaign finance laws. “In Wisconsin, the […]

Employees union watches what’s next for Gannett and GateHouse

By: - August 6, 2019

It became official Monday: Gannett and New Media Investment Group, the parent company of GateHouse Media, will merge to form the largest newspaper chain in the nation, owning one of every six newspapers in the country, including Wisconsin’s largest daily newspaper and 10 more in the state. But what that means for the newsroom at […]