Erik Gunn

Erik Gunn

Deputy Editor 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.

Wisconsin jobs come back, but at a slower pace

By: - September 18, 2020

Unemployment in Wisconsin dipped again in August, but the state still had more than 200,000 fewer jobs than a year ago, according to data released Thursday. Service and hospitality industry jobs continue to be among the hardest hit, a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic that forced restaurants, bars, entertainment spots and other such establishments to […]

Gov. Tony Evers

Evers ‘looking at every possible avenue’ to extend mask requirement

By: - September 16, 2020

With just two weeks until the statewide mask order to curb the spread of COVID-19 expires, Gov. Tony Evers said Tuesday his administration is “looking at every possible avenue to see if there’s a way to extend it.” He also made it clear that he doesn’t expect Republican leaders in the state Legislature to put […]

"Sold!" Photo by Sara via Flickr

Report: Early outside money leans heavily for GOP candidates in legislative races

By: - September 16, 2020

Republicans are benefiting from nearly two-thirds of the political spending by groups outside of the campaigns or the political parties so far this fall, according to the campaign financing watchdog group the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. In a preliminary report released Tuesday, the Democracy Campaign calculated that of $613,000 spent so far ahead of the November […]

Election financiers operating in the shadows

By: - September 15, 2020

A complaint last week about the tax returns of one of the funders of Republican political campaigns threw  a spotlight on an open secret about money in politics in Wisconsin: While political parties field the candidates, outside groups foot a significant part of the bill. And it’s become easier to hide where those groups are […]

Children in an elementary school classroom. (Getty Images photo)

Dane County schools ruling hints at future health agency limits

By: - September 12, 2020

The state Supreme Court ruling that blocked Dane County from delaying schools from holding classes in person to guard against the spread of COVID-19 may be temporary, but it could have broad, long-term reach when it comes to public health. That’s the assessment of a political scientist who has been studying the polarization and politicization […]

Unemployment pay press conference

Union protest targets Johnson, unemployment supplement

By: - September 11, 2020

Protesting Sen. Ron Johnson’s opposition to extending a $600 weekly federal supplement to unemployment pay, members of the Milwaukee Area Service and Hospitality Workers Organization (MASH) erected a “living room” outside the Milwaukee federal courthouse on Thursday, where the senator’s Milwaukee office is located. “The $600 a week payment broken down is $15 an hour […]

'Respect our vote' Capitol protest motion copy (Creative Commons 2.0)

Watchdog: Outside group omitted campaign spending on GOP from tax return

By: - September 8, 2020

A tax-exempt lobbying group with close ties to the Republican Party spent nearly $1 million to help elect 13 GOP lawmakers in the 2016 and 2018 election cycles — without filing required reports, according to a complaint filed Tuesday with the federal Internal Revenue Service. The Jobs First Coalition (JFC), founded in August 2009 and […]

Pandemic shines a spotlight on workers’ struggle

By: - September 6, 2020

Anthony Steward is a cook at Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum basketball arena and the father of two. He was laid off in the spring when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. At the end of July his unemployment compensation was cut down to one-third the amount it had been. Now, he says, he looks for ways “to keep […]

COVID-19 infections ease, but they’re still too high

By: - September 4, 2020

Wisconsin’s rate for confirmed COVID-19 infections has maintained a steady pace over the last two weeks: an improvement over July, but not yet where state health officials want to see it. Meanwhile, the number of people getting tested for the virus has continued to lag well behind the lab capacity that Wisconsin has to analyze […]

Protesters gather to march on Mayor Tom Barrett's house, to demand a freeze on evictions. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

Eviction moratorium is a stopgap measure, but more help needed, advocates say

By: - September 3, 2020

A temporary nationwide moratorium on evictions offers some hope for renters desperate to avoid losing their homes, but more comprehensive, longer-term solutions are still needed, according to tenant advocates. On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin disclosed during a congressional hearing that the agency order blocking evictions would be issued. The order, which comes from the […]

Kenosha Protests

Kenosha officials on Trump, protests and police

By: and - September 1, 2020

As the City of Kenosha entered the second week since a police officer shot Jacob Blake in the back seven times, officials held a press conference in which they celebrated a weekend of peace and braced for the imminent arrival of President Donald Trump. Trump is set to visit the city Tuesday despite pleas from […]

Republicans hold special session in name only

By: - September 1, 2020

Once again on Monday, Gov. Tony Evers and legislative Democrats were confronted by the existential fact of the current state Legislature: Republican leaders can and will quash action on any issue just by not showing up. As was widely expected, both the Assembly and the Senate gaveled in the special session that Gov. Tony Evers […]