Author

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. 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.

Summer work program abused

By: - July 31, 2019

A special visa program to bring short-term visitors to the U.S. has ballooned into “a source of cheap and exploitable labor,” says a new report — and Wisconsin ranks number three among states making use of that feature. The Summer Work Travel program, which enables foreign visitors to work during their stay in the U.S., […]

Evers focuses on lead fight with executive order

By: - July 30, 2019

Stymied in his efforts to set aside an extra $40 million in the state budget for lead abatement, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Monday signed an executive order directing the state’s Department of Health Services to name a “lead czar” charged with working across multiple state agencies “to ensure a robust and comprehensive response” to […]

If GateHouse swallows Gannett, what will that mean for Wisconsin?

By: - July 29, 2019

A looming media mega-merger is likely to cast a long shadow over Wisconsin journalism. The Wall Street Journal reported 10 days ago that GateHouse Media and Gannett were in merger talks that would combine the two newspaper chains under the GateHouse umbrella.  “It’s increasingly likely to happen,” wrote news business analyst Ken Doctor earlier this […]

Happy second birthday, Foxconn

By: - July 26, 2019

Two years ago today Foxconn announced its plan to build a new factory in Southeastern Wisconsin and a promise to employ 13,000 people in return for more than $3 billion in aid from the state.  The project has sparked enthusiasm from its backers, starting with then-Gov. Scott Walker, and opprobrium from critics who questioned the […]

Tax reform bus tour rides into Wisconsin

By: - July 25, 2019

The message on the big green bus that rolled into Madison on Wednesday morning was a succinct three words: “Tax the Rich!” It’s a message that Dana Bye, campaign director for the group Tax March, which sponsored the bus tour, says has special salience in the wake of the Trump Administration’s sweeping 2017 tax overhaul.  […]

Wisconsin voters surveyed say “Tax the rich!”

By: - July 24, 2019

Nearly four out of five Wisconsin voters support raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans, with three out of five “strongly” in favor, according to a survey released today. The poll was commissioned by Tax March, a campaign to repeal the Trump Administration’s 2017 rewrite of federal tax laws, and was conducted by Public Policy Polling. […]

Corporate political money swings heavily to GOP groups

By: - July 24, 2019

Republican state political campaigns raked in five times the amount of corporate money that Democrats did in the first half of this year, the campaign finance watchdog group Wisconsin Democracy Campaign reported Tuesday. Before then-Gov. Walker rewrote campaign-finance law in 2015, those contributions would have been illegal to make or for any political party or […]

Food stamp cuts harm low-income working families

By: - July 24, 2019

Trump administration plans to cut nearly 10% of recipients from the federal food stamp program could hit school lunch programs and cut savings rates for the working poor, a University of Wisconsin expert on hunger and food assistance programs warned Wednesday. The administration announced plans on Tuesday to cut people with incomes from 130% to […]

Pile of US bills with a doctor nurse stethoscope on top taking pulse

Could Medicaid expansion get a second life?

By: - July 23, 2019

It was a key plank in candidate Tony Evers’ campaign health-care platform during last year’s governor’s race: Reverse former Gov. Scott Walker’s rejection of federal funds to expand Wisconsin’s Medicaid coverage. But with his Medicaid expansion plan stripped out of the budget by the Republican-dominated legislature, the governor and health care advocacy groups are looking […]

children under a parachute

Squeeze remains on childcare subsidies, and the families who need them

By: - July 22, 2019

It’s getting much more difficult for low-income families in Wisconsin to obtain affordable childcare, a new report says, and while both the Democratic governor and the Republican-led legislature have offered remedies, so far those efforts have fallen short. The findings are in a brief published last week by the Wisconsin Policy Forum that examines the […]

ACA policy experts look Kind(ly) on congressman’s lonely vote to keep ‘Cadillac Health Tax’

By: - July 22, 2019

Since its inception, one provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been especially unpopular across the board, including with unions who otherwise backed former President Barack Obama’s landmark law to expand health care coverage. To help pay for the ACA, the law included a 40 percent excise tax on the value of employer-sponsored health […]

Close-up of American Dollar banknotes with stethoscope

New legal threat to ACA sparks call for state to step in

By: - July 19, 2019

Facing a new legal threat to the 9-year-old Affordable Care Act, some Wisconsin lawmakers want the state to step in with new patient health care protections they fear could be wiped out if the ACA is overturned. At stake are key provisions that enabled former President Barack Obama’s health reform law to expand health care […]