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.

Housing costs saving piggy bank under magnifying glass

Appropriations Committee member Rep. Pocan holds forth on Trump budget

By: - February 17, 2020

It’s a Friday morning media ritual that U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan indulges in from time to time when he’s back in Wisconsin: The Democratic 2nd District congressman holds forth in an informal, open-ended news chat with local reporters, riffing on all things Washington in his Madison office just off the Capitol Square. Last Friday offered […]

Wisconsin dairy cows in large animal feeding operation

Livestock bill ‘streamlines’ permitting process

By: - February 14, 2020

Legislation that would make a sweeping change to the process for municipalities to weigh in on large livestock operations ran into resistance Thursday as lawmakers conducted a public hearing on the measure. Advocates for AB-894 in the Assembly and SB-808 in the Senate — the result of collaboration between some farm lobbying groups and the […]

Janesville GM assembly plant

Telling the story of Janesville and General Motors

By: - February 12, 2020

When Tim Cullen was going to college at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in the early 1960s, he spent his summers working at the Janesville General Motors plant. “I got paid $3.25 an hour,” the former Democratic state senator recalls. His college tuition was $110 a semester. “After two weeks I would have enough to pay […]

Wisconsin farm cornfield and landscape -- Image by David Mark free use from Pixabay

Hurry up and wait for farm crisis package

By: - February 12, 2020

A package of bills aimed at relieving the dairy farm crisis ended the day Tuesday all dressed up with no place to go. Meeting at 8:30 on Tuesday morning, the Assembly Agriculture Committee took the unusual step of holding a vote immediately after public hearings on seven bills — acting on the apparent assumption that […]

Holstein cows in a barn at the Marshfield Agricultural Research Station's north campus near Stratford, Wis., Wednesday afternoon, July 11, 2018. Photo by Michael P. King/UW-Madison CALS

Republicans swap the Evers farm agenda for their own

By: - February 11, 2020

In advance of Tuesday’s special session on agriculture that Gov. Tony Evers called for in January, Republican lawmakers on Monday offered five bills and threw out six of the eight measures Evers proposed. Of the two remaining measures, they subjected one to sweeping modification. Where Evers, in his Special Session AB-6, proposed two new positions […]

The cost of separation

By: - February 10, 2020

Tara van Wormer battled her dependence on opioid medications for years. As she worked toward her recovery, she had another struggle on her hands as well: keeping her children. Three years ago, van Wormer proved to the court that she had successfully beaten her drug addiction and could successfully parent her children.  But it was […]

Hundred-dollar bills

Watchdog tallies corporate political cash, files complaint vs. Dems

By: - February 5, 2020

The campaign watchdog group the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign lodged three ethics complaints against two state Democratic Party groups as well as the party’s national legislative campaign unit Tuesday. The information on which the complaints were based surfaced while the Democracy Campaign was researching corporate contributions to both the Democratic and the Republican parties in 2019. […]

Welding photo

Fact check: On economy, speech mingles truth with fantasy

By: - February 5, 2020

To anyone who heard President Donald Trump speak at a rally in Milwaukee last month, the State of the Union opening would probably have sounded familiar — down to the litany of his professed accomplishments three sentences in: “Jobs are booming, incomes are soaring, poverty is plummeting, crime is falling…” — what has clearly become […]

Skepticism creeps up over Foxconn’s future

By: - February 5, 2020

If there is one constant among residents of the Racine County community that is the site of the state’s most expensive economic development project, it’s how much uncertainty remains about the “Wisconn Valley” Foxconn plant that is still under development. Foxconn has so far stuck to its claim that the operation will one day employ […]

Close-up of American Dollar banknotes with stethoscope

Analysts: BadgerCare changes will reduce health coverage

By: - January 31, 2020

New BadgerCare charges for childless adults enrolled in or applying for Wisconsin’s version of Medicaid could leave more low-income state residents without health coverage, a Madison health analyst says — further reversing the state’s one-time leadership in expanding health coverage. 

Hair stylist at work

Bill targeting occupational licenses takes a new twist

By: - January 31, 2020

Three weeks ago, Assembly lawmakers were debating whether the state should move more cautiously before imposing new licensing requirements for certain jobs. On Thursday, the same bill passed out of committee with a major rewrite that would appear to all but block new occupational licenses altogether. The Assembly Committee on Regulatory and Licensing Reform advanced […]

UW-Health Nurses Meeting

Nurses seeking union get a friendly reception

By: - January 30, 2020

Nurses seeking to revive their union at the UW Hospital and Clinics brought their campaign to a friendly audience Wednesday night, urging members of the community to join their cause and persuade the hospital system’s board and administration to work with them. Staffing, workloads, and the relationship between nurses and hospital management, from immediate supervisors […]