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.

Downtown Baraboo

Not just a picture: Baraboo one year later

By: - January 6, 2020

It was the pre-prom picture that went around the world.  It was supposed to be a lighthearted, celebratory snapshot. It turned into anything but that: A picture of teenage boys, the majority of them with their arms stuck out in the air, parroting a Nazi salute to the camera.  Many were grinning — smiles that […]

Hand on trigger of military weapon

Wisconsin lawmakers, activists respond to Iranian general’s assassination, U.S. troop escalation

By: and - January 3, 2020

Wisconsin has a history of strong protests, from the anti-war rallies during Vietnam to more recent protests over Act-10 gutting of workers’ rights, women’s marches and climate strikes.  So it isn’t surprising that after President Donald Trump ordered the U.S. military assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, followed by an order to deploy an additional […]

"We Love Obamacare" by LaDawna's pics is licensed under CC BY 2.0

AG warns of impact if ACA is struck down

By: - December 23, 2019

His hands tied by his Republican predecessor and restrictions imposed in the state legislature’s lame-duck session before he took office, Attorney General Josh Kaul says the state still needs to counteract the continuing legal attacks on the Affordable Care Act. Kaul spoke during a media conference call last week in reaction to a federal appeals […]


Raises, bargaining agreements get the OK, but not $15 an hour

By: - December 20, 2019

An Assembly committee this week voted to approve six collective bargaining agreements for three Wisconsin government entities with the only union that still negotiates wages with the state.  Meeting on Wednesday, the Joint Committee on Employee Relations also approved 2% raises in the state’s compensation package for non-union employees that were recommended earlier this fall […]

view of UW hospital across Lake Mendota

UW Hospital nurses seek union recognition

By: - December 19, 2019

Five-and-a-half years after their collective bargaining rights were stripped in the aftermath of Act 10, registered nurses working for the University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics Authority (UWHCA) on Thursday confronted the board of directors demanding recognition for a new union. “Unacceptable changes to staffing levels, nurse/patient ratios and the dissolution of key nursing departments […]

Attorney General Josh Kaul in Marinette (Photo by Erik Gunn)

AG Josh Kaul listens to Marinette residents’ fears about PFAS

By: - December 19, 2019

For two hours in Marinette on Wednesday, the state’s chief prosecutor sat in a room full of angry people and heard their stories of illness, death, and fear. And stories there were plenty — some told with fury, others through tears, and others simply with calm resignation. The stories were told by residents of Marinette, […]

Is ‘birth-cost recovery’ on its way out?

By: - December 18, 2019

While a bill languishes in the Legislature that would allow local governments do more to go after fathers for reimbursement after Medicaid pays for the birth of their children, the state’s second largest county has sworn off the practice. And the largest county is considering following suit. “Birth-cost recovery” is the name given to the […]

Cooper Dandaneau holds hands with his mother, U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Julie Dandaneau, 633rd Surgical Operations Squadron surgical services flight chief, in Newport News, Va., Nov. 16, 2013. Dandaneau adopted Cooper, 2, when he was a week shy of his first birthday. (U.S. Air Force photo by Stephanie R. Plichta/Released)

Assembly adoption bills pass committee, despite criticism

By: - December 18, 2019

Assembly lawmakers advanced eight measures Tuesday to change Wisconsin laws governing adoption and termination of parental rights, but only after rewriting them, in some cases making them substantially different from the  Senate versions. Five of the eight bills approved Tuesday by the Assembly Committee on Family Law have already had a public hearing in the […]

Narrower of two PFAS bills advances

By: - December 12, 2019

One of two bills in the Legislature aimed at the growing concern about PFAS chemicals cleared an Assembly committee Wednesday, but the author of a second says his own measure is essential to providing a more comprehensive solution. AB-323, authored by State Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette), bars the use of firefighting foam containing perfluoroalkyl or […]

Close-up of American Dollar banknotes with stethoscope

Report: Short-term health plans risk leaving patients uncovered

By: - December 12, 2019

Boosted by the Trump administration in the last year, short-term health insurance plans that have been proliferating in Wisconsin could leave patients without the coverage they need and fall far short of the guarantees provided under the Affordable Care Act, according to a new report. The report, Don’t Get Caught Short, was released Wednesday by […]

Electrical work

Pay raise approval process drags for state workers

By: - December 11, 2019

After several months delay, contracts covering unionized state workers could finally go before state lawmakers for their required review next week. A spokeswoman for state Sen. Roger Roth (R-Appleton) said Tuesday that the Joint Committee on Employment Relations has penciled in a meeting for Wednesday, Dec. 18, pending confirmation that all members can attend. Roth […]

Eau Claire student walkout

Eau Claire athletics program to undergo outside review after racist incidents

By: - December 10, 2019

Intercollegiate athletics at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will undergo an independent review by an outside agency after racist messages were circulated on campus among a group of university football players. University Chancellor James C. Schmidt announced the review Monday, along with the formation of a 16-member task force of students, faculty and staff to […]