Cat drinking water from a sink tap

Avoid taking a swig of this water

BY: - August 13, 2019

There is abundant evidence that Southwest Wisconsin has concerning levels of drinking water contamination. In early August, researchers conducting the Southwest Wisconsin Groundwater & Geology (SWIGG) Study found that more than nine out of 10 wells in Grant, Iowa and Lafayette counties, that tested positive for coliform bacteria in prior sampling rounds, contained fecal matter […]

Wisconsin State Capitol

Democracy in Wisconsin: Back to the Future

BY: - August 12, 2019

When I became the director of Common Cause in Wisconsin in 1996, this state was still very much one of the bright lights in the nation when it came to honest, transparent, accountable state government and politics.   There was bipartisan consensus here that the amount of special interest money in elections was growing and that […]

Children on pavers playing and drawing with chalk toddler kids school

How to stop the teacher exodus 

BY: - August 9, 2019

It’s time to expose the myth of the teacher shortage. The conditions in today’s classrooms and the ridiculous education policies are responsible for a mass exodus—not shortage—of passionate professionals from their classrooms. Since the release of A Nation at Risk in 1983, public schools and their teachers have been under assault from a political and […]

UW Response to White Nationalism: Threaten Students Protesting Hate

BY: - August 7, 2019

White nationalism is on the rise and the University of Wisconsin System is poised to do something about it–by threatening to expel students who protest purveyors of hate, racism, misogyny and xenophobia on campus.  Next week, the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents will hold a public hearing on August 13 on a “Nonacademic Student […]

Words far beyond dog whistle fertilize hate

BY: - August 4, 2019

If you’re human and not numbed by the horrifying repetition, each mass shooting stirs some measure of outrage and empathy. If the mass shooting targets a specific group and you are a member of that group, trust me, the feeling is far more pronounced, more visceral. Millions of Latinos like me awoke Sunday morning, the […]

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

Milk: Too Much of a Good Thing

BY: - July 29, 2019

Our cup runneth over. In 2018 Wisconsin dairy farmers produced a record 30.6 billion pounds of milk. That’s billion with a “b.” We’ve been trained to see increase and plentitude as always a good thing. In the case of milk, America’s Dairyland has too much of a good thing. To be fair it’s not just […]

Thumbs up for McCain’s thumbs down

BY: - July 26, 2019

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was many things, and very different things to different people. His legacy is complicated, whatever your politics or your feelings towards the man and his life in public service. What is indisputable is that we didn’t always know what we would get from him. Whether you believe him worthy of his […]

Don’t divert our Great Lakes

BY: - July 25, 2019

In 2018, citizens around the Great Lakes Basin celebrated the 10th anniversary of The Great Lakes Compact, a landmark piece of legislation that protects the Great Lakes as a vital economic, cultural and environmental resource. The Compact, signed into law by George W. Bush in October 2008, details how the Great Lakes Basin’s water supply […]

The scourge of privacy

BY: - July 24, 2019

I like privacy as much as the next person. I don’t want anybody tapping my phone or peeking through my windows. I’m even irked that whenever I go online to shop for, say, chainsaws or hiking boots, every other web site I go to afterward reminds me of my interest in these products. But as […]

All the times Donald Trump has never been a racist

BY: - July 22, 2019

In the 1970s, when African Americans who applied to rent apartments owned by Donald Trump were told there were no vacancies, even though there were vacancies, it wasn’t because Donald Trump is a racist. As he confided to a federal prosecutor after reaching a settlement in a discrimination case filed against him by the U.S. Justice […]

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

Dairy farmers are in crisis. Lawmakers need to rally round.

BY: - July 18, 2019

Pete Hardin, an intrepid farm reporter, had been chronicling the dairy crisis for four years when in early February he came across more evidence of its devastating impact: An estimated 32% of Wisconsin dairy farmers hadn’t secured spring planting loans. That’s what was reported at the annual meeting of the Land O’ Lakes farm cooperative. […]

"Vote Here" sign (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Two battles for democracy in Wisconsin

BY: - July 17, 2019

At the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, two of our key issues are banning gerrymandering and cleaning up money in politics. Both reforms are crucial here in Wisconsin if we are going to have a democracy where everyone has an equal voice. And when we all have an equal voice, the will of the people won’t be […]