Wisconsin Watch

Wisconsin Watch Nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative reporting focusing on government integrity and quality of life issues in Wisconsin. https://www.wisconsinwatch.org/ Training current and future generations of investigative journalists.
The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is part of the new wave of experiments in modern journalism. We're a nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism center based in Madison, Wisconsin, funded by donations, grants and earned income for producing investigative journalism and training current and future investigative reporters. We dig into government integrity and quality of life issues in Wisconsin. We collaborate with our partners, Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Television, and other news media, including fellow members of the Investigative News Network. And we give it all away for free. We're housed in the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism & Mass Communication. We collaborate with reporting classes and hire students as reporting and public engagement & marketing interns. And of course, we welcome story tips, and donations to support our work!

ICYMI: The annual Wisconsin Watchdog Awards reception and dinner and Watchdog 101 Workshop, originally scheduled for Apr...
03/29/2020

ICYMI: The annual Wisconsin Watchdog Awards reception and dinner and Watchdog 101 Workshop, originally scheduled for April 21, have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. We look forward to rescheduling this celebration when the time is right.

Gov. Tony Evers ordered a halt on evictions and home foreclosures throughout Wisconsin for 60 days, during a time when W...
03/28/2020
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers bans evictions and foreclosures during pandemic — 3/27/20 | WisconsinWatch.org

Gov. Tony Evers ordered a halt on evictions and home foreclosures throughout Wisconsin for 60 days, during a time when Wisconsinites have been ordered to mostly stay at home (via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). Read today's Wisconsin COVID-19 Update below.

Today we highlight a story by Cary Spivak and Mary Spicuzza of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. They report on Gov. Tony Evers’ order to halt...

#WisconsinCOVID19 Update: Fraudsters are preying on people’s fears and anxiety, calls to postpone the April 7 election, ...
03/27/2020
Wisconsinites beware: Scammers are preying on pandemic fears — 3/26/20 | WisconsinWatch.org

#WisconsinCOVID19 Update: Fraudsters are preying on people’s fears and anxiety, calls to postpone the April 7 election, a nurse shares her experience with being diagnosed and much more. Get caught up on today's latest coronavirus news below.

Today we highlight a story by FairWarning, with additional reporting from Wisconsin Watch. FairWarning’s Alexandra Tempus, a former Wisconsin Watch...

Wisconsin’s physician assistants are calling on Gov. Evers to change state regulations and allow them to help during thi...
03/26/2020
Wisconsin physician assistants want to ‘step up’ to fight coronavirus. State regulations may be getting in the way. | WisconsinWatch.org

Wisconsin’s physician assistants are calling on Gov. Evers to change state regulations and allow them to help during this all-hands-on-deck public health crisis. You can read more below, and follow all of our coronavirus coverage here: wisconsinwatch.org/series/coronavirus-coverage

Not all states have the restrictions that are sidelining some of Wisconsin’s health care workers during the pandemic.

NEW: The COVID-19 crisis has shed light on many of the ways in which poor internet service can make rural residents less...
03/25/2020
‘Everyone has to have it’: Broadband gap leaves rural Wisconsin behind during coronavirus crisis | WisconsinWatch.org

NEW: The COVID-19 crisis has shed light on many of the ways in which poor internet service can make rural residents less productive and more isolated than their urban counterparts. Read our new story below — reported by Peter Cameron, managing editor of The Badger Project, a fellow nonpartisan journalism nonprofit.

Wisconsin’s dearth of high-speed internet in rural areas makes virtual schooling, remote health care and working from home even more difficult.

Today's Wisconsin COVID-19 Update: Wisconsin’s lack of high-speed internet in rural communities is making virtual school...
03/24/2020
Work, health advice, schooling from home? Not without broadband — 3/24/20 | WisconsinWatch.org

Today's Wisconsin COVID-19 Update: Wisconsin’s lack of high-speed internet in rural communities is making virtual schooling, remote health care and working from home difficult during this pandemic. You can read the full update below and sign up to receive these updates via email here: http://eepurl.com/guTaDX

Today we highlight our latest collaboration. Peter Cameron, managing editor of The Badger Project, reports that Wisconsin’s lack of high-speed...

Wisconsin Watch is honored to have won 11 Milwaukee Press Club awards for our 2019 stories and visuals about labor traff...
03/24/2020
Wisconsin Watch wins 11 awards for stories and visuals published in 2019 | WisconsinWatch.org

Wisconsin Watch is honored to have won 11 Milwaukee Press Club awards for our 2019 stories and visuals about labor trafficking, Foxconn, clergy sexual abuse, the methamphetamine crisis, reproductive health care restrictions and more. Read more about the winning entries below.

The Milwaukee Press Club announcement includes awards for online and audio reporting, best news website, feature photography and illustration

Today's Wisconsin COVID-19 Update: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports on what Wisconsinites should expect from Governor ...
03/23/2020
What to know about Wisconsin’s stay-at-home order — 3/23/20 | WisconsinWatch.org

Today's Wisconsin COVID-19 Update: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports on what Wisconsinites should expect from Governor Evers' stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the virus and many more stories. Check out the full update below.

Today we highlight a story by Patrick Marley and Molly Beck of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. They explain what Wisconsinites should expect from the stay-at-home order that Gov. Tony Evers announced he would issue Tuesday to slow the spread of COVID-19.

NEW: “This is happening over and over, and it’s not just because of coronavirus.” Madison nurses say they are standing i...
03/23/2020
Stretched thin already, Wisconsin nurses prepare for coronavirus ‘storm’ | WisconsinWatch.org

NEW: “This is happening over and over, and it’s not just because of coronavirus.” Madison nurses say they are standing in the “calm before the storm,” expecting a surge of patients to overwhelm hospital systems that sometimes struggle to meet typical demands.

The pandemic tests health systems already running lean. Hospitals are short on beds, protective gear and staff, though some see reason for hope.

LAST CALL: Wisconsin Watch is seeking a reporter to lead Narrow Margin, our new investigation of voter suppression and d...
03/21/2020
Wisconsin Watch hiring reporter to lead investigation of voter suppression and disinformation | WisconsinWatch.org

LAST CALL: Wisconsin Watch is seeking a reporter to lead Narrow Margin, our new investigation of voter suppression and disinformation in Wisconsin’s 2020 election. The initial application window closes tomorrow, March 22 — see more details below. wisconsinwatch.org/narrow-margin-reporter-position

The Narrow Margin reporter will lead the newly launched investigation of voter suppression and disinformation alongside a UW-Madison reporting class.

To keep Wisconsinites as informed and safe as possible, we launched Wisconsin COVID-19 Update this week — a roundup of t...
03/21/2020

To keep Wisconsinites as informed and safe as possible, we launched Wisconsin COVID-19 Update this week — a roundup of the top journalism and other vital information about Wisconsin's response to the coronavirus crisis. Visit wisconsinwatch.org/series/wisconsin-covid-19-update to review this week's Updates and stay tuned for more next week.

Today we highlight our detailed look at how Wisconsin’s hospitals are preparing for an expected flood of COVID-19 patien...
03/21/2020
Wisconsin nurses prepare for coronavirus “storm” — 3/20/20 | WisconsinWatch.org

Today we highlight our detailed look at how Wisconsin’s hospitals are preparing for an expected flood of COVID-19 patients. Catch up on all the latest statewide coronavirus news in our latest Wisconsin COVID-19 Update below.

Today we highlight our detailed look at how Wisconsin’s hospitals are preparing for an expected flood of COVID-19 patients. Parker Schorr of the Cap Times and Bram Sable-Smith of Wisconsin Public Radio — both fellows embedded in the Wisconsin Watch newsroom — report that the pandemic is testin...

“In a time like this where everyone’s scared and uncertain of what’s going to happen next, I think it’s so important to ...
03/20/2020
Barred from clinic during the pandemic, nursing students find a way to help | WisconsinWatch.org

“In a time like this where everyone’s scared and uncertain of what’s going to happen next, I think it’s so important to build upon the community that we have.” Read below to see how Wisconsin nursing students are finding new ways to help during the coronavirus crisis.

The UW-Madison nursing school has moved all learning online, ending students' interactions with real patients at a time when hospitals need more help than ever.

Today we highlight stories from Wisconsin State Journal, WisPolitics.com and more about how the coronavirus pandemic is ...
03/20/2020
Prisons face scrutiny as coronavirus spreads — 3/19/20 | WisconsinWatch.org

Today we highlight stories from Wisconsin State Journal, WisPolitics.com and more about how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting Wisconsin’s vulnerable inmate population. Read more in the latest Wisconsin COVID-19 Update below.

Today we highlight stories from the State Journal, WisPolitics.com and more about how the pandemic is affecting the state’s vulnerable inmate...

Today's Wisconsin COVID-19 Update: Wisconsin officials still plan to hold the state’s April 7 election — even as the cor...
03/18/2020
Amid pandemic, voters urged to register online by today’s deadline — 3/18/20 | WisconsinWatch.org

Today's Wisconsin COVID-19 Update: Wisconsin officials still plan to hold the state’s April 7 election — even as the coronavirus crisis has spurred other states to postpone their contests. State officials are urging residents to request absentee ballots. Read more in our new coronavirus roundup below.

Today we highlight a story by Riley Vetterkind of the Wisconsin State Journal. Vetterkind reports that Wisconsin officials still plan to hold the state’s April 7 election — even as other states have postponed their contests. State officials are urging residents to request absentee ballots.

Today we are launching Wisconsin COVID-19 Update, a roundup of the state's top journalism and other vital information ab...
03/17/2020

Today we are launching Wisconsin COVID-19 Update, a roundup of the state's top journalism and other vital information about Wisconsin’s response to the coronavirus crisis.

In today's update, we highlight a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story that reports that even health care workers with COVID-19 symptoms have been unable to get tested. Check out the full update here: wisconsinwatch.org/wisconsin-covid-19-update-3-17-20

Former Milwaukee County sheriff David Clarke suggested on Twitter that the alleged hysteria around coronavirus was being...
03/17/2020
Analysis | Twitter removes David Clarke’s tweets as he and other Trump allies sow coronavirus conspiracy theories and doubts

Former Milwaukee County sheriff David Clarke suggested on Twitter that the alleged hysteria around coronavirus was being pushed by liberal billionaire George Soros — a common anti-Semitic conspiracy theory — and urged people to take to the streets. (via Washington Post)

It's not just that Trump is playing down the threat of coronavirus; it's that some of his top allies are taking it quite a bit further.

Amidst daily head-spinning headlines and their profound, often frightening implications for our society, here’s how Wisc...
03/16/2020

Amidst daily head-spinning headlines and their profound, often frightening implications for our society, here’s how Wisconsin Watch is responding to the coronavirus crisis: www.wisconsinwatch.org/coronavirus-update

Are you a health care worker preparing to respond to coronavirus?Have you been asked to self-quarantine?Are you an hourl...
03/13/2020
Help Wisconsin Watch report on coronavirus

Are you a health care worker preparing to respond to coronavirus?
Have you been asked to self-quarantine?
Are you an hourly employee worried about getting laid off?
We want to hear from you. Help us provide critical information to our community.

Help Wisconsin Watch report on coronavirus: Are you a health care worker preparing to respond to coronavirus? Do you have coronavirus? Have you had contact with someone and been asked to self-quarantine? Are you an hourly employee worried about getting laid off? Do you work for an organization that....

“I don’t even know if I make eye contact with my patients most of the time. It’s literally a production line.” Check out...
03/13/2020
Cuts in Wisconsin hospitals push nurses to the limit | WisconsinWatch.org

“I don’t even know if I make eye contact with my patients most of the time. It’s literally a production line.” Check out our new investigation below — and listen to reporter Parker Schorr discuss the story in The Capital Times Madsplainers podcast here: http://ow.ly/KVaP50yKuLx

Hospital executives are turning to algorithms to slash labor costs. Wisconsin nurses say they are feeling the pinch, putting patients at risk.

NEW: As Wisconsin hospitals turn to "big data" algorithms to cut labor costs, nurses say they are being pushed to the li...
03/11/2020
Cuts in Wisconsin hospitals push nurses to the limit | WisconsinWatch.org

NEW: As Wisconsin hospitals turn to "big data" algorithms to cut labor costs, nurses say they are being pushed to the limit — and it's putting patients at risk. Read our new investigation in collaboration with The Capital Times and Wisconsin Public Radio below.

Hospital executives are turning to algorithms to slash labor costs. Wisconsin nurses say they are feeling the pinch, putting patients at risk.

Following Wisconsin's third confirmed case of COVID-19, officials insist first responders are ready to handle the likely...
03/11/2020
Are paramedics prepared for the spread of coronavirus in Wisconsin? Not all communities are following CDC recommendations

Following Wisconsin's third confirmed case of COVID-19, officials insist first responders are ready to handle the likely spread of coronavirus — but some haven’t been able to order new protective masks and not all 911 dispatchers are following national recommendations to keep paramedics safe. (via former Wisconsin Watch reporter Rory Linnane for Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

The specialized masks used by emergency workers are in limited supply; not all 911 dispatchers are following CDC guidelines to keep paramedics safe.

Four years after Russia-linked groups stoked divisions in the U.S. presidential election on social media, a new UW-Madis...
03/10/2020
UW study: Russian social accounts sow election discord — again

Four years after Russia-linked groups stoked divisions in the U.S. presidential election on social media, a new UW-Madison study shows that Moscow’s campaign hasn’t let up and has become harder to detect. (via Wisconsin State Journal)

For more on voter suppression and disinformation efforts in Wisconsin, learn about Narrow Margin, our new investigative series, here: www.wisconsinwatch.org/series/narrow-margin/

The report found Russia-linked social media accounts are posting about the same divisive issues — race relations, gun laws and immigration.

The number of anti-Semitic incidents in Wisconsin has climbed steadily in the last five years, but experts don't believe...
03/08/2020
Anti-Semitic incidents rose last year as perpetrators felt emboldened to attack, Milwaukee Jewish leaders say

The number of anti-Semitic incidents in Wisconsin has climbed steadily in the last five years, but experts don't believe more people necessarily harbor anti-Semitic views — it's that hateful people are becoming more shameless with their attacks. (via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

The number of reported anti-Semitic incidents in Wisconsin has climbed in recent years, unsettling many members of Milwaukee's Jewish community.

“Child advocacy is the reason I went to law school. It sickens me how it’s become so twisted.” Read more about mistaken ...
03/08/2020
University of Wisconsin child abuse doctor leaves a trail of accusations of bullying from colleagues, parents | WisconsinWatch.org

“Child advocacy is the reason I went to law school. It sickens me how it’s become so twisted.” Read more about mistaken child abuse allegations in our new investigation below — and listen to managing editor Dee J. Hall discuss her story on Wisconsin Public Radio here: https://www.wpr.org/listen/1601901

A couple says Dr. Barbara Knox wrongly suspected child abuse. A forensic pathologist testifies Knox pressured him to report an injury he did not see.

On Tuesday March 10, Wisconsin Watch managing editor Dee J. Hall will be speaking on Society of Professional Journalists...
03/07/2020

On Tuesday March 10, Wisconsin Watch managing editor Dee J. Hall will be speaking on Society of Professional Journalists - Madison's “Right to Know: Navigating Government Open Records” panel. The discussion will feature more experts on the topic and will be held at Central Madison Public Library from 6:30 to 8 p.m. See more details here: http://ow.ly/W3Y050yF701

Join our team: Wisconsin Watch is seeking a relentless investigative reporter to lead Narrow Margin, our new investigati...
03/06/2020
Wisconsin Watch hiring reporter to lead investigation of voter suppression and disinformation | WisconsinWatch.org

Join our team: Wisconsin Watch is seeking a relentless investigative reporter to lead Narrow Margin, our new investigation of voter suppression, disinformation and voting system integrity in Wisconsin’s 2020 election. Initial applications are open until March 22 — see more details below.

The Narrow Margin reporter will lead the newly launched investigation of voter suppression and disinformation alongside a UW-Madison reporting class.

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Who We Are

Reliable information that holds the powerful accountable is essential to our democracy. But investigative journalism is at risk: News organizations are cutting staffs as traditional sources of revenue decline. Launched in 2009, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is countering those problems with its replicable, collaborative nonprofit model.

The Center increases the quality, quantity and understanding of investigative journalism to foster an informed citizenry and strengthen democracy. A nonpartisan news organization, it focuses on government integrity and quality of life issues including the environment, economy, justice system, education and health.

The Center values truth and pursues it through accurate, fair, independent, rigorous and nonpartisan reporting. We also value transparency, collaboration, innovation and a spirit of public service. These values guide the Center’s training of journalists and its investigations, which seek to protect the interests of people in vulnerable circumstances, expose wrongdoing and deficiencies in systems, and explore solutions to problems.

Since July 2009, the award-winning Center has produced more than 350 major news reports that have been published on WisconsinWatch.org and cited, published or broadcast by more than 750 newspapers, radio and TV stations and news websites in Wisconsin and nationwide. The estimated audience of the Center’s reports exceeds 72 million people.

We seek to collaborate with, rather than compete against, other news organizations to maximize the use of resources. Reports are fact-checked to ensure accuracy and distributed free to news organizations, who are permitted to edit the stories or add their own reporting to meet the needs of their audiences.

The Center is an important training ground for current and future generations of investigative journalists. More than 40 students have served paid internships or fellowships with the Center, as investigative reporters or public engagement and marketing assistants. We collaborate with the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where we are housed, collaborating with students in classrooms and offering our expertise through guest lectures and teaching investigative reporting courses.

The Center is an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization operated by a professional staff under the guidance of a nationally noted board of directors. In addition to the journalism school, it collaborates with Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television and mainstream and ethnic news organizations nationwide.

We are primarily funded through grants from foundations, and donations from individuals and corporations. Additional revenue is obtained through sponsorships of events and activities, and from earned income — payments for providing services such as fact-checking, collaborating with students or producing investigative journalism projects.

If you are interested in making a gift to the Center, please visit wisconsinwatch.org/donate.

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fta - The suburbs of Milwaukee in Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington counties [my note; the WOW Counties] are heavily white and legendary in political circles for delivering victories to the G.O.P.
The Republican Party of Wisconsin sent me an "in-kind to Friends of Justice Daniel Kelly" flyer that gave me shivers. It has a gold seal stamp, "ENDORSED by President Donald Trump" and a bullet list that includes this statement, "Appointed to the Court by Governor Walker in 2016, Justice Kelly will protect our Constitutional, God-given rights against the unending threats from the radical left." This is supposed to be a nonpartisan position.
https://cannabadgermedia.com/?fbclid=IwAR0lpQawnX-fmM02c-KSh4F91SKwnlF51iT2hQFZs_oNBhiRqqEeLw4Kj6Y This book may be purchased at Barnes and Noble, Walmart or Amazon. It is a great historical book written by Gary Storck, a man in Madison who has suffered with glaucoma since he was a child, Noonan's Syndrome and Prostate Cancer. With the help of Jacki Rickert they were able to get a rare disease, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome with many comorbidities, added to the MMJ Bill of Wisconsin.
A unique gift for your Black Friday shopping! May purchase at Barnes and Noble, WalMart or Amazon. You may also contact the author for a signed copy, Gary Storck. This is a great book and a young lady who lost her battle with EDS in 2017, Jacki Rickert, is on many pages of this book. She and Gary Storck were able to get EDS added to the MMJ Bill in WI.
Wednesday Gov. Tony Evers signed into law a bill to make it a felony to trespass or damage oil or gas pipelines in Wisconsin. A large number of groups asked Gov. Evers to veto the bill. The ACLU of WI had warned would violate free speech rights and disproportionately affect Native Americans whose lands are often affected by pipeline projects. A law had passed four years ago made it a felony in Wisconsin to trespass on land owned by energy providers, like oil and gas companies. But this law now also criminalizes TRESPASS on land that just CONTAINS a pipeline. Leaks in pipelines are sometimes exposed by people who carefully observe the pipelines. Al Gedicks, a Professor Emeritus at UW-LaCrosse, had warned that it will crack down on protesters who have a stake in whether a pipeline is installed on or near their land. “This bill essentially criminalizes social protests against pipelines which have been known and are continuing to pose significant environmental threats to communities where there are spills of oil and tar sands, substances that threaten the drinking water of people in those communities,” said Gedicks. He noted that trespass is already a crime, and this would just make the punishment very severe. The law was also feared by private owners of land on which there is a pipeline. Mark Borchardt lives within what he claims is spitting distance from oil pipelines. He said he is worried that, under such a law, the energy company that leases his land could have him and his family arrested.“I’ve read the bill in detail and there is no language in there that prevents myself or my wife, my family being arrested on the land upon which Enbridge has leased and runs these four oil pipelines across,” says Borchardt. “Time and time again they need to be on my property. It’s not always with my prior approval. I had a little altercation with them this last spring over trimming of trees. And with a bill like this, instead of solving the problem, it might be easier to just call the sheriff and have me arrested. An amendment that would have made the bill only apply to people who intended to harm others was voted down in the Senate.
#EndBribery #MoneyOutVotersIn United to Amend ~Let us know that your community is ready to get on board. ~ On the ballot in April 2020: Two Cities: Eagle River, Rhinelander. Seven Towns: Wescott (Shawano Co), Cresent, Newbold, Pelican, Woodruff (Onieda), Arbor Vitae, Presque Isle, Winchester (Vilas) (10) Power to the people. Working on putting on April Ballot: Towns of Manitowish Waters, Boulder Junction (Vilas), and Pine Lake, Woodboro, Hazelhurst (Oneida) (5) Human need, not corporate greed. Working on putting on Nov 2020 Ballot: Oshkosh (1) Warm Leads: Towns of Minoqua (Oneida), Grand Chute, Schiocton, (3) Cold Leads: Town of King (Lincoln), Somerset (St. Croix Co.), De Pere, City of Viroqua, Lafayette County, Town of Little Chute, Village of Sherwood (Calumet), Town of Madison (8) There are 146 Wisconsin communities signed on... https://wiuta.org/resources/wisconsin-ready-to-amend/ To be involved, contact George Penn [email protected] 608-960-8219
More Lefties. If they are half as good as we are, they might help. Bob Dohnal, Publisher Wisconsin Conservative Digest