Two-year probe unveils wave of special interest bills flooding U.S. legislatures
Of note: This week we feature the impressive work of former Wisconsin Watch intern Nick Penzenstadler, now an investigative reporter for USA TODAY. Nick was one of two lead reporters on a nationwide project that identified thousands of bills that corporations and other special interests write for their own benefit — often using deceptive names. “The Asbestos Transparency Act didn’t help people exposed to asbestos,” Nick and his co-author, Rob O’Dell found. “It was written by corporations who wanted to make it harder for victims to recoup money.”
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USA TODAY/Arizona Republic/Center for Public Integrity — April 4, 2019
Each year, state lawmakers across the U.S. introduce thousands of bills dreamed up and written by corporations, industry groups and think tanks. Disguised as the work of lawmakers, these so-called “model” bills get copied in one state Capitol after another, quietly advancing the agenda of the people who write them. A two-year investigation by USA TODAY, The Arizona Republic and the Center for Public Integrity — led by former Wisconsin Watch intern Nick Penzenstadler — reveals for the first time the extent to which special interests have infiltrated state legislatures using model legislation. Wisconsin Watch has reported that such model bills may have helped Wisconsin lawmakers fast-track controversial measures: After Gov. Scott Walker took offices, bills moved faster through the Wisconsin Legislature
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — April 1, 2019
The co-owner of a Milwaukee strip club is a key figure in a federal investigation into sex trafficking, money laundering and torture. Previously from Wisconsin Watch: Human trafficking in the heartland
National Review — April 3, 2019
In Tuesday’s Wisconsin supreme-court election, conservatives appear to have scored a shocking upset victory. Conservative-backed Brian Hagedorn leads liberal-backed Lisa Neubauer by nearly 6,000 votes out of 1.2 million cast, according to unofficial results.
New York Times — April 3, 2019
It’s no secret that Mr. Trump dislikes wind power. But he’s stepped up his attacks lately with new false claims.
New York Times — March 31, 2019
Hundreds of miles of levees in the Midwest have been overwhelmed by the floods, leaving “Swiss cheese” infrastructure and reigniting a flood control debate.