How can I dig into state campaign finance data? How can I find who is lobbying whom over what? How do I find similar information on campaign finance and lobbying in other states? How do I track campaign donations and spending for federal candidates, like U.S. senators and congresspeople? How can I correlate contributions to votes?
WI wrangles over lead pipes while failing to ‘Get the lead out’; Foxconn confusion; solar advances
Of note: After years of ignoring the threat from lead water pipes, Wisconsin politicians are now fighting over how to replace them. Some Republican lawmakers are concerned that too much of Gov. Tony Evers’ lead pipe replacement program would go to Milwaukee. In 2016, Wisconsin Watch first alerted residents to the proliferation of drinking water pipes made of lead and the dangers they pose. Milwaukee has about 70,000 of Wisconsin’s 176,000 lead service lines and roughly 60 percent of all of the lead poisoned children in the state. Thanks for reading!
Wisconsin legislators are looking to reform current law governing the expungement of criminal records. Among other things, SB-39 would allow those convicted of crimes for which the maximum term of imprisonment is six years or less (including some felonies) to ask a judge to expunge their convictions even if they fail to do so at the time of sentencing, as is currently required. It would also allow those older than age 25 at the time of an offense to request expungement, and expressly provide that an expunged record cannot be considered a conviction for purposes of employment. The standard under present law would be carried forward, which lets judges grant expungement if they determine “that the person will benefit and society will not be harmed.”
The rationale for the bill, which has broad bipartisan support, is to give those who have made minor mistakes a fresh start, including supposedly enhanced employment opportunities. It is one of several current proposals to expand the availability of expungement.
Jessica Arp, the assistant news director and chief political reporter for News 3 Now and Channel3000.com, has been named the 2019 recipient of the Distinguished Wisconsin Watchdog Award. The award recognizes an individual’s extraordinary contributions to open government or investigative journalism in Wisconsin and is a highlight of the ninth annual Wisconsin Watchdog Awards reception and dinner, set for April 16. Arp has reported on Wisconsin politics for News 3 Now in Madison since 2007 and has received Edward R. Murrow, Wisconsin Broadcasters Association and Emmy awards for her coverage of Wisconsin elections. In addition to her reporting duties, Arp has been involved in leading efforts in investigative techniques, innovation and social media among the staff to help build the News 3 Now digital brand. “For more than a decade Jessica Arp has been holding public servants accountable,” Tom Bier, former vice president and general manager at News 3 Now, wrote in his nomination letter.
The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism won 15 honors from the Milwaukee Press Club’s 2018 Excellence in Wisconsin Journalism contest for stories, photographs, audio reports and a documentary, the club announced Tuesday. Some of the awards were won in conjunction with University of Wisconsin-Madison students or Wisconsin Public Radio, which works closely with the Center to produce in-depth online and audio news reports. Winners of the first, second and third place awards will be announced at the annual Gridiron Dinner in Milwaukee on May 10. Since its founding in 2009, the Center has won 77 honors from the Milwaukee Press Club, which runs Wisconsin’s premiere all-media journalism contest. “We are thrilled by the recognition of our work.