While the number of Wisconsin car-train accidents has remained relatively steady in recent years, and derailments actually are down, some residents who live near train tracks used for transporting sand, primarily in western and northwestern communities, complain about noise and traffic delays in addition to safety worries. Continue Reading
Brad Schimel, the lone Republican candidate for state attorney general, ignited a firestorm with his response to a letter alleging pay-to-play politics. But beyond the spin, it isn’t clear that Schimel and his Democratic rivals are all that far apart.
Given that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and his supporters have so stridently affirmed their right to coordinate campaign activities with groups engaged solely in “issue advocacy,” will they be doing so in the upcoming fall election? Continue Reading
The Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative news organization based in Washington, D.C., has just published an article on alleged coordination between political campaigns and outside groups that cites Wisconsin as a prime example. Among its findings: The collaboration Gov. Scott Walker is accused of would “barely raise an eyebrow” in some states. Continue Reading
Minnesota mines can be approved without an environmental review, an Eau Claire citizen finds a loophole that could leave taxpayers to foot the bill for reclamation, and We Energies wants a new natural gas pipeline to serve frac sand mines in western Wisconsin. Continue Reading
The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism filed a request with Darling’s office for her records on the bill. The 137 released pages provide some insight into what went on behind the scenes, but fall short of explaining why. Continue Reading
Reporter Alison Dirr just finished a yearlong internship with us, during which she covered the sprawling beat of Wisconsin’s fast-growing frac sand industry. We talk about that in the latest podcast. And below the audio link, further reflections from Dirr. Also, we now have music for the podcast. Alison Dirr: After a year as WisconsinWatch’s frac sand beat reporter, I’m leaving with a real appreciation of the complexity and nuance of this controversy. Continue Reading
The New England Center for Investigative Reporting has discovered that thousands of people are receiving non-FDA approved tests for Lyme disease, which may be giving unreliable results. The report includes a graphic showing the spread of Lyme disease over time — including to Wisconsin, which is one of the hotspots for the tick-borne disease. One of the testing companies is in Osceola, Wisconsin. Continue Reading
The platforms and resolutions from Wisconsin’s two parties convey vastly divergent political visions. If they serve as marching orders, they would take the state in profoundly different directions.
Obama’s climate plan could lead to more frac sand demand, the Lower Wisconsin Riverway Board loses a bid to stop mining within the riverway and North Carolina limits disclosure of fracking chemicals. Continue Reading
Lukas Keapproth, our globe-trotting former intern, was in Accra, Ghana Monday, where he watched the U.S.-Ghana World Cup soccer match with Ghanaian fans. He reported they were gracious after the U.S. beat Ghana 2-1 in the first-round match. See Lukas’ photos and video here.
Significantly, in all three areas under review in the report — tenure, turnover and reelection — the trends of the past several decades have not held true in the most recent elections.