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Wisconsin home to influential GOP donors, Trump family benefits from land deals, lottery integrity in question and rape kit testing delays examined

Of note: This week we highlight a profile from The New York Times of Liz and Dick Uihlein, packaging magnates who own Uline Corp. The couple uses its wealth to remake not only the U.S. political landscape but also the resort town of Manitowish Waters. Former WCIJ intern Nick Penzenstadler discovers that President Donald Trump’s family has profited handsomely from a series of curious land deals both before and after he took office.

A Washington Post columnist cites lottery coverage by WCIJ and others in questioning the integrity of state-run gambling operations. And USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin reveals why it has taken so long for Attorney General Brad Schimel to fulfill his promise to test thousands of rape kits.

WisconsinWeekly is produced by Dee and Andy Hall, a couple who founded the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. Andy is the executive director and Dee is the managing editor.

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The most powerful conservative couple you’ve never heard of

The New York Times — June 7, 2018

Few political donors are as influential, yet little known, as Liz and Dick Uihlein. The Midwestern couple has joined the upper pantheon of Republican donors, spending roughly $26 million on the current election cycle, supporting more than 60 congressional candidates, working outside the party establishment to advance a combative, hard-right conservatism, from Washington to the smallest town.

Cozy land deals meant big money for Trump family and friends

USA Today — June 7, 2018

The purchase of three properties by President Donald Trump’s son-in-law on the banks of a toxic Brooklyn canal triggered a series of unusual real estate deals and a windfall profit from transactions financed by a bank tied to the Trump family. Former WCIJ intern Nick Penzenstadler is part of the USA TODAY team investigating the Trump family’s real estate deals.

Who’s willing to bet that state lotteries are free of manipulation?

The Washington Post — June 12, 2018

A column from The Washington Post, that mentions the Center’s own coverage of unlikely luck by Wisconsin Lottery winners, examines incidents of manipulation in state lotteries across the country. Lotteries are a $70 billion industry in the United States, and there is increasing anecdotal evidence that the games are vulnerable to manipulation.

Delays, blunders and police neglect in Wisconsin’s response to rape kits

Post Crescent — June 13, 2018

A USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin investigation found that police neglect was one of the reasons it took the state more than four years to send old rape kits to labs, where analysts will check skin, saliva and other evidence for DNA that could help survivors of sexual assault — including more than 2,000 children — finally get justice. The investigation reveals a pattern of delays and blunders across Wisconsin’s criminal justice system. How important is DNA in criminal investigations? Check out these stories from WCIJ regarding the Ken Hudson case and the Richard Beranek case.

The nonprofit Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism ( collaborates with Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television, other news media and the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication. All works created, published, posted or disseminated by the Center do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of UW-Madison or any of its affiliates.

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