The Badger Project
The Koch network, the Brewers and Kwik Trip: here’s who spent the most on lobbying in Wisconsin last year
Experts say lobbying works, and many organizations spend hundreds of thousands to influence government action. See the list of top 50 lobbiers here. Wisconsin has strict lobbying laws, as lobbyists cannot give anything of value to an elected state official, candidate for state elective office, legislative employee, or agency official.
‘Lobbying is effective’ – Brewers spent $1.5 million pressing legislature, got $365.8 million in state funds
The ball club negotiated a deal for the state to pay hundreds of millions for renovations to American Family Field in exchange for staying in Milwaukee through 2050. That’s a good return on investment. Seeking hundreds of millions for stadium renovations, the Milwaukee Brewers spent more than $1.5 million...
Ron Johnson votes against bipartisan aid package for Ukraine, Israel. Baldwin joins most Dems, 22 Repubs to approve it.
Passed by the U.S. Senate, the measure now goes to the U.S. House, where its fate is uncertain. A bipartisan supermajority of senators, including one from Wisconsin, approved a $95 billion national security package early Tuesday morning that included aid to Ukraine and Israel. It passed out of the U.S....
Even with more competitive maps, Democrats are unlikely to win full control of state government in 2024, experts say. With one exception.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court appears set to enact more competitive legislative maps soon. But only one set of districts being considered might allow Democrats to win a legislative majority if they win a majority of the vote. Politically debilitated since 2011 by what many experts call some of the most...
Nearly 40 people in Wisconsin have been charged for defrauding COVID funds
See the list of people and their charges below. A public hotline is available for reporting fraud. During the pandemic, the federal government distributed a massive $4.2 trillion in various funds. Some of those funds were stolen. One estimate puts the amount in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Now,...
Northern Wisconsin deputy and councilman cited for disorderly conduct after profane outburst at city hall
Iron County road deputy Thomas Conhartoski is accused of angrily confronting Hurley city workers and the mayor over his water bill. Police from a neighboring county cited an Iron County Sheriff’s Deputy after he was accused of cursing at Hurley city workers and the mayor over his water bill.
Final-Five Voting has bipartisan support across the country. But status quo thinking is entrenched. Here are the arguments on both sides.
Across the country, Final-Five Voting – a system that bans partisan primary elections and voters rank their preferred candidates in general elections – is gaining traction. But opposition, largely from the hard right, is significant. That’s the landscape Wisconsin lawmakers are navigating as they consider a bipartisan Final-Five...
“Do you wish your elections were more civil? This is a good way to do it.”
Experts say Alaska’s new voting system made elections more civilized and representative. A bipartisan bill in Wisconsin would create a similar system. It’s called Final Five Voting. When Alaska ran its elections in 2022, it used a totally new system to vote. Voters had much more choice than...
Milwaukee-area cop who signed up for Oath Keepers resigns
An investigation by The Badger Project found Bayside Police Officer Ryan Bowe’s name on a leaked list of Oath Keepers. It’s unknown if he resigned due to that revelation. A police officer who signed up for membership with the right-wing, anti-government group Oath Keepers resigned from the Bayside Police Department earlier this month.
Evers signs bill requiring financial literacy in Wisconsin high schools
The bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support despite criticisms that the mandate is unfunded. It requires students learn about things like money management, investing, and debt. The governor signed a bill Wednesday that mandates high schools teach at least one semester of financial literacy to every student in the state.
Wisconsin sheriff’s deputy has two DUIs on his record
Waupaca County Deputy Mitchell Butterbrodt received the second in Beaver Dam in 2018 when he was an off-duty state trooper. That’s what Mitchell Butterbrodt, an off-duty state trooper at the time, said to the on-duty police officer who pulled him over in 2018, according to the arresting officer’s report. It was Butterbrodt’s second DUI offense since 2010, court documents show.
Constitutional amendment that would end corporate personhood, minimize money in politics faces steep climb in Wisconsin, nationally
The U.S. Constitution has been amended 27 times since its founding, but not since 1992. If you agree that corporations should not have the same rights as people, and money is not protected speech, this amendment is for you. The “We the People” Amendment would specify that the rights laid...
Wisconsin police chief joined Oath Keepers in 2017
Town of Dover Water Patrol Chief Josh Martinson’s name was on a leaked membership list of Oath Keepers. The chief says he “cut ties” after learning “what they stood for.”. The police chief of the Town of Dover Water Patrol signed up for membership with the...
Santos expulsion attempt splits Wisconsin Dems; all state Repubs vote no
Democrat Pocan yea on expulsion while Moore votes no, citing due process. An attempt in the U.S. House to expel first-term Congressman George Santos, Republican of New York, from his seat failed Wednesday. Santos has pleaded not guilty to 23 federal charges including wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and credit...
Names of Wisconsin cops found on Oath Keepers membership list
An investigation by The Badger Project discovered the names of three Milwaukee-area police officers among the 38,000 on the leaked list. The names of at least three active police officers in the Milwaukee area are on a leaked membership list for the far-right, anti-government group the Oath Keepers, an investigation by The Badger Project found.
Every House Republican, except one from Wisconsin, voted Yes for new Speaker
Rep. Derrick Van Orden of western Wisconsin did not vote, as he is in Israel on a fact-finding trip. After more than three weeks, the United States of America has a Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Multiple GOP candidates failed to receive a majority of House votes in...
Car dealerships in Wisconsin with suspended or revoked licenses
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation oversees and regulates used car dealerships in the state. Occasionally it revokes a dealership’s license or suspends it for a short period of time in response to violations. Hina Suzuki of The Badger Project built this interactive map to show consumers which car dealerships...
Rep. Jim Jordan is in the UW Hall of Fame
Now vying to be House Speaker, the hardline Republican and fierce Trump ally won two national titles wrestling for the Wisconsin Badgers. The next Speaker of the House may be a Wisconsin Badger. U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, is vying for the top job in the U.S. House...
Wisconsin GOP reps vote Jim Jordan for Speaker in failed attempts
The two Democrats in the state’s House caucus voted for their fellow Democrat Hakeem Jeffries as Jordan’s bid seems to fade. All six of Wisconsin’s Republican U.S. representatives voted in favor of Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio to become Speaker in two failed House elections Tuesday and Wednesday.
Four officers fired, forced out from law enforcement back on the job in NW Wisconsin
The state DOJ tracks police who leave employment with law enforcement agencies under negative circumstances. The Badger Project found these officers analyzing that database. Wandering officers, problem police who get fired or forced out from one department, then go work at another, are a problem across the country. To help...
The Badger Project
The Badger Project is a nonpartisan, citizen-supported journalism nonprofit in Wisconsin which investigates our public officials, as well as other things, within the state.