Bruce Murphy

Bruce Murphy

Murphy is perhaps best known for his work with Milwaukee Magazine, where he served seven years as editor and 12 years as a senior editor. He also worked for three years as a senior enterprise reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, two years as arts and entertainment editor for the Madison alternative weekly Isthmus and for nearly two years as an alt weekly editor in Milwaukee for two different publications.Murphy was an online innovator, as co-founder and editor/writer of MilwaukeeWorld.com, where he broke the Milwaukee County pension scandal, which resulted in County Exec Tom Ament and seven county supervisors being thrown out of office — the biggest political scandal in Milwaukee’s history. (The archive of those stories can be found here.)Murphy has broadcast credentials as well, having worked as a reporter for the WMVS-TV show “Interchange,” and serving these days as weekend commentator for WUWM-FM, analyzing the week’s top stories. A winner of more than 30 national and state writing awards, he was most recently nominated for best blog of 2011-’12 by the National City and Regional Magazine Association, whose judges declared that “Murphy has created a gem with… ‘Murphy’s Law.’ Thoroughly researched and known for putting fact ahead of opinion and argument, it stands out as a prime example of journalism as public service.”

Contact Bruce

Recent Articles

Murphy’s Law: Journal Sentinel’s Post-Gannett Decline
Murphy’s Law

Journal Sentinel’s Post-Gannett Decline

As feared, it’s mostly become a local carrier of USA Today stories.

Murphy’s Law: Walker, Vukmir Court the Israel Lobby
Murphy’s Law

Walker, Vukmir Court the Israel Lobby

A great way to get donations from billionaires like Sheldon Adelson.

Murphy’s Law: Brad Schimel’s Opioid Problem
Murphy’s Law

Brad Schimel’s Opioid Problem

Attorney General has been reluctant to pursue opioid manufacturers. Why?

Back in the News: Seager Out as Fire Fighters Head?
Back in the News

Seager Out as Fire Fighters Head?

Sources say controversial leader took second in vote, faces runoff election.

Murphy’s Law: Walker Retreats From Foxconn Deal
Murphy’s Law

Walker Retreats From Foxconn Deal

It was supposed to assure his reelection. What happened?

Back in the News: WEDC Shifts on Foxconn Contract
Back in the News

WEDC Shifts on Foxconn Contract

After saying board members could now see contract, they will allow vote only on staff review of it.

Murphy’s Law: The GOP Sales Tax Hypocrisy
Murphy’s Law

The GOP Sales Tax Hypocrisy

Favored Republican towns allowed to levy a local sales tax. But not Milwaukee.

Murphy’s Law: Voter Suppression Hurts Everyone
Murphy’s Law

Voter Suppression Hurts Everyone

New research shows votes -- for both blacks and whites -- were suppressed in 2016.

Murphy’s Law: The Secrets of Foxconn
Murphy’s Law

The Secrets of Foxconn

Walker administration won’t release details of massive subsidy until after contract is signed.

Murphy’s Law: Barrett Versus the Backdrop Boys
Murphy’s Law

Barrett Versus the Backdrop Boys

Or how police-fire benefits are driving the city budget crisis.

Murphy’s Law: Wisconsin One of Cheapest States
Murphy’s Law

Wisconsin One of Cheapest States

Gives little to charity, report shows. Milwaukee is much more generous than state.

Murphy’s Law: Abele Battles Board on Budget
Murphy’s Law

Abele Battles Board on Budget

Once again. Even if it means swapping their old ideological positions.

Murphy’s Law: Can Democrats Beat Ryan, Grothman?
Murphy’s Law

Can Democrats Beat Ryan, Grothman?

Odds are slim. But the added turnout for those races could help reelect Tammy Baldwin.

Murphy’s Law: Is Mayor Barrett Playing With Fire?
Murphy’s Law

Is Mayor Barrett Playing With Fire?

Actually, his reduction in fire stations may have no impact on safety.

Murphy’s Law: Will City Reform Municipal Court?
Murphy’s Law

Will City Reform Municipal Court?

Too many judges, indigent defendants treated badly, reform needed.

Murphy’s Law: How to Buy a University Department
Murphy’s Law

How to Buy a University Department

Bradley Foundation and Kochs buy a new UW-Madison economics institute.

Murphy’s Law: The City’s Most Curious Lobbyist
Murphy’s Law

The City’s Most Curious Lobbyist

Why is fire fighters’ president quietly lobbying on issues unrelated to his job?

Murphy’s Law: Leah Vukmir Welcomes Your Hate
Murphy’s Law

Leah Vukmir Welcomes Your Hate

Or how to run for U.S. Senate in the land of scorched-earth politics.

Murphy’s Law: Flynn Blasts “Incompetent” Report
Murphy’s Law

Flynn Blasts “Incompetent” Report

“We want to talk about reform,” police chief says, not DOJ report’s many errors.

Back in the News: 9 Reasons Why Barrett Recall Failed
Back in the News

9 Reasons Why Barrett Recall Failed

Recall effort falls far short of number of signatures needed. Why?

Back in the News: Why Did Sheriff Clarke Resign?
Back in the News

Why Did Sheriff Clarke Resign?

It’s all about his love of Donald Trump -- and the media spotlight.

Murphy’s Law: The Hit Job on Chief Flynn
Murphy’s Law

The Hit Job on Chief Flynn

Someone leaks incomplete report to Journal Sentinel, which slams chief with it.

Murphy’s Law: Newest Deal Shows Foxconn Flaws
Murphy’s Law

Newest Deal Shows Foxconn Flaws

Walker spends 11 times more per job on Foxconn than Haribo candy company?

Murphy’s Law: Paper Peddles Bogus Foxconn Report
Murphy’s Law

Paper Peddles Bogus Foxconn Report

Puffed-up report by Walker crony swallowed whole by Journal Sentinel.

Murphy’s Law: Richard Uihlein, GOP Kingmaker
Murphy’s Law

Richard Uihlein, GOP Kingmaker

Should one billionaire dictate the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate?

Murphy’s Law: Right-Wing TV News Kingdom Rising
Murphy’s Law

Right-Wing TV News Kingdom Rising

Sinclair Broadcasting could become biggest player in state’s top media markets.

Murphy’s Law: Walker’s Desperate Deal With Foxconn
Murphy’s Law

Walker’s Desperate Deal With Foxconn

No governor in state history would have offered such a massive giveaway.

Murphy’s Law: Wisconsin A Key State for Russian Hacking
Murphy’s Law

Wisconsin A Key State for Russian Hacking

And Ryan, Johnson, Duffy may have many questions to answer.

Back in the News: Diane Hendricks, Savior of Beloit?
Back in the News

Diane Hendricks, Savior of Beloit?

New York Times glowing story on billionaire doesn’t mention her tax breaks.

Murphy’s Law: City’s Revenue Structure Is “Broken”
Murphy’s Law

City’s Revenue Structure Is “Broken”

Milwaukee’s over-reliance on property tax, state aid threatens its future, study warns.

Murphy’s Law: WTMJ Move Threatens Liberal Talk Station
Murphy’s Law

WTMJ Move Threatens Liberal Talk Station

“They’ve picked a fight with the wrong guy,” WRRD owner warns.

Murphy’s Law: The Fire Fighters’ Selfish Agenda
Murphy’s Law

The Fire Fighters’ Selfish Agenda

The union’s backing of Barrett recall is all about driving up their wages and benefits.

Murphy’s Law: Walker Building Yesterday’s Economy
Murphy’s Law

Walker Building Yesterday’s Economy

GOP throws ever more money at declining manufacturers, gets nothing back.

Murphy’s Law: City Is Unequal for Bike Users
Murphy’s Law

City Is Unequal for Bike Users

Report finds poorer residents have far less access to bike trails. Is there a solution?

Barrett Recall Announced

Barrett Recall Announced

Curious cast of characters behind effort, which will require 52,000 signatures.

Murphy’s Law: Walker’s Dreadful Dilemma on Health Care
Murphy’s Law

Walker’s Dreadful Dilemma on Health Care

Why is he so vague on Obamacare? Because its repeal could kill his reelection.

Back in the News: We Couldn’t Find Any Voter Fraud
Back in the News

We Couldn’t Find Any Voter Fraud

Ex legislator Dale Schultz exposes Republican scam on voter fraud.

Murphy’s Law: Will the Real Ron Johnson Stand Up?
Murphy’s Law

Will the Real Ron Johnson Stand Up?

His draconian stance on health care was obscured by lazy media coverage.

Murphy’s Law: The Bradley Foundation’s New Pope
Murphy’s Law

The Bradley Foundation’s New Pope

New chairman James Arthur Pope could turn foundation further right.

Back in the News: Sykes Unloads Right Wisconsin
Back in the News

Sykes Unloads Right Wisconsin

Wigderson is new owner/editor. But don’t worry, Sykes is a still a “conservative.”

Murphy’s Law: How Trucks Destroy Our Roads
Murphy’s Law

How Trucks Destroy Our Roads

And how a fee on trucks could solve state’s transportation problem.

Murphy’s Law: Why Gableman Is Stepping Down
Murphy’s Law

Why Gableman Is Stepping Down

And how will that affect the race for Supreme Court?

Murphy’s Law: Why Is CEO Pay Still Soaring?
Murphy’s Law

Why Is CEO Pay Still Soaring?

Up 8.5% last year, hitting obscene levels in state and nation. Why?

Hendricks’ Home Is Reassessed

Hendricks’ Home Is Reassessed

Assessment and taxes on home have been tripled in response to our story.

Murphy’s Law: Should Cops Do More High Speed Chases?
Murphy’s Law

Should Cops Do More High Speed Chases?

Common Council says yes. Chief Flynn says no. Who’s right?

Murphy’s Law: Ryan, Priebus on a Sinking Ship
Murphy’s Law

Ryan, Priebus on a Sinking Ship

Paul Ryan and Reince Priebus may go down with the USS Trump.

Mistakes Made on Hendricks Home

Mistakes Made on Hendricks Home

Town lawyer says assessment too low, should be reconsidered.

Murphy’s Law: Bradley Foundation Breaking the Law?
Murphy’s Law

Bradley Foundation Breaking the Law?

Hacked files show foundation may violate ban on political activity.

Murphy’s Law: The Bogus Studies of Miller Park
Murphy’s Law

The Bogus Studies of Miller Park

How we've been misled -- repeatedly -- about Brewers “economic impact.”

Murphy’s Law: The Incompetence of Brad Schimel
Murphy’s Law

The Incompetence of Brad Schimel

AG's handling of a voter fraud claim is an epic case of ineptitude.

Murphy’s Law: The Greed of American Family
Murphy’s Law

The Greed of American Family

Jury finds insurance company underpays agents, as execs get rich.

Murphy’s Law: The Lobbyist Governors Loved
Murphy’s Law

The Lobbyist Governors Loved

The late Bill Gerrard was part of “permanent government” voters decry.

Back In the News: Would Walker Trim Tuition Benefit?
Back In the News

Would Walker Trim Tuition Benefit?

Tax break mostly benefits wealthy. Walker might back changes.

Murphy’s Law: The Failed Promise of Miller Park
Murphy’s Law

The Failed Promise of Miller Park

It didn’t make Brewers more competitive, yet its price tag keeps rising.

Murphy’s Law: The Tax Handout for Rich Kids
Murphy’s Law

The Tax Handout for Rich Kids

State's “neo-vouchers” reimburse wealthy for kids at elite private schools.

Murphy’s Law: Why Republicans Couldn’t Beat Evers
Murphy’s Law

Why Republicans Couldn’t Beat Evers

The incumbent superintendent was vulnerable. Why the GOP stumbled.

Murphy’s Law: Hidden Loaded Guns And No Training
Murphy’s Law

Hidden Loaded Guns And No Training

Republican bill to end permits and training for concealed carry is dangerous.

Murphy’s Law: Can Holtz Beat Evers?
Murphy’s Law

Can Holtz Beat Evers?

Incumbent Superintendent Evers worries that dark money will rescue Holtz.

Murphy’s Law: Sykes’ War Against Sheriff Clarke
Murphy’s Law

Sykes’ War Against Sheriff Clarke

Their bromance has gone bitter, the love has turned to hate. Why?

Murphy’s Law: The Remarkable Clout of We Energies
Murphy’s Law

The Remarkable Clout of We Energies

Year after year the company jacks up prices with bipartisan approval. Why?

Murphy’s Law: The Muzzling of the DNR
Murphy’s Law

The Muzzling of the DNR

Gagged by the Walker administration, its staff no longer provide any information.

Murphy’s Law: The Worst Governor Ever For Workers?
Murphy’s Law

The Worst Governor Ever For Workers?

Six years later, Gov. Scott Walker’s impact on unions, worker rights and jobs.

Murphy’s Law: Pat Roggensack On the Warpath
Murphy’s Law

Pat Roggensack On the Warpath

Supreme Court chief justice slams Journal Sentinel, Janine Geske, and others.

Murphy’s Law: Who’s To Blame for Pension Mess?
Murphy’s Law

Who’s To Blame for Pension Mess?

County’s countless expensive mistakes go back at least 15 years -- and still no solution.

Back in the News: Sue Black Faces More Controversy
Back in the News

Sue Black Faces More Controversy

Former county parks director investigated for management of Arizona Parks.

Murphy’s Law: Wisconsin Is a Global Trade Winner
Murphy’s Law

Wisconsin Is a Global Trade Winner

Trump’s protectionist trade policies will hurt state far more than others.

Murphy’s Law: The Rise of Anti-Semitism
Murphy’s Law

The Rise of Anti-Semitism

Study finds three-fold increase in metro area. Jewish leaders blame Trump.

Back In the News: Walker Exports Union Busting
Back In the News

Walker Exports Union Busting

Governor advises Iowa legislators on bill to decimate unions.

Murphy’s Law: Milwaukee Subsidizes The State
Murphy’s Law

Milwaukee Subsidizes The State

The city gets only 66 cents in state spending for every dollar in state taxes paid.

Murphy’s Law: Taking Aim at Voucher Schools
Murphy’s Law

Taking Aim at Voucher Schools

A JS reporter’s story details disturbing problems -- but not in her own newspaper.

Murphy’s Law: The Many Faces of Charlie Sykes
Murphy’s Law

The Many Faces of Charlie Sykes

He’s spent his whole career changing his views. So which should we believe?

Murphy’s Law: Can Liberal Talk Radio Succeed?
Murphy’s Law

Can Liberal Talk Radio Succeed?

A new Milwaukee radio station with a unique approach is about to find out.

Murphy’s Law: Journal Sentinel Shrinks Further
Murphy’s Law

Journal Sentinel Shrinks Further

Plummeting circulation, shrinking news coverage, closing government pressrooms.

Back in the News: John Menard, the Self-Made Man
Back in the News

John Menard, the Self-Made Man

Forbes ranks him near the top in that category, though below Oprah.

Back in the News: Sheriff Clarke’s Meltdown?
Back in the News

Sheriff Clarke’s Meltdown?

He threatens to eliminate a citizen, uses vicious racial slur against another.

Murphy’s Law: How Milwaukee Handled “Flint” Crisis
Murphy’s Law

How Milwaukee Handled “Flint” Crisis

Were city officials asleep? Should they be doing more?

Murphy’s Law: Scott Walker, the King of Coal
Murphy’s Law

Scott Walker, the King of Coal

Businesses and GOP voters are embracing alternative energy. Not Gov. Walker.

Murphy’s Law: City’s $1 Home Program a Great Idea
Murphy’s Law

City’s $1 Home Program a Great Idea

But you’d never know it, given how some of the media covered it.

Murphy’s Law: Ron Johnson Asleep on Russian Hacking?
Murphy’s Law

Ron Johnson Asleep on Russian Hacking?

He was informed of problem, did nothing, then misled public about it.

Murphy’s Law: State Justice System Uses Racially Biased Test
Murphy’s Law

State Justice System Uses Racially Biased Test

Wisconsin Corrections uses test with bias against blacks in sentencing, parole.

Back in the News: Dollars For Docs From Drug Companies
Back in the News

Dollars For Docs From Drug Companies

State doctors, hospitals raked in $50.4 million and tend to prescribe those drugs.

Murphy’s Law: Why Ryan Opposed Buy American Plan
Murphy’s Law

Why Ryan Opposed Buy American Plan

Baldwin plan echoed Trump’s doctrine, got killed by lobbyists for foreign companies.

Murphy’s Law: Symphony Move Huge for Downtown
Murphy’s Law

Symphony Move Huge for Downtown

A big win for the orchestra and Downtown, with a minor impact on Marcus Center.

Murphy’s Law: Paul Ryan’s Patriotism At Issue?
Murphy’s Law

Paul Ryan’s Patriotism At Issue?

House Republicans he oversaw used illegally hacked information from Russians.

Murphy’s Law: Trump Vs. Rexnord, Who Will Win?
Murphy’s Law

Trump Vs. Rexnord, Who Will Win?

Wisconsin could loom large in Trump’s effort to save manufacturing jobs.

Murphy’s Law: State Democrats Could Sink Still Lower
Murphy’s Law

State Democrats Could Sink Still Lower

Yes, they’re at a historic low. But things could get worse.

Murphy’s Law: The Rise of Scott Walker
Murphy’s Law

The Rise of Scott Walker

Journal Sentinel’s lo-o-ng series struggles to explain it -- but omits the newspaper's role.

Murphy’s Law: 10 Strangest Things About State Recount
Murphy’s Law

10 Strangest Things About State Recount

Crazy cost estimates, murky legal issues, Green Party spats, and much more.

Back in the News: Sheriff’s History Of Inmate Mistreatment
Back in the News

Sheriff’s History Of Inmate Mistreatment

Problems at county jail just the latest incidents of mistreatment under Sheriff Clarke.

Murphy’s Law: Maybe We’re Not So Bad At Startups
Murphy’s Law

Maybe We’re Not So Bad At Startups

Conflicting studies raise doubts about state’s “worst in nation”rating for new companies.

UPDATE: Stein Will Pay For Presidential Recount
UPDATE: Stein Will Pay For Presidential Recount
UPDATE

Stein Will Pay For Presidential Recount

Green Party wants recount of narrow Trump wins in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan.

Murphy’s Law: The Council’s Battle Over Police
Murphy’s Law

The Council’s Battle Over Police

Donovan and several aldermen demand more, Hamilton slaps them down. Who’s right?

Murphy’s Law: An “Epidemic” of Voter Suppression
Murphy’s Law

An “Epidemic” of Voter Suppression

Experts say it's a massive problem in the state and may have swung election nationally.

Murphy’s Law: Why Schools Are Increasingly Unequal
Murphy’s Law

Why Schools Are Increasingly Unequal

Act 10 and era of school referendums causes bigger gap between haves and have nots.

Murphy’s Law: Did Trump Steal Wisconsin?
Murphy’s Law

Did Trump Steal Wisconsin?

Some point to voter suppression as a factor in this state and others.

Election Update: Early Voting Shows Hillary Leading
Election Update

Early Voting Shows Hillary Leading

Early voting edge in five key states, including Wisconsin. But oh, was that misleading.

Murphy’s Law: The Legend of Leah Vukmir
Murphy’s Law

The Legend of Leah Vukmir

Once considered a horrible legislator, she’s now one of the Capitol’s “heaviest hitters.”

Murphy’s Law: Schimel Patrols Only Democratic Voters?
Murphy’s Law

Schimel Patrols Only Democratic Voters?

AG’s “Election Integrity Unit” will monitor polls, but targets urban or Democratic areas.

Murphy’s Law: Why State’s MPS Takeover Plan Died
Murphy’s Law

Why State’s MPS Takeover Plan Died

In changing state ratings to protect choice schools, Republicans ended up killing OSPP.

Murphy’s Law: Is a County Wheel Tax Needed?
Murphy’s Law

Is a County Wheel Tax Needed?

Abele says yes, board members are opposed. Who’s right?

Back in the News: Sylville Smith’s Killer Charged With Sex Assault
Back in the News

Sylville Smith’s Killer Charged With Sex Assault

Officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown's fatal shooting of Smith had set off near-riot in city.

Murphys Law: Rojo On The Rebound
Murphys Law

Rojo On The Rebound

Ron Johnson is fired up and rising in the polls. Can he beat Feingold?

Murphy’s Law: David Clarke the Demagogue
Murphy’s Law

David Clarke the Demagogue

A sheriff who once represented law and order has sold his soul to become a media star.

Murphy’s Law: GOP’s New Way to Suppress Votes
Murphy’s Law

GOP’s New Way to Suppress Votes

States like Wisconsin change voting rules, cause confusion, lower Democratic turnout.

Murphy’s Law: Paul Ryan’s Losing Bet on Trump
Murphy’s Law

Paul Ryan’s Losing Bet on Trump

He finally deserted The Donald, but is it too late to avoid damaging his own career?

Murphy’s Law: The Hypocrisy of the WMC
Murphy’s Law

The Hypocrisy of the WMC

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce wants no judge recusals -- except when it benefits them.

Murphy’s Law: 13 Lessons The Guardian Taught Us
Murphy’s Law

13 Lessons The Guardian Taught Us

Or how Scott Walker corrupted Wisconsin, as the leaked Doe documents reveal.

Murphy’s Law: Why Wisconsin Needs Mexico
Murphy’s Law

Why Wisconsin Needs Mexico

And how Trump’s get-tough policies will hurt the state.

Murphy’s Law: The New Charlie Sykes
Murphy’s Law

The New Charlie Sykes

He's confessing his errors and getting lots of publicity. Could there be a connection?

Back in the News: Journal Sentinel Archive Will Return?
Back in the News

Journal Sentinel Archive Will Return?

JS President blames computer mixup, pledges return of 120-year archive, won't say when.

Murphy’s Law: Did Walker Raid Veteran’s Home Fund?
Murphy’s Law

Did Walker Raid Veteran’s Home Fund?

Cap Times story on nursing home shows funding was diverted while care declined.

Murphy’s Law: Errors Embarrass Journal Sentinel
Murphy’s Law

Errors Embarrass Journal Sentinel

Washington Post finds problems in James Causey’s work, which JS editors try to hide.

Murphy’s Law: Sylville Smith Probe Looks Suspicious
Murphy’s Law

Sylville Smith Probe Looks Suspicious

AG Brad Schimel’s links to Milwaukee Police raise questions about his investigation.

Murphy’s Law: The Battle Over Charter Schools
Murphy’s Law

The Battle Over Charter Schools

NAACP declares opposition and is criticized by charter supporters like Howard Fuller.

Murphy’s Law: Where Are Top CEOs on City’s Unrest?
Murphy’s Law

Where Are Top CEOs on City’s Unrest?

The silence is deafening. But Mayor Barrett says they want to help.

Murphy’s Law: Role Of Police Questioned in Unrest
Murphy’s Law

Role Of Police Questioned in Unrest

Was violence a reaction to years of mistreatment by police?

Murphy’s Law: 19 Election Winners and Losers
Murphy’s Law

19 Election Winners and Losers

Beyond the candidates, behind the scenes. who won, who lost?

Murphy’s Law: Can Chisholm Be Beaten?
Murphy’s Law

Can Chisholm Be Beaten?

The DA pleads for help as dark money from outside the county blasts him.

Murphy’s Law: Walker’s Bizarre Choice for High Court
Murphy’s Law

Walker’s Bizarre Choice for High Court

From a state with countless judges, he picks a crackpot lawyer named Daniel Kelly.

Murphy’s Law: The King of Subprime Lending
Murphy’s Law

The King of Subprime Lending

How Bucks owner Wes Edens makes millions off troubled homeowners.

Back in the News: Chisholm Far More Experienced Than Opponent
Back in the News

Chisholm Far More Experienced Than Opponent

He’s handled 14 times more cases than Swanigan. He also shows up for debates.

Back in the News: Will Clarke Hurt GOP With Black Voters?
Back in the News

Will Clarke Hurt GOP With Black Voters?

His speech adds to anti-black tone at Republican convention, but heightens sheriff’s fame.

Back in the News: Radio Ad Blasts John Chisholm
Back in the News

Radio Ad Blasts John Chisholm

Secretive group blames DA for carjackings, lauds his opponent Verona Swanigan.

Murphy’s Law: Why Rocky Marcoux Is In Trouble
Murphy’s Law

Why Rocky Marcoux Is In Trouble

New Common Council leaders want to ax the DCD leader. But why? Few will say.

Back in News: “Do something about guns,” Flynn Pleads
Back in News

“Do something about guns,” Flynn Pleads

Flynn calls for gun control at Obama's national town hall, demands action from legislature.

Murphy’s Law: Koch Brothers Recruit State’s Latinos
Murphy’s Law

Koch Brothers Recruit State’s Latinos

But efforts by their shadowy Libre Initiative may be undercut by Trump.

Murphy’s Law: 10 Lessons After Dallas
Murphy’s Law

10 Lessons After Dallas

How can Milwaukee and the nation assure that black lives and blue lives matter?

Back in the News: Journal Sentinel Sanitizes Trump Disaster
Back in the News

Journal Sentinel Sanitizes Trump Disaster

It offers only Paul Ryan’s positive account of Trump’s ugly tussle with Congress.

Murphy’s Law: Will Wisconsin Matter in Presidential Race?
Murphy’s Law

Will Wisconsin Matter in Presidential Race?

If not, that’s bad news not just for Trump but for Ron Johnson, too.

Murphy’s Law: Racism Issue Dogs Bradley Foundation
Murphy’s Law

Racism Issue Dogs Bradley Foundation

Does foundation still support research on racial inferiority?

Murphy’s Law: State Lottery Preys on the Poor
Murphy’s Law

State Lottery Preys on the Poor

Even winners lose from this hugely inefficient tax on the poor.

Back in the News: Chisholm Challenger Skips Debate
Back in the News

Chisholm Challenger Skips Debate

Verona Swanigan objects to moderator and drops out of debate with DA John Chisholm.

Murphy’s Law: Journal Sentinel’s Bias Against Feingold
Murphy’s Law

Journal Sentinel’s Bias Against Feingold

The coverage of Russ Feingold suggests they’ve truly become a Republican newspaper.

Murphy’s Law: The Bizarre War Against John Chisholm
Murphy’s Law

The Bizarre War Against John Chisholm

What’s more peculiar, his opponent, or the complicated plot to defeat him?

Murphy’s Law: The World According to Janel Brandtjen
Murphy’s Law

The World According to Janel Brandtjen

Republican lawmaker is angry about crime in the city. Here’s how she could help.

Murphy’s Law: Does Anyone Oppose Bus Rapid Transit?
Murphy’s Law

Does Anyone Oppose Bus Rapid Transit?

The idea is very unsexy, yet has gained amazingly wide support.

Back In the News: Study Ranks Wisconsin’s Economy 28th
Back In the News

Study Ranks Wisconsin’s Economy 28th

With low rankings for “economic activity” and business startups, new analysis finds.

Murphy’s Law: GOP Goal Less Access for Democratic Voters
Murphy’s Law

GOP Goal Less Access for Democratic Voters

But you have to sift through media coverage of trial testimony for the story.

Back in the News: John Menard vs. Donald Trump
Back in the News

John Menard vs. Donald Trump

Their friendship and later feud gets titillating coverage from Indianapolis Monthly.

Murphy’s Law: How to Destroy a Transit System
Murphy’s Law

How to Destroy a Transit System

County board's free bus ride program triggers huge deficits that could overwhelm system.

Murphy’s Law: Why Urban School Chiefs Fail
Murphy’s Law

Why Urban School Chiefs Fail

The lessons of former MPS superintendent Gregory Thornton’s firing in Baltimore.

Murphy’s Law: How CEOs Leave Workers Behind
Murphy’s Law

How CEOs Leave Workers Behind

CEOs Rich Meeusen and Tim Sullivan get rich while workers get nothing.

Murphy’s Law: The Report That Walker Killed
Murphy’s Law

The Report That Walker Killed

Its warning: Ending civil service means less qualified will serve. Why didn’t legislators see it?

Murphy’s Law: The Plot Thickens In John Doe
Murphy’s Law

The Plot Thickens In John Doe

Did State Supreme Court try to sabotage appeal of its Doe ruling to US Supreme Court?

Murphy’s Law: Is Sheriff Clarke the Black Trump?
Murphy’s Law

Is Sheriff Clarke the Black Trump?

And a possible running mate? Atlantic Mag charts the rising star of Milwaukee’s sheriff.

Murphy’s Law: The Generosity of Donald Baumgartner
Murphy’s Law

The Generosity of Donald Baumgartner

The manufacturing CEO shares the wealth with those who made him rich: his employees.

Murphy’s Law: State Drags Feet On Lead-Tainted Water
Murphy’s Law

State Drags Feet On Lead-Tainted Water

Its program underfunds Milwaukee while pushing for upgrades that residents can't afford.

Two MPS Schools in State’s Top 10

Two MPS Schools in State’s Top 10

U.S. News ranks Reagan and King above most suburban high schools.

Murphy’s Law: How Walker is Killing the Meritocracy
Murphy’s Law

How Walker is Killing the Meritocracy

Talented workers are leaving or discouraged from applying, as party loyalists win favor.

Back in the News: New Study Shows Teacher Shortage
Back in the News

New Study Shows Teacher Shortage

The problem exists statewide, but is the worst in metro Milwaukee.

Murphy’s Law: Why Republicans Love Photo ID
Murphy’s Law

Why Republicans Love Photo ID

It may not make a huge difference in the vote. Just enough to win.

Murphy’s Law: Why Miller Park’s Tax Never Ends
Murphy’s Law

Why Miller Park’s Tax Never Ends

Perhaps because the stadium’s public board cares more about the team than taxpayers.

Back In The News: John Menard’s Anti-Union Rules
Back In The News

John Menard’s Anti-Union Rules

A Menards manager leaks a copy of adamantly anti-union contract used by the company.

Murphy’s Law: Will Murphy Lose Council Presidency?
Murphy’s Law

Will Murphy Lose Council Presidency?

Race could be wide open and Ashanti Hamilton might have surprising supporters.

Murphy’s Law: Who Will Win the Elections?
Murphy’s Law

Who Will Win the Elections?

The turnout will be massive. And could result in upsets.

Murphy’s Law: Trump Vs. The Wisconsin Establishment
Murphy’s Law

Trump Vs. The Wisconsin Establishment

Journal Sentinel joins talk radio and GOP party in battling The Donald.

Murphy’s Law: The Plot to Defeat Bob Bauman
Murphy’s Law

The Plot to Defeat Bob Bauman

His opponent has two names, lives outside the district, and is part of anti-streetcar clique.

Back In the News: It’s Official, Sculpture Wasn’t Anti-Semitic
Back In the News

It’s Official, Sculpture Wasn’t Anti-Semitic

Jewish Federation’s annual audit of anti-semitism absolves the Shorewood sculpture.

Murphy’s Law: Chris Abele Is In Deep Trouble
Murphy’s Law

Chris Abele Is In Deep Trouble

A year ago he was a shoo-in for reelection. Now he's in the fight of his life.

Murphy’s Law: Milwaukee Not Among Most Racist Cities
Murphy’s Law

Milwaukee Not Among Most Racist Cities

So says new study, which also ranks state as among the most tolerant in America.

Murphy’s Law: Journal Sentinel Bias In Mayor’s Race?
Murphy’s Law

Journal Sentinel Bias In Mayor’s Race?

And was its story on Rebecca Bradley’s affair “offensive garbage”?

Murphy’s Law: The Mystery of Rebecca Bradley
Murphy’s Law

The Mystery of Rebecca Bradley

Who exactly is she? And why didn’t Walker vet his choice for Supreme Court?

Murphy’s Law: Can Art Museum Afford O’Donnell Park?
Murphy’s Law

Can Art Museum Afford O’Donnell Park?

Deal sounds almost too good to be true. Here's a reality check.

Murphy’s Law: Will Priebus Destroy The Republican Party?
Murphy’s Law

Will Priebus Destroy The Republican Party?

Decisions by the RNC chairman from Wisconsin could fatally wound the party.

Back in the News: More Suburban Firms Moving Downtown?
Back in the News

More Suburban Firms Moving Downtown?

It’s all about attracting millennials, new story suggests.

Murphy’s Law: County Pension Scandal Poster Boys
Murphy’s Law

County Pension Scandal Poster Boys

Six veterans seeking re-election voted for infamous pension plan that ripped off taxpayers.

Murphy’s Law: Milwaukee’s Economic Challenge
Murphy’s Law

Milwaukee’s Economic Challenge

A new study shows Milwaukee is among the ten most distressed cities. Is it accurate?

Murphy’s Law: Where City’s Crime is Rising
Murphy’s Law

Where City’s Crime is Rising

The biggest hike is in Ald. Donovan’s district. No wonder that’s his major issue.

Murphy’s Law: Why Walker Allowed Lincoln Hills Abuses
Murphy’s Law

Why Walker Allowed Lincoln Hills Abuses

His staff knew about it for years. Why didn’t the governor act?

Murphy’s Law: Did Democratic Debate Help Milwaukee?
Murphy’s Law

Did Democratic Debate Help Milwaukee?

And did Clinton or Sanders win? Morning-after reflections.

Murphy’s Law: Stealth Campaign Targets Mayor Barrett
Murphy’s Law

Stealth Campaign Targets Mayor Barrett

He would easily win the April election. But could he take third in Tuesday’s primary?

Murphy’s Law: The Plague of Urban Evictions
Murphy’s Law

The Plague of Urban Evictions

New Yorker reports on evictions of poor renters in Milwaukee. The numbers are shocking.

Back in the News: 8 Problems With Privatizing Water Utilities
Back in the News

8 Problems With Privatizing Water Utilities

Media has now jumped on the issue, adding more info on why proposed bill is a mistake.

Murphy’s Law: Will Bill Privatize Water Utilities?
Murphy’s Law

Will Bill Privatize Water Utilities?

Proposed law opens door to companies like Aqua America running local water utilities.

Murphy’s Law: The Myth of Democratic Gerrymandering
Murphy’s Law

The Myth of Democratic Gerrymandering

They all did it in Wisconsin, Republicans declare. Just ask Christian Schneider.

Murphy’s Law: The Lonely Journey of Mark Borkowski
Murphy’s Law

The Lonely Journey of Mark Borkowski

New alderman’s crazed comments leave him only (and barely) the police union's support.

Back in the News: Barrett Vulnerable, Says Governing Mag
Back in the News

Barrett Vulnerable, Says Governing Mag

At least the headline says so. But the story is, well, a different story.

Murphy’s Law: Wisconsin Student Debt Is Soaring
Murphy’s Law

Wisconsin Student Debt Is Soaring

It rose 74% in 10 years, faster than all but six states. What is Walker's solution?

Murphy’s Law: What Has Mayor Barrett Accomplished?
Murphy’s Law

What Has Mayor Barrett Accomplished?

After nearly 12 years in office, his impact can be seen -- if you look hard.

Murphy’s Law: Walker’s Secretive Governing Style
Murphy’s Law

Walker’s Secretive Governing Style

Since he was County Executive, Walker has devised ever more ways to operate in secret.

Back in the News: Maybe Karl Kopp Was Right
Back in the News

Maybe Karl Kopp Was Right

I criticized him for letting a historic building rot, but he’d planned a stunning replacement.

Murphy’s Law: The Man Who Cried Anti-Semitism
Murphy’s Law

The Man Who Cried Anti-Semitism

How the media amplified dumb attack on public sculpture and why Shorewood took it down.

Murphy’s Law: Great News for Grand Avenue Mall
Murphy’s Law

Great News for Grand Avenue Mall

A smart new team of local owners is poised to revive the mall and W. Wisconsin Ave.

Murphy’s Law: Walker’s Assault on Open Records
Murphy’s Law

Walker’s Assault on Open Records

Walker and Republicans are methodically working to end any scrutiny of their actions.

Murphy’s Law: Do Millennials Oppose the Streetcar?
Murphy’s Law

Do Millennials Oppose the Streetcar?

Not really, but a new survey is fueling misunderstandings. What do millennials really want?

Murphy’s Law: Did Karl Kopp Let Historic Building Rot?
Murphy’s Law

Did Karl Kopp Let Historic Building Rot?

Unique 1871 building on river was “irreplaceable.” Bauman blames Kopp for its destruction.

Chisholm Considering Appeal of John Doe Ruling

Chisholm Considering Appeal of John Doe Ruling

Four DAs discussing whether to appeal state high court decision to U.S. Supreme Court.

Murphy’s Law: “The NRA’s Vision for America is Anarchy.”
Murphy’s Law

“The NRA’s Vision for America is Anarchy.”

Chief Flynn say legislature’s “insane” concealed carry law causes crime and threatens police safety.

Murphy’s Law: Milwaukee’s Massive Pedophile Priest Problem
Murphy’s Law

Milwaukee’s Massive Pedophile Priest Problem

Boston gets all the attention in the movie ‘Spotlight’, but Milwaukee’s problem may be just as bad.

Murphy’s Law: Does Milwaukee Need More Police?
Murphy’s Law

Does Milwaukee Need More Police?

Mayoral candidate Bob Donovan thinks so. How does this city compare to others?

Murphy’s Law: Still Controversy Over Art Museum Addition
Murphy’s Law

Still Controversy Over Art Museum Addition

Journal Sentinel offers inaccurate account of how new addition got built. Here's the real story.

Murphy’s Law: GOP Circus Puts Spotlight on Milwaukee
Murphy’s Law

GOP Circus Puts Spotlight on Milwaukee

Protestors protested as Republican presidential candidates debated. So who won?

Murphy’s Law: How Dark Money Will Rule Wisconsin
Murphy’s Law

How Dark Money Will Rule Wisconsin

Two Republican bills about to pass could make this a vassal state of wealthy special interests.

Murphy’s Law: Abele Faces Attack on Free Bus Rides
Murphy’s Law

Abele Faces Attack on Free Bus Rides

Though his challenger for county exec, Chris Larson, is undecided on issue, it could still impact the race.

Murphy’s Law: How Schools Are Over-Testing Students
Murphy’s Law

How Schools Are Over-Testing Students

New study of big city schools, including Milwaukee, shows way too many standardized tests being given.

Murphy’s Law: The Revenge of Scott Walker?
Murphy’s Law

The Revenge of Scott Walker?

Law killing John Doe law assures no more such probes targeting him. But was reform needed?

Murphy’s Law: The Real Meaning of the John Henson Affair
Murphy’s Law

The Real Meaning of the John Henson Affair

Does one racial profiling incident prove this is America’s most hypersegregated city?

Back in the News: Gov. Walker Did Have Secret Email System
Back in the News

Gov. Walker Did Have Secret Email System

Report shows state business conducted through 300 personal emails, confirms Urban Milwaukee story.

Murphy’s Law: Chris Larson’s War Against Abele
Murphy’s Law

Chris Larson’s War Against Abele

State senator running for county executive blasts Abele with personal attacks, will divide Democrats.

Murphy’s Law: How Gannett Will Shrink the Journal Sentinel
Murphy’s Law

How Gannett Will Shrink the Journal Sentinel

New owners will drastically diminish the size and scope of state’s largest newspaper.

Murphy’s Law: The Republican Spoils System
Murphy’s Law

The Republican Spoils System

The bill to kill civil service aims to create a one-party government, from top to bottom.

Murphy’s Law: The Walker Campaign “Scandal”
Murphy’s Law

The Walker Campaign “Scandal”

Something went wrong. And everyone’s blaming campaign manager Rick Wiley. Why?

Murphy’s Law: 8 Reasons Why Walker’s Campaign Failed
Murphy’s Law

8 Reasons Why Walker’s Campaign Failed

Media analysts nationally have mostly missed the real story.

Murphy’s Law: Milwaukee, the Land of Duplexes
Murphy’s Law

Milwaukee, the Land of Duplexes

City is a national leader, which helps explain its surprising strength: density.

Murphy’s Law: The Plague of Lead Paint Poisoning
Murphy’s Law

The Plague of Lead Paint Poisoning

The problem persists, with more impact on Milwaukee than many cities. Is there a solution?

Back in the News: Walker “Worst” Candidate on Wind, Solar?
Back in the News

Walker “Worst” Candidate on Wind, Solar?

State is worst for home solar and stagnant on wind power, Bloomberg story suggests.

Murphy’s Law: The Meltdown of Scott Walker
Murphy’s Law

The Meltdown of Scott Walker

Onetime frontrunner for Iowa primary is “finished,” most covering presidential campaign say.

Back in the News: Minority Women-Owned Firms Rise 97%
Back in the News

Minority Women-Owned Firms Rise 97%

State still ranks low in entrepreneurship but new firms by women and minority owners soar.

Murphy’s Law: Common Ground’s $30 Million Victory for City
Murphy’s Law

Common Ground’s $30 Million Victory for City

Pressure on Bucks owner Wes Edens results in Nationstar’s $30 million pledge to prevent foreclosures.

Back in the News: Anti-Streetcar Petition Dies
Back in the News

Anti-Streetcar Petition Dies

Paging General Bob Donovan, what happened?

Murphy’s Law: How Walker Wasted Pricey Legal Help
Murphy’s Law

How Walker Wasted Pricey Legal Help

He ignored $2.2 million report concluding Kenosha casino had no legal risks.

Murphy’s Law: The Twisted Tale of Talgo
Murphy’s Law

The Twisted Tale of Talgo

Settlement forces state to pay more for trains it didn’t get, leaving it with slower Amtrak trains.

Murphy’s Law: Wisconsin’s Growing Teacher Shortage
Murphy’s Law

Wisconsin’s Growing Teacher Shortage

The number of education majors and teaching candidates is drastically declining. Why?

Murphy’s Law: Milwaukee Municipal Court Under Fire
Murphy’s Law

Milwaukee Municipal Court Under Fire

It imprisons debtors and seems bloated with staff. Will city demand changes?

Murphy’s Law: Walker Flubs First GOP Debate
Murphy’s Law

Walker Flubs First GOP Debate

His tepid style hurt him. Who won and where does this leave Walker?

Murphy’s Law: The Most Gerrymandered State in America
Murphy’s Law

The Most Gerrymandered State in America

Study shows Wisconsin most gerrymandered in 42 years. Case is filed in federal court.

Murphy’s Law: The Tragedy of David Prosser
Murphy’s Law

The Tragedy of David Prosser

Recusal ruling adds to his image as the symbol of a dysfunctional Supreme Court.

Murphy’s Law: Did Bucks Investors Pay Off Walker?
Murphy’s Law

Did Bucks Investors Pay Off Walker?

One publication says yes. But most donors to his presidential campaign are secret.

Murphy’s Law: Is Abele Dumping the Marcus Center?
Murphy’s Law

Is Abele Dumping the Marcus Center?

Its takeover by new “Super District” running Bucks arena looks fishy.

Back in the News: Residency Rule Upheld But For How Long?
Back in the News

Residency Rule Upheld But For How Long?

Appeals court overturns law killing city residency rule. State high court may review decision.

Murphy’s Law: Cost for Taxpayers In Latest Bucks Deal?
Murphy’s Law

Cost for Taxpayers In Latest Bucks Deal?

Bucks gave ground. But it’s still a huge bite for taxpayers.

Murphy’s Law: Why Crooks Opposed Court’s John Doe Ruling
Murphy’s Law

Why Crooks Opposed Court’s John Doe Ruling

He votes 90% of time with conservatives, but blasted Gableman’s majority opinion.

Murphy’s Law: Who is Scott Walker?
Murphy’s Law

Who is Scott Walker?

The real, profusely documented story of the man who would be president.

Murphy’s Law: Why Bucks’ Entertainment District May Fail
Murphy’s Law

Why Bucks’ Entertainment District May Fail

Across the country these mega-projects have hurt cities with generic development that banishes local charm.

Murphy’s Law: The Attack on Government Pensions
Murphy’s Law

The Attack on Government Pensions

The most shocking budget provision was a little-understood change in the pension system which lays bare the Republicans’ goals.

Back in the News: Walker Admits Role in Curbing Open Records
Back in the News

Walker Admits Role in Curbing Open Records

Fitzgerald says governor involved and Walker’s office admits his role. Legislative drafting notes hid the authors.

Murphy’s Law: Abele Bids to Be King?
Murphy’s Law

Abele Bids to Be King?

Proposal increasing county exec’s authority is a naked power grab with no public discussion or hearings and dangerously unforeseen consequences.

Murphy’s Law: Who’s To Blame for Bus Strike?
Murphy’s Law

Who’s To Blame for Bus Strike?

The union? Chris Abele? John Weishan? Scott Walker? A frank assessment.

Murphy’s Law: Wisconsin’s Rotten Return on Federal Taxes Paid
Murphy’s Law

Wisconsin’s Rotten Return on Federal Taxes Paid

New report shows we’re the fourth worst state in federal spending received. Walker’s policies don’t help.

Blast From the Past: Bailing Out the Bucks Is Old News
Blast From the Past

Bailing Out the Bucks Is Old News

Back in 2001, Bruce Murphy reported on the Greater Milwaukee Committee's plan to subsidize the Bucks.

Back in the News: More Staff Changes at Journal Sentinel
Back in the News

More Staff Changes at Journal Sentinel

Some being let go, but a big name reportedly hired: Biz Times Editor Steve Jagler set to join the JS.

Murphy’s Law: The Incredible Rise of CEO Pay
Murphy’s Law

The Incredible Rise of CEO Pay

Their pay has risen 997% since 1978, driving the wealth gap nationally and in Wisconsin.

Murphy’s Law: The Strange Politics of Anti-Streetcar-ites
Murphy’s Law

The Strange Politics of Anti-Streetcar-ites

So when is that referendum coming, and where are those aldermanic opponents?

Murphy’s Law: Was Act 10 Necessary?
Murphy’s Law

Was Act 10 Necessary?

New analysis by bipartisan expert on good government explodes the myths about Walker’s signature achievement.

Murphy’s Law: How Abele Bailed Out Walker
Murphy’s Law

How Abele Bailed Out Walker

Governor made fatal error on Bucks arena, but Abele volunteered county taxpayers to solve the problem.

Murphy’s Law: Michael Grebe, Stealth Warrior
Murphy’s Law

Michael Grebe, Stealth Warrior

Is the Bradley Foundation CEO the real thinker behind Scott Walker’s policies?

Back in the News: Walker Approach To Jobs Growth Failing?
Back in the News

Walker Approach To Jobs Growth Failing?

National story for Reuters contrasts Wisconsin's Douglas County with next door Minnesota county, which is doing much better.

Murphy’s Law: Abele Plan for Bucks Arena Won’t Work
Murphy’s Law

Abele Plan for Bucks Arena Won’t Work

The county has nowhere near $4 million in annual debt for state to collect -- and Abele may lack the power to deliver it.

Murphy’s Law: Walker Bets on the Radical Right
Murphy’s Law

Walker Bets on the Radical Right

He plans to beat Bush and Rubio from the far right. But his success could make him unelectable in the general election.

Back in the News: Bucks Bailout Gets Even Bigger
Back in the News

Bucks Bailout Gets Even Bigger

And the proportion paid by local taxpayers keeps rising, which the Journal Sentinel still doesn't report.

Murphy’s Law: Arena Plan is Massive Tax Shift to Milwaukee
Murphy’s Law

Arena Plan is Massive Tax Shift to Milwaukee

County taxpayers will pay far more than predicted, as state legislators back away from the deal.

Murphy’s Law: Why Russ Could Beat Rojo
Murphy’s Law

Why Russ Could Beat Rojo

As the polls suggest, Johnson hasn't really tried to connect with voters. That could be fatal.

Race for State Democratic Chair Gets Muddier

Race for State Democratic Chair Gets Muddier

Bruce Murphy adds an update to his story on mudslinging in the race for party chair.

Murphy’s Law: Race for Democratic Chair Gets Dirty
Murphy’s Law

Race for Democratic Chair Gets Dirty

Some mudslinging at the candidates may stick to Democratic insider and consultant Thad Nation. This story was updated at 6:30 p.m., May 26.

Murphy’s Law: We Must Imitate Other Cities
Murphy’s Law

We Must Imitate Other Cities

New study says we must build a Bucks arena and bigger convention center. But its data actually tells a much different story.

Murphy’s Law: The Disappearance of Dan Bice
Murphy’s Law

The Disappearance of Dan Bice

 The state’s top political reporter has disappeared. Is the Journal Sentinel killing his column?

Murphy’s Law: Gas Tax Insanity
Murphy’s Law

Gas Tax Insanity

Bipartisan opposition to the gas tax is causing potholes and rising car repair bills, and hurting the state economy.

Murphy’s Law: Lady MacBeth of the Supreme Court
Murphy’s Law

Lady MacBeth of the Supreme Court

Pat Roggensack has shamed herself and the high court in the ugly way she’s handled her elevation to chief justice.

Back in the News: How Chisholm Is Reducing Black Imprisonment
Back in the News

How Chisholm Is Reducing Black Imprisonment

A New Yorker story portrays the Milwaukee DA as a super-hero of reform. Hm. Is that true?

Murphy’s Law: MMAC Plays Hardball on Bucks Arena
Murphy’s Law

MMAC Plays Hardball on Bucks Arena

A misleading poll, pressure on legislators and more misinformation are all used to sell the NBA arena.

Murphy’s Law: Does Milwaukee Run a Debtor’s Prison?
Murphy’s Law

Does Milwaukee Run a Debtor’s Prison?

Study finds Milwaukee Municipal Court jails thousands of poor people for failing to pay fines. Why?

Murphy’s Law: What Makes Scott Walker Run?
Murphy’s Law

What Makes Scott Walker Run?

A recent story about his upbringing may shine a sad -- and revealing -- light on Walker’s personality and political views.

Murphy’s Law: State Bucks Arena Plan Fleeces Milwaukee
Murphy’s Law

State Bucks Arena Plan Fleeces Milwaukee

Proposed sports district gives all legal protection to the state and sticks it to Milwaukee, both financially and politically.

Back in the News: Walker Gets Backed by Koch Brothers?
Back in the News

Walker Gets Backed by Koch Brothers?

David Koch says he prefers Walker to other Republicans, NYT and New York Observer report.

Murphy’s Law: Why Businesses Are Moving To The City
Murphy’s Law

Why Businesses Are Moving To The City

Many are moving from suburbs to Downtown and Walker's Point, seeking younger workers.

Murphy’s Law: Shirley Abrahamson Against the World
Murphy’s Law

Shirley Abrahamson Against the World

Chief Justice’s fight against a constitutional change to demote her is a minor issue. So why such a juicy battle involving so many conservatives?

Murphy’s Law: The Secret Tax Subsidy Society
Murphy’s Law

The Secret Tax Subsidy Society

Republicans and Democrats conspire to create stealth taxes to fund the NBA arena. Will they succeed?

Murphy’s Law: Too Pure for Pork
Murphy’s Law

Too Pure for Pork

Gov. Walker is a latest of state politicians from both parties who have an aversion to federal funds.

Murphy’s Law: Scott Walker, The Anti-Jeb
Murphy’s Law

Scott Walker, The Anti-Jeb

In just a few months, Gov. Walker has become the leading alternative to Jeb Bush.

Murphy’s Law: John Doe Supported by Many Republicans
Murphy’s Law

John Doe Supported by Many Republicans

Supreme Court candidate James Daley was among many GOP judges and prosecutors involved in alleged "partisan witch hunt."

Murphy’s Law: Wisconsin’s Shrinking Middle Class
Murphy’s Law

Wisconsin’s Shrinking Middle Class

No state has seen a bigger decline in the percent of middle class households than Wisconsin, new data shows.

Murphy’s Law: Can Daley Beat Bradley for Supreme Court?
Murphy’s Law

Can Daley Beat Bradley for Supreme Court?

Challenger could get lots of right-wing money, but that may not be enough in this case.

Back in the News: Did Menard Buy Protection From Walker?
Back in the News

Did Menard Buy Protection From Walker?

Billionaire business man and frequent environmental violator gave $1.5 million in dark money to governor.

Murphy’s Law: Should City/County Donate More to NBA Arena?
Murphy’s Law

Should City/County Donate More to NBA Arena?

Actually, local taxpayers will be donating $450 million. But the press won’t report the details.

Murphy’s Law: Is Milwaukee Becoming Gentrified?
Murphy’s Law

Is Milwaukee Becoming Gentrified?

Analysis of big cities shows Portland is most gentrified, with cities like Milwaukee also changing, but more slowly.

Murphy’s Law: A Whole New Class of Poor People?
Murphy’s Law

A Whole New Class of Poor People?

Walker plan to quietly slash Food Stamps for 62,000 people will cost state $58 million to lose $92 million in federal funding.

Murphy’s Law: The Quick-Law Governor
Murphy’s Law

The Quick-Law Governor

Countless sweeping changes have been proposed almost overnight, with no study, no rationale and no known author.

Murphy’s Law: Bucks Owners Must Build Without Subsidy
Murphy’s Law

Bucks Owners Must Build Without Subsidy

Unique financial situation of Bucks owners suggests they may have to build a new arena, even with no taxpayer support.

Back in the News: Anti-Streetcar Petition Drive Fails
Back in the News

Anti-Streetcar Petition Drive Fails

Streetcar opponents failed to get enough signatures in 60 days; now say they’ll relaunch drive in May.

Back in the News: Dale Schultz’s Last Hurrah
Back in the News

Dale Schultz’s Last Hurrah

The retired Republican lawmaker dumps on his party and explains how Walker snookered him on Act 10.

Murphy’s Law: Is Walker Crazy Like a Fox?
Murphy’s Law

Is Walker Crazy Like a Fox?

His campaign for president seems ridiculous. So why is he rising in the polls?

Murphy’s Law: Journal Sentinel Jumps on Sinking Ship
Murphy’s Law

Journal Sentinel Jumps on Sinking Ship

Prospectus shows all 13 newspapers the new Journal company absorbs are losing money.

Murphy’s Law: Hey, Let’s Drug Test Food Stamp Recipients
Murphy’s Law

Hey, Let’s Drug Test Food Stamp Recipients

Walker and Vos love the idea. So what will it cost and what will it accomplish?

Murphy’s Law: Supreme Court Justices for Sale
Murphy’s Law

Supreme Court Justices for Sale

There may be no supreme court in America that’s more corrupted by conflicts of interest.

Back in the News: Walker’s UW Cuts Get National Press
Back in the News

Walker’s UW Cuts Get National Press

It’s probably helping his presidential run, but also raising questions about Walker as a person.

Murphy’s Law: The County Board’s Anti-Environmental Boondoggle
Murphy’s Law

The County Board’s Anti-Environmental Boondoggle

Its Estabrook Dam decision will cost taxpayers millions and harm environment.

Murphy’s Law: How Could Walker Refuse Incredible Deal?
Murphy’s Law

How Could Walker Refuse Incredible Deal?

Kenosha casino would pay entire taxpayer bill for NBA arena and up to $275 million for any (unlikely) litigation costs. And Walker says no?

Murphy’s Law: Why Walker Had to Cut UW Funding
Murphy’s Law

Why Walker Had to Cut UW Funding

His presidential ambitions left him with no other option.

Back In The News: Is Paul Ryan Becoming a Moderate?
Back In The News

Is Paul Ryan Becoming a Moderate?

Yet another “new” Ryan, this time ready to make bargains with Obama.

Murphy’s Law: Who is “Lobbying” For the Streetcar?
Murphy’s Law

Who is “Lobbying” For the Streetcar?

Money is being spent and wild rumors are flying. So what’s the truth?

Murphy’s Law: Will County Pass Another Pension Giveaway?
Murphy’s Law

Will County Pass Another Pension Giveaway?

Board members favor a “grandfather clause” protecting retirees with illegal payments that could cost taxpayers $10 million.

Back in the News: City Attorney Says Streetcar Petitions Might be Moot
Back in the News

City Attorney Says Streetcar Petitions Might be Moot

Legal opinion says Common Council approval of streetcar in July 2011 might make petition drive demanding a referendum irrelevant.

Murphy’s Law: Does “Broken Windows” Theory Hurt Milwaukee?
Murphy’s Law

Does “Broken Windows” Theory Hurt Milwaukee?

Police Chief Ed Flynn is one of the foremost practitioners of aggressive policing getting national criticism.

Back in the News: MMSD Settles With Boston Store
Back in the News

MMSD Settles With Boston Store

Suit posed question: is Deep Tunnel depleting water table and causing downtown buildings to sink?

Murphy’s Law: How Walker’s Presidential Bid Hurts Wisconsin
Murphy’s Law

How Walker’s Presidential Bid Hurts Wisconsin

On a wide range of policies, Walker may be serving his career more than his constituents

Murphy’s Law: Koch-Funded Group Backs Anti-Streetcar Drive
Murphy’s Law

Koch-Funded Group Backs Anti-Streetcar Drive

Americans for Prosperity has provided paid staff for petition drive, its state director says.

Murphy’s Law: Who Is Funding the Anti-Streetcar Effort?
Murphy’s Law

Who Is Funding the Anti-Streetcar Effort?

Ald. Bauman and others are certain that dark money is pouring in for this, which streetcar opponents deny.

Back in the News: National Media Jumps on “College Dropout” Walker
Back in the News

National Media Jumps on “College Dropout” Walker

Walker’s presidential run brings on stories about the hole in his resume.

Murphy’s Law: Does Milwaukee Need an Aerotropolis?
Murphy’s Law

Does Milwaukee Need an Aerotropolis?

Many cities have embraced concept of airport centered growth. Is Milwaukee falling behind?

Murphy’s Law: The Property Tax Scam for Brewers, Bucks
Murphy’s Law

The Property Tax Scam for Brewers, Bucks

Odds are, the Bucks arena will get many secret tax subsidies, as Miller Park does.

Murphy’s Law: Will Anti-Streetcar Referendum Succeed?
Murphy’s Law

Will Anti-Streetcar Referendum Succeed?

The process is far more complicated legally than has been reported. Which will make it harder for opponents.

Media: State Is a Leader in Women Workers
Media

State Is a Leader in Women Workers

New York Times analysis shows Wisconsin is one of the leading states in the percent of women working.

Murphy’s Law: Milwaukee’s Miraculous Water Hub
Murphy’s Law

Milwaukee’s Miraculous Water Hub

Almost overnight, the city has become an international leader in water technology, says the national media. Are they right?

Media: How Wisconsin Punishes the Poor
Media

How Wisconsin Punishes the Poor

National Public Radio reports how poor people who can’t pay fines lose their drivers licenses.

Murphy’s Law: Scott Walker, Master of Deception
Murphy’s Law

Scott Walker, Master of Deception

Whenever the governor insists a policy is “not a priority,” you can probably assume the contrary.

Back in the News: Chisholm Decision Triggers Controversy
Back in the News

Chisholm Decision Triggers Controversy

DA decides not to charge officer who killed mentally ill man, leaving community divided over issue.

Avalon Theater’s Grand Opening is a Winner

Avalon Theater’s Grand Opening is a Winner

Barrett salutes the theater’s and Bay View’s redevelopment, but is upstaged by the facility’s lovely redesign.

Murphy’s Law: Foundation Helps Herb Kohl Get $20 Million Windfall
Murphy’s Law

Foundation Helps Herb Kohl Get $20 Million Windfall

His “$100 million gift” to Greater Milwaukee Foundation will gain him huge tax break for supporting new NBA arena.

Murphy’s Law: Walker’s Battle Against Birth Control
Murphy’s Law

Walker’s Battle Against Birth Control

State audit that could shut down family planning clinics may be latest of his anti-contraception efforts.

Back in the News: We Hate You Steve Smith
Back in the News

We Hate You Steve Smith

No, reporters at the Journal Sentinel are not happy about all the layoffs. And they clearly blame the company’s CEO.

Murphy’s Law: Will Journal Sentinel Become a Right-Wing Paper?
Murphy’s Law

Will Journal Sentinel Become a Right-Wing Paper?

Marty Kaiser’s retirement and replacement by managing editor George Stanley will likely mean a more conservative paper.

Murphy’s Law: America’s Newest Hero, David Clarke
Murphy’s Law

America’s Newest Hero, David Clarke

He’s in the news everywhere and conservatives are falling all over themselves in adulation.

Murphy’s Law: The Bizarre Politics of Ald. Tony Zielinski
Murphy’s Law

The Bizarre Politics of Ald. Tony Zielinski

Once a hard core conservative, he’s now a Bay View liberal. Except when opposing things like the streetcar.

Murphy’s Law: How Will NBA Arena Benefit the City?
Murphy’s Law

How Will NBA Arena Benefit the City?

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver promises a new arena will launch a Downtown renewal. Is he right?

GMC Wins $725,000 Grant to Help City

GMC Wins $725,000 Grant to Help City

Kresge Foundation grant would help build city's Artery trail and revive depressed Harambee neighborhood.

Murphy’s Law: Is O’Donnell Purchase a Sweetheart Deal?
Murphy’s Law

Is O’Donnell Purchase a Sweetheart Deal?

Northwestern Mutual won’t sign full deed restriction for county deal, leaving it free to develop a high-rise development on lakefront land.

Grand Opening of Avalon Theater Announced

Grand Opening of Avalon Theater Announced

Refurbished, 1929, Spanish-Moorish theater reopens December 18 with The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies.

Murphy’s Law: How Does Wisconsin Rank in LGBT Friendliness?
Murphy’s Law

How Does Wisconsin Rank in LGBT Friendliness?

Our two biggest cities and many top companies rank high in studies, but state schools rank low, as does Kohl’s Corp.

Murphy’s Law: The Economic Madness of Robin Vos
Murphy’s Law

The Economic Madness of Robin Vos

His stance on “prioritizing” research could hurt our universities and the state economy.

Murphy’s Law: Let Us Now Blame Mike Tate
Murphy’s Law

Let Us Now Blame Mike Tate

Hatred for the state Democratic Chair is flowing. But is he at fault for the election debacle or was the party’s message lacking?

Back in the News: The Ed Flynn Factor
Back in the News

The Ed Flynn Factor

Politico Magazine concludes Milwaukee is an innovator in policing. Why? Chief Flynn’s leadership.

Murphy’s Law: The Legacy of Annette Polly Williams
Murphy’s Law

The Legacy of Annette Polly Williams

The author of school choice later became its opponent. Williams was controversial -- and misunderstood -- right to the end.

Murphy’s Law: Why Republicans Hate Kevin Kennedy
Murphy’s Law

Why Republicans Hate Kevin Kennedy

The GAB director is an “embarrassment,” Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says. Embarrassing to who?

Murphy’s Law: Why Burke’s Loss Was Inevitable
Murphy’s Law

Why Burke’s Loss Was Inevitable

Burke's impact as a candidate was so negligible that Walker was almost running against himself. He had to hope the Walker lovers outnumbered his haters.

The Press: MPS Board President Demands Reporter Be Replaced
The Press

MPS Board President Demands Reporter Be Replaced

Bonds demands Erin Richards get pulled from MPS beat, Journal Sentinel refuses, and whole thing descends into a bizarre comedy.

The Six Wives of Edo de Waart

The Six Wives of Edo de Waart

Our classic story on the man who may be the most married conductor in musical history.

Murphy’s Law: The Tragedy of O’Donnell Park
Murphy’s Law

The Tragedy of O’Donnell Park

The proposed sale to NML suggests the city has yet to learn from its folly in building this eyesore.

Murphy’s Law: Wisconsin, the Land of Diversity?
Murphy’s Law

Wisconsin, the Land of Diversity?

Turns out we beat most states in the percent of women and minorities elected. Who knew?

Feature Story: The Battle Between Walker and Burke
Feature Story

The Battle Between Walker and Burke

They are two wildly different personalities with quite different agendas. A frank look at both candidates for governor.

Murphy’s Law: Dispute Over Bucks Arena Goes National
Murphy’s Law

Dispute Over Bucks Arena Goes National

New York Times dumps on Milwaukee business leaders, and city becoming divided on issue.

Murphy’s Law: Walker Won Second Debate
Murphy’s Law

Walker Won Second Debate

But neither candidate can close the sale in election. Why?

Back in the News: More Journal Sentinel Buyouts
Back in the News

More Journal Sentinel Buyouts

At least a dozen more journalists are being let go. And insiders expect some editors will be added to list.

Murphy’s Law: The Decline of ALEC
Murphy’s Law

The Decline of ALEC

The right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council, long a big influence on state legislatures and Wisconsin, is bleeding business support.

Murphy’s Law: Walker’s Curious Debate Strategy
Murphy’s Law

Walker’s Curious Debate Strategy

His strategy was to “largely ignore” Burke. That may have been a mistake.

Murphy’s Law: 10 Reasons To Build Bucks Arena on Wisconsin Ave.
Murphy’s Law

10 Reasons To Build Bucks Arena on Wisconsin Ave.

Building the new arena where Boston Store is located could have huge advantages for the team and the city.

Murphy’s Law: The Lt. Governor Nobody Wanted
Murphy’s Law

The Lt. Governor Nobody Wanted

Few on Scott Walker’s team wanted Rebecca Kleefish to win or had any respect for her. Yet she could be the next governor.

Murphy’s Law: The Massive Gender Gap in Gov’s Race
Murphy’s Law

The Massive Gender Gap in Gov’s Race

Walker does terrible with women. But Burke does far worse with men. Why?

Murphy’s Law: Another Newspaper Attack on Chief Flynn
Murphy’s Law

Another Newspaper Attack on Chief Flynn

Has the Journal Sentinel renewed its war against the police chief or was its Sunday story simply botched reporting?

Murphy’s Law: The Inevitable Decline of the Journal Sentinel
Murphy’s Law

The Inevitable Decline of the Journal Sentinel

The newspaper has unique strengths, but will that be enough to stop it from going out of print?

Murphy’s Law: Will Joe Davis Run For Mayor?
Murphy’s Law

Will Joe Davis Run For Mayor?

He probably has a better chance of beating Barrett than Bob Donovan. But what exactly does Davis stand for?

Murphy’s Law: The Unbearable Loudness of Harley Hogs
Murphy’s Law

The Unbearable Loudness of Harley Hogs

Why are they allowed to violate noise ordinances? No one seems to know.

Murphy’s Law: Will Republicans Support a Bucks Bailout?
Murphy’s Law

Will Republicans Support a Bucks Bailout?

It can’t get done without GOP legislators, but they have deeply felt reasons for opposing any deal.

Back in the News: Potawatomi Plays Hardball
Back in the News

Potawatomi Plays Hardball

Gov. Walker delayed decision on Kenosha casino, so tribe is delaying $25 million payment owed to state.

Murphy’s Law: Is Walker Guilty — Or the Law Meaningless?
Murphy’s Law

Is Walker Guilty — Or the Law Meaningless?

After the latest Doe document dump, no other conclusion is possible.

The Gathering at Fondy Farm

The Gathering at Fondy Farm

Sunday’s fundraiser for the Fondy Farmer’s Market was a memorable salute to local food.

News From Elsewhere: Is Milwaukee One of the World’s Greenest Cities?
News From Elsewhere

Is Milwaukee One of the World’s Greenest Cities?

So says OnEarth magazine. Is it right?

Murphy’s Law: Why Bob Donovan Can’t Beat Barrett
Murphy’s Law

Why Bob Donovan Can’t Beat Barrett

No alderman will back him. Why he’s so disliked -- and so certain to lose.

Back in the News: Clarke Blasts Abele, Bloomberg
Back in the News

Clarke Blasts Abele, Bloomberg

His rock was talk radio, he writes in Washington Times.

Murphy’s Law: The Remarkable Clout of Sheriff Clarke
Murphy’s Law

The Remarkable Clout of Sheriff Clarke

A stunning election increases his power. What does it mean for Milwaukee?

Back in the News: Why Steve Smith Sold the Journal Sentinel
Back in the News

Why Steve Smith Sold the Journal Sentinel

Did debt -- and Smith’s broadcast purchases -- force sale of newspaper?

Murphy’s Law: Handicapping the Democratic Race for Attorney General
Murphy’s Law

Handicapping the Democratic Race for Attorney General

Jon Richards is the favorite. But is he the best choice?

Murphy’s Law: Is David Clarke “Sheriff Spends a Lot”?
Murphy’s Law

Is David Clarke “Sheriff Spends a Lot”?

Attack ads blast Clarke. Another targets “dysfunctional” Marina Dimitrijevic. Who’s buying all these nasty ads?

Murphy’s Law: How Buyout Could Hurt the Journal Sentinel
Murphy’s Law

How Buyout Could Hurt the Journal Sentinel

10 ways the deal will impact the newspaper, the media world and this city.

Murphy’s Law: Has School Choice Led to Less Arts Funding?
Murphy’s Law

Has School Choice Led to Less Arts Funding?

Donations to arts groups have plummeted while giving to education has soared. Why?

Back In The News: Media Thrilled, Donovan Will Run for Mayor!
Back In The News

Media Thrilled, Donovan Will Run for Mayor!

Colorful, combative foe of Mayor Barrett will oppose him in 2016, which means far more fun for reporters covering the race.

Back in the News: “Controversy” Over Swing Park?
Back in the News

“Controversy” Over Swing Park?

Architect blasts city for altering her design. Are her complaints valid?

Murphy’s Law: Why Walker’s Liberal Campaign Tactics?
Murphy’s Law

Why Walker’s Liberal Campaign Tactics?

His ads target Burke for not being liberal enough. Is he desperate -- or crazy like a fox?

Murphy’s Law: The Sheer Ambition of Marina Dimitrijevic
Murphy’s Law

The Sheer Ambition of Marina Dimitrijevic

She’s running for assembly but wanted to continue as county supervisor and collect two full-time salaries.

Murphy’s Law: Does Milwaukee Have Too Many Non-Profits?
Murphy’s Law

Does Milwaukee Have Too Many Non-Profits?

Yes, says new report. But there’s reason to doubt its conclusions.

Back in the News: Why Mary Nohl Home Must Be Moved
Back in the News

Why Mary Nohl Home Must Be Moved

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel picks up on the controversy, but the story and its handling is rather bizarre.

Murphy’s Law: A Tale of Two Cities
Murphy’s Law

A Tale of Two Cities

New city report reveals huge split between Milwaukee’s desperate poverty and wonderful amenities, neighborhoods. What are its solutions?

Back in the News: Will Uber Bring Cheaper Rides?
Back in the News

Will Uber Bring Cheaper Rides?

As ride sharing service slashes rates, Milwaukee Common Council mulls changes in rules.

Murphy’s Law: County Board Goes Crazy Over Referendums
Murphy’s Law

County Board Goes Crazy Over Referendums

Board wants to put 4 advisory referendum questions on the ballot, at a cost of more than $100,000. Why?

Murphy’s Law: The Cheap Schools Solution
Murphy’s Law

The Cheap Schools Solution

Wisconsin’s spending on education has dropped drastically. Long-term, that could be a big problem.

Murphy’s Law: How UWM Deal Will Affect the Bucks
Murphy’s Law

How UWM Deal Will Affect the Bucks

UWM’s naming rights for old U.S. Cellular Arena could change where new NBA arena is built -- and what happens to Bradley Center.

Murphy’s Law: How Republicans Cause Voter Fraud
Murphy’s Law

How Republicans Cause Voter Fraud

False claims of rampant voter fraud by GOP and talk radio prompt their followers to vote illegally.

Murphy’s Law: “We Have Criminals Shooting Criminals!”
Murphy’s Law

“We Have Criminals Shooting Criminals!”

And bystanders getting shot. Chief Flynn calls on legislators to get tougher on felons with guns.

Murphy’s Law: How Conservatives Screwed Walker
Murphy’s Law

How Conservatives Screwed Walker

They supported releasing damaging Doe documents because they have bigger goals than Walker’s reelection.

Back in the News: National Media Crucify Walker
Back in the News

National Media Crucify Walker

Even the conservative press jump all over the charge that Gov. Walker was at center of a criminal conspiracy.

Murphy’s Law: Walker, Sykes and Belling
Murphy’s Law

Walker, Sykes and Belling

The New Republic feature story on Scott Walker and talk radio is juicy stuff. But is it true?

Murphy’s Law: Four Ways to Slash Carbon Emissions
Murphy’s Law

Four Ways to Slash Carbon Emissions

The EPA requirement that Wisconsin cut carbon emissions could be easily met, through these four approaches.

Murphy’s Law: The Remarkable Impact of the Deep Tunnel
Murphy’s Law

The Remarkable Impact of the Deep Tunnel

Once widely maligned, the project was the key to transforming the Milwaukee River.

Murphy’s Law: John Chisholm Crushes Sheriff Clarke
Murphy’s Law

John Chisholm Crushes Sheriff Clarke

The sheriff takes some pot shots at DA, only to get mowed down, in an entertaining -- and very revealing -- exchange.

Murphy’s Law: Lessons from the Public Market
Murphy’s Law

Lessons from the Public Market

Could its success provide a model for the Grand Avenue Mall?

Murphy’s Law: Climate Change and Lake Michigan
Murphy’s Law

Climate Change and Lake Michigan

A recent scientific conference detailed all the problems -- and got no coverage from the Journal Sentinel.

Murphy’s Law: Why Walker Has Split With Conservatives
Murphy’s Law

Why Walker Has Split With Conservatives

He’s at odds with the right-wing and Wall Street Journal over John Doe probe. But why?

The Last Train from Talgo

The Last Train from Talgo

Talgo moved its last trains from Milwaukee last night, ending this city’s dream of becoming a hub for state-of-the-art rail transit.

Murphy’s Law: Why Millennials Love Cities
Murphy’s Law

Why Millennials Love Cities

There are many reasons, but a key one may be their crushing student debt loads.

Murphy’s Law: Who’s To Blame For Yet Another Pension Giveaway?
Murphy’s Law

Who’s To Blame For Yet Another Pension Giveaway?

Abele wants some 200 retirees to stop getting illegal pension benefits, but board members are outraged.

Back in the News: JS Critic Likes New Art Museum Addition
Back in the News

JS Critic Likes New Art Museum Addition

Schumacher gives it thumbs up but big issues remain.

Murphy’s Law: Four Plans to Save the Bucks
Murphy’s Law

Four Plans to Save the Bucks

But can any of the plans create the new NBA arena they need?

Murphy’s Law: The Underwater City
Murphy’s Law

The Underwater City

New study ranks Milwaukee as 16th hardest hit city, with 40% of homes underwater. But that may understate the problem.

Murphy’s Law: Attorneys Rush to Chisholm’s Defense
Murphy’s Law

Attorneys Rush to Chisholm’s Defense

Worried about possible recall, they plan fundraiser for the DA. But will it help him?

Back in the News: Art Museum Drops Design, Re-Hires Shields
Back in the News

Art Museum Drops Design, Re-Hires Shields

In a remarkable turnabout, the Milwaukee Art Museum scraps its controversial design and brings back the city's leading museum architect.

Murphy’s Law: State PSC Gives Huge Giveaway to Businesses
Murphy’s Law

State PSC Gives Huge Giveaway to Businesses

Electric ratepayers in one-half of the state will subsidize downtown Milwaukee businesses.

Back in the News: Newspaper Critic Says Don’t Build Art Museum Addition
Back in the News

Newspaper Critic Says Don’t Build Art Museum Addition

Schumacher, Journal Sentinel critic, calls Milwaukee Art Museum’s design a “dose of dullness.”

Murphy’s Law: Voter Fraud Issue Gets Its Day in Court
Murphy’s Law

Voter Fraud Issue Gets Its Day in Court

The federal court gave the state a chance to show voter fraud was rampant. So what did they prove?

Back in the News: Another Journal Sentinel Purge
Back in the News

Another Journal Sentinel Purge

Veteran county reporter Steve Schultze is among those who may leave.

Murphy’s Law: Scott Walker’s Health Care Dilemma
Murphy’s Law

Scott Walker’s Health Care Dilemma

His rejection of federal Medicaid dollars either costs Wisconsin lots of money or lots of lives.

Murphy’s Law: 10 Key Issues in NBA Arena Debate
Murphy’s Law

10 Key Issues in NBA Arena Debate

Will the new owners get tax support? It all depends on these ten issues.

Murphy’s Law: Let Them Take Taxis…or Uber or Lyft
Murphy’s Law

Let Them Take Taxis…or Uber or Lyft

City may lift cap on cabs and embrace upstart ride sharing services. There will be rides for everyone!

Back in the News: More Evidence John Doe is Bipartisan
Back in the News

More Evidence John Doe is Bipartisan

Court filings release more information showing investigation of Walker and conservative groups is not partisan.

Murphy’s Law: Why Moderates Are Extinct
Murphy’s Law

Why Moderates Are Extinct

The retirement of Petri, Ellis and Cullen suggests neither party has room for moderates.

Murphy’s Law: Why the Milwaukee Art Museum Changed Its Design
Murphy’s Law

Why the Milwaukee Art Museum Changed Its Design

Museum staff wanted more gallery space, even if it meant ruining Jim Shields design for the new addition.

Back in the News: Michigan May Get Talgo Trains
Back in the News

Michigan May Get Talgo Trains

Trains still in storage in Milwaukee could go to high speed line in Michigan -- if the Talgo lawsuit against Wisconsin is ever settled.

Murphy’s Law: The Extraordinary Fiscal Liberalism of David Clarke
Murphy’s Law

The Extraordinary Fiscal Liberalism of David Clarke

It’s difficult to find anyone who increases his budget faster than Sheriff Clarke.

Murphy’s Law: Top Architect Quit Project for Museum Addition
Murphy’s Law

Top Architect Quit Project for Museum Addition

Architect Jim Shields had falling out with Milwaukee Art Museum; new addition was designed by committee, not Shields.

Murphy’s Law: Will Waukesha Be Less Hostile to Milwaukee?
Murphy’s Law

Will Waukesha Be Less Hostile to Milwaukee?

Defeat of Mayor Jeff Scrima could mean better relations between the two cities.

Murphy’s Law: Why UWM Matters
Murphy’s Law

Why UWM Matters

It could be the key to transforming Wisconsin’s economy, but state leaders don’t seem to realize it.

Murphy’s Law: New Study Shows Milwaukee’s Income Inequality
Murphy’s Law

New Study Shows Milwaukee’s Income Inequality

Research shows huge and probably growing gap between high and low incomes in Milwaukee County.

Murphy’s Law: Dan Bice’s Role in the John Doe
Murphy’s Law

Dan Bice’s Role in the John Doe

What did he know, when did he know it, and how has he affected the probe of Scott Walker?

Murphy’s Law: The New Paul Ryan
Murphy’s Law

The New Paul Ryan

In his efforts to separate himself from Mitt Romney, Ryan has provided some scary insights into his politics.

Murphy’s Law: Who Is Mary Burke?
Murphy’s Law

Who Is Mary Burke?

After meeting and interviewing her, I still find Burke something of an enigma.

Murphy’s Law: The Republican Voter Suppression Bill
Murphy’s Law

The Republican Voter Suppression Bill

Cities already have less turnout and lower percent of early voters than rest of state, but bill will cut that even more.

Obituary: The Troubled Legacy of Tom Ament
Obituary

The Troubled Legacy of Tom Ament

Former county exec’s lucrative pension plan caused scandal, transformed Milwaukee politics, and led way for Scott Walker.

Murphy’s Law: Everybody Wants to Drive A Cab
Murphy’s Law

Everybody Wants to Drive A Cab

The city has 1,706 applications for 100 cab licenses. Milwaukee is suddenly becoming far more cab-friendly.

Murphy’s Law: Why Didn’t Chisholm Go After Democrats?
Murphy’s Law

Why Didn’t Chisholm Go After Democrats?

Republicans say the John Doe probe proves bias. So does the federal suit against DA. Are they right?

Murphy’s Law: The Long Arms of Uber
Murphy’s Law

The Long Arms of Uber

The upstart ride service company could replace cab companies across the globe, some predict. How will it change our city?

Back in the News: Private Email System Built in 2002 for Walker Staff?
Back in the News

Private Email System Built in 2002 for Walker Staff?

County’s human resources assistant director tells State Journal Walker’s staff installed system in 2002.

Murphy’s Law: Walker’s Sweet Revenge Against John Doe Prosecutors
Murphy’s Law

Walker’s Sweet Revenge Against John Doe Prosecutors

Walker’s office gets to choose the attorneys defending John Chisholm and company from a federal suit.

Murphy’s Law: Did Gov. Walker Have a Secret Email System?
Murphy’s Law

Did Gov. Walker Have a Secret Email System?

A Walker administration insider says some staff used private emails and personal laptops in the office.

Murphy’s Law: Why Did Thornton Leave?
Murphy’s Law

Why Did Thornton Leave?

The loss of MPS superintendent raises troubling questions about public education in Milwaukee.

Murphy’s Law: Why Southridge Doesn’t Want Your Business
Murphy’s Law

Why Southridge Doesn’t Want Your Business

Its owner, Simon Property, has a history of relocating bus stops and discouraging certain kinds of customers.

Murphy’s Law: The Wrath of Eric O’Keefe
Murphy’s Law

The Wrath of Eric O’Keefe

He’s under investigation in John Doe II but turning the tables on the District Attorney and making him sweat.

Murphy’s Law: Stealth Investors Target City’s Foreclosed Homes
Murphy’s Law

Stealth Investors Target City’s Foreclosed Homes

Somebody wants to buy all of Milwaukee’s foreclosed homes. Should we be glad -- or worried?

Murphy’s Law: Recall Effort Targets John Chisholm
Murphy’s Law

Recall Effort Targets John Chisholm

DA targeted by right wingers outraged by John Doe and liberal blacks angered by suspects killed in custody.

Murphy’s Law: John Doe II Is Anything But Partisan
Murphy’s Law

John Doe II Is Anything But Partisan

Scott Walker’s defenders call the probe a partisan witch hunt. But newly released court documents say otherwise.

Murphy’s Law: County Officials Delay Solving Bus System’s Woes
Murphy’s Law

County Officials Delay Solving Bus System’s Woes

Contractor chosen would save taxpayers $15 million a year. So why the delay?

Murphy’s Law: Can City Save Boston Store?
Murphy’s Law

Can City Save Boston Store?

City subsidy will keep declining store open, but leaves controversial questions about its downtown strategy.

Back in the News: Will Walker Change State’s School Standards?
Back in the News

Will Walker Change State’s School Standards?

Once again, Walker threatens to replace Common Core standards. Is he bluffing?

Murphy’s Law: The War Against Wind
Murphy’s Law

The War Against Wind

Wind power is booming in surrounding states but declining in Wisconsin. Why?

Murphy’s Law: Will Taxicab Issue Ever Be Settled?
Murphy’s Law

Will Taxicab Issue Ever Be Settled?

City Attorney’s legal opinion helps clarify things, but it’s still a contentious issue.

Murphy’s Law: Democratic Wedge Issues
Murphy’s Law

Democratic Wedge Issues

Republicans are out of step on issues like same sex marriage and medical marijuana.

Murphy’s Law: Republican Spat Exposes Party’s Divisions
Murphy’s Law

Republican Spat Exposes Party’s Divisions

Fight between Sensenbrenner and Ron Johnson over Obamacare is fascinating, revealing.

Murphy’s Law: Does Downer Avenue Need a Tax Subsidy?
Murphy’s Law

Does Downer Avenue Need a Tax Subsidy?

Developer Joel Lee claims the buzzing retail strip needs help from the city.

Murphy’s Law: Telephone Company Rip-Off
Murphy’s Law

Telephone Company Rip-Off

Now that the telecom industry is deregulated, AT&T can gouge customers with late fees.

Murphy’s Law: Crystal Ball for 2014
Murphy’s Law

Crystal Ball for 2014

25 predictions that are certain (well, maybe) to come true this year.

Murphy’s Law: Crazy Casino Politics
Murphy’s Law

Crazy Casino Politics

Both Gov. Walker and Mary Burke have mishandled the Kenosha Casino issue.

Murphy’s Law: The Disconnected City
Murphy’s Law

The Disconnected City

New study shows no way for workers to get to jobs. What are its solutions?

Back in the News: Why Walker Didn’t Graduate
Back in the News

Why Walker Didn’t Graduate

Journal Sentinel adds more to story, but still leaves some mystery.

Murphy’s Law: Tom Ament Strikes Again
Murphy’s Law

Tom Ament Strikes Again

Author of infamous pension plan also devised a 1990 measure giving supervisors unconstitutional power over executive appointees.

Murphy’s Law: $1 Billion Needed for Milwaukee Facilities
Murphy’s Law

$1 Billion Needed for Milwaukee Facilities

Public Policy Forum study says $400 million needed for NBA arena, $300 million for convention center and rest for other facilities.

Murphy’s Law: The Legacy of Betty Quadracci
Murphy’s Law

The Legacy of Betty Quadracci

Her impact on local journalism and the creation of Quad/Graphics was great -- and greatly underestimated.

Murphy’s Law: Why the Minimum Wage Should Be Increased
Murphy’s Law

Why the Minimum Wage Should Be Increased

It could do more than anything to reduce the income gap in this state.

Murphy’s Law: The New Non-Profit Kingpins
Murphy’s Law

The New Non-Profit Kingpins

As SDC declines, groups like Community Advocates and Next Door are on the rise.

Murphy’s Law: Can Burke Beat Walker?
Murphy’s Law

Can Burke Beat Walker?

The 2014 campaign may depend on which candidate has the best story to tell.

Back in the News: The Glass Ceiling for Women
Back in the News

The Glass Ceiling for Women

Latest report shows little progress for women in state’s corporate boardrooms.

Murphy’s Law: Can County Board Solve Taxicab Problem?
Murphy’s Law

Can County Board Solve Taxicab Problem?

The board's resolution got media play, but will probably accomplish nothing.

Murphy’s Law: New Probe is Big Trouble for Walker
Murphy’s Law

New Probe is Big Trouble for Walker

Both the first and second John Doe have focused on his campaigns, suggesting a disturbing pattern.

Murphy’s Law: Who Will Run the County Buses?
Murphy’s Law

Who Will Run the County Buses?

You need a scorecard to follow all the bizarre changes on this issue.

Murphy’s Law: Police Scam Artists
Murphy’s Law

Police Scam Artists

Why does the cop’s union protect officers who rip off taxpayers?

Back in the News: Talgo Files Claim Against State
Back in the News

Talgo Files Claim Against State

State would have to pay $136 million for canceling train contract.

Murphy’s Law: The Nuclear Option
Murphy’s Law

The Nuclear Option

Supervisors nuke Chris Abele’s staff salaries. Will this hurt the county?

Murphy’s Law: Milwaukee’s Most Underestimated Leader?
Murphy’s Law

Milwaukee’s Most Underestimated Leader?

MPS superintendent Gregory Thornton has quietly righted a ship that once looked ready to sink.

Murphy’s Law: The Decline of Local Control
Murphy’s Law

The Decline of Local Control

Republicans favor local control. So why are they passing so many laws ending it?

Murphy’s Law: Why a Regional Tax is Needed
Murphy’s Law

Why a Regional Tax is Needed

A regional tax for amenities like Milwaukee’s zoo and art museum is needed. Will they benefit from effort to help the Milwaukee Bucks?

Murphy’s Law: Why Governments Never Cooperate With Each Other
Murphy’s Law

Why Governments Never Cooperate With Each Other

Chris Abele seeks to improve efficiency through cooperative ventures with municipal governments. Will the county board resist?

Murphy’s Law: The New Right-Wing Media
Murphy’s Law

The New Right-Wing Media

The state is a national leader in creating new conservative publications.

Murphy’s Law: How Republicans Will Hurt City Real Estate
Murphy’s Law

How Republicans Will Hurt City Real Estate

Reacting to a smelly deal involving one school building, legislators are pushing a badly-flawed bill that worsens the problem.

Murphy’s Law: New Moves to Bail Out the Bucks
Murphy’s Law

New Moves to Bail Out the Bucks

Bradley Center and business leaders search for a clever way to subsidize the NBA team.

Murphy’s Law: How to Nab Bad Guys
Murphy’s Law

How to Nab Bad Guys

ShotSpotter has become a key tool for city police, but Walker says no to funding and Abele says yes.

Murphy’s Law: How to Kill a Democracy
Murphy’s Law

How to Kill a Democracy

Glenn Grothman’s proposal would shield 96% of all political donations, ending transparency in campaigns.

Murphy’s Law: David Clarke the False Conservative
Murphy’s Law

David Clarke the False Conservative

Sheriff Clarke claims the right to spend as much as he wants, while the media ignores this and simply reports on his rants.

Murphy’s Law: The High Cost of Calatrava
Murphy’s Law

The High Cost of Calatrava

Overruns on his projects are killing other cities. The impact on Milwaukee and its art museum was more positive.

Murphy’s Law: The Problem of Poverty
Murphy’s Law

The Problem of Poverty

Poverty is rising faster in Wisconsin and the city of Milwaukee than nationally.

Murphy’s Law: Will Paul Ryan Be Romney Redux?
Murphy’s Law

Will Paul Ryan Be Romney Redux?

He’s a favorite of Republicans, but Democrats may be secretly cheering for him as well.

Murphy’s Law: Wisconsin, Land of the Plutocrats
Murphy’s Law

Wisconsin, Land of the Plutocrats

Forbes 400 list offers more evidence of wealth gap in Wisconsin.

Murphy’s Law: Capitol Sex Scandal Confirmed
Murphy’s Law

Capitol Sex Scandal Confirmed

Judge confirms affair between state DHS secretary and his legal counsel, and jealously abusive husband gets off with a misdemeanor.

Murphy’s Law: The Debtor Governor
Murphy’s Law

The Debtor Governor

Figures from non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau figures show Walker’s debt level the worst since 1970.

Murphy’s Law: The Media’s Declining Clout
Murphy’s Law

The Media’s Declining Clout

As newspaper readership declines, government officials increasingly ignore stories that once would have embarrassed them.

Murphy’s Law: Casino Wars
Murphy’s Law

Casino Wars

The Potawatomi have spent millions to lobby against a Kenosha casino. Is Gov. Walker their latest ally?

Murphy’s Law: How MPS Is Improving Instruction
Murphy’s Law

How MPS Is Improving Instruction

Common Core Standards are changing schools here and statewide, but Tea Party Republicans object.

Murphy’s Law: WI Could Still Get Higher Speed Rail
Murphy’s Law

WI Could Still Get Higher Speed Rail

Minnesota is hatching a Twin Cities-to-Milwaukee-to-Chicago plan, putting Gov. Walker on the spot.

Murphy’s Law: Republican Dog & Pony Show
Murphy’s Law

Republican Dog & Pony Show

Legislators Vos and Darling tour city but offer no solutions. So why did they come?

Murphy’s Law: Who’s Building Milwaukee?
Murphy’s Law

Who’s Building Milwaukee?

Not minority workers, it seems. New study shows non-whites not very welcome in construction trades.

Murphy’s Law: Can Wisconsin Avenue Be Saved?
Murphy’s Law

Can Wisconsin Avenue Be Saved?

A city task force hopes to revive the street but the obstacles are many.

Murphy’s Law: Milwaukee Medical Costs Finally Declining?
Murphy’s Law

Milwaukee Medical Costs Finally Declining?

Long known for globally high costs, Milwaukee show signs of a relative decline in prices.

Murphy’s Law: Global Warming Cover-Up
Murphy’s Law

Global Warming Cover-Up

Journal Sentinel’s coverage of Lake Michigan’s decline is bizarrely slanted. Why?

Abele Dumps County Transit Company

Abele Dumps County Transit Company

Public bidding process awards bus contract to for-profit company.

Murphy’s Law: The Truth About State Taxes
Murphy’s Law

The Truth About State Taxes

They were never lower than under Jim Doyle, as new data shows.

Murphy’s Law: Is Milwaukee the Next Detroit?
Murphy’s Law

Is Milwaukee the Next Detroit?

Analyzing this city’s key strengths and weaknesses.

Murphy’s Law: The $1 Million Art Project
Murphy’s Law

The $1 Million Art Project

Steve Marcus’ plan to bring world class sculpture to Milwaukee is expensive. Is it a good idea?

Murphy’s Law: Concealed Carry Craziness
Murphy’s Law

Concealed Carry Craziness

Road rage and guns? Does concealed carry really make us safer?

Murphy’s Law: The Myth of the Welders Shortage
Murphy’s Law

The Myth of the Welders Shortage

Journal Sentinel claims it’s because MATC does a poor job of training workers. Is that true?

Murphy’s Law: Why We Lag in Kids’ Dental Care
Murphy’s Law

Why We Lag in Kids’ Dental Care

Study says WI is 2nd-worst state in America. It’s not true, but there are ways we could improve.

Back in the News: Can Old Warner Theater Be Saved?
Back in the News

Can Old Warner Theater Be Saved?

Journal Sentinel picks up on our story, and Marcus Corp. says it will consider selling building.

Murphy’s Law: The Curious Case of Kimberly Walker
Murphy’s Law

The Curious Case of Kimberly Walker

The board is angry at Abele so they fired Walker. Go figure.

Murphy’s Law: Milwaukee County Great Place to Lose Your Job
Murphy’s Law

Milwaukee County Great Place to Lose Your Job

Both the county exec and county board have made the courthouse a perilous place for appointed staff.

Murphy’s Law: Jim Sensenbrenner, Civil Libertarian?
Murphy’s Law

Jim Sensenbrenner, Civil Libertarian?

Will Wisconsin’s congressman protect us from Obama’s NSA surveillance?

Murphy’s Law: The Strange Life of John Menard
Murphy’s Law

The Strange Life of John Menard

A lurid legal suit against him is the latest chapter in the retail billionaire’s bizarre life.

Murphy’s Law: The Decline of Sheriff Clarke
Murphy’s Law

The Decline of Sheriff Clarke

The weirder and crankier he gets, the more unlikely his reelection.

Murphy’s Law: Why Walker Opposes Obamacare
Murphy’s Law

Why Walker Opposes Obamacare

His opposition to more federal dollars for Medicaid will hurt Wisconsin, but help his campaign for president.

Murphy’s Law: Does Wisconsin Really Have a “Skills Gap”?
Murphy’s Law

Does Wisconsin Really Have a “Skills Gap”?

Journal Sentinel stories continue to insist we do, but a new study says no.

Murphy’s Law: Don’t Mess with the Press
Murphy’s Law

Don’t Mess with the Press

The state budget bill has huge consequences, but the media is most concerned about its impact on... the media.

Murphy’s Law: GOP Fast Tracks a Smelly Bill
Murphy’s Law

GOP Fast Tracks a Smelly Bill

The elections bill will suppress voting by average folks while giving corporations and lobbyists more clout.

Murphy’s Law: In Defense of Goo Goos
Murphy’s Law

In Defense of Goo Goos

Why we need the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign and Wisconsin Taxpayer’s Alliance.

Murphy’s Law: Newspaper Wears Blinders on Global Warming
Murphy’s Law

Newspaper Wears Blinders on Global Warming

In eight years of stories on Lake Michigan’s water level, the Journal Sentinel has never mentioned global warming.

Murphy’s Law: Bail Bond Bill Will Create Debtor’s Prisons
Murphy’s Law

Bail Bond Bill Will Create Debtor’s Prisons

Why are Republicans pushing a bill opposed almost unanimously by criminal justice professionals?

Back in the News: Don Smiley’s Ever-Higher Salary
Back in the News

Don Smiley’s Ever-Higher Salary

His salary rose by $114,000, to more than $886,000, and the explanations keep getting thinner.

Murphy’s Law: The Not-So Fiscally Conservative Governor
Murphy’s Law

The Not-So Fiscally Conservative Governor

Scott Walker hasn’t solved the state’s longterm fiscal deficit. He may actually make it worse.

Murphy’s Law: Does MACC Fund Give Enough to Charity?
Murphy’s Law

Does MACC Fund Give Enough to Charity?

The high-profile group spends a lot on administration, including a salary for Jon McGlocklin.

Murphy’s Law: The Voucher Lobby
Murphy’s Law

The Voucher Lobby

Lobbying for school choice provides big money for Republicans.

Back in the News: The Arrogance of Summerfest
Back in the News

The Arrogance of Summerfest

Mayor Barrett met with Summerfest board members, who agreed to share more information about its finances and director’s compensation.

Murphy’s Law: Did Sue Black Pay Nothing to “Buy” Wave Team?
Murphy’s Law

Did Sue Black Pay Nothing to “Buy” Wave Team?

The Milwaukee Wave has been a money loser, which might explain why she paid little, and why she's under pressure to turn the team around.

Murphy’s Law: The War Between Steve Schultze and Chris Abele
Murphy’s Law

The War Between Steve Schultze and Chris Abele

County exec tries to undermine county reporter because of his slanted stories.

Murphy’s Law: The Mystery of Sanfelippo’s Taxicab Empire
Murphy’s Law

The Mystery of Sanfelippo’s Taxicab Empire

Why is Rep. Joe Sanfelippo the registered agent for all of his brother’s many companies?

Murphy’s Law: No Country for Black Men
Murphy’s Law

No Country for Black Men

New study shows Wisconsin leads the nation in black incarceration, with a shockingly high rate. Why?

Murphy’s Law: Terrible Town for Taxis
Murphy’s Law

Terrible Town for Taxis

How a city permit system enabled a cartel to dominate the taxicab business, stifling competition and providing poor service.

Murphy’s Law: County Board Violates Its Own Law
Murphy’s Law

County Board Violates Its Own Law

Lobbyists have worked without board approval, which could be a cause for “discharge” of board chair Dimitrivjevic.

Murphy’s Law: Myths About a New NBA Arena
Murphy’s Law

Myths About a New NBA Arena

In their zeal to build new, publicly-funded arena, proponents are misleading the community.

Murphy’s Law: Why Republicans Are Wrong About Recalls
Murphy’s Law

Why Republicans Are Wrong About Recalls

The bill to restrict recalls is a naked attempt by political officials to protect their jobs.

Murphy’s Law: The Arrogance of Summerfest
Murphy’s Law

The Arrogance of Summerfest

Why the tax-exempt, city-supported non-profit should be transparent about its director’s salary.

Murphy’s Law: More Power for Pat?
Murphy’s Law

More Power for Pat?

Roggensack’s reelection solidifies her power and that of the conservative bloc she often leads.

Back in the News: County Backdrops
Back in the News

County Backdrops

Unions have filed suit to protect the infamous backdrops, which made many county employees wealthy.

Murphy’s Law: Winners and Losers
Murphy’s Law

Winners and Losers

It was a good election for Scott Walker and conservatives but there were some bright spots for liberals.

Murphy’s Law: Sheriff Clarke’s New Buddies
Murphy’s Law

Sheriff Clarke’s New Buddies

The conservative lawman and liberal county board have suddenly gotten very friendly. Why?

Murphy’s Law: Who’s the Conservative for Circuit Judge?
Murphy’s Law

Who’s the Conservative for Circuit Judge?

The race between Rebecca Bradley and Janet Protasiewicz is hard to call.

Murphy’s Law: Journal Sentinel Story Doesn’t Hold Water
Murphy’s Law

Journal Sentinel Story Doesn’t Hold Water

Story slams Milwaukee water utility though it’s actually cheaper than others in the region.

Murphy’s Law: Can Fallone Beat Roggensack?
Murphy’s Law

Can Fallone Beat Roggensack?

Pat Roggensack leads the Supreme Court's conservative bloc and may be its most powerful justice. Ed Fallone blames a "dysfunctional court" on her.

Murphy’s Law: Paul Ryan Most Overrated Politician?
Murphy’s Law

Paul Ryan Most Overrated Politician?

The media has anointed him a policy wonk. But none of his numbers add up.

Murphy’s Law: Wisconsin a Tax Heaven for Businesses
Murphy’s Law

Wisconsin a Tax Heaven for Businesses

The evidence suggests taxes are low on businesses, and have been for many years.

Murphy’s Law: Democrats in Disarray
Murphy’s Law

Democrats in Disarray

The firing of its state spokesperson is just another sign the party has lost its way.

Murphy’s Law: The World According to Tim Sullivan
Murphy’s Law

The World According to Tim Sullivan

The business leader's unproven idea of a “skills gap” is misleading state policymakers.

Murphy’s Law: Mystery Around Dennis Smith Deepens
Murphy’s Law

Mystery Around Dennis Smith Deepens

Departure of state health department secretary leaves many questions unanswered -- and lots of secrecy.

Murphy’s Law: Super Scott
Murphy’s Law

Super Scott

Democrats continue to underestimate Walker, even as he radically transforms the state.

Murphy’s Law: Voucher Madness
Murphy’s Law

Voucher Madness

Gov. Walker wants lots more choice schools, except in Republican districts. Why?

Back in the News: The Dennis Smith “Affair”
Back in the News

The Dennis Smith “Affair”

State health secretary resigns after legal motions filed by accused murderer claiming his wife had affair with Smith.

Murphy’s Law: How to Crush Milwaukee
Murphy’s Law

How to Crush Milwaukee

Ending the residency requirement will deal a devastating blow to Milwaukee’s property tax base.

Murphy’s Law: The Not-So-Straight Story
Murphy’s Law

The Not-So-Straight Story

Journal Sentinel coverage of county board downsizing misleads folks on both sides of issue.

Murphy’s Law: The African American Advantage
Murphy’s Law

The African American Advantage

The county’s black residents have $3.6 billion in annual income and black neighborhoods have far more purchasing power than suburbs.

Murphy’s Law: The Return of Sue Black
Murphy’s Law

The Return of Sue Black

How she got the new job. And will she run against Chris Abele?

Murphy’s Law: Republican Plan to Steal Elections
Murphy’s Law

Republican Plan to Steal Elections

Priebus and others push strategies to win presidency with a minority of votes.

Murphy’s Law: County Lobbyists Asleep on the Job?
Murphy’s Law

County Lobbyists Asleep on the Job?

They should be working to get more state funding. But they’re too busy protecting the county board.

Murphy’s Law: Rep. Sanfelippo Says Full-Speed Ahead
Murphy’s Law

Rep. Sanfelippo Says Full-Speed Ahead

His bill to downsize county government will be introduced next week and he predicts it will pass.

Murphy’s Law: America Discovers Sheriff Clarke
Murphy’s Law

America Discovers Sheriff Clarke

Clarke appears on Piers Morgan with Tom Barrett and gets beat up by both Morgan and the mayor.

Murphy’s Law: Hines Would Reduce Fire & Police Commission Power
Murphy’s Law

Hines Would Reduce Fire & Police Commission Power

Council appears to back radical change, Barrett seems lukewarm.

Back in the News: Sheriff David Clarke
Back in the News

Sheriff David Clarke

His radio ads says he needs the help of armed homeowners, but Clarke has almost nothing to do with combating violent crime.

Murphy’s Law: The Incomplete Story
Murphy’s Law

The Incomplete Story

How the Journal Sentinel slants the story on venture capital -- and on downsizing the county board.

Murphy’s Law: Act 10 Could Still Be in Trouble
Murphy’s Law

Act 10 Could Still Be in Trouble

Federal appeals court decision looks shaky, and state lawyers made mistakes defending anti-union law.

Murphy’s Law: Bill to Cut Supervisor Pay Likely
Murphy’s Law

Bill to Cut Supervisor Pay Likely

Despite Republican delays and opposition by the board, the bill has a good chance of passage.

Murphy’s Law: Biggest Taxer in Town
Murphy’s Law

Biggest Taxer in Town

Over the last five years property taxes have been driven by just one of the five local taxing units: Milwaukee Public Schools.

Murphy’s Law: Robin Hood in Reverse
Murphy’s Law

Robin Hood in Reverse

Republicans’ tax plan assures that Wisconsin follows other states in the race to the bottom.

Murphy’s Law: Why We Need a Part-Time County Board
Murphy’s Law

Why We Need a Part-Time County Board

For 125 years, the board was part-time. Then Tom Ament and company nudged it up to full-time. Why?

Murphy’s Law: Wisconsin’s Rising Wealth Gap
Murphy’s Law

Wisconsin’s Rising Wealth Gap

In the last decade all $4.8 billion in income gains went to the wealthiest 20 percent. All boats aren’t rising.

Murphy’s Law: Going Easy on Drunk Drivers?
Murphy’s Law

Going Easy on Drunk Drivers?

Journal Sentinel wouldn’t report a CEO’s drunk driving, but Patch.com did. Who’s right?

Murphy’s Law: Still Defending the Infamous Pension Plan
Murphy’s Law

Still Defending the Infamous Pension Plan

County Exec Abele wants to cut back the lucrative backdrop provision. Why are supervisors delaying this?

Murphy’s Law: Women Need Not Apply
Murphy’s Law

Women Need Not Apply

Led by MGIC, seven of Wisconsin’s top companies are men’s clubs, with no women in the executive suite.

Murphy’s Law: The Curious Case of Stephen Einhorn
Murphy’s Law

The Curious Case of Stephen Einhorn

The man who “feared” for his family’s privacy is a political activist and capital insider grabbing government funding for his company.

Murphy’s Law: Republicans Sneaking Bill on Same Day Registration?
Murphy’s Law

Republicans Sneaking Bill on Same Day Registration?

Voters would probably oppose it, so GOP needs to pass the legislation very, very quietly.

Murphy’s Law: Land of Corporate Blackmail
Murphy’s Law

Land of Corporate Blackmail

A bombshell story shows Wisconsin is a national leader in tax handouts to business.

Murphy’s Law: Mayor Backs Flynn, Slams Newspaper
Murphy’s Law

Mayor Backs Flynn, Slams Newspaper

Journal Sentinel’s series on data errors “takes crime fighting officers off the street,” Barrett charges.

Murphy’s Law: How State Aid to Cities Has Plummeted
Murphy’s Law

How State Aid to Cities Has Plummeted

Milwaukee is getting killed by declining shared revenue, violating a century-old state agreement.

Murphy’s Law: How Coal Hurts Minorities
Murphy’s Law

How Coal Hurts Minorities

A new study finds Wisconsin a leader in environmental racism. But is the state improving?

Murphy’s Law: The Rise of Chris Larson
Murphy’s Law

The Rise of Chris Larson

Is he a young liberal heavyweight? Or a punching bag for Republicans?

Murphy’s Law: The Anti-Health Care Governor?
Murphy’s Law

The Anti-Health Care Governor?

Even as Scott Walker throws people off health care, he opposes federal programs that would increase coverage and lower costs.

Murphy’s Law: Journal Sentinel’s Circulation Problem
Murphy’s Law

Journal Sentinel’s Circulation Problem

The statistics point to underlying problems. Meanwhile, some stories are undermining the brand.

Murphy’s Law: The High Cost of the County Board
Murphy’s Law

The High Cost of the County Board

We could save millions and improve efficiency by cutting the county board and its huge staff.

Murphy’s Law: Deaths in Custody Decline Under Flynn
Murphy’s Law

Deaths in Custody Decline Under Flynn

Journal Sentinel story criticizing department doesn’t report data showing decline.

Murphy’s Law: It’s the Middle Class, Stupid
Murphy’s Law

It’s the Middle Class, Stupid

How Romney and Ryan alienated average Americans.

Murphy’s Law: 25 Winners and Losers
Murphy’s Law

25 Winners and Losers

The list is long (and fun). This was a campaign with real consequences.

Murphy’s Law: Will Art Museum Dump Stephen Einhorn?

Murphy’s Law

Will Art Museum Dump Stephen Einhorn?


The wealthy funder of voter fraud billboards creates negative publicity for Milwaukee Art Museum.

Murphy’s Law: Did Journal Sentinel Censor Story?
Murphy’s Law

Did Journal Sentinel Censor Story?

Conservative columnist Christian Schneider hides his erroneous story, hurting his -- and the paper’s -- credibility.

Murphy’s Law: Who’s Right in County Budget Battle?
Murphy’s Law

Who’s Right in County Budget Battle?

County Board Chair Marina Dimitrijevic trashes Abele’s budget. But did she improve it?

Murphy’s Law: How to Prevent Gun Rampages
Murphy’s Law

How to Prevent Gun Rampages

No one is talking about the real legal changes that might have prevented the Brookfield spa shootings.

Murphy’s Law: Radical Surgery by Journal Sentinel
Murphy’s Law

Radical Surgery by Journal Sentinel

Its decision to end candidate endorsements is a huge change that could reshape the newspaper.

Murphy’s Law: Sykes’ Suspicious Smokescreen
Murphy’s Law

Sykes’ Suspicious Smokescreen

Charlie Sykes uses anonymous interview to claim the “family” putting up voter fraud billboards fears for its safety.

Murphy’s Law: The Rise of MU Law School
Murphy’s Law

The Rise of MU Law School

How it became the state's leading pollster and a high profile place for public forums.

Murphy’s Law: The $74 Million Gamble
Murphy’s Law

The $74 Million Gamble

Can Milwaukee become a world water hub? It’s betting $74 million it can.

Murphy’s Law: Is Chief Flynn Off the Hook?
Murphy’s Law

Is Chief Flynn Off the Hook?

The federal investigation could cool calls for Flynn's resignation.

Murphy’s Law: Stealth Conservatives
Murphy’s Law

Stealth Conservatives

Bradley-funded think tank changes its polls and subsidizes Journal Sentinel’s right-wing columnist.

Murphy’s Law: The public is “understandably horrified.”
Murphy’s Law

The public is “understandably horrified.”

Chief Flynn frankly discusses the death of Derek Williams in police custody.

Murphy’s Law: Should Chief Flynn Resign?
Murphy’s Law

Should Chief Flynn Resign?

The city is divided over the chief. But is it all his fault?

Murphy’s Law: Too Many Cops in Milwaukee County?
Murphy’s Law

Too Many Cops in Milwaukee County?

The high cost of a huge sheriff’s budget and 19 local police departments.

Murphy’s Law: Journal Sentinel Swallows GOP Propaganda
Murphy’s Law

Journal Sentinel Swallows GOP Propaganda

It was the nation’s only daily newspaper to fall for an anti-Obama business "survey."

Murphy’s Law: Why Romney Can’t Win Wisconsin
Murphy’s Law

Why Romney Can’t Win Wisconsin

Romney's misunderstanding of the Republican base could kill him.

Murphy’s Law: The Mighty County Board
Murphy’s Law

The Mighty County Board

A doormat a decade ago, the board is now far more powerful -- much to Chris Abele’s chagrin.

Murphy’s Law: The Six Wives of Edo de Waart
Murphy’s Law

The Six Wives of Edo de Waart

Little old Milwaukee seems to have the most continental conductor in the world.

Murphy’s Law: The Latest Journal Sentinel Purge
Murphy’s Law

The Latest Journal Sentinel Purge

Some big names could be leaving the ever-shrinking newspaper.

Murphy’s Law: Did Republicans Blow It?
Murphy’s Law

Did Republicans Blow It?

The court decision striking down collective bargaining law exposes obvious constitutional problems with it.

Murphy’s Law: Rich Park, Poor Park
Murphy’s Law

Rich Park, Poor Park

Milwaukee County Parks is increasingly a two-tier system, with the worst maintained parks in poor areas.

Murphy’s Law: Capital Sex Scandal
Murphy’s Law

Capital Sex Scandal

Strange but true: Star member of Gov. Walker’s cabinet is accused of an affair that led to attempted murder.

Murphy’s Law: Can Tammy Beat Tommy?
Murphy’s Law

Can Tammy Beat Tommy?

She wouldn’t have a chance against the old Tommy, but the newer edition could be beat.

Murphy’s Law: Why Voter Fraud Is So Rare
Murphy’s Law

Why Voter Fraud Is So Rare

What the experts know that the scaremongers are deliberately ignoring.

Murphy’s Law: Are Republicans More Generous?
Murphy’s Law

Are Republicans More Generous?

A new study shows blue states give far less to charity than red states.

Murphy’s Law: Will State Screw Milwaukee?
Murphy’s Law

Will State Screw Milwaukee?

Expert condemns state for switching Milwaukee’s foster care funding to help other counties.

Murphy’s Law: Abele Under Fire
Murphy’s Law

Abele Under Fire

Has the Johnny Thomas situation poisoned relations between the county exec and county board?

Murphy’s Law: City Defies Journal Sentinel
Murphy’s Law

City Defies Journal Sentinel

Fire & Police Commission will hire consultant the newspaper repeatedly claims is biased.

Murphy’s Law: The Tragedy of Chris and Sue
Murphy’s Law

The Tragedy of Chris and Sue

How the friendship of Abele and Black turned into bitter enmity.

Murphy’s Law: The Journal Sentinel’s Attack Dog
Murphy’s Law

The Journal Sentinel’s Attack Dog

Two stories this week continue its relentlessly biased coverage of Chief Flynn and the police department.

Murphy’s Law: Myths About Black’s Firing
Murphy’s Law

Myths About Black’s Firing

Strip away the myths and you begin to see why Abele dumped her.

Murphy’s Law: Election’s Winners and Losers
Murphy’s Law

Election’s Winners and Losers

An insider's look at who's up -- and who's down -- as a result of the August primary.

Why Was Sue Black Fired?

Why Was Sue Black Fired?

The development is a shocker as Abele was a friend and supporter of the highly regarded parks director.

Murphy’s Law: Is the Journal Sentinel for Sale?
Murphy’s Law

Is the Journal Sentinel for Sale?

The sale could be a disaster for employees -- and for the city.

Murphy’s Law: Why Ryan Won’t Help Romney
Murphy’s Law

Why Ryan Won’t Help Romney

He’s sexy, charming, articulate -- but exactly the wrong choice for Republicans.

Murphy’s Law: Will Herb Kohl Blackmail Milwaukee?
Murphy’s Law

Will Herb Kohl Blackmail Milwaukee?

The Bucks need a new arena. Time to start threatening to move the team.

The Chatter: Fitzgerald’s Strangely Sleepy Campaign
The Chatter

Fitzgerald’s Strangely Sleepy Campaign

Is Jeff Fitzgerald running for U.S. Senator or top lobbyist?

Murphy’s Law: Monopoly Greed
Murphy’s Law

Monopoly Greed

We Energies grabs big profits and big executive pay while driving electric rates into the stratosphere.

Murphy’s Law: The Eternal Stadium Tax
Murphy’s Law

The Eternal Stadium Tax

It was originally supposed to end two years ago, but the Miller Park sales tax just goes on and on.

The Chatter: The Voter Suppression Game
The Chatter

The Voter Suppression Game

Both parties are devising strategies to discourage voting. But Republicans are using government power.

Murphy’s Law: Why Photo ID is Dead
Murphy’s Law

Why Photo ID is Dead

The Republican law will never become legal, because of Wisconsin’s unique constitution

Murphy’s Law: Richie Rich
Murphy’s Law

Richie Rich

Republican Senate candidate Eric Hovde’s basic message is simple: elect me because I’m wealthy.

The Chatter: The Chicago Challenge
The Chatter

The Chicago Challenge

Economic cooperation with our massive neighbor could help Milwaukee. But Gov.Scott Walker stands in the way.

Murphy’s Law: Tommy the Taxer
Murphy’s Law

Tommy the Taxer

The old tax-and-spend governor Republican may be far too moderate to win the Republican Senate primary.

The Chatter: Abele vs County Board — Again
The Chatter

Abele vs County Board — Again

Someone leaked the info on Abele's plan for a 44 story lakefront tower, leaving him apologizing to the board.

Murphy’s Law: Dumping on Milwaukee
Murphy’s Law

Dumping on Milwaukee

How a Pulitzer-Prize winning reporter distorted data to bad rap the city.

Murphy’s Law: Rocky Road
Murphy’s Law

Rocky Road

Some aldermen want to dump DCD head Rocky Marcoux, but Mayor Barrett disagrees.

Murphy’s Law: “Indignant” Police Chief Defends Department’s Integrity
Murphy’s Law

“Indignant” Police Chief Defends Department’s Integrity

Chief Flynn provides data that calls into question the Journal Sentinel’s reporting.

The Chatter: Will Allen Goes Viral
The Chatter

Will Allen Goes Viral

From ABC News to Colbert, everybody is celebrating Will Allen.

Murphy’s Law: The War Against Chief Flynn
Murphy’s Law

The War Against Chief Flynn

Why is the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel trashing the city’s best police chief in decades?

Murphy’s Law: Why Walker Won’t Compromise
Murphy’s Law

Why Walker Won’t Compromise

He now says he will bring us together. But don’t bet on it.

The Chatter: The Trial of Chris Abele
The Chatter

The Trial of Chris Abele

Sued by Shepherd Express editor Lou Fortis, Abele goes on the stand for allegedly stealing a film festival.

Murphy’s Law: Why Walker Won
Murphy’s Law

Why Walker Won

Democrats blame money, but might examine their muddled message.

The Chatter: The Democrats’ Secret Weapon
The Chatter

The Democrats’ Secret Weapon

Lt. Governor candidate Mahlon Mitchell could help turnout more black voters -- so why haven’t Dems made more use of him?

Murphy’s Law: The Farley Fiasco
Murphy’s Law

The Farley Fiasco

Is the County board punishing Abele’s aide Patrick Farley for whistle blowing?

Murphy’s Law: Did the State Screw Talgo?
Murphy’s Law

Did the State Screw Talgo?

The train company's stunned CEO blasts Wisconsin for breaching its contract “like a Third World country.”

The Chatter: Did Walker or Barrett Win Debate?
The Chatter

Did Walker or Barrett Win Debate?

Barrett was punchy, Walker was cool. Which strategy will convert more voters?

Murphy’s Law: Milwaukee Could Decide Race
Murphy’s Law

Milwaukee Could Decide Race

Without a high county turnout, Tom Barrett is toast.

Murphy’s Law: The Invisible Man
Murphy’s Law

The Invisible Man

The chief opponent of the art museum’s $25 million repair plan has stood by while the War Memorial rotted away.

The Chatter: The Barrett-Walker ‘Hood
The Chatter

The Barrett-Walker ‘Hood

The candidates are worlds apart politically -- but practically neighbors.

Murphy’s Law: The Media’s $10 Million Error
Murphy’s Law

The Media’s $10 Million Error

The art museum’s plan to repair the War Memorial will cost $25 million, not $15 million. And that’s not all the errors.

Murphy’s Law: Bob Donovan’s Shadowy Charity
Murphy’s Law

Bob Donovan’s Shadowy Charity

Operation Impact raises money to combat crime. But where are its records?

The Chatter: Will Abele Run for Mayor?
The Chatter

Will Abele Run for Mayor?

That's one way to consolidate city and county government, by grabbing both executive positions.

Murphy’s Law: The Anti-Recall Patriots
Murphy’s Law

The Anti-Recall Patriots

Suddenly it’s become patriotic to oppose recalls. Wouldn’t Tom Ament be surprised.

Murphy’s Law: Senator Wanggaard’s Double Dipping
Murphy’s Law

Senator Wanggaard’s Double Dipping

State Sen. Van Wanggaard cuts benefits for workers while getting ever more for himself.

Murphy’s Law: Karen Ordinans’ Role in Shaping the Pension Plan
Murphy’s Law

Karen Ordinans’ Role in Shaping the Pension Plan

One of the remarkable stories in local government is the continuing survival of County Board chair Karen Ordinans.

Murphy’s Law: The Embarrassing Failure of Miller Park
Murphy’s Law

The Embarrassing Failure of Miller Park

The Milwaukee Brewers have begun the season with a horrendous start, one that is setting franchise records for futility.

Murphy’s Law: Why Unions Don’t Like Scott Walker
Murphy’s Law

Why Unions Don’t Like Scott Walker

Given that Jim Ryan has not closed the door completely on privatizing some government functions, you might wonder why he was endorsed by labor for county executive.

Murphy’s Law: Why Jim Ryan Could Be In Trouble
Murphy’s Law

Why Jim Ryan Could Be In Trouble

Speaking as someone who predicted the one-two finish of Scott Walker and Jim Ryan, the big surprise of the county executive race was Tyrone Dumas' strong fourth place finish, just behind Tom Nardelli.

Murphy’s Law: Why Scott McCallum Is In Big Trouble
Murphy’s Law

Why Scott McCallum Is In Big Trouble

It was amusing to see the photo of Gov. McCallum that ran on the front page of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last week.

Murphy’s Law: Has the Teacher’s Union Taken Over the GOP?
Murphy’s Law

Has the Teacher’s Union Taken Over the GOP?

It was not long ago that the state teacher's union was the designated villain for Republicans.

Murphy’s Law: Why Gov. McCallum’s Spending Priorities Were Wrong
Murphy’s Law

Why Gov. McCallum’s Spending Priorities Were Wrong

As the legislature wrestles with the state budget deficit, there has been talk of cutting every level of government except the schools.

Murphy’s Law: Is Nardelli Qualified To Be County Executive?
Murphy’s Law

Is Nardelli Qualified To Be County Executive?

Nothing should surprise us about county government at this point, but it does seem odd that the two favorites in the race for county executive are Scott Walker and Tom Nardelli, neither of whom has a college degree.

Murphy’s Law: Is Scott Walker Qualified To Be County Exec?
Murphy’s Law

Is Scott Walker Qualified To Be County Exec?

Rep. Scott K. Walker (R-Wauwatosa) was the first candidate to announce for county executive, and is widely considered one of the front-runners for the position.

Murphy’s Law: Which County Board Members Only Work Part-Time?
Murphy’s Law

Which County Board Members Only Work Part-Time?

It was 9 a.m. on a Friday morning in late October of last year when I began calling county supervisors for a story in Milwaukee Magazine.

Murphy’s Law: Dobbert’s Folly: How His Errors Will Cost Taxpayers More
Murphy’s Law

Dobbert’s Folly

It was sometime in the winter of 1999/2000 that Gary Dobbert went to a conference on the West Coast where he learned about pension plans with a lump sum pay out.

Murphy’s Law: Why Ament Will Lose And How Taxpayers Will Suffer
Murphy’s Law

Why Ament Will Lose And How Taxpayers Will Suffer

Tom Ament's suit against the recall petitions will probably fail. That's the prediction of George Dunst, legal counsel for the state elections board.

Murphy’s Law: Can Falk And Thompson Play Spoilers in the Governor’s Race?
Murphy’s Law

Can Falk And Thompson Play Spoilers in the Governor’s Race?

I'm hard pressed to think of a more interesting state race than the upcoming campaign for governor.

Murphy’s Law: Is Ament’s Pension Deal Biased Against Blacks?
Murphy’s Law

Is Ament’s Pension Deal Biased Against Blacks?

In the wake of the pension controversy, County Executive F. Thomas Ament has attempted to woo the black community in hopes that strong support there might keep him in office.

Murphy’s Law: Ament’s Sweetheart Insurance Deal For An Old Crony
Murphy’s Law

Ament’s Sweetheart Insurance Deal For An Old Crony

Accusations about cronyism in the Ament administration just keep coming.

Murphy’s Law: Could Bob Ott Be Investigated For Ethical Conflicts?
Murphy’s Law

Could Bob Ott Be Investigated For Ethical Conflicts?

Milwaukee County is beginning to resemble the plot of And Then There Were None. One by one, top officials are disappearing from the courthouse.

Murphy’s Law: The Real Story Behind The Sheriff’s Departure
Murphy’s Law

The Real Story Behind The Sheriff’s Departure

There is bad smell surrounding the retirement of Sheriff Lev Baldwin.

Murphy’s Law: How Ament Prevented Any Research of the Pension Plan
Murphy’s Law

How Ament Prevented Any Research of the Pension Plan

Over and over the question has recurred: why would county supervisors, most of whom will not get the more lucrative pension payoff for veteran workers, approve this deal?

Murphy’s Law: Did Ament’s Aides Conspire to Replace the Chair of Personnel?
Murphy’s Law

Did Ament’s Aides Conspire to Replace the Chair of Personnel?

Did Tom Ament's aides scheme to replace the chair of the county board's personnel committee so they could get their blockbuster pension plan passed?

Murphy’s Law: How Gary Dobbert’s Buddies Got Yet Another Pension Benefit
Murphy’s Law

How Gary Dobbert’s Buddies Got Yet Another Pension Benefit

It's hard to believe there could be any more scandal associated with the Milwaukee County, but it turns out there was yet another group of insiders handed a neat pension boost by the administration of County Executive F. Thomas Ament.

Murphy’s Law: What Karen Ordinans Really Thought About Ament’s Pension
Murphy’s Law

What Karen Ordinans Really Thought About Ament’s Pension

It’s been amusing to hear County Board chair Karen Ordinans declare her outrage about the county pension plan.

Murphy’s Law: How To Kill Ament’s Pension
Murphy’s Law

How To Kill Ament’s Pension

Now that the mainstream media is having a feeding frenzy over the pension story I first broke back in October, Milwaukee County Executive F. Thomas Ament has gotten religion.

Murphy’s Law: Is The Legislature Giving Free Money To Fat Cat Investors?
Murphy’s Law

Is The Legislature Giving Free Money To Fat Cat Investors?

Glenn Grothman is not a happy camper.

Murphy’s Law: The Bitter Feud Between the Bradley Center and Wisconsin Center
Murphy’s Law

The Bitter Feud Between the Bradley Center and Wisconsin Center

The "negotiations" by the Bradley Center and the Wisconsin Center District have begun to resemble the feud between the Hatfields and McCoys.

Murphy’s Law: Why Did Chief Jones Protect a Man With a Violent Record?
Murphy’s Law

Why Did Chief Jones Protect a Man With a Violent Record?

Earlier this week, Milwaukee Police Chief Jones used his power to protect Wendell Jones, the husband of County Supervisor Elizabeth Coggs-Jones.

Murphy’s Law: The Milwaukee School Board’s Incumbent Protection Plan
Murphy’s Law

The Milwaukee School Board’s Incumbent Protection Plan

Consultant Fred Kessler drew up a redistricting plan that would carve out a Hispanic school board district, but almost no one on the board seems to support the idea.

Murphy’s Law: How Scott McCallum Plans to Raise Your Taxes
Murphy’s Law

How Scott McCallum Plans to Raise Your Taxes

Sometime in the coming week, Gov. Scott McCallum will be meeting secretly with lobbyists in Minocqua, of all places, to discuss a plan to cut school spending and force property tax increases as a way to balance the state budget.

Murphy’s Law: Could The Brewers Benefit If Minnesota Loses Its Team?
Murphy’s Law

Could The Brewers Benefit If Minnesota Loses Its Team?

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig has scoffed at complaints from Twin Cities newspapers that eliminating a baseball team there would benefit the Milwaukee Brewers.

Murphy’s Law: The Truth About the Di Suvero Sculpture
Murphy’s Law

The Truth About the Di Suvero Sculpture

It's been amusing to see all the hand wringing by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as to whether we dare move the Di Suvero sculpture.

Murphy’s Law: How Mayor Norquist’s Salary Cut Lowers Property Taxes
Murphy’s Law

How Mayor Norquist’s Salary Cut Lowers Property Taxes

John Norquist styles himself as a budget cutter, but few are aware of how personally he has taken that mission.

Murphy’s Law: Could Ed Thompson Get Elected Governor?
Murphy’s Law

Could Ed Thompson Get Elected Governor?

It's a wacky idea, but Ed Thompson may turn out to be a real spoiler in the race for governor.

Murphy’s Law: How The County’s Pension Fund Grew And Benefited A Few
Murphy’s Law

How The County’s Pension Fund Grew And Benefited A Few

Last year was a terrible year for stock funds, but it wasn't so bad for Milwaukee County's pension fund.

Murphy’s Law: How Tom Ament Gave Himself a Golden Parachute
Murphy’s Law

How Tom Ament Gave Himself a Golden Parachute

Observers have often described county government as an "old boy's club," where veteran politicos and long-term county employees get preferential treatment.

Murphy’s Law: Can New President Darnell Cole Rescue MATC?
Murphy’s Law

Can New President Darnell Cole Rescue MATC?

Not long after arriving in town, new MATC president Darnell Cole called Greater Milwaukee Committee President Bob Milbourne and asked to meet.

Murphy’s Law: Is Ald. Herron Leaving Town?
Murphy’s Law

Is Ald. Herron Leaving Town?

City Hall has been rife with rumors that Ald. Terrance Herron is leaving Milwaukee.

Murphy’s Law: Where Have You Gone, Ken Lamke?
Murphy’s Law

Where Have You Gone, Ken Lamke?

Ken Lamke still has vivid memories of the atmosphere in the old Milwaukee Sentinel newsroom.

Murphy’s Law: Ameritech Catches Political Fire From Competitors
Murphy’s Law

Ameritech Catches Political Fire From Competitors

Open up this month's Ameritech bill and you may find a surprise.

Murphy’s Law: Scott Jensen’s Big Shakedown
Murphy’s Law

Scott Jensen’s Big Shakedown

Rep. Jon Richards was feeling a little lonely.

Murphy’s Law: Superintendent Burmaster Slaps The Governor Around
Murphy’s Law

Superintendent Burmaster Slaps The Governor Around

My, how times have changed.

Murphy’s Law: Will Taxes Be the Key Issue in the Governor’s Race?
Murphy’s Law

Will Taxes Be the Key Issue in the Governor’s Race?

In the wake of the tragedy in New York and Washington, the Democratic candidates for governor have slowed down their campaigning, but they have been strategizing as to what the major issues will be in next fall's election.

Murphy’s Law: Secrets of the Bradley Center
Murphy’s Law

Secrets of the Bradley Center

There's a lot of money to be made in professional sports.

Murphy’s Law: Is There a Local Connection to Arab Terrorists?
Murphy’s Law

Is There a Local Connection to Arab Terrorists?

For years, some experts have asserted that the United States is harboring Muslim terrorists, and it appears that even Milwaukee may have connections to this network.

Murphy’s Law: Why Businesses Are Attacking The State’s Freeway Plan
Murphy’s Law

Why Businesses Are Attacking The State’s Freeway Plan

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation's latest freeway project could "virtually suffocate downtown Milwaukee," a letter from the Downtown Business Improvement District complains.

Murphy’s Law: Why Chief Jones Won’t Go Away
Murphy’s Law

Why Chief Jones Won’t Go Away

Tom Everson has seen everything in the many years he's compiled crime statistics for the state's Office of Justice Assistance, but he is struck by the data he's getting from the City of Milwaukee.

Murphy’s Law: The Sad Saga of Rep. Steve Nass
Murphy’s Law

The Sad Saga of Rep. Steve Nass

These are not good days for Rep. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater).

Murphy’s Law: Why Republicans are Dumping on Jim Doyle
Murphy’s Law

Why Republicans are Dumping on Jim Doyle

Republicans are squirming about a state investigation of the legislative caucuses, and their attack dogs are going after Attorney General Jim Doyle to try to prevent it.

Murphy’s Law: Is Jim Sensenbrenner America’s Cheapest Congressman?
Murphy’s Law

Is Jim Sensenbrenner America’s Cheapest Congressman?

It must be tough being married to James Sensenbrenner.

Murphy’s Law: How Three Legislators Committed Highway Robbery
Murphy’s Law

How Three Legislators Committed Highway Robbery

Anyone who's driven to Madison is aware the trip takes about 75 miles from downtown Milwaukee.

Murphy’s Law: Is Superintendent Korte In Trouble With The School Board?
Murphy’s Law

Is Superintendent Korte In Trouble With The School Board?

At first glance, Milwaukee school superintendent Spence Korte looks like he could be on the chopping block.

Murphy’s Law: Should Wisconsin Get Ready for War?
Murphy’s Law

Should Wisconsin Get Ready for War?

You may feel very safe and protected, living in cozy Wisconsin, far from America's seacoasts.

Murphy’s Law: Figueroa Accused Another Man of Sex Harassment
Murphy’s Law

Figueroa Accused Another Man of Sex Harassment

For months I've been hearing rumblings that Marilyn Figueroa had accused another man of sexual harassment.

Murphy’s Law: Rally ‘Round the Convention Center, Boys
Murphy’s Law

Rally ‘Round the Convention Center, Boys

It was a mere three years ago that the Midwest Express Center opened, as a state-of-the-art solution to the city's convention needs.

Murphy’s Law: Is the State Legislature Still a Men’s Club?
Murphy’s Law

Is the State Legislature Still a Men’s Club?

It was the gunfight at the Capitol corral and only men were invited.

Murphy’s Law: Antonio Riley’s Campaign Coffer Looks Mayoral
Murphy’s Law

Antonio Riley’s Campaign Coffer Looks Mayoral

News reports have made much of the money raised by Ald. Marvin Pratt and Ald. Tom Nardelli, speculating about their chances for mayor.

Murphy’s Law: Why The Mayor is Not Dead
Murphy’s Law

Why The Mayor is Not Dead

Back in the early 1980s, Milwaukee Magazine ran a scathing caricature of Mayor Henry Maier with the title "What Does This Man Do All Day?"

Murphy’s Law: Why the State Doesn’t Hate Tom Ament Any More
Murphy’s Law

Why the State Doesn’t Hate Tom Ament Any More

Time was when Milwaukee County was a favorite whipping boy of the state.

Murphy’s Law: Will A New Soccer Stadium Help or Hurt the Bucks?
Murphy’s Law

Will A New Soccer Stadium Help or Hurt the Bucks?

The proposal to build a soccer stadium downtown adds another complication to what has become a political minefield around the proposed Bradley Center renovation.

Murphy’s Law: How Sen. Kohl Will Profit From Your Taxes
Murphy’s Law

How Sen. Kohl Will Profit From Your Taxes

Everybody knows the Milwaukee Bucks are losing money.

Murphy’s Law: Milwaukee’s Mighty Economy Crushes Other Nations
Murphy’s Law

Milwaukee’s Mighty Economy Crushes Other Nations

Milwaukee has a new way to brag about itself.

Murphy’s Law: Is the Plankinton Exit Worth $60 Million?
Murphy’s Law

Is the Plankinton Exit Worth $60 Million?

Some months ago the state Department of Transportation announced a plan for rebuilding the mammoth Marquette Interchange that did not include any exits or entrances at Plankinton Avenue

Murphy’s Law: Why Are Homeowners Subsidizing Cable TV?
Murphy’s Law

Why Are Homeowners Subsidizing Cable TV?

Republican and Democrats can't agree on much, as they squabble over the state budget, but both parties seem to think that AOL Time Warner needs a tax break.

Murphy’s Law: Is Wisconsin Short-Changed By Its Top Foundation?
Murphy’s Law

Is Wisconsin Short-Changed By Its Top Foundation?

With the resignation of Michael Joyce, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation is looking for a new president.

Murphy’s Law: The Truth About Miller Park
Murphy’s Law

The Truth About Miller Park

Those looking for a frank assessment of Miller Park are unlikely to find it in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which rarely criticizes anything connected to the home team.

Murphy’s Law: Why Can’t MATC Get A Good President?
Murphy’s Law

Why Can’t MATC Get A Good President?

Is it possible that no one wants to be president of Milwaukee Area Technical College?

Murphy’s Law: Is Mayor Norquist Sleeping on School Choice?
Murphy’s Law

Is Mayor Norquist Sleeping on School Choice?

In the London Times, Mayor John Norquist is prominently quoted in a story on Milwaukee's school choice program.

Murphy’s Law: Can the New State Superintendent Succeed?
Murphy’s Law

Can the New State Superintendent Succeed?

Herbert Grover is not impressed with the credentials of Elizabeth Burmaster, the new State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Murphy’s Law: The Rise and Fall of Polly Williams
Murphy’s Law

The Rise and Fall of Polly Williams

Time was when Rep. Annette Polly Williams (D-Milwaukee) was the star of the conservative talk circuit.

Murphy’s Law: How Michael Joyce Sold Himself to George W. Bush
Murphy’s Law

How Michael Joyce Sold Himself to George W. Bush

The way Michael Joyce recalls it; he was watching his old friend William Bennett, the former secretary of education, on the Evans and Novak TV show one fine day.

Murphy’s Law: Gary George’s Plot to Kill the Comptroller
Murphy’s Law

Gary George’s Plot to Kill the Comptroller

State budget deliberations are a time for mischief making, and state Sen. Gary George (D-Milwaukee) has always had a reputation for quietly slipping pet proposals into this biennial document.

Murphy’s Law: Is David Skiles Stalling Efforts to Save the Bucks?
Murphy’s Law

Is David Skiles Stalling Efforts to Save the Bucks?

Community leaders seem to agree the Bradley Center and Wisconsin Center should combine forces to save the Milwaukee Bucks.

Murphy’s Law: Milwaukee Goes Crazy for Research Parks
Murphy’s Law

Milwaukee Goes Crazy for Research Parks

Wisconsin is supposed to be suffering from a brain drain, and southeast Wisconsin is said to lack the kind of high technology industries you find in a research park.

Murphy’s Law: The Raging Bull of MATC
Murphy’s Law

The Raging Bull of MATC

For eight years, Milwaukee Area Technical College President John Birkholz has terrorized his staff and even the board members who hired him, while alienating members of the business community.

Murphy’s Law: Personal Foul – Norquist Loses Points With the Business Community
Murphy’s Law

Personal Foul – Norquist Loses Points With the Business Community

The Greater Milwaukee Committee thinks it's found a way to get more revenue for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Murphy’s Law: Did Marilyn Want Millions From The Mayor?
Murphy’s Law

Did Marilyn Want Millions From The Mayor?

Marilyn Figueroa never wanted money from the mayor

Murphy’s Law: That’s Incredible – Why Marilyn’s Story Can’t Be Believed
Murphy’s Law

That’s Incredible – Why Marilyn’s Story Can’t Be Believed

I don't claim to know who's right in the vicious dispute between Marilyn Figueroa and John Norquist.