Wisconsin

After bruising campaign, GOP Senate candidates hope to emerge from Tuesday’s primary
Gannett Wisconsin Media
I teamed with another GWM I-Team reporter to analyze Wisconsin’s history of competitive primaries and apply lessons from those campaigns to the 2012 Republican U.S. Senate race.

Faces of the recall
Gannett Wisconsin Media
Every member of the investigative team interviewed people with a personal interest in the outcome of Wisconsin’s historic 2012 gubernatorial recall elections. I contributed two of the interviews featured in the package.

State Sen. Pam Galloway goes from surgeon to gun law proponent
Wausau Daily Herald, 2011
After a round of stunning victories for Wisconsin Republicans in November, Pam Galloway landed as a freshman lawmaker with no political experience whatsoever in the midst of Wisconsin’s most heated political climate in a generation. The former surgeon took a primary role in developing and passing concealed carry through the Legislature. This profile examines her path to Madison and what she learned in six months on the job.

Business leaders say economic growth is separate from Wisconsin’s political conflict
Wausau Daily Herald, 2011
As thousands of protesters descended on the Wisconsin state Capitol in Madison to protest a proposal that would end collective bargaining for union employee, Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s “open for business” message faded to the background. This report examined whether business leaders — who strongly backed Walker’s campaign — felt their primary concerns had been forgotten since he took office.

GOP’s Sean Duffy takes Obey’s seat
Wausau Daily Herald, 2010
Shortly after beginning work at the Daily Herald, I began covering the contentious campaign to replace retiring Rep. Dave Obey in Congress. Republican Sean Duffy defeated Democrat Julie Lassa after a closely watched and expensive campaign. This recap was written on a tight deadline from Duffy’s election night watch party, with contributions from another Gannett reporter at Lassa’s campaign headquarters.

Former lumberjack, reality TV star, makes his way to D.C. as a lawmaker
Can a freshman congressman compete with a senior?

Post-election, I sat down for an interview with Duffy and his wife, Rachel Campos Duffy. These two stories resulted from that time and other interviews with political veterans in the 7th Congressional District. One is a profile of Duffy, the other attempts to answer the question of what being represented by a freshman member could mean for the district.

Tidal wave of political ads coming
Wausau Daily Herald, 2010
Ads already have flooded local airwaves during the primary season and political observers expect the 2010 election season to set records for advertising spending across the country by campaigns and outside groups. The combination of competitive races, high stakes for both political parties and a Supreme Court ruling permitting corporate money to enter the political scene created a “perfect storm” likely to result in record spending, the University of Wisconsin’s Advertising Project predicted in March.

Illinois

Contributing to the Post Dispatch’s “Political Fix” blog was a large part of my work as an intern in the Illinois Statehouse. The expected contribution is 2 or 3 posts each day, but I often added more on days the Illinois legislature was in session. The topics range from current or former politicians in pop culture to primary election night updates to tracking legislation as it moves between chambers and to the governor’s office.

Illinois set to get back into nuclear power race
St. Louis Post Dispatch, 2010

Some Illinois lawmakers fought to lift a decades-old ban on the construction of new nuclear power plants, potentially putting the state in the first wave of a national nuclear renaissance. But opponents argued that Illinois — already home to the nation’s highest nuclear capacity — would become a natural destination for nuclear waste from other parts of the country if more plants are added in the state.

Video gambling differences put Illinois governor on the spot
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 2010
An Illinois legislator’s proposal to punish communities that opted out of a statewide gambling expansion gained early attention from many media outlets. But I was the only reporter to follow up when the sponsor decided to pull his idea – at the insistence of Illinois’ governor Pat Quinn – and examine the politics surrounding Quinn’s decision.

Illinois school districts, universities slam state for late payments
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 2010
As the state of Illinois grapples with a $13 billion budget deficit, service providers including school districts and state universities have gone without promised aid. I had been in communication with school districts in the Post-Dispatch’s distribution zones about the state’s owed payments, and when university presidents expressed their own displeasure with the situation, editors requested a combined story.

Other work:

Bill on adoption advances in Springfield – March 19, 2010

Measure sent to governor puts limits on Ill. tuition program – March 13, 2010, A2 Illinois edition PDF

Pat Quinn proposes tax hike for schools – March 11, 2010, A1 Illinois edition PDF and jump

Lawmaker pushes for cell phone ban – February 22, 2010

Michael Madigan proposes doing away with Illinois lieutenant governor’s job – February 11, 2010, A5 Illinois edition PDF

Illinois lawmakers consider cutting some scholarship, tuition reduction programs – February 9, 2010, A4 Illinois edition PDF

Family business provides backdrop for GOP nominee – February 6, 2010

Pat Quinn officially becomes the Democratic candidate for governor – February 5, 2010, A1 Illinois edition PDF and jump

Illinois recount wouldn’t start for a month – February 4, 2010, A5 Illinois edition PDF

Illinois GOP hopes scandal leads to opportunity – January 28, 2010, A1 Illinois edition PDF and jump

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn gives state of state message, fails to quiet critics – January 14, 2010, A2 Illinois edition PDF

Crises await Illinois lawmakers – January 11, 2010, A1 Illinois edition PDF and jump