WisconsinWeekly: Toxic water, contentious trade, gerrymandering pushback

Harley-Davidson, other WI companies, fear Trump trade war; citizens want politics out of redistricting

Of note: This week we look at some national issues that have played out here in Wisconsin. They range from toxic algae, which taints Wisconsin lakes and contaminated Toledo’s drinking water in 2014, to President Donald Trump’s trade war, where retaliatory tariffs by Canada and the European Union are hitting Wisconsin industries especially hard. In addition, some citizens are fighting back against politician-drawn voting districts that rig elections in their favor. Ballot initiatives in five states call for nonpartisan redistricting systems before the 2020 census. Wisconsin’s gerrymandered map remains in place — for now. But some citizens and politicians here also are pushing for change.

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

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Regulators will soon know a lot more about algal toxins in U.S. drinking water

Circle of Blue — July 10, 2018

Thanks to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency monitoring requirements, regulators will soon have more comprehensive data on how often toxins show up in drinking water supplies and at what concentrations. For the next two years water utilities are required to test for 10 cyanotoxins and their variants. Earlier from WCIJ: Murky Waters series.

Which Wisconsin exports are Canada’s tariffs hitting the hardest?

WisContext — July 13, 2018

After the United States announced new tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum products in May, Canada imposed retaliatory tariffs on dozens of American goods. Canada not only targeted U.S. steel and aluminum, but also a host of agricultural, food, paper and chemical goods. Canada’s tariffs apply to 228 categories of American products. Of those, 163 are products that Wisconsin has exported to Canada over the past decade.

Drive against gerrymandering finds new life in ballot initiatives

The New York Times — July 23, 2018

This spring, the U.S. Supreme Court passed up three chances to declare partisan gerrymandering unconstitutional. As federal courts dither over how to resolve the issue, activists have begun tackling it state by state at the grass roots. Five states — Michigan, Missouri, Utah, Colorado and Ohio — are holding ballot measures on the issue in a single year. Earlier from WCIJ: High stakes for elections — and democracy — as U.S. Supreme Court nears decision on Wisconsin redistricting case.

Trump says ‘tariffs are the greatest!’ as Harley-Davidson earnings offer hint of trade war fallout

The Washington Post — July 24, 2018

President Donald Trump praised tariffs in a tweet, saying “tariffs are the greatest!” and countries that treat the United States unfairly on trade must either negotiate fair deals or get “hit with tariffs.” The tweet came the same day that Milwaukee-based motorcycle company Harley-Davidson reported stronger-than-expected earning in its second quarter, offering a look at how the company could fare in the midst of an international trade war. Earlier this year, citing the burden of Trump’s “America First” trade measures, Harley-Davidson announced plans to move some of its production overseas to avoid repercussions of a trade war.

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