Author

Melanie Conklin

Melanie Conklin

Melanie Conklin is proud to be a native of the state of Wisconsin, which gave humankind the typewriter, progressivism and deep-fried cheese curds. Her several decades in journalism include political beats and columns at Isthmus newspaper, the Wisconsin State Journal and other publications. When not an ink-stained wretch, she served time inside state, local and federal government in communications. She is excited to be back at the craft of journalism as Deputy Editor of the Wisconsin Examiner. It’s what she’s loved ever since getting her master’s degree in journalism from the UW-Madison. Her family includes one husband, two kids, four dogs and five (or more) chinchillas.

Evers speaking in Assembly chambers with Vos behind him

GOP Legislature’s fall agenda: pummel Evers in a culture war

By: - September 20, 2021

Wisconsin Republicans set the stage last week for the fall session by painting a clear picture of how governing and campaigning will take shape into 2022, despite partisan elections being more than a year away. While redistricting — drawing new political maps based on the 2020 census — has taken center stage of late, and […]

Pro-choice activists with the National Organization For Women hold a vigil outside the U.S. Supreme Court on January 23, 2012 in Washington, DC. The vigil was held to mark the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

Wisconsin AG Kaul fights Texas on abortion ban

By: - September 15, 2021

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul is one of 24 attorneys general filing an amicus brief Wednesday supporting the U.S. Department of Justice’s challenge of Texas’ extreme new abortion ban that starts at six weeks of pregnancy. The group of AGs seeks a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction of the law, which deputizes citizen […]

Once likely GOP candidate McCoshen will not run for governor

By: - September 15, 2021

After spending more than a year traveling around Wisconsin, meeting with businesses and the public as he appeared to lay the groundwork for a campaign to run for governor, lobbyist Bill McCoshen announced Wednesday that he has decided to opt out. He announced earlier in the week that he was selling his consulting business of […]

Washington D.C. Capitol riot 1/6/21 (Photo: Alex Kent via Tennessee Lookout)

Will backing Wisconsin’s Maricopa-style ‘fraudit’ hurt legislators’ contributions? 

By: - September 14, 2021

Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls) is making a name for herself. Out of the 99 members of the state Assembly, few representatives are recognizable to the general public. But as the chair of the Assembly elections committee who successfully pushed to launch a massive “Arizona-style audit,” Brandtjen’s office confirms that her emails, phone calls and […]

Wisconsin Republicans push forward on anti-abortion bill

By: - September 10, 2021

Shortly after Texas implemented the most extreme anti-abortion bill in the nation, Wisconsin legislative Republicans are moving forward on an extreme bill of their own, which authors Sen. Roger Roth (R-Appleton) and Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) named the “born alive” bill. The measure was introduced last session as well and passed the Legislature […]

Rebecca Kleefisch is now all in for the 2022 race for governor

By: - September 9, 2021

It was a very badly kept secret that former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch planned to run against Gov. Tony Evers in the 2022 election. She had been running a nonprofit organization she named the 1848 Project as a shadow campaign for months as she traveled the state campaigning. And after using the nonprofit to release […]

Pro-Trump rally with MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell on the steps of the Wisconsin State Capitol Dec. 7, 2020 (Photo by Luther Wu)

Republican senator schools colleagues on election falsehoods

By: - September 9, 2021

The state Senate elections committee informational hearing held Wednesday afternoon was quite boring. There were no allegations, voiced by elected officials and Trump lawyers, that votes were stolen with the help of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg, as has happened previously at Assembly election committee meetings. There was no meltdown by a CEO of a pillow […]

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell at church

Taxpayer money for election probe funds Gableman travel

By: - September 3, 2021

Speaker Robin Vos’ blank-check contract with Michael Gableman to investigate the Wisconsin presidential election includes a sizable budget line for travel. The contract also specifies that unlike Arizona, which conducted an election audit largely financed using private funds, the latest Wisconsin audit will be paid for exclusively by Wisconsin taxpayers. In the course of his […]

Tampons and pads for menstruation period

Kleefisch borrows ‘tampon tax’ policy from Agard

By: - September 3, 2021

Earlier this week, former Republican Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch put out an agenda for her nonprofit 1848 Project that read like a campaign platform. The same day it was released, WisPolitics discovered that she had quietly filed paperwork, a week earlier, to run in 2022 against Gov. Tony Evers. One plank of that platform appears […]

Abortion ban bill rally with sign: Don't mess with Texas women

How Texas’ near-ban on abortions could impact Wisconsin

By: - September 1, 2021

A law that bans nearly all abortions in the state of Texas was allowed to take effect Wednesday by the U.S. Supreme Court, causing an immediate impact on women’s health care in that state by forcing clinics to turn away women seeking an abortion. “We woke up today to a new reality in America – […]

Vos’ moves to appease conspiracy election-fraud seeking groups appear to be failing

By: - September 1, 2021

With no public hearing or public meetings — using merely a paper ballot distributed by Republican leadership to members’ offices — the committee that sets the Legislature’s agenda voted along party lines 5-3 to hire staff and officially begin an election audit under the direction of Speaker Robin Vos. The brief 5-line ballot did not […]

Kleefisch unveils her nonprofit’s agenda and it reads like a campaign platform

By: - August 31, 2021

On Tuesday former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, who has been touring the state criticizing actions by Gov. Tony Evers, released an “agenda” for her nonprofit foundation — the “1848 Project.” Her foundation’s advocacy mimics a campaign for office in nearly every way possible, except that she has not publicly declared her intention to run against […]