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.

Secretary of State Doug La Follette is sworn in by Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Patience Roggensack. The inauguration ceremony at the Wisconsin State Capitol on Jan. 7, 2019. Tony Evers, a Democrat, was sworn in as Wisconsin’s 46th governor. Also sworn in were Democratic Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, Attorney General Josh Kaul, State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski and Secretary of State Doug La Follette. CC BY-ND 2.0

GOP plans for secretary of state echo national push for elections control

By: - December 2, 2021

Rep. Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton) announced Wednesday that she is running for secretary of state to empower an office she previously voted to gut. If she wins, she says she will seek to give the office the power to oversee elections, a goal other Republicans nationwide have been pursuing. In announcing her candidacy, Loudenbeck accused current […]

Sign says Queer for Care at trans rally for health care LGBTQ

Republicans vote against Medicaid for transgender patient care

By: - October 25, 2021

Republicans voted to block a change that would have brought state law into compliance with Medicaid rules, a court ruling and other laws that ban discrimination on gender-transition care. The Department of Health Services (DHS) sought a rule change in state law, approved in June by Gov. Tony Evers, affirming that transgender individuals who participate […]

Gerrymander redistricting symbol from original gerrymandered seat

Just how partisan are the GOP ‘nonpartisan’ maps?

By: - October 21, 2021

Republican legislative leaders unveiled their proposed redistricting maps Wednesday, as did the People’s Maps Commission, which provided updated versions of draft maps it had previously released. Both the GOP and the commission — formed by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers but made up of a diverse group of community members who drew on extensive public input […]

Making Wisconsin ‘Texas of the North’ on abortion

By: - October 20, 2021

Wednesday, after the state Senate passed several bills to make it more difficult to get an abortion in Wisconsin, Sen. Kelda Roys put out a release titled: “GOP Pushes for Wisconsin to become the Texas of the North.” During the session, the following bills passed along partisan lines, despite versions of these bills having been […]

Protesters against abortion bans march in St. Paul, including one dressed up as a Handmaid

Reverberations of Handmaid’s Tale in the Assembly health committee

By: - October 20, 2021

The national clash over the right to have an abortion is largely focused on the U.S. Supreme Court and what would happen if  Roe v. Wade was overturned. Meanwhile Republicans in Wisconsin have made abortion a focus of the fall session, even though Gov. Tony Evers will never allow their anti-abortion bills to become law. […]

Trump ignores Kleefisch, calls on Duffy to run for Wisconsin governor

By: - October 18, 2021

It seems Rebecca Kleefisch cannot get a break with her fellow Republicans. First the former lieutenant governor was dissed by stalwarts in her own party who didn’t really want her as former Gov. Scott Walker’s running mate (including Walker and his team). Then, when  lobbyist and former Gov. Tommy Thompson staffer Bill McCoshen decided not […]

Police tape with red and blue lights blurred from behind it.

Evers allocates $45 million to stop ‘another public health crisis’ of violence and crime

By: - October 14, 2021

Gov. Tony Evers delivered his weekly radio address Thursday on $45 million in new funds he and Attorney General Josh Kaul plan to put into violence prevention and crime-victim support. On Wednesday they announced that the money, from American Rescue Plan Act federal dollars, would be split: $25 million would go for statewide research seeking […]

A mother holds her baby close giving the baby a kiss

As Republicans focus on abortion, Democrats unveil the Birth Equity Act

By: - October 13, 2021

The focus at the Capitol on Tuesday morning was on child birth, pregnant women and babies, beginning with a news conference led by Democrats that overlapped with the Senate health committee public hearing run by Republicans. Sen. LaTonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee) and Rep. Shelia Stubbs (D-Madison) unveiled the Birth Equity Act made up of six bills […]

Preventing a backlog of sexual assault evidence kits becomes a bipartisan effort again

By: - October 6, 2021

For 25 years, Jessica Lind has worked with victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking and human trafficking. As the program coordinator for The Women’s Community, Inc., a nonprofit in Marathon County, one of her roles is to respond to the hospital emergency room and provide support as sexual assault victims endure forensic exams for […]

Brad Pfaff on the campaign trail shaking hands with a farmer inside a tractor.

Pfaff says he’s running for Congress to be a good neighbor

By: - October 5, 2021

If the message surrounding state Sen. Brad Pfaff (D-Onalaska) kickoff of his run for Congress is any indication, he plans to spend the next year talking about values, growing up on his family’s dairy farm, rural life and being a good neighbor. It’s understandable, and likely a good campaign strategy as well, that he sounds […]

Woman in Fair Maps Now shirt carrying sign reading: Our Vote. Our Voice. Our Choice.

Republican legislators push for redistricting advantage

By: and - September 28, 2021

Court battles surrounding redistricting have taken center stage, but on Tuesday Republican legislative leaders set forth a list of policies they believe should guide the process that takes place once every 10 years based on new census data on population.  The resolution authored by Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos declares […]

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)

Senate approves felony charges for health care workers in anti-abortion bill

By: - September 28, 2021

Republicans in the state Legislature have been moving swiftly forward on an anti-abortion bill that Gov. Tony Evers already vetoed once and will veto again when it reaches his desk — a bill that addresses an extremely rare situation already covered by other laws. All of that notwithstanding, the state Senate voted 19-12 on Tuesday […]