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.

Hintz reflects on his time leading Democrats into legislative battle

By: - January 10, 2022

Gordon Hintz has carried the Democratic banner in the state Assembly as leader for the last four years, but he first joined the body in 2007, which gave him just one session under full Democratic control. So like any other Democrat who fought back against the Republican agenda under former Gov. Scott Walker, the Oshkosh […]

Sen. Kathy Bernier calls it quits

By: - January 7, 2022

After garnering statewide — and even national — attention with her criticism of the Wisconsin 2020 election probe run by Speaker Robin Vos and Michael Gableman, Sen. Kathy Bernier (R-Chippewa Falls) said she had been considering stepping down but began to “rethink it” after “right wingers” called for her resignation. In fact, Gableman himself said […]

Sorry Trump, Duffy rejects your plea to ‘Run Sean, Run!’

By: - January 6, 2022

A former right-wing Republican congressman and supporter of Donald Trump announced Thursday that he is not going to be following the advice of the former president. Trump was publicly pushing former northern Wisconsin Rep. Sean Duffy to run for governor. “Working hard to get very popular and capable Former Congressman Sean Duffy of Wisconsin to […]

Representative Greta Neubauer (D- Racine) joins other supporters of the bill package. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

Assembly Democrats break mold in new leaders Neubauer, Haywood

By: - December 21, 2021

The Assembly Democratic Caucus got two new incoming leaders on Monday — Rep. Greta Neubauer (D-Racine) as the minority leader and Rep. Kalan Haywood (D-Milwaukee) as the new assistant minority leader. Both break the Legislature’s mold. Neubauer is a woman who is bisexual and hails from Racine — the same community as Speaker Robin Vos. […]

Gov. Evers makes the New York Times … crossword

By: - December 17, 2021

Gov. Tony Evers went to Twitter to offer help to constituents with the New York Times daily crossword puzzle on Friday. “Let me know if you need any help on today’s @NYTimes crossword,” he tweeted from his campaign account. In the dozen or so replies he got, no one asked for the answer to 14 […]

A beat up, battered US flag hanging on a baseball backstop

A bad week for ‘endangering democracy’

By: - December 17, 2021

Over the past week, Republicans — including a state senator who chairs the Senate’s election committee — have blasted Speaker Robin Vos’ 2020 election probe as a “charade” that is harmful to democracy. Newspaper editorial boards have also offered  harsh criticism, including the Capital Times, which characterized the ‘audit’ as “looney,” and an “epic train […]

Assembly Minority Leader Greta Neubauer? 

By: - December 15, 2021

The Assembly Democratic Caucus race to replace current Minority Leader Gordon Hintz, may come down to an uncontested election for Rep. Greta Neubauer (D-Racine). She announced her intent to run for the position in a release Wednesday afternoon, writing, “As legislators, we ran for office to build a Wisconsin where each and every person can […]

Hintz to exit the Assembly Democratic leadership stage

By: - December 13, 2021

Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh)  announced Monday that he’s stepping down from his leadership role effective next month. Hintz has been at the helm in the Democratic caucus in the Assembly through four years that included COVID, a state budget and some of the most politically polarizing times in the most politically polarized body […]

Double masked teen getting vaccine

Older teens who had a Pfizer COVID vaccine now eligible for booster 

By: - December 10, 2021

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is now recommending that anyone 16 or older who has had a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine should get a booster shot of the same type at at least six months after receiving the second dose. On Friday DHS endorsed the Centers for Disease Control’s approval of the Pfizer booster […]

Sen. Erpenbach to exit the Wisconsin Senate

By: - December 8, 2021

Long time Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-West Point), 60, announced his plans Wednesday not to run for re-election to the 27th Senate district, which includes much of western Dane County, along with parts of Green, Sauk, Iowa and Columbia counties. “Today I announce I will not seek re-election to the State Senate. Representing the 27th Senate […]

Attorney General Josh Kaul advocates for a law to prevent another backlog of untested sexual-assault kits at a Capitol news conference on Dec. 3 2019

Measures to prevent another backlog of sexual assault evidence kits is now law

By: - December 6, 2021

Bills to prevent a future backlog of untested sexual assault kits from piling up in Wisconsin — as they did for years — finally made it to Gov. Tony Evers’ desk, where he signed them into law surrounded by law enforcement, victim service providers and survivors on Monday. Attorney General Josh Kaul campaigned on the […]

Attorney General Josh Kaul in Marinette (Photo by Erik Gunn)

AG Kaul joins fight against Trump administration’s reproductive care ‘gag rule’

By: - December 2, 2021

As the battle over reproductive rights unfolds before the U.S. Supreme Court, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul is joining a multi-state coalition supporting a Biden administration rule that would allow Title X funds to once again be used for family planning for low-income and uninsured individuals. The funds were redirected under the Trump Administration. Under […]