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.

Rep. Moore leads on bill to help pregnant women experiencing intimate partner violence

By: - August 3, 2021

Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) has introduced the Protect Moms from Domestic Violence Act to require a variety of studies examining the effect intimate partner violence (IPV) has on maternal health outcomes and a follow-up grant program because research on adverse outcomes, she noted, tends to focus on clinical factors rather than conditions for the mother.  […]

Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes is seen prior to Governor Tony Evers' first State of the State address in Madison, Wisconsin, at the State Capitol building on Jan. 22, 2019. Evers addressed a joint meeting of the Assembly and the Senate. Photo by Emily Hamer/Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Wisconsin Senate now ranks as toss-up seat, Larson exits race to back Barnes

By: - August 3, 2021

Wednesday was a big news day in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.).  Johnson has been wavering in recent weeks, going from sounding like a candidate who was definitely in the race to saying publicly that maybe he isn’t the best candidate.  The Cook Political Report […]

Michael Gableman talks about election audit and fraud

What Gableman doesn’t say reveals truths about Wisconsin election audit

By: - August 2, 2021

Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman sat down for his first television interview on his super-sized role in the election investigation since Speaker Robin Vos upgraded him to “special counsel” giving him the power to hire and have free rein in determining what the “Arizona-style audit” he will oversee actually does. However, in response […]

(Photo: Alex Kent via Tennessee Lookout)

‘Big Money Behind the Big Lie’ exposes the Bradley Foundation role

By: - August 2, 2021

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos caved to the right-wing of his Republican caucus on Friday, expanding the election review he had ordered to include a full, “forensic” dissecting of ballots in an effort to find fraud in an election that has been reviewed and found to be accurate and fair by various courts, canvasses and the […]

A member of the Senate's election audit team demonstrates how auditors will manually tally each of the 2.1 million ballots cast in the presidential election in Maricopa County in 2020. Photo by Jerod MacDonald-Evoy | Arizona Mirror

Speaker Vos caves on new election audit after another scolding

By: - July 30, 2021

Last Tuesday, Speaker Robin Vos swatted aside a request for an Arizona-style forensic audit of the Wisconsin election that was being initiated by Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls). Vos responded that he was already conducting such an audit and she should take a look at his scope statement if she had any doubts. He also […]

Woman in sweater dress with her hands on her belly

Federal bill protecting pregnant workers advances, without Grothman, Fitzgerald

By: - July 29, 2021

Thirty states provide protections for pregnant workers who need basic accommodations in order to retain their jobs while staying healthy. Wisconsin is not one of them.  But a federal bill that would apply nationwide passed the House on May 14 and is scheduled for a vote in the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Health, Education, Labor, […]

Rep. Janel Brandtjen speaking on the Assembly floor into a microphone

Wisconsin Elections Commission refutes Rep. Brandtjen

By: - July 28, 2021

“Representative Brandtjen’s statement is factually incorrect.” Given that Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls) has claimed that Donald Trump won the presidency in 2020 and massive fraud caused the election to be stolen from him — something she wrote in a newsletter to her constituents — the above quote is not surprising.  What makes that sentence […]

Badger head metal sculpture from the Wisconsin Capitol

Assembly veto override: So many speeches amounting to nothing

By: - July 28, 2021

On the Assembly floor during Tuesday’s surprise session, Minority Leader Gordon Hintz remarked several times that the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee paid to fly GOP representatives back from wherever they were vacationing during summer recess just to try to override of Gov. Tony Evers’ veto of their bill immediately ending pandemic supplemental unemployment benefits. And […]

A basket filled with campaign buttons with the Republican symbol GOP

Is ALEC helping Republicans campaign in violation of its tax status?

By: - July 27, 2021

In the 2020 election cycle, the rightwing, corporate American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) gave its 2,000-plus members “sophisticated partisan voter management and campaign software” worth more than $6 million, according to a complaint filed by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) and the Common Cause Wisconsin with the Wisconsin Ethics Commission on July 20. […]

An audit employee on June 9, 2021, works at a station that images ballots to detect alleged counterfeit ballots.

Elections chair initiates a forensic Arizona-style audit in Wisconsin

By: - July 27, 2021

Apparently Speaker Robin Vos’ hiring of former law enforcement officers to conduct an election investigation, under the direction of former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, is not sufficient for some members of his Republican legislative caucus.  Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls), who chairs the Assembly Campaign and Elections Committee, announced Monday she has decided […]

Unemployment benefits application (photo by Getty Images)

GOP donor group announces the agenda for surprise legislative session

By: - July 26, 2021

The Legislature quietly announced Friday that it will convene in a special session Tuesday for a veto override vote — but Democratic legislators and the public were not informed of what would be on the agenda. Democrats and the public didn’t have to wait for Republicans to make an announcement, however. Tuesday morning before legislative […]

Ald. Chantia Lewis | Courtesy of Lewis for Senate

Second-term Milwaukee alderwoman jumps into U.S. Senate race

By: - July 21, 2021

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) has not said if he’s likely to run for reelection after saying his current term would be his last — but Democrats are lining up and campaigning against his far-right views and COVID-19 vaccine skepticism.  Wisconsin can now count Milwaukee Ald. Chantia Lewis, who was first elected to the council […]