Author

Ruth Conniff

Ruth Conniff

Ruth Conniff is Editor-in-chief of the Wisconsin Examiner. She formerly served as Editor-in-chief of The Progressive Magazine where she worked for many years from both Madison and Washington, DC. Shortly after Donald Trump took office she moved with her family to Oaxaca, Mexico, and covered U.S./Mexico relations, the migrant caravan, and Mexico’s efforts to grapple with Trump. Conniff is the author of "Milked: How an American Crisis Brought Together Midwestern Dairy Farmers and Mexican Workers" which won the 2022 Studs and Ida Terkel award from The New Press. She is a frequent guest on MSNBC and has appeared on Good Morning America, Democracy Now!, Wisconsin Public Radio, CNN, Fox News and many other radio and television outlets. She has also written for The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times, among other publications. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband and three daughters.

COMMENTARY
Eric Hovde

Eric Hovde’s weirdly lackluster Senate bid

By: - February 21, 2024

The most significant statewide race of 2024 — apart from the presidential contest in our teetering swing state — began taking shape Tuesday when multimillionaire Eric Hovde made his much-anticipated announcement that he intends to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin.  Hovde, the favorite of Wisconsin’s Republican establishment, took a long time to make up […]

COMMENTARY
brown paper insert in vote box, democracy concept, retro tone

Should Evers sign or veto the voting maps the Legislature gave him?

By: - February 16, 2024

Democrats and democracy advocates in Wisconsin are divided over what Gov. Tony Evers should do now that Republicans in the Legislature have approved the exact voting maps Evers advocated. Evers has until Tuesday to sign or veto the maps. If he signs them, as he said he would if the Legislature really gave him his […]

COMMENTARY
U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher

Mike Gallagher’s departure is a bad sign for democracy

By: - February 13, 2024

U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Green Bay) was a rising star in the Wisconsin Republican Party before Saturday, when he suddenly announced his plans to retire. Heavily recruited to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, he was seen by top Republican strategists as “their best shot to block Baldwin for a third term,” according to Politico. […]

COMMENTARY
Demonstrators and immigrants protesting with We Are Human sign

Border crisis hypocrisy and what’s missing from the immigration debate

By: - February 8, 2024

The collapse of the bipartisan immigration deal Wednesday in the U.S. Senate laid bare the hypocrisy of Republicans who claim border security is their No. 1 concern, yet refused to support the very border security measures they demanded — and Democrats gave them.  Former President Donald Trump warned Republican members of Congress not to give […]

COMMENTARY

Under a gerrymandered map, a Wisconsin legislator can compare women to farm animals 

By: - January 30, 2024

Wisconsin Rep. Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay) earned a lot of unwanted national media attention late last week for his remarks during a floor debate in which he said he was qualified to deny women abortion access because he’s a veterinarian. “I did thousands of ultrasounds on animals,” Kitchens declared. “ … I think I know […]

Superintendent Jill Underly talks diversity, censorship and challenges facing Wisconsin schools

By: - January 11, 2024

During a heavy snowstorm Tuesday that caused schools to close all over Wisconsin, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jill Underly spoke by telephone with the Wisconsin Examiner about the health of the state’s public education system, student achievement, the growth of school vouchers, political attacks on diversity and her hopes for the coming year.  As […]

COMMENTARY
José Valentín volunteers at The Community Space in Whitewater, Wisconsin, helping recent immigrants access free food, clothing, furniture and English classes. | Photo by Ruth Conniff

Political spin distorts Whitewater immigration ‘crisis’ 

By: - January 9, 2024

A few days after Whitewater Police Chief Dan Meyer wrote to President Joe Biden asking for federal aid to help cope with an influx of recent migrants to his city, the right-wing news outlet Breitbart jumped on the story, publicizing the letter under the misleading headline: “Biden floods small Wisconsin town with 1,000 migrants.” This […]

Gov. Evers on his relationship with the Legislature, redistricting and priorities for 2024

By: - January 5, 2024

The last time the Examiner checked in with Gov. Tony Evers for a year-end interview, one year into his first term, he compared working with hostile Republican legislative leaders, who rushed to take away some of his executive powers even before he took office, to rolling a rock up a hill like Sisyphus. This year, […]

COMMENTARY
Red Cross Sign Consists of a Pen Covered with Tape on Light Red Background Directly above View. Censorship Concept.

Pornography, political correctness and campus free speech

By: - January 4, 2024

The news about UW-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow, who was fired on Dec. 27 for producing pornographic videos with his wife, dropped just in time to stir up some juicy gossip at New Year’s cocktail parties. In a joint statement, UW System president Jay Rothman called Gow’s conduct ”abhorrent” and UW System Regent President Karen […]

Wisconsin Supreme Court rules state voting maps unconstitutional

By: - December 22, 2023

In a 4-3 decision released Friday afternoon, the Wisconsin Supreme Court held that Wisconsin’s voting maps as currently drawn violate the state constitution and must be redrawn in time for the 2024 election. Under the Wisconsin Constitution, state legislative districts must consist of “contiguous territory.” Yet, the majority opinion states, “the number of state legislative […]

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

Wisconsin is not out of the woods on abortion 

By: - December 22, 2023

Wisconsinites breathed a sigh of relief this month when Dane County Judge Diane Schlipper ruled that our 1849 “abortion ban” doesn’t actually apply to consensual abortions. On the strength of that ruling, Planned Parenthood has begun offering abortion services again at clinics in Madison, Milwaukee, and Sheboygan for the first time since the 2022 Dobbs […]

COMMENTARY

Peace activists target Tammy Baldwin and praise Mark Pocan — but how far apart are they on Gaza?

By: - December 19, 2023

Protesters have been targeting Wisconsin’s Democratic Sen Tammy Baldwin recently, demanding that she endorse a ceasefire in Gaza. Pro-Palestinian activists interrupted her repeatedly during a get-out-the-vote event at the University of Wisconsin-Madison last month. Over the last week, members of World Beyond War and Jewish Voice for Peace have been conducting a sit-in at her […]