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 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. Her book "Milked: How an American Crisis Brought Together Midwestern Dairy Farmers and Mexican Workers" won the 2022 Studs and Ida Terkel Award from The New Press.
Wisconsin budget debate: What kind of state do we want?
By: Ruth Conniff - February 1, 2023
It was remarkable to watch Republican legislators sit on their hands and scowl as Gov. Tony Evers delivered his assessment in last week’s State of the State address that Wisconsin is in the best fiscal shape in state history, with a record-breaking budget surplus and record high employment. They actually looked mad about it. Evers […]
Waukesha County Exec becomes new Lake Country Classical Academy authorizer
By: Ruth Conniff - January 24, 2023
Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow signed a letter of intent on Tuesday to authorize Lake Country Classical Academy, the Oconomowoc charter school affiliated with Hillsdale College that was formerly authorized by the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University (LCOOU) in northern Wisconsin. Farrow formerly served as the state chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin and […]
How are Wisconsin women doing under the 1849 abortion ban?
By: Ruth Conniff - January 24, 2023
The national Women’s March chose Wisconsin as the location for a massive abortion-rights rally on Sunday, the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, for good reason. Our state, where a draconian 1849 abortion ban rose from the grave after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe, is at the center of the battle for abortion rights. […]
Wisconsin Republicans aim to kill off government with their flat tax
By: Ruth Conniff - January 20, 2023
Wisconsin Republicans have a plan for what to do with the record-breaking $6.6 billion state budget surplus, and it basically involves putting all the money in a pile and chucking it out the windows of the Capitol. State residents can gather below and snatch the cash as it scatters to the winds. People who aren’t […]
Front row seat at the circus: Rep. Mark Pocan wants you to watch the dysfunction in the House
By: Ruth Conniff - January 13, 2023
Wisconsin Congressman Mark Pocan wants everyone to see what’s going on in the U.S. House of Representatives. To that end, he introduced a resolution on Thursday to amend the current House rules to require that cameras show the full chamber during legislative business — not just legislators who are giving speeches. That’s what happened, temporarily, […]
What will Wisconsin Republicans do after Spindell spilled the beans on suppressing Black votes?
By: Ruth Conniff - January 12, 2023
Thanks to the excellent reporting of Bruce Murphy in Urban Milwaukee, we now know that fake Trump elector and Wisconsin Elections Commissioner Robert Spindell crowed about Republicans’ successful efforts to suppress the Black vote in Milwaukee in the November 2022 elections. The quotes Murphy pulls out of Spindell’s congratulatory message to Republicans, as party chair […]
Wisconsin GOP chair wants to have it both ways on Trump
By: Ruth Conniff - December 20, 2022
By now most political analysts have agreed that the midterms were, overall, a kick in the butt for Republicans. As outgoing U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.) memorably put it in The Washington Post , after the 2022 midterms, “we have no choice but to heed voters when they say that ‘the grass is green, the […]
Wisconsin Examiner reporters lead the way
By: Ruth Conniff - December 16, 2022
Examiner reporters have done a lot of great work over the last year. Among our most timely stories of 2022 was Deputy Editor Erik Gunn’s reporting on the fallout from the revival of Wisconsin’s Civil War-era abortion ban. The same week the ban went into effect, after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, […]
Vanity Fair’s ‘Wisconsin Death Trip’: A horror movie version of rural America
By: Ruth Conniff - December 9, 2022
I first heard about the new “Wisconsin Death Trip” story from a friend in North Carolina. “After reading this Vanity Fair piece, not so sure I wanna come visit y’all,” she wrote. Wisconsin winters often scare away visitors from the South. But a Nov. 30 glossy magazine feature by journalist, best-selling author and Dartmouth professor […]
Farmers and workers vs. Big Food
By: Ruth Conniff - December 7, 2022
During a Tuesday forum sponsored by a coalition of farmers, community leaders and sustainable agriculture experts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dennis Olson, a researcher with the United Food & Commercial Workers union, laid out a vision for changes to our food system that would address the needs of farmers, workers and everyone concerned about […]
The war on democracy isn’t over
By: Ruth Conniff - December 2, 2022
Let’s celebrate the good news: When the Republican chair of the Wisconsin Elections Commission quietly certified the results of the 2022 election this week, the Big Lie fizzled, along with doomsday scenarios involving GOP candidates refusing to accept the results and armed militia members waging a campaign of intimidation — or worse — against voters. […]
Stability or disruption for Wisconsin schools?
By: Ruth Conniff - November 23, 2022
Parent-teacher conferences just ended — a process akin to speed-dating, during which my husband and I met with our high school sophomore’s teachers in a flurry of quick, 10-minute Zoom sessions. As frenetic as the process was, it was reassuring to talk to the grownups who are teaching our daughter and to hear what she’s […]