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 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.

COMMENTARY
WAUKESHA, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 05: Former President Donald Trump greets supporters during a rally on August 05, 2022 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Former President Trump endorsed Republican candidate Tim Michels in the governor's race against candidate Rebecca Kleefisch, who is supported by former Vice President Mike Pence. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Wisconsin Republicans step back from Trump, but Trumpism is alive and well

By: - November 17, 2022

Wisconsin Republicans are moving away from Trump. Who can blame them? Trump-endorsed candidates, among them GOP gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels, sustained heavy losses in the midterm elections. And Trump’s rambling, petulant speech announcing that he is running for president in 2024 was not exactly inspiring. “Two years ago, we were a great nation,” Trump declared, […]

COMMENTARY
Question Mark Wood Cube on Blue Background

What you don’t know about the UW System’s new charter schools should worry you

By: - November 15, 2022

The UW System’s Office of Educational Opportunity (OEO), created by the Wisconsin Legislature in 2015,  is well on its way to overseeing more K-12 schools than the superintendents of most of Wisconsin’s 423 school districts. Currently, the OEO, the UW System’s charter school authorizer, lists 10 independent charter schools it has authorized on its website. […]

COMMENTARY
Gov. Tony Evers taking photos with UW-Madison students on State Street on Election Day, Nov. 8 2022 | Photo by Baylor Spears

Five top takeaways from the midterms in Wisconsin

By: - November 10, 2022

This week’s midterm elections were most notable for what didn’t happen. There was no “shellacking” of Democrats. The much-talked-about red wave failed to materialize. Armed vigilantes did not descend in force on polling places to harass and intimidate voters. Neither, for the most part, did a flood of baseless accusations of fraud derail Democratic victories, […]

COMMENTARY
Student of color raising his hand showing only the hand holding a pencil in a classroom background

Why is the UW System working with the controversial Hillsdale charter school network?

By: - November 5, 2022

Controversy surrounding Hillsdale charter schools led the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University in Wisconsin to threaten to sever ties last month with Lake Country Classical Academy — Wisconsin’s first Hillsdale-affiliated charter school. The tribe cited “inflammatory, derogatory, and racist comments captured by hidden camera” by the president of Hillsdale College, Larry Arnn. Arnn’s comments, which […]

Wisconsin Senate candidates Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis) and Lt. Gov Mandela Barnes in met for their first debate in Milwaukee on Oct. 7, sponsored by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association | Screenshot via YouTube

New Marquette Poll shows races for Senate, governor are toss-ups

By: - November 2, 2022

One week out from the Nov. 8 midterm election, the latest Marquette University Law School poll shows both the Wisconsin Senate race and the race for governor are extremely tight. Among likely voters in the Senate election, incumbent Republican Sen. Ron Johnson has 50% support compared with 48% support for Barnes. “That’s obviously inside the […]

Screenshot from Hillsdale's 'Teaching for Virtue | K-12 Classical Education' video on the Lake Country Classical Academy website | YouTube

Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University to sever relationship with Hillsdale charter school

By: - October 26, 2022

The Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University (LCOOU) Authorizing Board says it will end its affiliation with an Oconomowoc charter school affiliated with Hillsdale College unless the school renounces reported racist and derogatory comments made  by Hillsdale’s president, Larry Arnn. The tribal university notified leaders of Lake Country Classical Academy (LCCA) that unless the charter school […]

COMMENTARY
Student of color raising his hand showing only the hand holding a pencil in a classroom background

Beware skewed numbers on school funding 

By: - October 25, 2022

The Badger Institute, a conservative Wisconsin think tank, touts its “instrumental” role in “successes ranging from implementation of school choice to the passage of right-to-work legislation to the repeal of prevailing wage and overly onerous occupational licensure laws.”  Last week it came out with a new report, “Mandate for Madison: Policy Recommendations for a More […]

COMMENTARY
CAMBRIDGE, WI - APRIL 25: Cows walk from a barn after being milked on Hinchley's Dairy Farm on April 25, 2017 near Cambridge, Wisconsin. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Getting past toxic partisanship: Dairy farmers and undocumented workers

By: - October 24, 2022

Throughout the late summer and early fall I’ve been traveling, giving talks at bookstores, libraries and university classrooms in various cities about my new book  “Milked: How an American Crisis Brought Together Midwestern Dairy Farmers and Mexican Workers.” The subject of my book — the deep economic and personal relationships between dairy farmers and the […]

Wisconsin State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski at an Oct. 8, 2022 fundraiser at her home in Madison for six women candidates her PAC, Women Save the Veto, is supporting to try to stave off a Republican supermajority in the Wisconsin Legislature | Examiner photo

Sarah Godlewski’s crusade to elect women and preserve the veto

By: - October 11, 2022

On a brilliant Saturday morning in October, a buzzing crowd was crammed into the kitchen of Wisconsin State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski’s lakefront home in Madison, sipping coffee and waiting to hear from six pro-choice women candidates running in some of Wisconsin’s most competitive legislative districts.  After dropping out of the race to replace Republican U.S. […]

COMMENTARY
Wisconsin Senate candidates Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis) and Lt. Gov Mandela Barnes in met for their first debate in Milwaukee on Oct. 7, sponsored by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association | Screenshot via YouTube

Facts and fantasy collide in Wisconsin’s Senate debate

By: - October 8, 2022

The flurry of one-minute answers during Friday night’s U.S. Senate candidate debate are unlikely to change many voters’ minds. There was Republican Sen. Ron Johnson in his dark blue suit and white hair looking senatorial as he glibly explained that the government is wasting money on silly climate change initiatives and reassuring voters that, despite […]

Male farmer pouring raw milk into container with dairy cows in background on a dairy farm with cows

Dairy farmers demand year-round visa for immigrant workers

By: - October 7, 2022

At World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin, on Thursday, a coalition of dairy farmers and advocacy groups, including the American Business Immigration Coalition, held a press conference to demand the passage of a Senate bill that would legalize the nation’s immigrant agricultural workforce in year-round jobs. By some estimates, 80% of the labor on Wisconsin […]

COMMENTARY
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers addresses a rally at the Capitol after Republicans gaveled in and out of his special session on creating a referendum process so voters could amend Wisconsin's 1849 abortion ban | Wisconsin Examiner photo

Abortion special session turns into a political rally

By: - October 5, 2022

It was over as soon as it began. Within seconds, Republican legislative leaders gaveled in and out of Tuesday’s special session, called by Gov. Tony Evers to create a referendum process so voters could amend the state’s 1849 abortion ban. The outcome was never in doubt. Republicans made it clear from the start that they […]