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. She graduated from Yale University in 1990, where she ran track and edited the campus magazine The New Journal. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband and three daughters.

'Respect our vote' Capitol protest motion copy (Creative Commons 2.0)

Federal judge says he can’t move the election

By: - April 2, 2020

U.S. District Judge William Conley lamented the terrible choice elections officials are faced with, as poll workers drop out and municipalities consolidate polling locations to try to allow Wisconsin voters to cast ballots on April 7, even though having more people come to fewer locations, Conley noted, will likely increase the risk of spreading COVID-19. […]

Sen. Ron Johnson with a U.S. coast guard cap in front of a drug-seizing boat

Ron Johnson on pandemic: let’s not go overboard

By: - March 30, 2020

“Death is an unavoidable part of life” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) wrote In an opinion piece for USA Today on Monday, doubling down on the controversial c’est la vie attitude he has expressed in recent comments about the COVID-19 pandemic.  Encouraging Americans to “put things in perspective,” Johnson offered mortality statistics from causes other than […]

A sign urging people to vote by mail in Maple Bluff, a few blocks from the governors mansion (photo by Ruth Conniff).

Our democracy on life support

By: - March 30, 2020

Adding to the general anxiety and gloom of these uncertain times is the up-in-the-air status of Wisconsin’s April 7 election. Will our democracy be another casualty of the coronavirus pandemic? We’ve been reporting every day on the efforts by citizens’ groups pushing for the postponement of Election Day, or an all mail-in vote, or at […]

Judge Jill Karofsky (via Jill for Justice)

Karofsky campaign issues cease and desist letter over misleading ads

By: - March 27, 2020

Judge Jill Karofsky’s Supreme Court campaign announced it would issue a cease and desist letter on Friday,  demanding that groups supporting her opponent, Justice Daniel Kelly, immediately stop airing attack ads that falsely claim Karofsky was the prosecutor who struck a plea deal allowing a man charged with sexual assault of a child not to […]

Solar rooftop (Photo by Mischa Keijser/Getty Images)

Thinking big while staying at home

By: - March 26, 2020

Joel Rogers, University of Wisconsin professor of law, political science, public affairs and sociology and the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant, was sitting around his house the other day like everyone else in Wisconsin, complying with Gov. Tony Evers’ stay-at-home order. I reached him by phone to ask what he makes of the […]

Tough times on the farm

By: - March 24, 2020

All in all, 2019 was a terrible year for farmers across the Midwest and so far 2020 doesn’t look much better. Bad weather, trade wars and low prices due to oversupply all contributed to the grim economic news, even before the COVID-19 pandemic began wreaking havoc with export markets. “Agriculture has been in a pretty […]

Isthmus neon sign (lights off)

Madison’s alt weekly is a casualty of coronavirus

By: - March 20, 2020

On March 19, a message went up on the homepage of Isthmus, Madison’s 44-year-old alternative weekly. “We are heartbroken to share this news,” the unsigned post began.  “Over the past few weeks we have been trying to cover the turmoil and grief that COVID-19 has caused our Madison community. Today, we unfortunately need to share […]

"Ron Johnson" by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Ron Johnson sold his company’s stock before the market tanked

By: - March 20, 2020

Sen. Ron Johnson sold between $5 million and $25 million in stock in his family’s plastics company, PACUR LLC, on March 2, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a record high, shortly before the stock market plummeted after news about the worsening COVID-19 pandemic.  The sale prompted speculation that Johnson, who is chair of […]

State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski reads to elementary school students in Eau Claire (photo courtesy of the Wisconsin Office of the State Treasurer).

State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski on COVID-19’s economic fallout 

By: - March 19, 2020

“We can’t wait for the federal government to act,” says State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski. She has just hung up from a call with other state treasurers from around the country to discuss their responses to the economic damage done by the coronavirus pandemic. Declaring a state of emergency, closing schools, restaurants and bars and banning […]

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson meets with President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, December 7, 2018

Ron Johnson looks on the bright side of COVID-19

By: - March 19, 2020

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis) has made national news multiple times now by taking a contrarian view on the coronavirus pandemic. This week he spoke out against paid sick leave, suggesting it would only make people more likely to stay home from work, and voted against an aid package that passed Congress with Donald Trump’s support. […]

Ron Johnson with his mouth open in a yell

Ron Johnson objects to corona measures ‘incentivizing people to not show up for work’

By: - March 17, 2020

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), says he’s not only worried about mass layoffs and other effects of an economic slowdown due to coronavirus — he’s also concerned that a House bill offering federally funded paid sick leave could lead to “incentivizing people to not show up for work,” according to USA Today.   “You have to think […]

MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE - FEBRUARY 07: (L-R) Democratic presidential candidates former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) participate in a Democratic presidential primary debate. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The Democrats’ coronavirus divide

By: - March 16, 2020

Last night’s Democratic candidate debate, held amid the coronavirus crisis in a nearly empty CNN studio in Washington, D.C., provided voters with what might be their final chance to see, in stark relief, the choice between the two remaining contenders for the Democratic nomination: Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. With Biden on a path to […]