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. 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.

The dome at the State Capitol legislature dome

GOP voting maps passed by Senate committee

By: - November 4, 2021

The Wisconsin Senate Committee on Government Operations advanced the Legislature’s proposed voting maps Thursday, voting  3-2 along party lines to pass the bills out of committee. The bills, SB-621 and SB-622,  which draw new legislative districts and Congressional districts, respectively, were the subject of a heated day-long public hearing last week. All of the testimony […]

COMMENTARY
BOY PLAYING WITH POTS AND PANS, SCREAMING

Kids are watching: We need to stop society from falling apart

By: - November 3, 2021

The video on my 14-year-old daughter’s cell phone played in an endless loop: kids protesting outside Madison East High School, outraged by allegations of a sexual assault at a party after Homecoming this year, and by the school administration’s failure to muster a response. As the students in the crowd got more and more worked […]

East gallery in the Wisconsin State Capitol at Supreme Court entrance from across the rotunda

Wisconsin Supreme Court hears oral arguments on private attorneys

By: - November 2, 2021

On Monday the Wisconsin Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Andrew Waity v. Devin LeMahieu, the case concerning Wisconsin’s Republican legislative leaders who hired private attorneys to advise them on lawsuits that might arise over drawing the state’s new voting maps.  Wisconsin law only allows Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos […]

'Voters Decide' sign in Capitol

‘Wrong, immoral and anti-democratic’ — Wisconsin’s voting maps get a public hearing

By: - October 29, 2021

The Wisconsin Legislature held an eight-and-a-half-hour public hearing on voting maps for legislative and Congressional districts on Thursday — the first such hearing in more than a decade and the only one planned. Hundreds of members of the public packed the hearing room and spilled into two overflow rooms to give testimony and watch the […]

COMMENTARY
Right-wing protesters gather outside the Maricopa County Elections Department on Nov. 4, 2020, demanding that all ballots for Donald Trump be counted. Inside the building, election workers were busy counting hundreds of thousands of ballots. Photo by Jerod MacDonald-Evoy | Arizona Mirror

How undermining elections became central to the GOP plan

By: - October 28, 2021

Harassing election officials and working to undermine the integrity of Wisconsin elections has become a central part of Republicans’ electoral strategy.  On Tuesday, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos told reporters that it is “possible if not likely” that his election investigator, former Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, will interrogate Meagan Wolfe, the beleaguered administrator of the […]

Line of books from the side with library shelves of books behind them

Senate passes reading readiness bill after debate on education decline

By: - October 26, 2021

The party-line vote approving Senate Bill 454, establishing new reading assessments for grade schoolers in Wisconsin, was a foregone conclusion.  Republican proponents of the assessments say they will reverse the decline in reading test scores for Wisconsin children and help close the state’s worst-in-the-nation achievement gap between Black and white students.  Democrats say more testing […]

COMMENTARY
Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi

Republicans torpedo debate on voting rights in dangerous moment for democracy 

By: - October 21, 2021

When Senate Republicans voted unanimously to block debate on the Freedom to Vote Act on Wednesday, they fulfilled Mitch McConnell’s “hope and anticipation” that not a single GOP senator would break ranks — ensuring that a measure protecting voting rights and secure elections, increasing campaign finance transparency and cracking down on partisan gerrymandering would not […]

COMMENTARY
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: A pro-Trump mob breaks into the U.S. Capitol. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Doubling down on division and resentment, GOP takes a political risk

By: - October 15, 2021

Pushing for a wolf massacre and an open season on sandhill cranes; attacking school board members and trying to force schools to drop COVID safety measures; bringing Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to Madison and then moving his speech because of the University of Wisconsin’s “Marxist COVID mandates”. What are Republicans and their so-called conservative allies […]

Gov. Tony Evers speaks to students at Winnequah School in Monona

Evers signs executive order on Indigenous Peoples Day, apologizes for Wisconsin’s role in Indian boarding schools

By: - October 11, 2021

On Monday, Indigenous People’s Day, Gov. Tony Evers signed an executive order formally apologizing for Wisconsin’s historic role in removing Native American children  from their homes and placing them in boarding schools funded by the federal government and operated by government and religious organizations. The order also includes a formal declaration of support for the […]

COMMENTARY
Right-wing protesters gather outside the Maricopa County Elections Department on Nov. 4, 2020, demanding that all ballots for Donald Trump be counted. Inside the building, election workers were busy counting hundreds of thousands of ballots. Photo by Jerod MacDonald-Evoy | Arizona Mirror

Don’t be fooled by the Republicans’ election circus

By: - October 11, 2021

Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman is acting like a clown. First he threw in with far-right conspiracy theorists and claimed without evidence that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen” from Donald Trump. Then he put on a suit and tie and accepted $680,000 of taxpayers’ money, courtesy of Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, to […]

Day three of the nine day march to Wisconsin's capital, demanding immigration reform from the federal government. (Photo | Joe Brusky)

Immigrant rights advocates call for a general strike

By: - October 6, 2021

The immigrant rights group Voces de la Frontera on Tuesday announced plans for a statewide general strike to be held Monday, Oct. 11. The strike and student walkout, part of a series of nationwide days of action beginning on Monday, Indigenous People’s Day, is intended to underscore the contributions of immigrants to the U.S. economy […]

People’s Maps Commission releases voting maps

By: - October 1, 2021

Gov. Tony Evers’ People’s Maps Commission released draft maps for new Assembly, Senate and U.S. House districts on Thursday evening, in a Zoom presentation showcasing a year of work gathering public input and drafting what commissioners touted as fair, nonpartisan maps created through a transparent, participatory process. “The rest of the commission and I have […]