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.

COMMENTARY
Pile of money

The perverse stinginess of the Wisconsin GOP

By: - June 17, 2021

A couple of weeks ago, the U.S. Department of Education warned Wisconsin that we stand to lose $2.3 billion in federal funds for schools because the Republican-led Legislature’s budget so badly underfunds education that we fail to meet the minimum federal requirements for investing in kids.  The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimated last week the […]

yellow school bus top with blue sky and trees

Wisconsin schools could lose $2.3 billion under GOP budget plan

By: - June 10, 2021

The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau released a memo on Wednesday estimating that the amount of federal money for schools Wisconsin stands to lose under a Republican budget proposal is significantly more than an earlier estimate of $1.5 billion. The money is at risk, the U.S. Department of Education has explained, because the Legislature’s Republican majority […]

COMMENTARY
Very tight close up on the eye on a one dollar US bill

How long can Republicans keep running on resentment and austerity?

By: - June 10, 2021

It’s breath-taking the amount of money Republicans are determined to turn away on behalf of the people of Wisconsin. When the Legislative Fiscal Bureau reported on Tuesday that the state would see an “unprecedented” revenue increase, with tax collections over the next three years predicted to more than double the money in the state’s general […]

U.S. Capitol Photo by Senate Democrats 2020 CC BY 2.0

Wisconsin members of Congress ask state legislators to revise budget for schools

By: - June 9, 2021

In a letter to Republican leaders of the Wisconsin Legislature, Democratic U.S. Reps. Gwen Moore, Ron Kind and Mark Pocan asked state lawmakers to revisit their lean budget proposal for public schools. Last week the Department of Education warned state officials that the GOP budget proposal could result in the loss of $1.5 billion in […]

U.S. Flag and money

Official estimate shows big increase in state revenue

By: - June 8, 2021

On Tuesday the Legislative Fiscal Bureau released its revenue estimates based on the most recent tax filings in Wisconsin. “The increase in general fund tax collections in 2021, particularly in the months of April and May, is unprecedented,” Fiscal Bureau director Bob Lang wrote in a letter to the Legislature’s budget committee co-chairs, Rep. Mark […]

Madison voting

Redistricting debate begins with a rushed GOP plan in the Legislature

By: - June 8, 2021

On Monday morning the Senate’s government operations committee took up a bill to change the timeline for redrawing Wisconsin’s political maps at the county and municipal levels.  It was the first legislative hearing in what is sure to be a fraught, high-stakes debate over redistricting. The next set of voting maps will replace the gerrymandered […]

COMMENTARY
Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin

Ron Johnson meant what he said, but now he doesn’t

By: - June 4, 2021

It’s head-spinning to listen to Sen. Ron Johnson. In a panel with state news media sponsored by the Milwaukee Press Club, the two-term Republican senator from Oshkosh took multiple, sometimes contradictory, positions on a host of issues.  The most newsworthy had to do with whether he will run for re-election as the biggest ally of […]

COMMENTARY
shell game

Republicans’ school budget shell game

By: - June 3, 2021

The proposed state budget for schools passed by the Legislature’s budget committee is so stingy, the federal government is seriously considering withdrawing $1.5 billion from our state because we don’t make an adequate investment in our own kids.  But you’d never know that from the press releases put out by GOP budget committee members, crowing […]

budget cut money Photo by Images Money | Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Education Dept.: Wisconsin will lose $1.5B in federal funds under GOP school budget 

By: - May 28, 2021

In a letter to Wisconsin’s state school superintendent, the U.S. Department of Education confirmed on Friday that the state will no longer be eligible for $1.5 billion in federal COVID relief funds for school districts under the Republican Legislature’s 2021-23 budget plan for education. The GOP plan, which commits $128 million — only one-tenth of […]

wrecked school

Risking state’s federal funds, Republicans decimate Evers’ budget for schools

By: - May 27, 2021

After voting down Democratic proposals based on Gov. Evers expansive plan to fund K-12 education on Thursday, the Republicans who control the Legislature’s budget committee gave their Democratic colleagues a 20-minute recess to read the revised GOP education budget plan. In summary, according to Department of Administration staff who testified at the Joint Finance Committee […]

Piggy bank

Legislature signals no increase for school funding

By: - May 26, 2021

As the Joint Finance Committee prepares to meet on Thursday to consider funding for Wisconsin schools, Senate President Chris Kapenga told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he doesn’t believe the Republican-controlled Legislature will increase funding for schools. “I think we’re good for right now,” Kapenga said in an interview.  Kapenga said federal COVID relief funds represent […]

COMMENTARY
David Reinert holds up a large "Q" sign while waiting in line to see President Donald J. Trump at his rally on Aug. 2, 2018 at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. "Q" represents QAnon, a conspiracy theory group that has been seen at recent rallies. Photo by Rick Loomis/Getty Images.

The troubled conscience of conservatives

By: - May 25, 2021

Disaffected Republicans, including former Wisconsin GOP Congressman Reid Ribble, want to start a new party for conservatives — or wrest the existing Republican Party away from the forces of former President Donald Trump.  Who can blame them? Last week, Wisconsin’s entire Republican House delegation voted against forming a bipartisan commission to investigate the violent mob […]