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
ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 13: A man wears a 'I Do Not Comply' pin at a protest against masks, vaccines, and vaccine passports outside the headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). To date, there have been over 534,000 deaths in the U.S. due to COVID-19. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

What the Kenosha school board can teach us about democracy

By: - September 30, 2021

On Tuesday the Kenosha school board held its regular monthly meeting, and it did so virtually. Just one week had gone by since the takeover of the school district’s in-person annual meeting of electors by anti-maskers who voted to recommend cutting the tax levy for schools by $1.2 million. The angry citizens who took over […]

COMMENTARY
Boxer with gloves up

Taking a swing at gerrymandering again, Republicans give themselves a black eye

By: - September 28, 2021

On Friday, lawyers for the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block a federal lawsuit over Wisconsin’s next set of voting maps. In their petition, Republicans describe the federal lawsuit, brought by voting rights groups and Democrats, as “an affront to Wisconsin’s sovereignty.” They said it is an effort to usurp the […]

COMMENTARY
State Superintendent Jill Underly delivers her first State of Education address in the Capitol on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021 | Photo courtesy of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

State superintendent calls out Republicans’ war on schools in fiery speech

By: - September 24, 2021

In her first annual State of Education address, Wisconsin’s new state schools superintendent Jill Underly did not hold back. “We’re now failing a generation of kids,” Underly declared. “And we’re failing our state by putting Wisconsin’s economic future at risk.” Standing in front of the bust of Fighting Bob La Follette in the Capitol rotunda, […]

Wisconsin Fair Maps Coalition by Tony Webster CC BY 2.0 A yard sign in Mellen, Wisconsin reads: "This Time Wisconsin Deserves Fair Maps," paid for by the Fair Elections Project, FairMapsWI.com. The political sign supports redistricting legislation to reform gerrymandering.

Republicans offer joint resolution on redistricting

By: - September 23, 2021

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu drafted a joint resolution on establishing new voting maps and referred it to the Legislature’s rules committee Thursday, which put it on the calendar for the Assembly’s floor session next week. The resolution’s first two points are uncontroversial, stating that, in drawing new legislative districts […]

Gavel courtroom sitting vacant

State and federal courts are both set to draw voting maps — now what?

By: - September 23, 2021

On Wednesday the Wisconsin Supreme Court agreed to take a redistricting case brought by the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) that could put it in the position of drawing Wisconsin’s next round of voting maps, should the Legislature and the governor fail to agree on a new map following the 2020 census. […]

Children wearing protective face masks sit in classroom for the first day of classes of the new school year at the GuthsMuths elementary school during the coronavirus pandemic on Aug. 10, 2020 in Berlin. Classes at schools across Germany are beginning this month with face mask requirements varying by state. Coronavirus infection rates are climbing again in Germany, from an average of 400 new cases per day about two weeks ago to over 1,100 yesterday, according to the Robert Koch Institute. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

Conservatives, anti-maskers target school boards around the state

By: - September 22, 2021

A conservative citizens’ group took over the annual Kenosha School Board meeting on Tuesday night, pushing through a cut in school board member salaries and a property tax reduction. “With rage still apparently simmering from a recent school board vote to require face masks in schools, a different crowd outnumbered the regulars Tuesday night,” local […]

COMMENTARY
Former Justice Michael Gableman | Screenshot from YouTube

Gableman video puts a polished gloss on election nonsense

By: - September 21, 2021

On Monday, the ethically challenged former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice who is overseeing state Republicans’ “investigation” of Wisconsin’s 2020 presidential election released a six-minute video warning local elections clerks that he might use his subpoena powers to force them to hand over information. He also put them on notice that the burden of proving that […]

First Lady Jill Biden at Marvin E. Pratt Elementary School in Milwaukee | Screenshot WisconsinEye

Jill Biden visits Milwaukee school

By: - September 15, 2021

On Wednesday First Lady Jill Biden traveled to Milwaukee for the first time since Inauguration Day, to visit Marvin E. Pratt Elementary School and talk about keeping students safe as they return to in-person learning.  Pratt, a Milwaukee Public School that receives federal Title I funding because of its high number of children in poverty, […]

Side view of the top of the Wisconsin Capitol dome

Citing COVID risk, Democrats on Assembly education committee walk out 

By: - September 15, 2021

As students and teachers begin an uncertain school year, with classrooms open for in-person instruction and the delta variant surging, the Assembly education committee met on Tuesday for a hearing on a bill to improve reading scores and tackle the achievement gap. But just as the hearing got underway, all the Democrats on the committee […]

Nicole Safar | Photo courtesy of Law Forward

Safar takes the helm at Law Forward

By: - September 13, 2021

Law Forward, Wisconsin’s nearly one-year-old public interest law firm, announced Thursday that it has hired its first full-time executive director, Nicole Safar.  Safar helped lead Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin for many years, including as the group’s vice president of public affairs and legal advocacy, before leaving to serve as Gov. Tony Evers’ assistant deputy secretary […]

Vivienne Kerley-de la Cruz (Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Farmers Union)

A fresh face for the Wisconsin Farmers Union

By: - September 9, 2021

Eyes sparkling over a face mask decorated with little black-and-white cows, Vivienne Kerley-de la Cruz, the energetic new policy coordinator for the Wisconsin Farmers Union, slipped into a booth at Ancora coffee shop near the Capitol.  Brand new in her job, which she started in June, Kerley-de la Cruz has a background in rural organizing […]

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 16: A U.S. military helicopter flies over the Afghan Embassy in a leafy, quiet neighborhood in the northwest section of the U.S. capital on August 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Taliban has taken control of Afghanistan's government more swiftly than experts expected, forcing Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to flee the country and U.S. President Joe Biden to send thousands of troops to Kabul to secure the evacuation of U.S. citizens. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Resettlement, aid efforts gear up for Afghan refugees

By: - September 6, 2021

Fort McCoy, the Monroe County Army installation that has been receiving thousands of Afghan refugees as the U.S. military pulls out of their country, announced Thursday that it is expanding capacity to house 13,000 Afghans — nearly double the 7,000 people from Afghanistan currently housed there.  Also on Thursday Gov. Tony Evers announced opportunities for […]