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.

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

Lifting voucher caps could cost property taxpayers more than $570M next year

By: - February 17, 2022

Much of the debate in the Assembly Education Committee on Wednesday focused on a controversial proposal by Rep. Robert Wittke (R-Racine) and Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) to break up the Milwaukee Public Schools into four to eight separate school districts.  But another measure, Assembly Bill 970, also introduced by Wittke, could have a greater […]

Gov. Tony Evers gives the 2022 State of the State address in the Capitol | Screenshot via YouTube

Evers delivers State of the State address into a political whirlwind

By: - February 16, 2022

Gov. Tony Evers began the last State of the State address of his first term and, effectively, the kickoff of his re-election campaign, in his trademark folksy style. He professed his love for his wife, Kathy, his kindergarten classmate and junior prom date, with whom he will celebrate the couple’s 50th wedding anniversary this year. […]

Planned Parenthood, Wisconsin officials respond to threats to reproductive health care

By: - February 14, 2022

Responding to a bill in the Wisconsin Legislature that is almost identical to the highly restrictive six-week abortion ban now in effect in Texas, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin held a press briefing Friday with Attorney General Josh Kaul and Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake, to discuss protecting reproductive freedom in Wisconsin. The […]

Wisconsin State Supreme Court entrance

Wisconsin Supreme Court won’t allow dropboxes for April election

By: - February 11, 2022

The Wisconsin Supreme Court issued a ruling on Friday that denies motions by voting rights advocates and the Wisconsin Elections Commission to prolong  the use of unstaffed drop boxes through Wisconsin’s spring elections. After a lower court order changed the rules and barred drop boxes, the court of appeals stayed that order until after the […]

Elephants at the circus

Some advocates avoid education bill ‘circus,’ others come to fight

By: - February 11, 2022

On Thursday morning, Heather DuBois Bourenane of the Wisconsin Public Education Network (WPEN) held a press conference in front of the Capitol, livestreamed on WPEN’s Facebook page, to explain why the group’s members would not testify at the Assembly Education Committee hearing on a package of school-related bills. Gov. Tony Evers had put forward a […]

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

Ron Johnson is crazy like a fox

By: - February 10, 2022

Today’s  Republican Party, with the exception of Mitch McConnell — who, god help us, is now  the GOP’s voice of reason — appears to have given up on the idea of representing mainstream voters.  The lunatic fringe of the Republican party in Wisconsin has three candidates for governor so far — Rep. Timothy Ranthum (R-Campbellsport), […]

 Assembly Democratic leaders take the long view

By: - February 9, 2022

Long-serving Democrats in the Wisconsin Legislature have been making way this year for younger members to take the helm. Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-West Point) and Senate Minority Leader Janet Bewley (D-Mason) are the latest to announce they won’t seek reelection. Former Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz stepped down from his leadership post last month. Brand-new […]

COMMENTARY
Clinicians depart a patient room after re-positioning a COVID-19 patient. (Mario Tama | Getty Images)

Why doctors don’t support ‘medical freedom’

By: - February 4, 2022

Rep. Shae Sortwell (R-Two Rivers) kicked off his Wednesday press conference on a package of “medical freedom” bills to protect doctors who dispense alternative remedies for COVID-19 by reading a quote from George Orwell. In the quote, Orwell calls for a time “when thought is free … when truth exists,” and when people can get […]

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos speaking at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland

School voucher lobby flexes its muscles in Wisconsin

By: - February 2, 2022

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a nonprofit watchdog group that tracks money in politics, named the American Federation for Children (AFC) its “influence peddler of the month” for February.  The federation is headquartered in Washington, DC, but has spent millions of dollars on Wisconsin elections. Founded by rightwing Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos, who served as Secretary […]

COMMENTARY
open door

Surplus another ‘golden opportunity’  Republicans are determined to miss

By: - January 26, 2022

The announcement Tuesday that Wisconsin’s projected surplus is $2.9 billion higher than the already “unprecedented” June surplus projection was hailed by Republicans and Democrats alike.  The state Democratic party credited Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, tying the news about the surplus to a record-breaking unemployment rate of 2.8% — the lowest the state has ever seen, […]

Democrats and Republicans cash contributions campaign donations

On Citizens United anniversary, legislators and advocates call for reform

By: - January 24, 2022

On Friday, the 12th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v Federal Election Commision, several Wisconsin legislators and campaign finance reform advocates held a press conference to promote a constitutional amendment that would reverse the flood of money into politics. Citizens United made it legal for corporations and other outside groups […]

Tom Nelson in his "garage sale" campaign video |

The Underdog: Tom Nelson’s longshot race for U.S. Senate

By: - January 18, 2022

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson’s announcement that he is running for a third term hardly came as a surprise to state Democrats, who have already been campaigning against the senator for months. None of them has been at it longer than Tom Nelson. The Outagamie County executive launched his campaign 15 months ago, attempting an old-fashioned […]