Ruth Conniff

Ruth Conniff

Ruth Conniff is Editor-in-chief of the Wisconsin Examiner. 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. Her book "Milked: How an American Crisis Brought Together Midwestern Dairy Farmers and Mexican Workers" won the 2022 Studs and Ida Terkel Award from The New Press.

Voting carrels

Weird politics, silent candidates and an insidious news vacuum in Waunakee

By: - March 28, 2023

In a news void, wild conspiracies take hold, pitting neighbors against neighbors, poisoning civic dialogue and, in some cases, driving the stealth takeover of local government bodies by people with no concern for the real needs of communities. Case in point: Waunakee. Waunakee gained national notoriety a year ago after rightwing radio talk show host […]

Wisconsin April 4 ballot | Examiner photo

April 4 ballot measures sow confusion, resentment

By: - March 21, 2023

With all the attention focused on the Most Expensive State Supreme Court Race in U.S. History, Wisconsin voters have not had much of a chance to absorb the ballot measures — including two that would amend the state constitution — they are expected to ratify or reject in the April 4 election. Along with various […]

Hundreds of people packed the Capitol on Thursday for a day-long hearing on Republican legislative leaders' new voting maps, which advocates and experts say are gerrymandered to lock in GOP control.

Concerned about gerrymandering in Wisconsin? Keep an eye on North Carolina.

By: - March 15, 2023

On Tuesday, the North Carolina Supreme Court reheard arguments in a redistricting case that has been the focus of much national attention. The new conservative majority on the court is reconsidering a recent decision to throw out GOP lawmakers’ gerrymandered voting maps — a decision that had already made its way up to the U.S. […]


Politics, ‘values’ and big money in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race

By: - March 8, 2023

Everyone knows that money and politics have overrun Wisconsin’s nominally nonpartisan election for the state Supreme Court — now the most expensive in U.S. history. One Washington, D.C.-based group is holding up our state contest as an example of how not to choose Supreme Court justices. The nonpartisan Election Reformers Network makes a compelling case […]

Standing child holding a sign, anti-trafficking, stopping violent acts against children, stopping child labor.|

Enslaved workers are making your breakfast: Wisconsin confronts labor trafficking 

By: - February 28, 2023

On Friday, a coalition of advocates for migrant workers and state officials announced a $5.1 million grant to fight labor trafficking in Wisconsin. Milwaukee, where the coalition made the announcement, from the headquarters of United Migrant Opportunity Services (UMOS), was identified not long ago as a center for human trafficking in the U.S. “We have […]

Local officials, immigrant rights advocates and business leaders at the Wisconsin Safe Roads Coalition press conference in the Capitol on Feb. 21, 2023 endorsed Gov. Tony Evers' proposal to restore driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants | Wisconsin Examiner photo

Wisconsin should restore driver’s licenses for immigrant workers

By: - February 23, 2023

No one could possibly favor putting thousands of unlicensed and uninsured drivers on the road. Yet the Wisconsin Legislature did just that back in 2007 when it passed a law taking away driver’s licenses from people who don’t have valid Social Security numbers. The result is that undocumented immigrant workers, people we rely on to […]


Wisconsin should stop electing justices to the state Supreme Court

By: - February 21, 2023

It’s been weird to watch Democrats, progressives and advocates for “revitalizing democracy” in Wisconsin root for the big-money candidate in Tuesday’s primary election for the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  Liberal candidate Janet Protasiewicz has raised a record-breaking $2.2 million — about half of it from out of state, WisPolitics reports — in a race the New […]

Gov. Tony Evers signs the 2021-23 biennial budget at Cumberland Elementary School in Whitefish Bay, after making 50 partial vetoes (screenshot | Gov. Evers Facebook video)

Restoring funding for Wisconsin public schools should be a no-brainer

By: - February 16, 2023

Gov. Tony Evers’ proposal to use part of the record-breaking $7 billion state budget surplus to restore funding for Wisconsin public schools should not be a partisan issue.  For all the Republican hand-wringing about Evers throwing money around, his education budget proposal really just gets Wisconsin’s public schools close to the level of funding they […]

Milwaukee voters go to the polls on Election Day 2022 | Photo by Isiah Holmes

Bipartisan vote tracking measure brings parties together on elections

By: - February 13, 2023

A Republican-authored bill with bipartisan support in the Wisconsin Legislature would allow voters to track the status of their ballots through text messages sent to their cell phones. Currently, absentee voters must log into MyVote, the Wisconsin Election Commission’s information portal, to make sure their ballots have been received by a clerk. Under Senate Bill […]


Wisconsin at the tipping point between ‘normal’ and ‘crazy’

By: - February 9, 2023

The first thing President Joe Biden did the morning after he delivered his State of the Union address was to board a plane for Wisconsin, taking his message directly to the blue-collar, swing state voters he hopes will propel his reelection in 2024. It’s not a bad calculation. Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders […]

Wisconsin state flag

Wisconsin budget debate: What kind of state do we want?

By: - February 1, 2023

It was remarkable to watch Republican legislators sit on their hands and scowl as Gov. Tony Evers delivered his assessment in last week’s State of the State address that Wisconsin is in the best fiscal shape in state history, with a record-breaking budget surplus and record high employment. They actually looked mad about it. Evers […]

Screenshot from Hillsdale's 'Teaching for Virtue | K-12 Classical Education' video on the Lake Country Classical Academy website | YouTube

Waukesha County Exec becomes new Lake Country Classical Academy authorizer

By: - January 24, 2023

Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow signed a letter of intent on Tuesday to authorize Lake Country Classical Academy, the Oconomowoc charter school affiliated with Hillsdale College that was formerly authorized by the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University (LCOOU)  in northern Wisconsin.  Farrow formerly served as the state chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin and […]