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
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 […]

a long line of parked school buses in a field

Despite likely revenue increase, GOP legislators low-ball budget for special ed

By: - May 24, 2021

The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) has scheduled a vote on the state’s K-12 education budget for Thursday, May 27, before a revenue estimate likely to come in early June that is expected to show that the state continues to be in good fiscal health. Public school advocates and school administrators around the state have called […]

"Vote Here" sign (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Wisconsin is one of a handful of states on Heritage Action’s voting-restriction target list

By: - May 19, 2021

A video obtained by the investigative group Documented, and published last week by the magazine Mother Jones, shows the director of the right wing group Heritage Action for America telling donors at a gathering in Tucson, Arizona, about the group’s efforts to push voting restrictions throughout the U.S. by providing model legislation to state legislatures […]

Protesters attend a rally for "Fair Maps" earlier this year in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Fight for fair maps heats up

By: - May 15, 2021

On Monday, Sen. Jeff Smith (D-Eau Claire) and Rep. Deb Andraca (D-Whitefish Bay) will re-introduce nonpartisan redistricting legislation, unveiling their bill at a noon fair maps rally at the State Street entrance to the State Capitol emceed by Wisconsin comedian Kristin Brey. The battle for a fair process for drawing the state’s political maps is […]

Wisconsin State Supreme Court entrance

Wisconsin Supreme Court denies GOP petition to oversee redistricting

By: - May 14, 2021

On Friday the Wisconsin Supreme Court unanimously denied a petition by former Republican Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen and the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty to ensure that the state Supreme Court, rather than federal courts, oversee redistricting litigation in Wisconsin. The opinion noted that written comments collected from citizens and public interest organizations suggested […]

COMMENTARY
Business chart image with human figures falling off the end of the declining graph line

Lies, damn lies and school voucher statistics

By: - May 13, 2021

The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) has been making national news lately, with its director, Rick Esenberg, appearing on Tucker Carlson to discuss WILL’s case against the Biden administration alleging racial and gender discrimination for offering COVID relief to Black farmers, and a new lawsuit opposing aid to minority and women-owned businesses.  The […]

COMMENTARY
Ron Johnson with his mouth open in a yell

Kids are getting their shots — so should Ron Johnson

By: - May 12, 2021

My eighth-grader cannot wait to get her COVID vaccine. Gone are the days of needle dread, when every trip to the doctor’s office prompted the same anxious question: “Will I have to get a shot?” Now the question is, “How soon can I get vaccinated?” and, “Then can I hug my friends?” The youngest, she […]

yellow school bus top with blue sky and trees

Tracking the growing cost to taxpayers of private school vouchers

By: - May 7, 2021

How much are Wisconsin taxpayers spending on private schools? That’s a critical question in the current state budget debate. But the answer is surprisingly hard to find. Every homeowner knows exactly how much she pays to help maintain her local public school district; that information is delivered directly to her mailbox, printed on her property […]