Monday, February 26, 2024
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Monday, February 26, 2024

Milwaukee Press Club 'Excellence in Wisconsin Journalism' 2020 & 2021 Award Winners

Why We’ve Decided to Tell You the Criminal Records of the Men Shot in Kenosha

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Update: A Wisconsin jury found Rittenhouse not guilty of all charges on Nov. 19, 2021. Read our story on the verdict here. Read all of our Rittenhouse exclusives here.

We’ve decided to tell you the criminal histories of the three men, including Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, who were involved in the Kenosha shooting in Wisconsin. Here’s why.

We think the public is entitled to know all of the context to properly understand what unfolded that night. The Kenosha County District Attorney charged Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, with first-degree intentional homicide in the shooting death of Anthony M. Huber; with first-degree reckless homicide in the shooting death of Joseph D. Rosenbaum; and with attempted first-degree intentional homicide for wounding Gaige Grosskreutz. Read the criminal complaint here. Rittenhouse’s attorney says he acted in self-defense when attacked by what the lawyer called a vicious mob. You can read the lawyer’s statement here.

Rittenhouse was acquitted by a jury.

(Note: See some of our other exclusives here, including video of arson suspects starting a Kenosha business on fire, and an eyewitness who says he saw a man with a walkie-talkie directing carloads of people right before the arson fires broke out. We also found shell casings Kenosha police missed at the first Rittenhouse shooting scene. Wisconsin’s largest newspaper, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, argued that readers shouldn’t get to know the shot men’s criminal records. Read our column explaining why they’re wrong here.)

The jurors have not learned details of these histories. These are the criminal histories of Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber, and Gaige Grosskreutz:


Joseph Rosenbaum

Joseph rosenbaum & anthony huber
Joseph rosenbaums facebook profile picture.

Joseph Don Rosenbaum lived in Kenosha. He had an open case for misdemeanor bail jumping that was filed on July 30, 2020.

The conditions of bond read: “Not to Possess or Consume Alcohol. *Not To Possess or Consume Controlled Substances w/o a Prescription. No contact including the residence, electronic or 3rd party with: Kariann S, Park Ridge Inn.”

Rosenbaum also had open misdemeanor cases for battery (domestic abuse) and disorderly conduct (domestic abuse).

Court documents obtained by Wisconsin Right Now from the Pima County (Arizona) Clerk of Courts confirm Rosenbaum was charged by a grand jury with 11 counts of child molestation and inappropriate sexual activity with children, including anal rape, masturbation, oral sex, and showing minors pornography. The victims were five boys ranging in age from nine to 11 years old. He was convicted of two amended counts as part of a plea deal. See those documents here.

Joseph rosenbaum & anthony huber
Joseph d. Rosenbaum inmate photo from arizona

News articles say Joseph “Jojo” Rosenbaum was the father of a 2-year-old girl. He was 36-years-old. No Joseph Rosenbaum is found on the Wisconsin sex offender registry right now, but he may have been removed because he’s deceased. Screenshots and city databases show that he was on that registry for sexual contact with a minor case out of Arizona.

We asked the Wisconsin Department of Corrections if they had a Joseph Rosenbaum on the registry before and they said yes and they were notified he’s now deceased. See their response to us here:

Joseph rosenbaum & anthony huber

The conviction date was 2002. It gives his nickname as JoJo.

Joseph rosenbaum & anthony huber

We contacted the Arizona Department of Corrections, and they confirmed that the middle name and date of birth for the Arizona offender is the same as those of the Joseph Rosenbaum with the Kenosha address in Wisconsin court records. And the Facebook page of the Joseph Rosenbaum who was shot by Rittenhouse indicates he’s engaged to Kariann, confirming the CCAP entries. The Wisconsin and Arizona initial offense dates are also the same.

Joseph rosenbaum & anthony huber
Wisconsin court record

The Arizona inmate page for Rosenbaum through the Department of Corrections there shows multiple violations for things like assaulting staff, throwing substances, assault by weapon, disobeying orders, and so on.

Joseph rosenbaum & anthony huber
Arisona prison history for joseph d. Rosenbaum.

His Facebook page confirms ties to Arizona and says he’s from Waco, Texas.

Rosenbaum was released from a hospital, where he went for a suicide attempt, the day of the shootings. He had bipolar disorder.

Testimony during the trial described him as belligerent, issuing threats to Rittenhouse, and agitated throughout the night, as well as being involved in an arson fire.

The complaint says that Rosenbaum did “initially try to engage the defendant. (Richie) McGinnis (an eyewitness) stated that as the defendant was walking Rosenbaum was trying to get closer to the defendant. When Rosenbaum advanced, the defendant did a ‘juke’ move and started running,” according to the complaint. “McGinnis said that the unarmed guy (Rosenbaum) was trying to get the defendant’s gun. McGinnis demonstrated by extending both of his hands in a quick grabbing motion and did that as a visual on how Rosenbaum tried to reach for the defendant’s gun…McGinnis said that he definitely made a motion that he was trying to grab the barrel of the gun. McGinnis stated that the defendant pulled it away and then raised it.”


Gaige Paul Grosskreutz

Grosskreutz’s arrest history from the state Department of Justice is lengthy. There are multiple dismissed cases, including a felony conviction that was expunged.

In January 2021, he was accused of second-offense drunk driving. Prosecutors moved for the case to be dismissed after a hearing, and it was.

Gaige Paul Grosskreutz has a forfeiture case for not showing obedience to officers, as well as one for loud noises.

He was convicted of a criminal misdemeanor in 2016 for going armed with a firearm while intoxicated. He gave a West Allis address.

People on social media are alleging that Grosskreutz is a Wisconsin felon. However, he has no felony convictions in the Wisconsin court system. This old archived web page alleges he was arrested on burglary charges, but nothing comes up in the court website for that case. However, the DOJ history we linked to above shows a more extensive arrest history as well as the expunged felony conviction. He confirmed in court that he has one criminal conviction. It’s for this:

Joseph rosenbaum & anthony huber

Online records show he’s affiliated with The People’s Revolution, the Milwaukee-area protest group that has been protesting at Mayfair Mall and elsewhere. The man accused of attacking and shooting at Wauwatosa Police Officer Joseph Mensah was also affiliated with that group.

He was also accused of prowling by West Allis police. The police report accuses him of “lurking” in an area where police keep their private vehicles, videotaping them. We have a call into municipal court to obtain the disposition. They said he was found guilty of loitering.

 

 


Anthony M. Huber

Anthony huber
Anthony huber facebook picture

Huber had a disorderly conduct conviction from 2018 as a domestic abuse repeater, which is a misdemeanor. He gave a Kenosha address. Here are the charges in that case.

940.19(1) Battery Misd. A Dismissed on Prosecutor’s Motion
Modifier: 939.62(1)(a) Repeater
Modifier: 968.075(1)(a) Domestic Abuse

2 947.01(1) Disorderly Conduct Misd. B Guilty Due to Guilty Plea
Modifier: 968.075(1)(a) Domestic Abuse
Modifier: 939.62(1)(a) Repeater

He also had a forfeiture case for possessing drug paraphernalia.

Joseph rosenbaum & anthony huber criminal records explored
Huber mugshot in past case

He also had a case from 2012 with these charges:

1 941.30(2) 2nd-Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety Felony G Charge Dismissed but Read In
Modifier: 939.63(1)(c) Use of a Dangerous Weapon
Modifier: 968.075(1)(a) Domestic Abuse

2 940.235(1) Strangulation and Suffocation Felony H Guilty Due to Guilty Plea
Modifier: 968.075(1)(a) Domestic Abuse

3 940.30 False Imprisonment Felony H Guilty Due to Guilty Plea
Modifier: 968.075(1)(a) Domestic Abuse
Modifier: 939.63(1)(b) Use of a Dangerous Weapon

4 940.19(1) Battery Misd. A Charge Dismissed but Read In
Modifier: 968.075(1)(a) Domestic Abuse
Modifier: 939.63(1)(a) Use of a Dangerous Weapon

5 947.01(1) Disorderly Conduct Misd. B Charge Dismissed but Read In
Modifier: 968.075(1)(a) Domestic Abuse
Modifier: 939.63(1)(a) Use of a Dangerous Weapon

6 947.01(1) Disorderly Conduct Misd. B Charge Dismissed but Read In
Modifier: 968.075(1)(a) Domestic Abuse

Joseph rosenbaum & anthony huber

This is Huber’s incarceration history from the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.

Joseph rosenbaum & anthony huber
Joseph rosenbaum & anthony huber

There are no contact orders in those cases and he was ordered not to possess weapons.

Huber’s criminal history came up in court; the prosecutors presented a relative as a character witness, but the defense said if the prosecution continued down that path they would reveal the other side to Huber.

“[Anthony] Huber told his brother that if he didn’t start cleaning a room in his house he was going to gut him like a pig,” Rittenhouse’s lawyer Corey Chirafisi said in court adding, according to The New York Post that Huber “did this while holding a 6-inch butcher’s knife to the brother’s stomach.”

“Huber grabbed his brother by the neck, dug his nails in and choked him for approximately ten seconds,” Chirafisi said. “He put a knife to his brother’s left ear and his brother felt it cut.”

He said: “I’m going to burn the house down with all you f—kers in it,” that defense attorney said.

Gaige Grosskreutz, Joseph Rosenbaum & Anthony Huber Criminal Records Explored

The media have largely sanitized the criminal histories of these three men.

The bottom line: Rosenbaum was a registered sex offender who was out on bond for a domestic abuse battery accusation and was caught on video acting aggressively earlier that night. Huber was a felon convicted in a strangulation case who was recently accused of domestic abuse. Grosskreutz was convicted of a crime for use of a firearm while intoxicated and was armed with a handgun when shot (he testified in court that he carried it concealed despite having an expired permit; Wisconsin law requires a valid permit to carry a weapon concealed).

Here’s a video that shows Rosenbaum acting aggressively shortly before the shooting. He’s in the red shirt.

To be clear, we don’t think the criminal history of everyone shot and killed is relevant in crime stories. We also don’t believe that anyone deserves to be shot because they have a criminal history, and that’s true of these three men. We also acknowledge that human beings are complex, and the men surely had good aspects to their personalities.

What makes their criminal histories relevant for the public to at least consider: The three men who were shot had placed themselves in the midst of a scene of violent rioting that, for days, included lawless anarchy (there were arson fires in the area that night too), and the defendant is on video saying earlier that he was there to prevent damage to people and property. All three men were confronting Rittenhouse when shot and two were trying to grab his gun; in the first case, Rittenhouse was running away, and in the second situation, he tried to but fell. That’s from the criminal complaint.

Rosenbaum was also caught on video using a racial slur earlier that night. “Shoot me (n word),” he says in the video. Multiple eyewitnesses told Wisconsin Right Now at the scene that they believe Rittenhouse was arguing with men who were starting an arson fire before the shootings because he was upset about the fire. Video does show a dumpster fire.

The witnesses believed this ignited the argument between Rittenhouse and the first victim. The complaint does not explain what authorities believe instigated that first argument. It’s certainly consistent with Rittenhouse’s behavior earlier in the night, though, as he was seen cleaning up graffiti, protecting a used car lot (used car lots had already been targets of serious vandalism and arson), and walking around with a medic bag.

“A person with the red shirt was arguing,” Delreno Jackson, one of those witnesses, said in an interview at the scene. Rosenbaum was wearing a red shirt that night. Jackson said that a garbage can was thrown after Rittenhouse was upset that Black Lives Matter protesters were lighting a fire. We observed the garbage can lying toppled over in the street inside the crime scene tape. Video does mention a man in a red shirt being in a confrontation with Rittenhouse in the earlier shooting (this was later determined to be Rosenbaum).

The criminal complaint alleges that Rosenbaum was trailing Rittenhouse, threw a plastic bag at him, initially tried to engage him, advanced toward him, and was trying to grab Rittenhouse’s gun when he was shot. It says that Rittenhouse, 17, was trying to evade Rosenbaum. The New York Times says a gunshot fired by an unknown person was heard right before Rittenhouse fired (he was later identified as Joshua Ziminski). Others were also chasing Rittenhouse at the time, video shows.

Some believed from the start that Rittenhouse had a self-defense argument, which would make the perceived or real dangerousness of men confronting or trailing him more arguably relevant. He was, in fact, acquitted based on self-defense.

The complaint says Huber was also trying to grab Rittenhouse’s gun and his skateboard made physical contact with Rittenhouse right before Rittenhouse shot him. Rittenhouse fell after being chased down the street, and photos and videos show him being struck with the skateboard as multiple people come toward him.

Huber’s loved ones have called him a hero, a narrative widely circulating online. Was he? Could the truth be complicated? Is it at least possible that Huber thought he was confronting an active shooter (which would certainly be a heroic act) because he didn’t see what happened in the earlier shooting with Rosenbaum, but Rittenhouse thought he was being attacked, first by Rosenbaum and then by Huber and others? Huber’s shooting occurred seconds after another unidentified man jumped at and over Rittenhouse, who fired at him, but missed, the complaint says. “Get his ass,” someone shouted around this time.

Grosskreutz was moving toward Rittenhouse when shot and holding a handgun, the complaint says.

There are certainly questions about why a 17-year-old had also injected himself, without parental supervision, into a scene of criminal unrest, although it turned out he was legally allowed to carry the gun. We would print Rittenhouse’s criminal history too, but he doesn’t have one; the only thing that comes up for him in Wisconsin courts is two traffic tickets (and the extradition case in Illinois.) People are spreading the criminal record of another Kyle Rittenhouse around the Internet, but that man is much older and isn’t him.

For all of these reasons, we decided not to censor the men’s criminal histories. You can decide how relevant you think they are.

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Trump Thwarts Haley in Her Native South Carolina, Rolls on to Michigan

Sweeping a fourth consecutive primary by a significant margin, former President Donald Trump left South Carolina victorious on Saturday and on a roll heading into Michigan on Tuesday.

Nikki Haley, two-term governor of South Carolina and a former United Nations ambassador in Trump’s administration, was overwhelmed in unofficial very early vote count totals. The race was called minutes after the closing of polls at 7 p.m. Eastern.

South Carolinians, who do not register by party and could choose to vote in either but not both primaries, in early voting exceeded the more than 131,000 votes cast – about 4% – in the Democratic primary on Feb. 3 when 96% chose President Joe Biden.

South Carolina has about 3.3 million registered voters and gets nine of the 538 Electoral College votes in November's general election.

At stake in the South’s first Republican primary were 50 delegates at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee on July 15-18. Twenty-nine went to Trump as the statewide winner; three delegates each go to winners in the seven congressional districts, respectively. Those results were still pending at time of publication, though Trump was projected to up his total to 44 of the state's 50.

"I have never seen the Republican Party so unified as it is right now," Trump said in a victory speech that began minutes after the polls closed. "You can celebrate for about 15 minutes, but then we have to get back to work."

The nation’s 45th president added to previous caucuses and primary wins in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, the first non-incumbent GOP candidate to open with such a sweep since 1976's primary and caucuses calendar change. Since 1980, only Newt Gingrich in 2012 won South Carolina's Republican primary without reaching the national ticket.

In a social media post in the final hour before polls closed, Haley wrote, "Filled with gratitude today. Getting to vote with my mom and my kids at my side is a memory I’ll cherish forever."

Immigration, inflation, energy, an America-first foreign policy and revenge from the 2020 loss to Biden have been hallmarks of the 77-year-old Trump’s campaign.

“No country could sustain what is happening to the United States of America,” Trump, during his victory speech, said of the ongoing situation at the U.S. border with Mexico. “Right now, our country is a laughing stock all over the world. Our country is going to be respected again, respected like never before.”

On the campaign trail in Rock Hill on Friday, Trump said Haley was staying in the race to help Democrats. The flip side is Haley’s supporters see Trump and his 91 criminal charges as the GOP choice that Democrats would want to face their candidate.

Trump also served up comments on race – sparking partisan critiques – when speaking to a friendly crowd at the Black Conservative Federation Gala in Columbia later in the evening.

Haley, 52, was in Greenville on Tuesday saying she’s campaigning to save the country, led by the topics of education, economy, immigration, homicides, fentanyl and foreign policy. She voted in Kiawah Island on Saturday morning, having spent Friday in Moncks Corner among other stops.

Haley says Trump brings chaos and will be unelectable in the general election, though national polls including The Center Square Voters’ Voice Poll disagree. In a Marquette Law School national poll released Wednesday, proposed 1-on-1 races have Haley defeating Biden 58%-42% and Trump beating Biden 51%-49%.

Prior to Saturday, Real Clear Politics' polling average showed Trump ahead of Haley 63%-32% in South Carolina. Nationally, the advantage climbs to 75%-17%.

While Haley has tirelessly been asked about stepping out of the race, campaign manager Betsy Ankney on Friday confirmed a “seven-figure” ad buy for Super Tuesday states. The March 5 primary schedule includes 15 Republican and 14 Democratic primaries.

(This is a developing story and will be updated.)

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Wisconsin GOP Congressmen: Evers Drew Congressional Maps He Wants Struck Down

(The Center Square) – Some of Wisconsin’s Republican congressmen say there is a problem with Gov. Tony Evers’ latest problems with the state’s political maps.

Evers this week asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to take a look at the state’s congressional maps.

"MONDAY: I signed fair maps for Wisconsin’s Legislature," Evers tweeted Wednesday. "NEXT UP: fair maps for our congressional districts."

The liberal law firm The Elias Group has already asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to reconsider the state’s congressional maps, just like the court reconsidered the state’s legislative maps.

The high court tossed those state maps back in December. But Wisconsin lawmakers ended the court’s review and replacement by passing Evers’ preferred maps for Assembly and Senate districts.

Western Wisconsin Republican Congressman Derrick Van Orden on Wednesday pointed out the Congressional maps are also Evers’ own.

“The maps are a 100% product of the Dems,” Van Orden said in a tweet. “Evers drew them. Zero Republicans voted for them. Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled them constitutional. US Supreme Court ruled them constitutional. This is a naked power Dem grab.”

WOW County Republican Congressman Scott Fitzgerald said the same thing.

“I’d like to remind @GovEvers that he is asking the State Supreme Court to review the Congressional maps HE drew,” Fitzgerald said in a tweet. “The map he is now seeking to overturn was drafted by Evers and based off a 2011 bipartisan map, approved by the liberals on the state Supreme Court and survived a challenge all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Evers said reviewing the Congressional maps is part of his effort to “do the right thing.”

"We want to end gerrymandering in Wisconsin at every level, so I’m asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to review our congressional maps to make sure those are fair, too."

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has not yet said what it plans to do with the challenge to the congressional maps.

school choice policies

Wisconsin Assembly Approves Plan to Splits Choice School Funding From Public Schools

(The Center Square) – Wisconsin is considering a massive shift in how public and choice schools get their money.

The Wisconsin Assembly approved the plan to decouple the Racine and statewide school voucher programs, replacing the local property tax money that currently pays for those programs with state dollars.

“Currently, legacy charter schools are completely funded by [general purpose revenues]. The Milwaukee Choice program will be funded completely by GPR by 2025,” Rep. Ellen Schutt, R-Clinton, said. “What this bill does, is says that new independent charter schools, and the rest of the choice program should also be funded by GPR and not by aid-reductions from the local school district.”

That would shift millions of dollars for choice schools in Wisconsin from local school districts to the state.

It would also mean a steadier and more reliable stream of dollars for choice schools.

“Decoupling resolves an issue that involves how the current funding mechanism affect public schools and property taxes. This has been a sore spot that creates unnecessary tension between public and private schools,” School Choice Wisconsin President Nic Kelly told The Center Square. “Decoupling is good tax policy that was already enacted for Milwaukee years ago. We want the rest of the state to be treated the same way.”

Decoupling would mean a boost for public schools. Schutt’s legislation would give public schools a one-time, 25% revenue limit increase. The legislature says that will cost as much as $351 million for the next school year.

Some public schools could end up losing money in general state aid, but the decouple legislation would hold them harmless.

“This bill will really help our public schools when they're setting their budgets every year, giving them some idea about how much money they truly will have,” Schutt added. “It will fix the confusion that is currently out there with the way we fund choice and charter, because it's different based on the type of school it is. We had some administrators come down to testify and say that this was really a great idea, and actually Gov. [Tony] Evers supported this idea when he was the superintendent back in 2015.”

Rep. Joel Kitchens, R-Sturgeon Bay, however said during debate on the plan that Evers’ office no longer wants to talk about decoupling.

The proposal next heads to the Wisconsin Senate.

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Assembly Majority Leader Puts Responsibility on Milwaukee to Restore Faith in Vote Count

(The Center Square) – The number-two in the Wisconsin Assembly says if lawmakers can’t come to terms on an early count law, it is up to Milwaukee to restore the voters’ faith in their election operation.

Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu said he doesn’t have the votes to pass Monday Count legislation. It would allow Milwaukee to count ballots the day before election day in order to avoid an after-midnight vote dump.

Assembly Majority Leader Tyler August, R-Lake Geneva, said Republicans in the Senate should vote on the plan. If they don't, August said, then Milwaukee’s election managers need to act.

“It's incumbent upon the city of Milwaukee to get their act together and count those ballots during the day and have that done so that there isn't constantly this question about the processes in the city of Milwaukee,” August said.

Milwaukee uses a central count location, and election managers in the city say that slows down the counting of absentee ballots. Many times, that leaves a lull between when the votes from election day are tallied, and when the absentee vote count is delivered.

Critics say that lull, and the after-midnight ballot drop, leads to questions about election integrity in Milwaukee.

“People feel like the election is heading in one direction, [then] all the ballots come in at one time in the middle of the night, and it appears that there's some kind of nefarious nature to what's going on,” Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said Tuesday.

Critics of the Monday Count plan also see room for something nefarious. They fear that if Milwaukee has an absentee ballot count ahead of election day, then someone can somehow manufacture an exact number of votes to win.

August said other communities in Wisconsin don’t have the same troubles as Milwaukee and said that’s part of the problem.

“When I go to vote in the city of Lake Geneva they are processing those absentee ballots, there are hundreds of them in Lake Geneva, as well as a smaller staff, less election workers than in the city of Milwaukee has, and they're able to get those done and part of their report that they send into the county clerk by like 9 p.m.,” August said. “So, Milwaukee needs to take a look at what they're doing when it comes to counting absentee ballots, and for their own sake to prove to the people that their processes are secure, and safe, and fair. And get those reports in well before the middle of the night.”

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Denver Schools Facing ‘Unprecedented Challenge’ With Influx of Migrant Students

Denver’s public school system has been taking in as many as 250 new students a week since the new year, which it attributes to the increase in the number of migrants arriving in the city.

Denver Public Schools Superintendent Alex Marrero called the situation an “unprecedented challenge” in a message to the community posted on the district’s website. The district said the influx of new students will cost an additional $837,000 “to support additional needs across the system.”

From July 1, 2023 to January 2024, there were 3,221 new-to-country students with more than 1,300 coming to Denver schools since Oct. 1, 2023, the district stated.

The district is hiring more staff to deal with the increase in students and focusing on hiring people who are bilingual, according to the superintendent.

“The pace of new arrivals has remained steady since the start of 2024, with roughly 200-250 students joining us each week,” a report to the school board stated last week.

On Feb. 5, the city of Denver started enforcing 42-day limits on migrants living in city-owned shelters.

“We are watching enrollment data closely over the next few weeks to see if/how our student population moves in response,” the report stated.

The school district provides a phone number to call “to speak to someone in your language.”

The district has struggled with dwindling enrollment since the pandemic. Enrollment reached 93,800 in the 2019-20 school year and then fell to 90,300 in the 2020-2021 pandemic year. In 2021-22, enrollment stayed about the same at 90,250 and then dropped to 89,200 in 2022-23.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has been sending migrants from Texas to sanctuary cities across the U.S. On Feb. 12, Abbott posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that Texas has bused more than 16,200 migrants to Denver.

"Texas will not stop until President Biden secures the border," Abbott stated on X.

Denver Public Schools did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Governor’s Veto Powers Wisconsin Republicans Parental Bill of Rights Outlaw Child Sex Dolls Embrace Them Both Unemployment Reforms Wisconsin’s Professional Licensing Bail Reform Amendment wisconsin covid-19

Wisconsin Assembly Eyes Limits on Governor’s Veto Powers

(The Center Square) – Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly are taking the first step to reign in some of the governor’s veto power.

Lawmakers on Tuesday took up Assembly Joint Resolution 112, which would change the Wisconsin Constitution to stop the governor from raising a tax or a fee on his own.

“Wisconsin's unique partial veto is considered one of the most powerful policy tools in the country,” Rep. Amanda Nedweski, R-Pleasant Prairie, told reporters. “From Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson's infamous Vanna White veto, to Democrat Gov. Tony Evers 402-year tax increase, we have seen abuse of the partial veto addressed with proposed constitutional amendments by legislatures nearly 30 times in the last century.”

Nedweski said this proposed constitutional amendment would apply to Evers specifically, but would apply to all future governor’s as well by banning the governor from single handedly increasing taxes or creating fees.

“The will of the people is the law of the land, not the will of the governor,” Nedweski added. “This would appropriately rebalance power between the executive and the legislature, and further restrict the executive from completely rewriting the law. The governor is not a legislator, and the partial veto was not intended to give the governor legislative power.”

Tuesday's vote was the first vote for the plan. It would need to pass the legislature again next year before it would go to the voters, likely next spring.

“We very narrowly crafted this legislation to address the specific situations that we believe members of the public would find the most egregious, the ability for a single person to increase taxes or fees on the people of Wisconsin with the single stroke of a pen,” Nedweski said. “The people should not be subjected to political trickery that does not reflect their will as represented by their legislators.”

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Robin Vos: Medical Marijuana Not Going to Happen This Year

(The Center Square) – Wisconsin’s assembly speaker is not calling his proposal for medical marijuana dead, but he says it’s not going to happen this year.

Speaker Robin Vos told reporters Thursday there are too many different views of marijuana to find a consensus on a strict-medical only plan.

“I think we have now seen, unfortunately, people who from the very beginning have said that they have concerns that this will lead to widespread recreational marijuana and many of my colleagues on the other side continue to say that that is their goal which of course that's their right,” Vos said.

Vos’ plan would create five state-owned marijuana dispensaries that would sell non-smokable marijuana to people with 15 specific health conditions.

Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate, specifically, don’t like the idea of state-owned pot shops.

“I still think we have the votes in the Assembly to pass it,” Vos added. “I've not had anybody come to me who was a supporter and say they have changed their position. But when we see that the Senate wants to have a more liberal version than one that we're willing to pass, it probably doesn't leave us enough time with the waiting days of the session to get an answer that both chambers can adopt.”

Democrats in Wisconsin have made no secret of their support for fully legal, recreational marijuana and never signed on to Vos’ plan either.

Wisconsin remains one of just 12 states without a medical marijuana law. Wisconsin is one of 26 states that has not legalized recreational marijuana.

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Trump’s First Criminal Trial Date in New York Scheduled for March 25

Former President Donald Trump’s first criminal trial date, in a case involving porn actress Stormy Daniels, will be March 25.

A New York judge rejected a request to dismiss the case from Trump. He faces charges in multiple states while commanding the lead for the Republican nomination in the presidential race.

His lawyers, appearing before Judge Juan Manuel Merchan, said the case will interfere with his campaign to return to the White House. Trump has three other prosecutions unresolved, one of which involved a district attorney under heavy scrutiny in Georgia on Thursday.

Trump’s defense lawyer, Todd Blanche, said the president should not be spending the next two months in preparation for a trial when he should be on the campaign trail. Trump, after the decision, said he would be in court during the day and “campaigning during the night.” It echoes previous statements he has made.

This New York case, with a prosecution led by District Attorney Alvin Bragg, was the first for the former president to be charged with a crime. Others followed in Florida, Georgia and Washington, D.C.

Trump and his legal team say no crime was committed. Prosecutors say he falsified internal records kept by his company, hiding the true nature of payments that involve Daniels ($130,000), former Playboy model Karen McDougal ($150,000), and Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen ($420,000). Prosecutors say the money was logged as legal expenses, not reimbursements.

Reportedly, the payments kept quiet accusations of sexual affairs, including birth of a child.

Cyrus Vance Jr., whom Bragg followed into the office, declined to pursue the case. The charges are punishable by up to four years in prison.