Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

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WRN Lawsuit: Judge Orders Immediate Release of 2022 Parolee Names; Says Parole Commission ‘Unjustifiably’ Held Records

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A Washington County Judge has ordered the Wisconsin Parole Commission to immediately release the names of criminals freed on parole in 2022 or show cause in court if they don’t, saying the Commission, run by a Tony Evers’ appointee, has “unjustifiably held” and “refused to release” the records to Wisconsin Right Now.

The judge, Michael S. Kenitz, an appointee of Gov. Tony Evers, wrote the Wisconsin Parole Commission on October 6, 2022: “You have unjustifiably withheld and refused to release those remaining records to which Plaintiff is entitled, to the injury of Plaintiff,” which is Wisconsin Right Now, Wisconsin’s leading conservative news site. The records in question are the names of inmates released on paroles in 2022. The Commission previously provided parole grants through 2021 to the news site, but has refused to release the rest.

“This is a win for government transparency,” said Lucas Vebber, the lawyer with the Wisconsin Institute of Law and Liberty, who filed the lawsuit on WRN’s behalf. “The Parole Commission had the opportunity to do the right thing and comply with the law, but has refused to do so for months. It is unconscionable that it has taken this long already but we are thankful the Court has stepped in and issued this writ.”

Jim Piwowarczyk, co-editor of WRN, said the news site is championing the right of the public and victims’ families to know which criminals have been released early into Wisconsin communities by Evers’ appointee.

“We have found a troubling pattern in which victims’ families did not even know the brutal killers of their loved ones were being paroled,” Piwowarczyk said. “We believe victims’ families and the public have a right to know which murderers and rapists Evers’ appointee has freed. We believe the public is entitled to the information the Parole Commission is withholding. What are they hiding?”


Read the judge’s order here:

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Judge Michael S. Kenitz

Michael s. Kenitz
Michael s. Kenitz

Gov. Evers appointed Judge Michael S. Kenitz to the Washington County bench in March 2022. Kenitz worked in private practice, as a court commissioner, and as a guardian ad litem before becoming a judge.

Wisconsin Right Now has been profiling the brutal killers and rapists released on discretionary paroles by Tony Evers’ appointee each morning at 7 a.m. Multiple families told WRN they were not even aware the inmates were up for parole; Evers’ Department of Corrections has apologized to one such family. The Wisconsin Institute of Law and Liberty filed the action on Wisconsin Right Now’s behalf.

Judge Kenitz wrote the Parole Commission: “YOU ARE HEREBY COMMANDED to, immediately on receipt of this writ, release the remaining records responsive to Plaintiff’s May, 2022 request for public records, which you told them you were gathering and would provide via your June 17, 2022 e-mail to the Plaintiff, or in the alternative, to show cause to the contrary before this Court…on October 28, 2022 at 8:30AM or as soon thereafter as counsel can be heard.”

The judge signed the alternative writ of mandamus in the case of Wisconsin Right Now, LLC versus the Wisconsin Parole Commission.

The judge’s order wrote that it appears that Wisconsin Right Now’s journalists Jessica McBride and Jim Piwowarczyk “filed a lawful public records request pursuant to the Wisconsin Open Records Law, Wis. Stat. § 19.31, et seq.,” in May 2022.

The judge wrote the Parole Commission: “…You partially fulfilled that request on June 17, 2022, and at that time you also stated you were still gathering and would provide the remaining WISCONSIN RIGHT NOW, LLC…” But he noted the Commission had not provided the rest of the records.

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Lara Trump: ‘Frightening’ Assassination Attempt a ‘Defining Moment’ for Country

Lara Trump, co-chair of the Republican National Committee and daughter-in-law of former President Donald Trump, appeared saddened but proud when recalling the "frightening" assassination attempt Saturday against her father-in-law at a campaign rally in Butler, Pa.

“There is no doubt that Saturday was one of the most frightening moments of my father-in-law’s life,” Lara Trump told the audience at Tuesday night's Republican National Convention. “Millimeters separated him from life and certain death. And yet, it was in the midst of it all, as he was jostled off stage by Secret Service, that he knew how defining that moment would be for our country, and he hoisted his fist in the air.”

The crowd erupted into chants of “fight, fight, fight!”

The assassination attempt on Trump, and a general belief among Republicans that a win for their candidate in November will refortify national security, dominated the topics discussed during the later portion of the Republican National Convention’s second night, themed “Make America Safe Again,” in Milwaukee, Wis.

Lara Trump, who is married to the GOP presidential nominee's son, Eric Trump, wrapped up convention night Tuesday as the keynote speaker.

“Last Saturday was a jarring reminder that we as Americans must always remember: there is more that unites us than divides us,” she said. “We all want this country to be great, even if we don't always agree on the best way of doing that. And with every bone in my body, I can tell you that all Donald Trump wants to do, and has ever wanted to do, is make this country great again for all of us.”

She referenced Trump’s presidential record of tax cuts, energy independence, unemployment rates, prison reform, border security, peace agreements in the Middle East, and the creation of the U.S. Space Force as proof that a second Trump administration would benefit American peace and prosperity.

Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who was on the shortlist for Trump’s vice-presidential candidate picks, spoke just before Lara Trump Tuesday night, and argued there is nothing divisive about Trump’s America-first agenda, and nothing dangerous about Trump’s supporters, as Democrats maintain.

“What they ask for is not hateful or extreme,” Rubio said of Trump's supporters. “What they want is good jobs and lower prices. They want borders that are secure, and for those who come here to do so legally. They want to be safe from criminals and from terrorists. And they want our leaders to care more about our problems here at home than about the problems of other countries far away.”

Dr. Ben Carson, the 17th U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under the Trump administration, talked briefly as well, noting how the assassination attempt put the stakes of the election into perspective.

“These events brought unusual clarity to the times we are living in. We have all harbored the nagging feeling that everything we love is slipping away,” said Carson. “This is a man who is a gift to us as a nation.”

The night concluded with speakers calling for unity, for votes, and for grit.

“We must stand up, and we must fight,” Rubio said. “Fight not with violence or destruction, but with our voices and our votes. Fight not against each other, but for the hopes and dreams we share in common and make us one. And fight for an America where we are safe from those who seek to harm us on our streets, and from abroad.”

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Secret Service Says Sloped Roof Was Unsafe for Snipers

The sloped roof where a would-be assassin took aim at former President Donald Trump during a campaign rally in western Pennsylvania wasn’t safe enough for snipers.

This is a reason for not posting someone there, U.S. Secret Service Director Kim Cheatle said in an interview with ABC News on Tuesday.

“That building, in particular, has a sloped roof at its highest point,” she said. “And so, you know, there’s a safety factor that would be considered there that we wouldn’t want to put somebody up on a sloped roof.”

“And so, you know, the decision was made to secure the building, from inside,” Cheatle added.

The comment comes three days after 20-year-old Thomas Crooks opened fire on a crowd in Butler, Pa., less than 15 minutes after Trump took the stage, striking him in the ear. Trump was wounded but has continued his schedule, arriving in Milwaukee, Wis., on Sunday for the Republican National Convention and appearing in the main arena Monday night.

Since then, authorities – namely the Secret Service – have faced tough questions about the apparent security lapses that allowed the gunman to scale the roof 147 yards from the stage at the Butler Farm Show Grounds.

Eyewitnesses can be seen on video shouting for police to intervene as they watched Crooks belly crawl into position. Law enforcement was also stationed inside the building.

In a separate report from NBC News, a local official said a Butler Township police officer was boosted to the roof of the building, where he grabbed onto a ledge and saw Crooks, who then turned his rifle toward the officer. Unable to grab his weapon or radio, the officer dropped eight feet to the ground, injuring his ankle.

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Arrest Made After Derrick Van Orden Says He Was Assaulted at RNC

(The Center Square) – Western Wisconsin’s congressman says he was assaulted at Milwaukee’s Republican National Convention, but a women’s group disagrees.

Republican Congressman Derrick Van Orden took social media Tuesday to say a protester with the group Code Pink assaulted him while he was standing in line at the RNC.

“While standing in line to enter an event at the RNC today, I was assaulted by what appeared to be a member of the pro-Hamas group CODEPINK. A nearby police officer witnessed this assault and I understand they have been arrested,” Van Orden said. “This appears to be an incident of political violence and I will never tolerate this. Regardless of the severity of the violence, political violence is political violence.”

Code Pink almost immediately said Van Orden was the one who bumped into who they called a “visibly Palestinian” woman.

“CODEPINK's Palestine Organizer Nour [Jaghama] has been unjustly arrested at the RNC after a congressman shoved past her and had her arrested on false charges of ‘assault,’” Code Pink said in a tweet of its own.

Milwaukee Police questioned Jaghama, then were later seen taking her away.

The department says the incident is “under investigation.”

Van Orden said the incident is just the latest example of violence from the Left.

“Republicans have been intimidated and targeted for years, including the attempted assassination of President Trump and we will no longer standby and allow lawlessness,” he said. “There is no place for political violence in this country and I have repeatedly called for people who choose this path to be prosecuted to the greatest extent of the law.”

The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday that charges in the case are “under review.”

Van Orden was in line for an event at the Pfister Hotel at the time. It’s not clear if the Code Pink protester was going to the same event or was just standing in line.

Van Orden has been a target for protesters. He is in the middle of a race for his second term in Congress for Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District. He has a history of confrontations. It was July of last year when Van Orden was accused of yelling at a group of Capitol Hill interns who were taking pictures and videos inside the Capitol Rotunda.

He defended his actions by saying the Capitol Dome is hallowed-ground, and needs to be treated with respect.

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