After a marathon session that lasted, including numerous breaks, nearly 9 hours, the Government Accountability Board certified a sufficient number of signatures against all three Democrat Senators against whom recall petitions were submitted for filing, setting up recall elections for all three, or at least primaries if more than one Democrat, one Republican, or one Constitution Party candidate files to run, on July 19, one week later than the same for the 6 targeted Republican state Senators. By and large, the Board rejected Democrat attempts to toss signatures gathered by several out-of-state circulators based on what they termed “fraud”, as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that, in addition to the individual challenges recommended by GAB staff, a grand total of about 230 signatures collected by one of the circulators in question would not count.
The final number of certified signatures against the three Democrat Senators, per WisPolitics, are 15,540 signatures for the recall of Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay), 19,255 for the recall of Jim Holperin (D-Conover) and 17,138 for the recall of Bob Wirch (D-Pleasant Prairie). Each is more than the number required, which was 13,852 for Hansen, 15,960 for Holperin, and 13,537 for Wirch.
It is unknown whether the Democrats will follow the six targeted Republicans into court in an attempt to stop the recall, but they do have until next week Thursday to do so. The Wisconsin State Journal reported that Republican Senators Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), Shelia Harsdorf (R-River Falls) and Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) filed suits yesterday to do just that, joining Dan Kapanke (R-La Crosse), Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac) and Luther Olsen (R-Ripon), who filed last week. As of yesterday, no date had been set in any of hte 6 Republican cases.
Meanwhile, the Republican Party of Wisconsin is lining up “protest ‘Democrat'” candidates to run in all 6 districts where Republicans are targeted in order to stretch the recall election itself to August 9, 4 weeks after the July 12 election date set for the 6 Republicans. This has the Democrats, who in Wisconsin had one of their operatives run as a “Republican” in a failed attempt to squeeze newly-independent Assemblyman Bob Ziegelbauer out of office last year, and nationally have with varying degrees of success encouraged third-party runs in attempts to seize Republican-held seats, crying “foul”. A minor point of order for those of you not in Wisconsin – the parties do not control any aspect of the primary process. They can neither get a candidate placed on the ballot automatically (outside of a recall situation where the incumbent is automatically on the ballot) nor prohibit a candidate from running for or holding office as a “member” of their party.
Revisions/extensions (7:14 pm 6/8/2011) – Speaking of Hopper, one of the main reasons he’s in particular trouble in a district that should be a safe Republican one is that he left his wife for a live-in girlfriend, but forgot to finalize the divorce before the recall circulators showed up at his soon-to-be-ex’s door. I agree with James Wigderson that the RPW needs to cut its ties with him, but they should do it in a primary just in case he forgets to declare himself a non-candidate. If memory serves, that 10-day deadline, along with the 4-week filing deadline for ballot access in the election, is fast approaching.
R&E part 2 (7:18 am 6/9/2011) - The MacIver News Service has a lengthier report of the hearing, including a tidbit on the telemarketing firm hired by the Dems to establish their “fraud” case that I had not known. Several Brown County residents had filed suit after the firm had called them multiple times, with the suit dismissed only after the calls had stopped.
That also leads me to another flashback – the same firm usurped the good name of a Green Bay medical facility in its first several hundred calls.