Jim Holperin recall, Wisconsin State Senate (2011)
Path to the ballot
About 23,300 signatures to recall Holperin were filed on April 21, 2011. Signatures were filed against nine different state senators in Wisconsin, while a total of sixteen were originally targeted for recall. Challenges to the petition were set to be reviewed by the board on May 31, but were delayed until June 8.
After hearing challenges to the petitions made by the incumbents, as well as presentations from the respective recall committees and board staff, the Board certified 19,255 signatures to recall Holperin,, approving the election for July 19. However, since multiple challengers filed, there will be a primary on July 19, with the recall on August 16.
Robert Lussow announced on May 18 that he was also running for the Republican nomination. The Republican Party of Lincoln County supported Simac in the campaign. Lussow is not a member of the Republican Party, according to the Republican Party of Lincoln County Chair, Bob Rajek.
A primary between Simac and Lussow was held on July 19, with Simac easily defeating Lussow.
Holperin defeated Simac in the recall on August 16.
|August 16 Recall - District 12|
|Jim Holperin (D)||30,450||55.12%|
|Kim Simac (R)||24,682||44.67%|
The debate was held at Tomahawk High School, with the majority of talk covering education. Lussow supported the new collective bargaining law but voiced his opposition to the cuts to education in the recently-passed state budget. Meanwhile, Holperin defended his actions in fleeing the state during the collective bargaining bill negotiations.
Roughly 100 people were in attendance at the debate. However, Kim Simac did not attend. “For whatever reason, she decided to decline," Lussow said. Simac posted on her facebook page that she was unable to attend because she was running her horse camp and could not commit to events during a two-week period.
Ads relating to the campaign
Watchman Broadcasting, a non-profit Christian Television network, sent Sen. Holperin a cease and desist letter, alleging a Holperin campaign ad used copyrighted material. The material in question was an interview with his opponent, Kim Simac, on the network’s program “By the Book.” Simac also called on Holperin to remove the ad.
Holperin said he did not receive such a letter and had no plans to stop airing the ad. "Some things she's said and positions she's taken over the past two years are quite at odds with what she's saying as a candidate. We feel it's our obligation as opponents in this election to point that out," he said.
Democrats challenged the petition to recall Holperin on May 5, citing widespread fraud. Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller said they found "Circulators lying and misleading people about what the petitions are all about, circulators tricking people into signing, Wisconsin citizens learning their names appeared on the petitions when they never intended to sign, and other infractions." Democrats said that of 534 people they contacted who had signed the petition, 9.2% said they were misled into signing or never actually signed.
Certification challenge delays
On May 27, 2011, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board announced it would be unable to consider the recall petitions for the three Democratic incumbents at the May 31, 2011 meeting. Citing "numerous factual and legal issues," the Board said in its statement that more time was needed to ensure that a complete record would be available for examination -- particularly since the decision would likely be appealed to the courts.
In a release, the GAB officials said they did not expect to be able to hold a hearing on the recalls of Democratic incumbents until the week of June 6, which raised potential legal issues, as the initial extension granted to GAB for certification required it to ultimately make determinations before June 3.
The board went ahead with hearings on May 31 for the recalls of Republican incumbents Sheila Harsdorf, Robert Cowles and Alberta Darling. Officials released a 125-page memo on May 27, 2011 concerning the signatures and legal challenges.
The GAB filed a brief on June 1 asking the court for a one-week extension, which would give them until June 10 to finish working on the three Democratic recalls. The case was heard in Dane County Court at 1:30 pm on Friday, June 3. Dane County Judge John Markson ruled that there was good cause for the extension, and that the GAB did not violate any rules by taking up the petitions out of order.
Ultimately, on June 8, after nearly 9 hours of deliberations, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board certified the recalls of three Democratic incumbents and set an initial election for July 19.
Following the certification of the recall petitions against the three targeted Democrats on June 8, Jeremy Levinson, attorney for the incumbent Democrats, did not immediately indicate whether an appeal would be filed based on the GAB’s ruling. Soon after, the party appealed the decision with the Dane County Circuit Court due to what they said was widespread fraud.
State Chairman Mike Tate said, "The GAB agreed that out-of-state circulators hired by the Republican Party to gather recall signatures committed repeated and flagrant acts of election fraud upon the people of Wisconsin. A higher authority should review this stunning conspiracy to defraud the voters, and throw out all the signatures gathered by these deceitful circulators."
While thousands of signatures were rejected by the Board, Democrats said that if Wisconsin statues were followed to the letter there would not be enough signatures for any of the recalls.
After hearing arguments on July 8, Judge Richard Niess ruled that all of the nine recalls should proceed, saying that election officials had already thoroughly and correctly addressed the complaints.
The National Rifle Association gave Sen. Holperin an “A” rating and endorsed him in the race for the 12th District. Holperin said, “I’m grateful to the NRA for recognizing my legislative record of protecting gun rights and our northwoods hunting heritage. I’m proud to have the organization’s endorsement and I intend to continue working to advance legislation that protects 2nd amendment rights.”
Simac, a vocal proponent of gun-rights, wrote a children’s book entitled With My Rifle by My Side. The publisher described the book, which has won praise from Glenn Beck, as “a story written for young children to encourage an appreciation and respect for appropriate firearm use.”
Conducted August 12-14
|August 16, 2011 Recall - District 12 - Daily Kos/PPP Poll|
Conducted August 13-14
|August 16, 2011 Recall - District 12 - Red Racing Horses/We Ask America poll|
An investigation by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign found Holperin's campaign report failed to disclose occupation and/or employer information about one campaign contributor who gave a total of $150.
|Jim Holperin Campaign Finance Reports (GAB ID No. 0101410)|
|Report||Date Filed||Beginning Balance||Total Contributions||(Expenditures)||Cash on Hand|
|Special Pre-Election||August 8, 2011||$147,858.23||$140,609.77||$(146,837.31)||$141,630.69|
|July Continuing||July 11, 2011||$75,319.92||$185,698.99||$(91,400.68)||$169,618.23|
|Special Pre-Election||April 25, 2011||$65,610.21||$96,858.50||$(87,148.79)||$75,319.92|
|Spring Pre-Election||March 28, 2011||$16,153.74||$54,045.39||$(4,588.92)||$65,610.21|
The following political action committees have made donations to Jim Holperin:
- Spring Pre-Election Report April 28, 2011
- Jim Holperin Special Pre-Election Report April 28, 2011
- July Continuing Report July 11, 2011
- Special Pre-Election Report August 8, 2011
As of the April 25, 2011 filing, the Jim Holperin Recall Committee had raised $8,393.00 and spend $7,933.09.
|Jim Holperin Recall Committee Campaign Finance Reports (GAB ID No. 600004)|
|Report||Date Filed||Beginning Balance||Total Contributions||(Expenditures)||Cash on Hand|
|Special Pre-Election||April 25, 2011||$1,473.61||$2,283.00||$(3,296.70)||$459.91|
|Spring Pre-Election||March 28, 2011||$0.00||$6,110.00||$(4,636.39)||$1,473.61|
- GAB staff memo to the Board on the Recall Petition Challenge to Senator Holperin - June 7, 2011
- GAB staff memo to the Board on Sens. Hansen, Holperin & Wirch's challenges to circulator residence and fraud - June 7, 2011
- Holperin Exhibits for June 8, 2011 GAB meeting
The following documents are attributed to the Holperin recall and have been publicized by the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.
- Recall Campaign Registration Statement
- Statement of Intent V1
- Statement of Intent V2
- Letter to Jim Holperin Recall Committee
- Letter to Sen. Holperin giving Notice of Recall
- Verified Challenge of Sen. Jim Holperin
- Summary of All Fail Types
- Signer Date Challenges
- Phone Challenges
- Improper Form Challenges
- Fake and Forgeries Challenges
- Eligibility Challenges
- Duplicate Entry Challenges
- District Challenges
- Circulator Date Challenges
- Circulator Address Challenges
- Address Challenges
- Memo in Support of Sen. Holperin Challenge
- Holperin Rebuttal
- Sen. Holperin Reply in Support of Challenge
- Objection to Holperin Reply
- Pages 1-100
- Jim Holperin recall, Wisconsin (1990)
- Recall of Wisconsin State Senators (2011)
- State legislative recalls
- Recall campaigns in Wisconsin
- Laws governing recall in Wisconsin
- ↑ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Two state representatives won't run against Holperin", May 5, 2011
- ↑ Talking Points Memo, "Wis. Elections Staff Recommend Recalls Against Three GOPers," May 20, 2011
- ↑ WisPolitics, "Dem recalls certified," June 8, 2011
- ↑ WJFW, "Kim Simac Announces Candidacy for 12th State Senate District," May 5, 2011
- ↑ Wausau Daily Herald "Lincoln Co. Board chairman challenges senator," May 19, 2011
- ↑ Lakeland Times "If Holperin recall proceeds, Republican primary shaping up," May 27, 2011
- ↑ Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "District 12 recall election results," accessed August 26, 2011
- ↑ ‘’WAOW “Holperin and Lussow face off in education forum,” June 20, 2011
- ↑ Kim Simac for Senate Facebook page “Post on June 21, 2011"
- ↑ ‘’WJFW, “Broadcasting Company Tells Sen. Holperin To Stop Campaign Ad,” July 13, 2011
- ↑ FOX 11, "State Dems challenge GOP recall efforts," May 5, 2011
- ↑ Democratic Party of Wisconsin, "GOP Election Fraud Exposed," May 5, 2011
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "Review of recall petitions going slowly; July 12 election in doubt," May 27, 2011
- ↑ Greenfield Reporter "Wis. election officials delay decision on recall petitions for Dems, may need date change," May 27, 2011
- ↑ WisPolitics, "GAB formally asks judge for more time to consider recall petitions against Dems," June 1, 2011
- ↑ Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, "State board requests more time to review recall petitions," June 1, 2011
- ↑ NBC 15, "UPDATE: Judge Grants Week Extension for Recall Review," June 3, 2011
- ↑ WISN, “GAB Certifies 3 Democratic Recall Elections,” June 8, 2011
- ↑ WFRV “Wis. elections board trims petition signatures,” June 8, 2011
- ↑ WisPolitics, "WisDems: Dems to appeal GAB decision on widespread GOP election fraud," June 15. 2011
- ↑ Madison.com, "Dems: Throw out recall petitions," June 15. 2011
- ↑ WUWM, "Judges Rules Senate Recalls Can Proceed," July 8, 2011
- ↑ WisPolitics, “Holperin Campaign: Holperin gets “A” rating and NRA endorsement,” July 25, 2011
- ↑ Nordskog Publishing, “With My Rifle by My Side," accessed July 26, 2011
- ↑ ‘’Daily Kos, “Wisconsin recalls: Democrats hold double-digit leads in final 2 races,” August 15, 2011
- ↑ FDL Reporter, 'State group files campaign finance complaints against 3 recall targets,” June 7, 2011
- ↑ Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORT: STATE OF WISCONSIN GAB-2: Holperin - Senate", August 8, 2011
- ↑ Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORT: STATE OF WISCONSIN GAB-2: Holperin - Senate", July 11, 2011
- ↑ Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORT: STATE OF WISCONSIN GAB-2: Holperin - Senate", April 25, 2011
- ↑ Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORT: STATE OF WISCONSIN GAB-2: Holperin - Senate", March 28, 2011
- ↑ Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORT: STATE OF WISCONSIN GAB-2: Jim Holperin Recall Committee", April 25, 2011
- ↑ Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORT: STATE OF WISCONSIN GAB-2: Jim Holperin Recall Committee", March 28, 2011