Campaigning continues in Wisconsin recalls

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June 23, 2011

By Greg Janetka

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2011 Wisconsin Senate Recalls

Senators Facing Recall
Robert CowlesAlberta DarlingSheila HarsdorfDave HansenJim HolperinRandy HopperDan KapankeLuther OlsenRobert Wirch

Other Recall Information
Recalls by YearRecall Law in WisconsinRecall laws in other statesRecalls in Wisconsin2011 Scott Walker Budget Repair BillProtests over Budget Repair BillWisconsin Government Accountability BoardRecall timelineElection Results

MADISON, Wisconsin: Yesterday, Dane County Circuit Court Judge Richard Niess said voters should assume that primary elections for challengers in the six recalls against Republicans will go ahead as planned on July 12.

During proceedings yesterday, Niess heard arguments for lawsuits regarding the recalls. He said he plans to rule on lawsuits brought by the nine incumbent senators prior to the first primaries, and ordered that all of the lawsuits be consolidated into one case.[1]

Attorneys for the Democrats, Republicans, and Wisconsin Government Accountability Board all agreed to expedite their arguments in the case, with a June 29 deadline for initial briefs, July 5 for responses and July 7 for final arguments.[2][3]

Did You Know?
The last Republican senator to be recalled by Wisconsin citizens was George Petak in 1996. His removal from the Senate gave the Democrats a one-seat majority. At the time, voters were angry because Petak voted in favor of levying an additional 1/10 of a cent sales tax to build a baseball stadium for the Milwaukee Brewers

Local campaigning

Campaigning began in earnest this past weekend, as candidates started hitting the streets. Over in the 8th District, incumbent Republican Alberta Darling spent the weekend talking to constituents, while her challenger, Assemblywoman Sandy Pasch went door-to-door asking for support and reminding voters that there will be two elections.[4] Before facing Darling in the recall, Pasch must defeat Gladys Huber in the Democratic primary on July 12. Huber, a "protest candidate" who has a Darling sign in her front yard, was not reported to be out actively campaigning.[5]

The race between Darling and Pasch heated up recently when Pasch issued a press release stating that Darling voted to increase spending by over $1 billion in the new state budget. Pasch states, "This budget makes a mockery of Senator Darling's claims of fiscal responsibility. Voters in our district would be stunned to learn that all the while Senator Darling is talking about getting the budget under control, she actually voted to add more than $1 billion in additional spending."[6]

PolitiFact gave Pasch’s claim a "Mostly True" rating, noting that the figure was accurate, but that there were other ways to look at the numbers.[7]

Darling has not responded to the Pasch press release.

See also