Deadline of today for more campaign finance reports in Wisconsin recalls

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July 5, 2011

By Geoff Pallay and 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: Today is the deadline for candidates to file campaign financial reports to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board in the six Senate districts holding primaries one week from today.[1]

One early analysis shows Democratic candidate Shelly Moore reported $236,728 in contributions, with total spending of $145,141. If Moore wins next week's primary against Isaac Weix, she will face incumbent Sheila Harsdorf in the August 9 recall election. Weix only reported contributions of $1,200 with spending of $750. "I ran to push back the general election. Period," Weix said.[2]

Meanwhile, We Are Wisconsin, a coalition of union groups born out of the budget bill protests, announced that a newly-formed PAC has raised more than $4 million during the last six weeks. More than $3 million came from the national AFL-CIO's Committee on Political Education and another $162,552.71 from the Service Employees International Union Committee on Political Education.[3] Large donations also came from the AFSCME, Wisconsin Education Association Council, and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.[4]

We Are Wisconsin issued a press release stating, "While an unprecedented amount of outside anonymous corporate money is expected to flow into these races from shady, unregulated entities, We Are Wisconsin has chosen transparency by formation of a PAC and full disclosure of our donors."[5]

Free Voter IDs

The Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles began offering free IDs to many voters starting on July 1. A new form for those getting or renewing an ID now includes a box asking if they will be 18 by the next election, are an American citizen and need a free ID card to vote. If that criteria is met, along with proof of name, birth date and address, the ID is provided free of charge.[6] On the first day they were available, some residents waited in line for nearly two hours. Officials are projecting the free IDs will result in a loss of $1.9 million to the state transportation fund.[7]

A law passed this year requires voters to show photo identification at the polls, but the new rules will not be fully implemented until 2012. Election officials say they will be asking people for ID during the recalls in order to get them in the habit, but that they will not be required to vote.

Did You Know?
The Republicans currently have a 19-14 majority in the Senate. The last time one party held at least a 5-seat advantage was in 1992, when Democrats held control via a 19-14 margin.

Ethics complaint against Simac

The Wisconsin Democratic Party filed an ethics complaint against Kim Simac on June 30 for failing to have a "Paid for by" disclaimer on a mailing her campaign sent out. Simac's Communication Director Matt Capristo took responsibility, issuing a statement saying, "As the staff member responsible for drafting and seeing that the mailings go out. I take responsibility for the oversight of not having a full disclaimer attached to this mailing."[8]

The Wisconsin Democratic Party Communications Director focused the blame on Simac, stating, "While it's easy to write this off as a one-time mistake by a staffer, the buck stops with Kim Simac. For a candidate who talks a lot about individual accountability, Kim Simac sure seems to be ducking her responsibility for her own campaign."[9]

Simac is facing Robert Lussow in the District 12 Republican primary next Tuesday. The winner will face Jim Holperin in the recall election on August 16.

See also

References