Deadline passes for candidates to declare in recall of Wisconsin Democrats

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June 21, 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
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MADISON, Wisconsin: The deadline for candidates wishing to run in the three Democratic recall elections ordered for July 19 was 5 p.m. CST today.

According to a GAB file (dead link) published just after 5 p.m. CST, a total of 6 individuals filed nomination papers before the deadline. Candidates were required to submit petitions with at least 400 valid signatures to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board in order to make the ballot. The deadline for challenges to these petitions will be at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, June 24.

Additionally, just because candidates filed petitions today does not guarantee their appearance on the ballot if sufficient signatures are validated. They must also file a statement of economic interests before 4:30 p.m. CST on Friday. In the recalls for Republican incumbents, three candidates filed petitions but ultimately did not file the economic interest reports -- those three, being the Democratic "placeholders."

The 6 potential candidates (dead link) who filed papers with the GAB are:


District 22

District 30

If all six candidates are certified and submit statements of economic interests, that would trigger primaries on July 16 with the recall election to occur on August 9.

Did You Know?
Sen. Jim Holperin survived a previous recall election in 1990, when he was a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly.

Consolidating the lawsuits

Attorney for the Republicans, Eric McLeod, said yesterday that he supports consolidating all of the lawsuits related to recall brought by Republicans and Democrats into one case.[1] Attorney for the Democrats, Jeremy Levinson, previously filed a motion to consolidate the six challenges by Republicans. McLeod said that one judge should decide on all of the cases in order to keep the evaluations and rulings consistent.[2]

Today, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board filed a motion in Dane County Circuit Court to consolidate the lawsuits filed by both Democratic and Republican senators regarding the recalls. The motion states that separated suits could lead to "a chaos of election dates." Meanwhile, Levinson said he does not believe the suits should be combined.[3]

Republicans consider changing recall laws

Yesterday, Republican leaders indicated that they are considering legislation for the fall that would make it more difficult to recall state officials. Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald (R) said the recalls are slowing down the legislative process and that he believes some Democrats would support changing the laws governing recall.

Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D) disagreed, stating, "I think it's extremely unlikely that they would get support (from Democrats). I don't think they are going to get any traction on this. From a political standpoint, it looks like politicians trying to avoid accountability."[4]

In order to change the laws, legislation would have to be passed during two legislative sessions and then approved by voters in a statewide referendum.

See also