Wisconsin recall: Challenges filed against four of the six candidates in Democratic recalls
By Geoff Pallay and Greg Janetka
The four candidates whose nominating petitions were challenged are:
The candidates now have until 8 a.m. Monday morning to respond to the challenges. A special GAB meeting will be held at 1 p.m. Monday to consider the challenges.
Creating the possibility that one or more candidates will be removed via challenge adds another wrinkle to the recall election timeline. If for example, one candidate is rejected in District 12 but one candidate is approved, then there will no longer be a primary in that race. Instead, the actual recall would occur on July 19. Additionally, if both candidates are declared ineligible in a district, then the incumbent’s name would still appear on the recall ballot on July 19. Candidates could still run as a write-in -- however, the ballot itself would only list the incumbent (with a space for write-in).
The 4:30 CST deadline today was also the deadline for candidates to submit financial-disclosure information, which all candidates did.
In District 22, both candidates have been approved and no challenges filed. The primary on July 19 will be between the following candidates, who will compete to face Robert Wirch on August 16.
In 17 days, the first primaries will take place in the six districts where Republican incumbents are facing recall. Democratic primaries will take place in each district on July 12.
Republicans redraw maps
It was reported on June 23 that legislative leaders have redrawn state Senate and Assembly maps, but are keeping them mostly secret, even from their own party members. Speaker of the Assembly Jeff Fitzgerald said he is sharing the maps with fellow Republicans in his chamber and deciding whether to pass them in July, prior to the recall elections, which could potentially flip the Senate to the Democrats.
Republican state Senators Luther Olsen and Robert Cowles, both of whom are the facing recall elections August 9, as well as President of the Senate Michael Ellis, said they have not yet seen maps of their own districts. While the legislature is not currently scheduled to be on the floor during July, a special or extraordinary session could be held to pass the maps. Ellis said the decision is up to Fitzgerald, but that he expects the senate to pass the maps before the recalls.
With less than three weeks until the first primaries, political organizations from both sides have started running television ads. And both sides appear to be poised to spend big money on ads.
Earlier this week, the Wisconsin Club for Growth aired an ad in the Minneapolis market, targeting Harsdorf’s likely opponent Shelly Moore. (See Figure 1 below) A blog post in the Daily Kos criticized the ad for running in Minnesota -- being that citizens in Minnesota cannot vote in the recall.
Meanwhile, yesterday, We Are Wisconsin announced its first ad of the campaigns, a spot targeting incumbent Sheila Harsdorf (R) and supporting Shelly Moore (D). (See Figure 2) In a press release, We Are Wisconsin stated the ad outlines “the stark contrast in SD 10 between teacher and activist Shelly Moore and entrenched politician Sheila Harsdorf.” Focusing on Harsdorf’s record on education, it is running in the Minneapolis-St. Paul market.
The Harsdorf recall may end up with some of the highest spending on advertisements, given it’s location near a large metropolitan city and the early flood of money and attention given to that race.
The Wisconsin Club for Growth has also run ads targeting Democratic recall candidates Fred Clark (See Figure 3) and Jennifer Shilling. State Democratic Party chairman Mike Tate called the ads a deliberate distortion and has called on Club for Growth to pull the ads against Shilling and Clark. Tate stated, “This false attack exposes how concerned Republicans are about losing the majority in the senate. I can only imagine how desperate they’re going to be in the weeks to come.”
The ad targeting Assemblywoman Shilling accuses her of cutting money for education and SeniorCare, while supporting pork spending, based on votes cast for the budget during the 2009 session. The ad targeting Clark is of similar nature. One of Shilling’s main criticisms of her opponent, Dan Kapake, is that he supported a GOP budget which cut education and social services. To that end, she called the ad “the height of hypocrisy,” and objected to the references to SeniorCare, saying “It was fully funded. No seniors saw benefits reduced.”
Figure 1 - Wisconsin Club for Growth ad targeting Shelly Moore
Figure 2 - We Are Wisconsin ad targeting Sheila Harsdorf
Figure 3 - Club for Growth ad targeting Fred Clark
Additionally, several Democratic candidates have released TV ads as well, along with the Progressive Change Campaign Committee:
- Recall of Wisconsin State Senators (2011)
- Wisconsin State Senate
- Laws governing recall in Wisconsin
- Redistricting in Wisconsin
- ‘’Wisconsin Government Accountability Board “G.A.B. Receives Challenges, Approves Candidates for Recall Primaries Scheduled for July 19,” June 24, 2011
- Daily Reporter, “Last few steps remain before slate of challengers for 3 Wis. recall elections is finalized,” June 24, 2011
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "GOP leaders have redrawn maps," June 23, 2011
- Daily Kos “Right wing money flood in Wisconsin recalls,” June 20, 2011
- ‘’We Are Wisconsin, “We Are Wisconsin is launching our first television ad of the recall campaigns,” June 23, 2011
- Huffington Post, “Wisconsin Labor-Backed Group Launches First TV Ad in Recall Elections,” June 23, 2011
- LaCrosse Tribune, “Dems slam ad that paints Shilling as budget slasher.” June 24, 2011