WI Dems have enough signatures to recall GOP state senator
Democrats in Wisconsin say they have collected enough signatures to file their petition to recall state Sen. Dan Kapanke (R).
Pat Scheller, who is organizing the recall effort, told The Wisconsin State Journal that volunteers had gathered more than the necessary 15,588 signatures.
“Not a single paid canvasser was needed to trigger the recall versus Dan Kapanke,” Democratic Party spokesman Graeme Zielinski noted.
“It took on a life of its own,” Scheller said.
Kapanke was not available for comment but said last month that he expected organizers to gather the necessary signatures.
“I love campaigns,” he said at the opening of a La Crosse County GOP headquarters last weekend. “I just didn’t think I’d do one every year.”
After the filing, the Government Accountability Board (GAB) will have 31 days to verify the signatures. During the first 10 days, Kapanke can challenge the signatures.
Either party or the GAB can ask a judge for an extension.
A recent Daily Kos poll found that Kapanke would lose to a generic Democrat, 55 percent to 41 percent.
It’s expected to be the first recall completed of the 19 active recall efforts in Wisconsin.
Organizers have also announced that they have enough signatures to file a petition against state Sen. Randy Hopper (R).
What started off last month as a battle in Wisconsin over the collective bargaining rights of state workers quickly became a nationwide proxy war when state Democratic senators fled the state for weeks in protest of Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s budget. Republicans ultimately passed the anti-union provision in a separate measure that didn’t require support from Democrats, and Walker signed it into law earlier this month.
But the battle may not be over yet: A judge issued a restraining order against the law in response to accusations that the process of its passage violated the state’s open meetings law. Walker went ahead and published it anyway, readying it for implementation.
After a judge issued an additional ruling Thursday, the Wisconsin governor agreed to honor the order and temporarily halt implementation of the law.
Three labor unions are also suing Walker and the state, claiming the bill infringes on state workers’ equal protection rights.
A recent Gallup survey found that more Americans agreed with state employee labor unions than the Republican governors who are trying to strip unions of their rights.
– With earlier reporting by Sahil Kapur