Last recall drive targeting Wis. senator fails - chicagotribune.com
MADISON, Wis. -- The last drive to recall Wisconsin state senators over their support of or opposition to a bill curtailing collective bargaining rights fell well short of its goal today, and attention has shifted to challenges by both parties designed to stop recall elections from being held.
Scott Noble, organizer of the effort to recall Democratic Sen. Julie Lassa of Stevens Point, said the group collected a little over 6,000 signatures by Monday's deadline. It needed 15,879 signatures to trigger a recall election.
That leaves six Republican and three Democratic senators in line for recalls because of their positions on a bill proposed by GOP Gov. Scott Walker that curtails collective bargaining rights for most public employees. A judge blocked the law from taking effect, but said the Legislature could revote on the bill at any time.
The scope and success of the recall petitions is unprecedented in U.S. history. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only 20 state officials nationwide have ever been forced into a recall election and only seven of those officials won their election.
The issue has become a high priority for both parties, as Democrats see the recalls as their chance to turn back the Republicans' 18-15 majority in the state Senate. Republicans also control the state Assembly by a large majority.
Attorneys for both parties have filed challenges to the recall petitions with the Government Accountability Board. Democrats claim the petitions to recall Sens. Jim Holperin of Conover, Robert Wirch of Pleasant Prairie and Dave Hansen of Green Bay should be thrown out because of multiple instances of alleged fraud and misrepresentation. Republicans say the petitions targeting the six GOP senators should also be invalidated because they were improperly filed.