2 more recall campaigns against GOP senators reach key milestone
By Tom Tolan of the Journal Sentinel April 19, 2011
Signatures seeking to recall a third Republican state senator were filed Monday, and Democrats say they’ll file against a fourth on Tuesday.
The website of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported today that signatures would be filed Tuesday against Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls). The site quoted a Democratic Party spokesman as saying the recall group has well over the 15,744 signatures needed to force Harsdorf into a recall election.
On Monday, signatures were filed against Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon). Ann M. Schmidt, a representative of the recall campaign against Olsen, said 24,000 signatures were filed against Olsen on Monday morning — far more than the 14,733 needed to force an election for him. She said more than 700 volunteers helped collect signatures against Olsen.
Recall efforts are under way against four other Republican and eight Democratic state senators. Recall organizers have to collect signatures equaling 25% of the total vote for governor in November’s election in each Senate district.
Three of the campaigns against Democrats have said they planned to file signatures this week.
Dan Hunt, chairman of Taxpayers to Recall (Sen. Robert) Wirch (D-Pleasant Prairie), says his group has more than 20,000 signatures, well over the 13,537 needed.
Chad Fradette, head of one of two committees to recall Sen. Dave Hansen (R-Green Bay), said the two groups had collected 18,000 to 19,000, more than the 13,852 needed.
Kim Simac, head of the recall effort against Sen. Jim Holperin (D-Conover), couldn’t be reached for comment, but she’s said her group would also file this week.
Democrats are seeking to recall Republicans because of their votes for Gov. Scott Walker’s budget-repair bill limiting public worker union bargaining. Republicans are targeting Democrats because 14 Democratic senators left the state for three weeks to stall a vote on the bill.
The recalls of the Republican senators face a May 2 deadline to deliver the signatures; most of the recalls of Democrats have deadlines next week.
After the signatures are filed, the state Government Accountability Board has 31 days to verify them and schedule a recall election — but that schedule can be delayed by court challenges and other factors.