Total Recall: Catching up on news surrounding Wisconsin recall campaigns
Post by Jesse Russell on 3/24/2011 2:10pm
Recalls on both sides of the Senatorial aisle continue as the clock nears the halfway mark for a number of campaigns. The organizations behind the recalls continue to be mostly tight lipped regarding numbers. Apparently the strategy is that if the numbers are released and it shows the signatures are nearly completed that means the opposition will stop putting anti-recall efforts in that region and shift focus somewhere else. Below are some updates regarding the campaigns.
Democrat Jim Holperin/Republican Shelia Harsdorf
On March 15, a supporter of Democrat Jim Holperin tore and defaced a petition to recall the Senator during a recall event in Merrill. Holperin opponents allege on Facebook that the Senator's supporters also prevented individuals from signing petitions.
On Sunday, an Eagle River man stole a stack of petitions attempting to recall Republican Senator Shelia Harsdorf. The man later returned the petitions by throwing them at the Recall Harsdorf volunteers. It is illegal to destroy a recall petition.
The Republican Party of Wisconsin has since launched a website called "The Recall Integrity Center" where individuals can report such incidents. Currently, the Harsdorf incident isn't listed on the site.
Democrat Dave Hansen
A number of the Democrats facing recall are seeing efforts from competing organizations. Senator Dave Hansen was facing three, but the Government Accountability Board recently listed an effort by a Utah recall group as "inactive." That leaves the Recall Dave Hansen Committee and the Committee to Recall Dave Hansen. David Vander Leest of Green Bay is heading up the Recall Dave Hansen committee and he told FOX 11 on March 18 that his group will likely be ready to file in two weeks.
There doesn't appear to be much love between the two groups. Sam Smith, writing on the Facebook wall for the Recall Dave Hansen Committee says the other group was founded by Republican Party of Wisconsin "hacks" and that the RPW "is losing all our respect."
The chairman for the other committee is Dave Steffen who ran against Hansen in 2004.
Republican Alberta Darling
One of the big questions in the recall campaigns has been who will run in the recall election. With the signature collection campaign seeking to recall Sen. Alberta Darling near completion the name being put forward to run against her is former State Representative Sheldon Wasserman. He was the candidate that narrowly lost to Darling in 2008 by roughly 1000 votes. Wasserman told TMJ4 that he's strongly considering his options.
Democrat Robert Wirch
Of the efforts to recall Democrats the two that seem to have the most momentum and creativity are the Holperin recall and the Senator Robert Wirch Recall. That can likely be credited to these two efforts being powered by Wisconsinites that live in the district. While the Utah group does have a Wirch effort ongoing it's the Taxpayers to Recall Robert Wirch who seem to have the best ideas. For example, Burlington and Kenosha have challenged each other to see which municipality can collect the most signatures. On March 19 the group told the Journal Times they had between 6,000 and 10,000 signatures. They only need a little more than 13,000 and their filing deadline is April 25.
Republican Randy Hopper
The campaign to recall Senator Randy Hopper has been boosted due to allegations that he broke up his family to shack up with a lobbyist in Madison. New allegations now suggest he may have had a hand in getting that mistress a job with the state. In a Facebook post the group said on March 21 that they're ahead of schedule.
Democrat Julie Lassa
Utah's American Recall Coalition had a rough time getting this one started. A week ago the recall campaign was inactive, but the organization was able to locate a new champion to take up the cause and have refiled and the effort is once again "active." It has a finishing date of May 16. Blogger Scott Kenneth Noble of Marshfield is representing the American Recall Coalition. Noble, it seems worth noting, recently tried to tie Lassa to the KKK.
Democrats Lena Taylor and Spencer Coggs
The recall campaigns against Senators Lena Taylor and Spencer Coggs are anemic. The only identifiable Facebook page for the recall of Coggs is run in jest by supporters of the Senator. The founder of the Facebook page seeking to recall Taylor has been MIA for more than a week leaving members wondering what to do next. Both of these efforts are being headed up by Utah's American Recall Coalition.
Jesse was born and raised in Connecticut, began blogging in 1997, and moved to Madison in 2003. In 2005, he co-founded dane101 along with Kristian Knutson and Shane Wealti. In addition to helping nearly a dozen contributors run this website he's helped launch various events in the city including What's Your Damage?!, the MadPubQuiz of Awesomeness, the Fire Ball Masquerade, Dane101's Freakin' Halloweekend, and more.