Democrats file recall petition for Sen. Olsen - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Democrats file recall petition for Sen. Olsen


By Colby Robertson - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MADISON (WKOW) -- A recall petition against a third Republican Senator was filed Monday morning at the Government Accountability Board.

Recall organizers are targeting eight Democrats and eight Republicans for their opposition or support of the controversial budget repair bill. Recall signatures for Sen. Randy Hopper (R-Fond Du Lac) and Sen. Dan Kapanke (R-La Crosse) were turned in earlier this month. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) is the latest target of a recall effort.

The committee to recall Sen. Olsen needed to collect 14,733 signatures by May 2nd, 2011. Their committee is third group to file a recall petition at the G.A.B.

Recall Luther Olson organizer Ann Schmidt says, "This was a grass roots effort and we couldn't have done it without the number of people who gave up their free time to do this."

The deadline to Recall Sen. Olsen is still two weeks away, but recall organizer Ann Schmidt says with nearly 700 volunteers they were able to collect thousands more than the minimum needed.

Ann Schmidt says, "We turned in 24,000 signatures, which is almost 10,000 more than we needed. We needed 14,773."

As soon as the signatures were dropped off the scanning and counting at the G.A.B. began. Petitions filed through the G.A.B. have so far only been against Republican senators, but recall organizers for Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) Jim Holperin (D-Conover) and Robert Wirch (D-Pleasant Prairie) say they plan to drop of their signatures at the GAB this week. All three are due by Monday April 25.

Recall Robert Wirch organizer Dan Hunt says, "To be frank, we were ready last week to turn them in, we chose to wait until this week to do it so it will definitely be this week that we turn them in."

A G.A.B. spokesperson says they plan to file an extension in Dane County court this week to give them more time to count the signatures. He says with all of the petitions coming in, extra time to review signatures will be helpful. Especially with committees turning in thousands more than they're required to.

Dan Hunt says, "The minimum for us was 13,537 to be exact so we have several thousand over the minimum so we feel we're in very good shape to see the recall through to the end."

Calls went out to every recall committee on both sides but not all messages were returned. the committee to recall Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) says they've given up their effort. On the other hand the committee to recall Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point) says they're on track but would not say how far along they are.

The Committee to Recall Mark Miller has to turn in 20,352 signatures by Tuesday, April 26. The recall organizer says they have just under 17,000 signatures as of Monday April 18th. He says they're getting between 500 and 1,000 signatures a day and is hopeful if they continue with that pace, they could make the April 26 deadline.

Mark Jefferson, Executive Director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin says, "We are going to see recall elections on both sides of the aisle this summer." He says the Republican Party of Wisconsin expects Luther Olsen to win a recall election. He says the Republican Senators stood for reform and says, "We're going to have a very serious debate about reform during the recall elections."

Jefferson says GOP recall efforts against Sen. Hansen (D-Green Bay), Sen. Holperin (D-Conover) and Sen. Wirch (D-Pleasant Prairie) appear to be the most organized recall efforts. Jefferson says they're not shutting the door on other recall efforts but recall efforts against Sen. Taylor (D-Milwaukee), Sen. Coggs (D-Milwaukee), Sen. Risser (D-Madison) and Sen. Miller (D-Monona) will be hard given they represent Democratic leaning districts.


MADISON (WKOW) -- State Democrats filed recall petitions Monday for Senator Luther Olsen of Ripon.

Recall organizer Ann Schmidt said she would turn in more than the 14,700 signatures needed for a recall.

Democratic organizers have already filed signatures to recall GOP Sens. Randy Hopper of Fond du Lac and Dan Kapanke of La Crosse, over their votes on Gov. Walker's budget repair bill which cuts most collective bargaining rights from a majority of public workers. Hopper and Kapanke are challenging those petitions.

Recall organizers are targeting eight Democrats and eight Republicans for their opposition or support for the bill.

27 News' Colby Robertson will have more on this developing story, on-air, online and on the go.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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