Republicans file first recall petitions against Senate Dems - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Republicans file first recall petitions against Senate Dems


MADISON (WKOW) -- The first recall petitions against Democratic Senators were filed Thursday.

There are now a total of eight recall organizations that have turned in recall petitions to the Government Accountability Board.

It is now up to the staff at the Government Accountability Board to count every single name turned in. With all the petitions turned in thus far, they have nearly 170,000 signatures to sift through.

The committee to recall Senator Alberta Darling is the eighth group to file a petition for recall at the G.A.B. dropping off 30,000 signatures.

Thursday morning recall organizers for Sen. Jim Holperin (D-Conover), Robert Wirch (D-Pleasant Prairie) and Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay), dropped off their signatures.

David VanderLeest, Recall Dave Hansen Organizer, says, "We feel good. The signatures are in and there will be a recall for Senator Hansen, we have over 5,000 signatures then we need so it was a successful campaign."

Organizers say the Senators decision to go to Illinois spearheaded their recall efforts and allowed them to collect even more signatures than they needed.

Dan Hunt, Recall Robert Wirch Organizer, says, "It lead to this happening because people were very much opposed to that, vast majority of his constituents felt unrepresented when he left Madison so it made our effort something that could actually happen."

A total of 16 State Senators are targeted for a recall and so far half of them have recall petitions filed against them.

Sen. Jim Holperin (D-Conover) says, "It's the voters saying we want another kick at the cat. I'm comfortable with that, we'll wage an active campaign to defend my seat and talk about my record of accomplishment and hope for the best."

Holperin has already survived one recall election in his legislative career back during his time in the state Assembly.

Recall Jim Holperin organizer Kim Simac says, "I don't think someone can survive this twice and damage is really deep this time, I think that is reflected in the 23,300 signatures we obtained."

In March, the Government Accountability Board went to the Joint Finance Committee to ask for an additional $40,800 to help them process all of the petitions coming in here to the G.A.B.

At this point the G.A.B. hasn't heard if they'll receive that money. as for hiring extra staff, a G.A.B. spokesperson says they're going to wait and see how many more petitions come in to determine how many extra hands they'll need to count.

To determine if a name should be counted, it must contain the signature street number and street name, municipality and date.

It is not up to the G.A.B. to verify if every person lives in the senators district. That is up to the general public to challenge the validity of any signature. The G.A.B. is scanning every single petition that comes into their office and each signature is available on the G.A.B. website.


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