MADISON (WKOW) -- A Dane County judge ruled Friday state Government Accountability Board officials could have one more week to consider proposed recall elections against three Democratic state senators.
Judge John Markson agreed with GAB attorneys the board's staff worked efficiently to try to meet Friday's deadline for completing all work on nine proposed senatorial recall elections, but lacked enough time and resources, and were obligated to other duties as well, including a recount in a state supreme court race.
Markson's decision allowed GAB officials to certify recall elections for Republican state senators Sheila Harsdorf, Robert Cowles and Alberta Darling for July 12. Three other Republicans - Dan Kapanke, Randy Hopper and Luther Olsen - are also scheduled for recall elections on that date.
The time extension granted the GAB also means if board members certify recall elections for democrats Dave Hansen, Jim Holperin and Bob Wirch, those elections would be scheduled for Friday, JUly 19. Board members meet Wednesday to consider certification.
Markson rejected a proposal from an attorney for the organizers of the recall efforts against the Republicans to delay Harsdorf, Cowles and Olsen's recall elections as well. Markson said there was no legal basis to push back already-approved recall elections.
Dan Hunt of the Committee to Recall Sen. Wirch said GAB officials should have given committees more notice of the GAB's intention to ask for delay, so the committees could have tried to block the request before the deadline day. Hunt repeated a previous claim the separation of the recall elections by political party and the delay in staging recall elections involving the incumbent Democrats created the perception of partisanship. GAB officials said their work was guided by the law only.
Other legal challenges continue to hold the potential to push back the two July recall election dates.
All nine senators were targeted for recall as a result of actions they took in February in connection to Governor Walker's proposed limits on public employee collective bargaining. The six Republicans voted in support of the restrictions; the three Democrats fled the state for Illinois for three weeks to stall consideration of the proposal.