A Dane County judge on Friday granted state officials a week to determine whether three Democratic senators should be recalled, but declined to delay elections for six Republican senators.
Later Friday, the Government Accountability Board certified recall elections for July 12 for the Republican senators. Any recall elections for the Democrats would be held a week later, on July 19.
Dan Hunt, who led the effort to recall Democratic Sen. Bob Wirch of Pleasant Prairie, said he was disappointed the two sets of recall petitions were treated differently, but added he believed the delay could help Republicans trying to unseat Democrats.
“It helps us get our message out,” Hunt said. “It gives us an extra week (to campaign).”
The schedules could still change. Three of the six Republicans have separately sued to block their recall elections, saying their opponents improperly filed paperwork to launch the recall petition drives against them. Even if unsuccessful, their court action could delay the elections.
Unprecedented efforts were launched this spring to recall senators based on their stances on Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to greatly limit collective bargaining for public workers.
Because the board had to review tens of thousands of signatures, it couldn’t meet the deadlines in state law for determining whether elections could be held. Last month, Dane County Circuit Judge John W. Markson extended the deadline until Friday for the board to determine whether the nine recall elections should be held.
The board over the past two weeks determined enough signatures were properly submitted to hold recall elections for the six Republicans, but it announced late last week that it was not able to review the attempts to recall the Democrats by the deadline. Markson on Friday gave the board another week – until June 10 – to review the petitions for the Democrats.
Hunt and other Republicans this week accused the accountability board of bias. The board consists of six retired judges and was specifically designed to be nonpartisan. The board said politics played no role in its decision, it worked on reviewing signatures as quickly as possible, and it was able to get through the petitions against Republicans faster than the ones against Democrats.
Full Article: Review of Democrats’ recalls extended a week – JSOnline.