Wisconsin: An election that isn’t about the candidates, primary signals strange times | LaCrosse Tribune

James Smith thinks Wisconsin law makes it too easy to recall a sitting legislator. And he’s willing to spend taxpayer dollars to protest it.

Smith, a self-described libertarian Republican and former officer of the La Crosse County GOP, will be on the ballot Tuesday alongside Democratic state Rep. Jennifer Shilling in a bid to challenge Sen. Dan Kapanke. He is one of six fake Democrats across the state running as part of a GOP strategy to delay recalls until August.

County clerks estimate the partisan primary will cost taxpayers in the 32nd Senate district about $117,000, the same as the Aug. 9 recall election. Smith hopes his candidacy draws attention to Wisconsin’s laws.

Wisconsin: Former county GOP leader to challenge Shilling as Democrat in Wisconsin recall election | LaCrosse Tribune

Republicans have found a spoiler candidate to challenge Rep. Jennifer Shilling in this summer’s recall election, which would force a Democratic primary and extend the campaign by nearly a month.

James Smith, until recently a member of the La Crosse County GOP’s executive committee, says he is running as a protest candidate.

Smith, a regular fixture at local labor protests this spring where he held signs touting his support for Gov. Scott Walker, said he resigned his party leadership position Monday before announcing his candidacy. He said he does not plan on campaigning aggressively but wants to protest the recall process.

Wisconsin: Wisconsin GOP Discusses Planting Democratic Spoiler Candidate In Recall Election (AUDIO) | Huffington Post

Republicans in Wisconsin’s La Crosse County recently discussed the possibility of finding a spoiler candidate to run against Democrat Jennifer Schilling in the race to recall state Sen. Dan Kapanke (R-La Crosse), a scenario they say would cost Democrats more money and delay the entire election.

The revelation, first published by the La Crosse Tribune, came from a secret recording made during the party’s general membership meeting on May 25.

On the recording, which was obtained by The Huffington Post, La Crosse County Republican Party Vice Chairman Julian Bradley is heard recounting a conversation he had with Mark Jefferson, the executive director of the state party. “[W]e are actively keeping our ears to the ground and if anybody knows anybody for a candidate that would be interested on the Democratic side in running in the primary against Jennifer Shilling … if anybody knows any Democrats who would be interested, please let us know,” he said.