I think this is a bit early and supporters of the recall of Dan Kapanke are jumping the gun, but they have decided that they are confident enough in their numbers to turn in signatures today.
La Crosse area Democrats say they will file petitions today with enough signatures to trigger a recall election of Sen. Dan Kapanke, one of eight Senate Republicans targeted over votes to curtail collective bargaining rights for public workers. If approved, it would be just the fifth recall election of a Wisconsin legislator.
Recall organizer Pat Scheller said volunteers have gathered more than the 15,588 signatures needed and that they plan to take them to Madison after a noon rally today at La Crosse City Hall.
It is expected to be the first completed of 19 active recall efforts registered between Feb. 24 and March 2 against 16 senators.
Kapanke, from a district that went for Barack Obama in 2008, is one of the more threatened Republican state Senators in Wisconsin. The Daily Kos poll of the 8 Republican districts eligible for recall showed Kapanke trailing a generic Democrat 55-41.
No paid signature gatherers were used in the campaign, just volunteers, according to local Democrats. Organizers say they collected “over 20,000″ signatures, giving themselves a cushion in case some signatures were thrown out. In Wisconsin, after announcing a recall petition you have 60 days to gather signatures. Democrats are turning in the signatures in the Kapanke recall before the 30-day mark.
What happens now is a 31-day review period to confirm the signatures. Kapanke’s team can file challenges to any signatures, and the state overseer can seek an extension of the process with a judge. You’re not likely to actually see a standalone election for Kapanke; the state wants to combine any recalls into one election date. So despite the early filing, there may be a delay here. The election is supposed to be held six weeks after a recall petition is confirmed. This could include a primary, with a general election four weeks after that, or just a general election if Kapanke has only one challenger.
A Republican local party chairman called the Kapanke recall “a foregone conclusion” and has already set up offices in the area. So we will see at least one recall election in Wisconsin this summer, in all likelihood, and probably more than one.
Democrats need to flip three seats in Wisconsin to win back the state Senate.