As expected, a Dane County, Wisconsin court ruled that the Government Accountability board could extend deadlines for examining recall petitions for the purposes of holding all the recalls on one date – July 12. There were statutory deadlines on the time frame of examining the petitions that stood in the way of this consolidation, but the judge apparently has agreed to waive them.
So this means at least 9 recall elections – 6 against Republicans, 3 against Democrats – would be held on July 12, if indeed the GAB goes ahead with its plan. A few other recall petitions on each side are outstanding and haven’t reached their deadlines. But the strong likelihood is that there would be 9 elections on July 12. With 33 Senators in Wisconsin, that represents 27% of the body. That would occur only a couple months from now.
The recall petitions have been filed against:
Dan Kapanke (R), Randy Hopper (R), Alberta Darling (R), Rob Cowles (R), Luther Olsen (R), Sheila Harsdorf (R), Jim Holperin (D), Dave Hansen (D), Robert Wirch (D)
Currently Republicans have an edge in the Wisconsin state Senate 19-14. A flip of three seats would turn the chamber over to the Democrats. The only polls available show leads for generic Democrats against three of the recalled Republicans (Kapanke, Hopper and Olsen), with the three other races close. No polling has been taken of the Democratic races.
With court battles looming over the anti-union bill that has still yet to be implemented, with redistricting and other legislative agenda items ahead, this is weighing heavily on Republicans who may try to pass as much as possible while they still have control of both chambers and the Governor’s mansion.