Recall Elections Against Democrats Certified

6/9/11- After nine hours of discussions yesterday, a state board certified recall elections against Wisconsin Senate Democrats Dave Hansen, Bob Wirch, and Jim Holperin. The Government Accountability Board threw out fraudulent petitions in which a circulator told signers they were supporting Indians, schools, and Democrats. But in the end, officials said there hundreds more valid signatures than the minimums required to recall each Democrat – and the board scheduled their elections on July 19th. Earlier, the board scheduled recall elections against six Republican senators for July 12th – and all six went to court, claiming that recall organizers did not file the required paperwork to get their efforts started. Court hearings have yet to be scheduled on the lawsuits, which could delay the elections against the G-O-P senators or scrap them altogether. Democratic attorney Jeremy Levinson has not said whether his party will go to court to stop the recalls of its own members. Republican finance chair Alberta Darling said a week ago she would not challenge her recall election in court. But she changed her mind this week, saying the Republicans are quote, “staying together as a group.” All nine recalls were spurred by the bill to limit public union bargaining. The Republicans were targeted for voting in favor of the measure – while the Democrats were targeted for leaving for Illinois and holding up a vote on it. Levinson told the accountability board that the Democrats found “massive, systemic fraud and non-fraud defects” with the petitions to recall their party’s senators. But Republican attorney Eric McLeod said the Democrats were trying to quote, “perpetuate fraud on the board.” The panel didn’t buy most of it. But they did express concerns, especially about Republican petition circulators hired by an out-of-state firm.