1/17/12 – Petitions were filed Tuesday to order recall elections against six Republican state politicians. Lori Compas, who heads the campaign against Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, stood on the steps of the Government Accountability Board offices and announced she had 20-thousand-600 signatures. That’s almost four-thousand more than the 16-thousand-742 valid signatures required to put the Juneau Republican up for election this summer. Compas said a lot of people have asked her if she’ll run against Fitzgerald. She remains undecided. Fitzgerald says that he’s been “overwhelmed” with support since the recall drive began. He said his fellow Republicans balanced a “massive” budget deficit without raising taxes or laying off state employees. He also said quote, “We gave power back to school districts and municipalities which allowed them to prioritize their spending and avoid mass layoffs.” And he said his chamber passed over a dozen job-creation bills to lay the foundation for the state’s economy to recover.
Governor Scott Walker, meanwhile, says that he’ll campaign on his record, and he expects voters to stand by him in the recall election that appears likely this summer. United Wisconsin – which conducted the two-month petition drive on behalf of Democrats and labor unions – said it turned in over one-million signatures. They need 540-thousand valid signatures to force the Republican Walker to stand in a recall election after he will have served about a year-and-a-half of his four-year term. Walker issued a statement that his state budget and his measure to virtually end public union bargaining were needed to control spending, keep taxes in check, and balance the budget while avoiding state employee layoffs.
Petitioners also said they filed 305-thousand more signatures than they needed to force a recall vote against Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, and more than the required numbers were submitted against fellow Republican senators Terry Moulton, Van Wanggaard, and Pam Galloway. The state Government Accountability Board says it will need more than two months and new petition-reading software to check for invalid petition signatures. The Board plans to go to court this week to seek an extension of the normal 31-day review process – and it will ask that all the elections be held on the same day.