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Thursday, April 28, 2011

 5:27 PM 

Dems want Hopper, Kapanke recalls to go first

Democrats want the recall elections for GOP Sens. Randy Hopper and Dan Kapanke put ahead of the six other recalls, according to a court filing today.

Dem attorney Jeremy Levinson argues that the Kapanke and Hopper petitions were the first filed and have already been reviewed by Government Accountability Board staff.

"Because a recall election is held on the Tuesday of the sixth week after certification, delaying certification as proposed by the GAB will delay those recall elections weeks beyond what is statutorily mandated," writes Levinson.

The GAB yesterday proposed a plan that would allow it to hold eight recall elections July 12, including those against Hopper and Kapanke.

Levinson argues delaying the matter would give the incumbents an "extra-statutory" fundraising advantage, and leave representation of those districts "an open and pending question."

In addition, Levinson argues that delaying the recall elections may result in laws being enacted that would not be if the recalls are held in the time frame permitted by statute.

"The rush to put 'Voter ID' and the concealed carry of firearms before the legislature -- to say nothing of the pending budget -- confirm that this is an entirely concrete concern," Levinson writes.

The GAB's proposal calls for a meeting May 23 to consider the petitions filed against Kapanke, R-LaCrosse, Hopper, R-Fond du Lac, and Luther Olsen, R-Ripon. The board would hold a second meeting May 31 to consider the petitions filed against Sens. Sheila Harsdorf, R-River Falls, Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay, Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, Bob Wirch, D-Kenosha, and Jim Holperin, D-Conover.

The Dem response calls for the GAB to certify the Kapanke and Hopper petitions May 17 or sooner. No objection is raised to the timeline for the other recalls.

-- By Greg Bump

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