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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

 5:16 PM 

GAB shooting to hold recall elections July 12

The Government Accountability Board today asked a Dane County judge to give it more time to review recall petitions in a move that would allow the agency to hold eight of the elections July 12.

Under the GAB's proposal, the agency and those involved in the recalls would have additional time to review the petitions, file challenges and respond to those filings.

The GAB argued the additional time was needed, in part, because of the demands now placed on the agency by the ongoing statewide recount in the Supreme Court race and the thousands of signatures filed against state senators so far.

It also points out in the filing recall elections by themselves are very rare in Wisconsin. To have eight going on at the same time is extraordinary.

"In addition, this number of simultaneous recalls has never occurred anywhere in the United States," the Department of Justice points out in the brief.

The board's proposal calls for a meeting May 23 to consider the petitions filed against Sens. Dan Kapanke, R-LaCrosse, Randy Hopper, R-Oshkosh, 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-Cononver.

The filings of sufficiency or insufficiency for each recall petition would be filed between May 31 and June 3, which would clear the way for all of them to be held July 12.

GAB spokesman Reid Magney said any challenges filed in circuit court to the board's findings would likely upset the plan to hold all of the elections on one day.

The brief notes the GAB discussed its plan with the attorneys for all of the targeted lawmakers and says there was some disagreements on the proposal, though it does not detail what they were. That will require a hearing to sort out some issues, according to the brief, which notes the deadline to certify the Kapanke recall is May 2 and requests an expedited hearing.

-- By JR Ross

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