• WisPolitics

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

 9:21 AM 

Groups seeking to recall Galloway, Moulton, Wanggaard file with GAB

Groups seeking to recall GOP state Sens. Pam Galloway of Wausau, Terry Moulton of Chippewa Falls and Van Wanggaard of Racine have filed papers with the Government Accountability Board, an agency spokesman said.

The spokesman also said the agency had been contacted by a group seeking to recall Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and expected a filing later today.

Meanwhile, members of the Walker recall effort held an early morning rally with former Dane Co. Executive Kathleen Falk and Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin President Mahlon Mitchell to kick off the recall drive.

"The day has come," said Falk. "The moment is now firestorm that Gov. Walker ignited since January has led to restored faith in Wisconsin."

The participants marched from their East Wilson offices to the GAB to turn in paper copies of their filing.
-- By Staff


Monday, November 14, 2011

 5:28 PM 

Walker campaign ad to air during Packer game

Gov. Scott Walker's campaign is planning to begin airing a TV ad tonight during the Monday Night Football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings.

The ad features a mother and current school board member who describes what she sees as the positive results of Walker's budget reforms.

The ad closes with these words from Walker: "I'm committed to working together to create more jobs, to improve our schools, and to protect our seniors. You know, Wisconsin's best days are yet to come. It won't happen overnight, but we are on our way."

Read the press release

Karin, Mother and School Board Member:

We were worried when the state budget meant there was going to be less money for our school district, and we have 25 schools.

But Governor Walker – he gave us options that reduced our biggest costs so that we could put more money back into our classrooms.

Governor Walker:

"I'm committed to working together to create more jobs, to improve our schools, and to protect our seniors. You know, Wisconsin's best days are yet to come. It won't happen overnight, but we are on our way."


 4:27 PM 

Both parties gear up for start of Walker recall

With the effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker set to officially kick off at midnight, some recall supporters will gather throughout the state hoping to be among the first to sign recall petitions in just a few hours.

Organizers are set to electronically file recall papers against Walker with the Government Accountability Board tonight. An agency spokesman said the papers would show up on the GAB's campaign finance database once an official hard copy of the registration is submitted to the board.

United Wisconsin -- the group charged with organizing the recall effort -- is hosting its kickoff event at Hawk's Pub & Grill on State Street in downtown Madison starting at 9:30 p.m., while the Dem Party will host other gatherings in the capital city at its east and west side recall offices closer to midnight.

The party says midnight signing events are also set for Milwaukee, West Allis, Elkhorn, Beaver Dam, La Crosse, Eau Claire and Wausau. Recall rallies have also been scheduled for tomorrow in Milwaukee, La Crosse and Stevens Point.

In addition, the state Dem Party today announced the names of nine individuals who'll be the first to sign recall papers after winning the party's "First to Sign" contest.

See details of tonight's recall events and tomorrow's rallies

Meanwhile the state GOP announced the launch of its "Recall Integrity Center" website, a clearinghouse for reporting "fraudulent activity in your community."

"Voters can submit videos, recordings, photos and incident reports, which will be investigated by RPW staff and retired law enforcement and FBI agents, to ensure that any Democrats who attempt to use any type of fraud in order to meet the required number of signatures by law will be held accountable for their actions," Executive Director Stephan Thompson said.

Dems charged that the website represents "an effort to intimidate petition circulators and signers and frighten them away from exercising their constitutional right to exercise the recall tool."

"Given the dirty tricks and deception that have become the hallmark of Scott Walker's political machine, it comes as no shock that his Republican Party has devised a scheme to wreak havoc and sow confusion as Wisconsin begins a recall that will hold him accountable," responded DPW Chairman Mike Tate.


 3:46 PM 

Walker says he didn't use early fundraising window

Gov. Scott Walker said he didn't take advantage of the early period for unlimited fundraising triggered more than a week ago and was waiting until tomorrow to start his official push against the recalls.

A early recall filing from "Close Friends to Recall Walker" allowed Walker to begin raising unlimited dollars prior to the official Nov. 15 start planned by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

"I've made it clear our focus is on the 15th," Walker said in a press conference. "We haven't done anything in response to the early recall paperwork."

Walker said two out-of-state speeches he gave recently were both to non-profit organizations and were not fundraising events. One was given at the Goldwater Institute in Arizona and the other was given to the Young America's Foundation at the Reagan Ranch in California.

Walker said he remained focused on his job creation pledge.

"My numbers are no different than President Obama's, just obviously the other way around," Walker said. "The bottom line, there are going to be some people out there who want to reverse the course of the last election. All I can do is stay focused on doing what I said I'd do."

-- By Jason Smathers


 3:25 PM 

Fitzgerald sees 'protest' Dems as an option in Senate recalls

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says running "protest" Dem candidates in GOP-held Senate districts subject to recall elections next year is an option.

But the Juneau Republican says he hasn't talked to any potential candidates for those bids and said Republican Senate campaigns are still waiting to see who walks into the GAB offices tomorrow to file recall papers.

"I don't think you can take anything off the table when it comes to recalls, period," Fitzgerald told WisPolitics today.

Republicans ran candidates during this summer's round of recall elections. Those candidates forced primary elections in six districts, giving GOP incumbents four more weeks to build their campaigns.

But Fitzgerald said this time around, he's not sure what Dems have up their sleeve and that decisions would be "fluid" depending on who files tomorrow.

Fitzgerald said that could include filing recall papers against incumbents in Dem-held seats.

"That's on the table absolutely," Fitzgerald said.

A group advocating Fitzgerald's recall says it intends to post its recall petitions on its website at 12:01 a.m.

Fitzgerald says he'll highlight his constituent work to oppose the recall.

The Dem Party also expects petitions to be filed to recall Sens. Pam Galloway of Wausau, Terry Moulton of Chippewa Falls and Van Wanggaard of Racine.

See the Fitzgerald recall website

-- By Andy Szal


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

 1:40 PM 

GAB agrees that redistricting doesn't apply to Senate recall elections

The Government Accountability Board this afternoon unanimously voted in favor of a resolution stipulating that new legislative boundaries would not apply to recall or special elections held before next fall's election cycle.

The vote affirms the position of GAB staff set forth in a memo last month.

GAB Director Kevin Kennedy said the use of the new boundaries in the spring election cycle and the current lines in potential Senate recall elections could cause headaches for election officials.

But the board agreed with Judge Timothy Vocke, who argued, "If it's going to be fixed, it should be the Legislature that fixes it."

The board also voted to recognize tech colleges IDs as acceptable under the state's new voter ID law. But it declined to take up a staff recommendation to rescind an earlier ruling that stickers could be affixed to student IDs to satisfy voter ID requirements.

-- By Andy Szal


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

 9:16 PM 

Billings wins 95th AD primary

With all but two precincts reporting, Democrat Jill Billings has defeated Republican David Drewes in a lopsided victory.

Billings, a vice chair of the La Crosse County Board, took just under 72 percent of the vote while Drewes, a local government watchdog, only took 27 percent of the vote.

Billings will fill the seat vacated by Sen. Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse.

Drewes, who was a long-shot to win the seat, said he didn't have the time or the money to compete with Billings. Campaign finance reports showed the Billings outraised Drewes by more than a 4-1 margin.

"That’s always the joke," Drewes said. "The Republicans are always supposed to have all the money and the Democrats are the poorer, but that was obviously not the case here."

While Drewes says he'll continue to stay involved in local government issues as a watchdog, it would be "not very likely" that he'd run for another elected office.

Billings didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

UPDATE: The final numbers with all 19 precincts in are 5,938 votes, or 72.1 percent for Billings, to 2,247, or 27.3 percent for Drewes.

-- By Jason Smathers

 8:35 PM 

Billings jumps out to huge lead in early results

It looks like Jill Billings is running away with the 95th AD race early.

With 5 of the 19 precincts reporting, Billings has 74.14 percent of the vote to Drewes nearly 25 percent.

On a side note, turnout in the reporting wards is up significantly from the primary. For example, ward 1 of La Crosse had 249 total votes in the primary; tonight it has 432.

Of course, that may be due to the fact that there was no true Republican primary in October - Drewes ran unopposed.

-- By Jason Smathers

 8:14 PM 

First precinct in 95th AD reveals little

With only one tiny precinct of the 95th AD reporting, Jill Billings holds a slim lead over David Drewes: three votes for Billings, two for Drewes.

Note, of course, that there are only 40 registered voters in the Town of Campbell precinct.

-- By Jason Smathers

 1:02 PM 

Voting in the 95th appears up slightly

La Crosse City Clerk Teri Lehrke says there's a bigger turnout today for the 95th AD than there was for the primary.

Voters are choosing between Democrat and La Crosse County Vice Chair Jill Billings and the Republican, local government watchdog David Drewes.

Lehrke says she's only been to about half the wards today, and speculated that some voters may be heading to the polls before rain comes in later tonight.

-- By Jason Smathers

Friday, November 4, 2011

 5:04 PM 

Dems see recall filing as 'dirty trick' from GOP

The Muskego man who filed recall papers against Scott Walker donated to Walker's campaign last year, according to campaign finance reports.

David Brandt did not return a call seeking comment.

Dems seized on the donation to knock the filing as a dirty trick.

“While we certainly understand that thousands of Wisconsinites can’t wait to recall Scott Walker, we find it convenient that, days before Walker goes on a Koch-fueled trip to Arizona, Kansas and California, recall papers are filed by a donor to Scott Walker that will allow Walker to bag all the sleazy campaign cash he can get his hands on," Dem Chair Mike Tate said in a statement.

State GOP exec director Stephan Thompson said he did not know Brandt and the effort was not connected to the party.

"The rumors being circulated by the Democrats are completely false," he said.


 3:15 PM 

First recall effort of Walker filed

A Muskego man filed today to begin recalling Gov. Scott Walker "to fulfill my friend's last request."

The committee, "Close Friends to Recall Walker," was registered by David Brandt.

The state Dem Party said the filing was not related to the effort it planned to begin later this month with United Wisconsin. The filing also does not impact the 60-day window the party and United Wisconsin will have to collect the more than 540,000 signatures needed to trigger a recall.

It does, however, open the window in which Walker can raise unlimited funds to defend himself from a recall attempt.

-- By Staff


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

 9:10 AM 

Committee vote on redistricting bill canceled

This morning's committee vote on legislation to move up implementation of new Senate lines ahead of next year's expected recalls has been canceled.

The bill, along with one requiring those circulating recall petitions to submit a notarized affidavit attesting to their identity, were not included on today's Senate calendar.

Transportation and Elections Chair Mary Lazich, R-New Berlin, delayed a planned vote yesterday, saying she first wanted to talk with her caucus. Senate Republicans met for much of yesterday afternoon.

-- By Staff


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

 11:00 AM 

Senate committee delays vote on redistricting bill

A Senate committee has delayed until tomorrow voting on legislation that would move up implementation of new Senate district boundaries ahead of expected recall elections next year.

GOP Sen. Dale Schultz of Richland Center said yesterday he does not support the bill, leaving Republicans at least one vote shy of the support needed to pass the legislation.

Senate Transportation and Elections Committee Chairwoman Mary Lazich, R-New Berlin, said she delayed the committee vote so the caucus can meet and discuss the bill.

Lazich said after the hearing she has not discussed the legislation with Schultz, but said it was important to meet with her GOP colleagues on the bill before a committee vote even if they’re at least one vote shy.

“We have the discussion,” Lazich said. “There needs to be a discussion.”

Dem committee members Spencer Coggs, D-Milwaukee, and Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, said they weren’t sure why Lazich needed a caucus meeting before voting on the bill and doubted it would change Schultz’s mind.

“There are probably other members in that caucus who agree with Dale,” Erpenbach said.

The committee vote was rescheduled for 10:30 a.m. tomorrow.

-- By JR Ross


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