Wisconsin Democrats are pulling the trigger on a fifth recall campaign, Greg Sargent reports, with the Dems set to file signatures targeting GOP state Sen. Alberta Darling, as control of the state Senate now appears to be up for grabs in the battle over Gov. Scott Walker’s anti-public employee union agenda.
The state Dems told Sargeant that they collected approximately 30,000 signatures to trigger a new election against Darling, providing a very large buffer above the 20,343 minimum signatures required — and presumably a whole lot of votes on tap in a recall election, too.
Darling holds special significance in the battle over Walker’s recently passed (and currently litigated) legislation — she is the Senate co-chair of the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee, which shepherded the bill through its first stages. As such, her increased public profile would make her a particular lightning rod in the recall campaigns.Democrats have already filed recall signatures against four other Republicans: Dan Kapanke, Randy Hopper, Luther Olsen and Sheila Harsdorf. Earlier on Wednesday, local conservative activists announced that they will file signatures on Thursday targeting a Democrat, state Sen. Jim Holperin.
As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s district rankings show, Darling’s district voted 54.2%-45.2% for Walker in the Republican wave of 2010, but before that voted 51.4%-47.4% for Barack Obama in 2008, and Darling herself only narrowly won re-election with 50.5% in that year.
The state Senate currently has a 19-14 Republican majority, with Democrats hoping to pick up three seats in recall elections and win a majority. They are collecting signatures in all eight Republican-held districts that are eligible. Under Wisconsin’s recall law, elected officials must have served at least one year of their term before being recalled — thus exempting the half of the Senate that was just elected in 2010.
In order to initiate a recall, signatures of at least 25 percent of the number of voters in the previous gubernatorial election, within the targeted district, must be collected in a 60-day window.