April 1, 2011- La Crosse area Democrats have filed a petition with more than 21,700 signatures calling for a recall electoin of Sen. Dan Kapanke, one of eight Republicans targeted for his support of a controversial bill to curtail collective bargaining rights for public workers.
If 15,588 signatures are validated, Kapanke will be just the fifth Wisconsin lawmaker to face a recall election. Only two have been unseated.
Kapanke said Friday he believes the bill – now entangled in a court battle over the way it was passed – was necessary to balance an estimated $3.6 billion budget deficit and that he would cast the same vote again even knowing it could cost him his seat.
“This certainly trumps any one person’s ambitions or political career,” he said. “We are elected to put our fiscal house in order… You’ve got to do what’s best in your heart – what you feel is best for the future of the state.”
Recall supporters rallied earlier Friday outside the La Crosse City hall, where they celebrated collecting more than 20,000 signatures in fewer than 30 days – less than half the time allotted to gather the names required. They then loaded up the box of petitions and headed to Madison.
Kapanke is one of eight Republican senators targeted for recall over support for Gov. Scott Walker's bill to curtail collective bargaining rights for public employees. Eight Senate Democrats who fled to Illinois in an effort to block the bill are also targeted.