-Blogged by James Parks on AFL-CIO Blog
April 1, 2011- The first recall petition will be filed today against a Wisconsin Senate Republican who joined the rigged vote to take away public employees freedom to bargain. Organizers say volunteers have gathered more than the 15,588 signatures needed to trigger a recall election of Sen. Dan Kapanke, who represents the La Crosse area. Recall supporters say they plan to take the petitions to Madison after a rally today at La Crosse City Hall.
This is the first of 19 active recall efforts registered between Feb. 24 and March 2 against 16 senators. The filing comes just before the halfway point in the 60-day window the recall committee has to gather signatures in the district.
The state Democratic Party provided infrastructure support but “not a single paid canvasser was needed to trigger the recall versus Dan Kapanke,” said party spokesman Graeme Zielinski, who credited volunteers for collecting more than 20,000 signatures in less than 30 days.
“It took on a life of its own,” said Pat Scheller, who filed the original paperwork to launch the recall effort. Scheller is a banker and is not a member of any party.
The state Government Accountability Board could order an election on the sixth Tuesday after determining the petition is in order. If there is more than one challenger, that election would be a primary followed by a general election four weeks later.
Democrats need three additional senate seats to gain a majority. Kapanke is one of three targeted Republicans who won the last election with less than 52 percent of the votes.