-By John Nichols
June 11, 2011- One of the great contributions that the progressive reformers of a century ago made to the politics of Wisconsin and the nation was the open primary.
Before Robert M. La Follette and the Wisconsin progressive movement placed the issue of how candidates were nominated for partisan offices at the forefront of the national agenda, the designation process was controlled by political bosses who took money from the robber barons of the Gilded Age and then nominated Republican and Democratic candidates who owed their allegiance to the bosses and the political paymasters rather than the people.
La Follette decried “the menace of the political machine” and detailed the corruption of the American political system by corporations, wealthy individuals and their stooges.
Why were the commands of the corporations heard and obeyed in the capitals of the state and nation”?
-By Emma Roller and Patrick Marley
June 13, 2011- Madison – A plan by Republicans to run fake Democratic candidates in this summer's recall elections would cost taxpayers upward of $428,000, according to election clerks.
In one Senate district alone, the cost would top $100,000, interviews with county and municipal clerks show.
Even if Republicans back off their plans in some of the districts, taxpayers are all but guaranteed to have to pay the costs of the primary, because Democrats now plan to run multiple candidates in order to guarantee all the recall elections are held on the same day. Tuesday is the filing deadline.
Recall elections for six Republican senators are scheduled for July 12. But if there are multiple candidates from the same party in any of those elections, the July 12 election becomes a primary, with a general recall election to follow on Aug. 9.
–Madison.Com Letter to the Editor:
Dear Editor: The Republican leader of the Wisconsin Senate, Scott Fitzgerald, stated he supports having Republicans run as Democrats in recall elections in order to force a primary. He said that running so-called protest candidates is a “tool” available to help Republican candidates have more time to campaign.
What is the difference regarding the “tool” the Fab 14 (Democratic state senators) used when they left Wisconsin to give the people more time to read and study the budget repair bill?
There’s only one difference I see here. The Fab 14 didn’t cost taxpayers a dime while the fake candidates who will force a primary will cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars.
-By Lisa Buchmeier
June 13, 2011– MADISON, Wisc. (CN) – All six recalled Republican state senators asked a Dane County judge to block the special elections set for July 12. And the head of the state Republican Party said the GOP may run "protest," or phony, Democrats in the GOP recalls, to force a "Democratic" primary and delay the elections by a month.
Recalls of three Democratic senators also have been certified, for elections set for July 19.
The six Republicans' complaints are based on a technicality: that the recall petitioners were not identified as members of the Committees to Recall.
Republican state Senators Randy Hopper (Fond du Lac), Luther Olsen (Ripon), Dan Kapanke (La Crosse), Alberta Darling (River Hills), Sheila Harsdorf (River Falls) and Robert Cowles (Green Bay) sued the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board in separate but virtually identical complaints in Dane County Court.
They claim the Accountability Board accepted registrations that were filed by the Committees to Recall, but not by the individual Recall Petitioners.
-By Tom Tolan, Patrick Marley and Jason Stein
June 8, 2011- Madison – The state Government Accountability Board voted Wednesday to set recall elections for three Democratic state senators, bringing to nine the number of senators facing recall elections.
The board acknowledged Democrats' claims of fraud by paid petition circulators, but disallowed only about 230 additional signatures collected by just one of the circulators – not nearly enough to throw out any of the recalls.
Democrats Dave Hansen of Green Bay, Jim Holperin of Conover and Robert Wirch of Pleasant Prairie all face elections July 19, a week after six Republican senators face recalls. The election date for the Republicans was set last week.
The decision Wednesday came as some of the Republicans said they opposed a costly plan by the GOP to run protest candidates that would create Democratic primaries and delay the general election for a month.
The dates for the recall elections have been set in Wisconsin giving voters their chance to punish legislators for last winter's debacle.
-by Paula Duffy
June 13, 2011- After the signatures were verified on the recall petitions, three Democrats and nine Republicans were qualified to be put on the ballot next month.
The Republicans face their election on July 12 and the Democrats one week later on July 19. It is on those dates that Wisconsin voters will have their referendum on the legislators' stance taken during the fight about collective bargaining legislation aimed at unionized civil service employees.
-By Greg Sargent
June 13, 2011- Okay, we have a potential game changer in one of the toughest of the Wisconsin recall fights.
GOP state senator Alberta Darling, one of the Dems’ leading recall targets, has been captured on video gushing with praise for Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan, describing him as a “hero,” and exclaiming: “Go Paul Ryan!”
“I’m standing with Ryan — anytime, anywhere,” Darling says.
The video was taken at a Wisconsin fundraiser a few days ago and posted by a local blogger. Dems have been looking for ways to inject Ryan into the recall fights, and Darling has now given them the perfect way to do it:
Think Progress: After David Koch Leaves NIH Board, NIH Hands Down Long-Delayed Classification Of Top Koch Pollutant As A Carcinogen
-By Lee Fang
June 11, 2011- Large manufacturers and chemical producers have lobbied ferociously to stop the National Institutes of Health from classifying formaldehyde as a carcinogen. A wide body of research has linked the chemical to cancer, but industrial polluters have stymied regulators from action.