Wisconsin will be the nation’s political hotspot this summer as election officials cleared the way for a special recall election of three GOP state senators. Over the next few days, election officials are expected to place three additional Republican senators into the same recall election.
That means six State Senators are likely be on a recall election ballot this summer in response to the public outcry resulting from Gov. Scott Walker’s efforts to limit the ability of public employees to engage in labor negotiations. Protests against the move brought thousands of angry protestors to the Wisconsin state capitol earlier this year.
"The Scott Walker and Congressman Paul Ryan assault on working families is uniting Wisconsin in a way that will benefit President Obama’s re-election,” said Graeme Zielinski, communications director for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “The historic recall elections are just another piece of evidence of the wide scale correction going on here after Walker and his rubberstamp legislature sought to strip workers of their rights, tear down our education system, destroy the infrastructure that creates family-sustaining jobs; and all to give tax cuts to the very rich,” he added.
The recall election has been set for July 12. But if multiple candidates get on the ballot, the July election would become a primary -- clearing the way for an August 9 general election.
Three Republicans cleared this week to appear on the recall ballot are Sens. Randy Hopper of Fon du Lac; Dan Kapanke of La Crosse, and Luther Olsen of Ripon. Three other Republicans expected to be cleared for the runoff ballot are Sens. Alberta Darling of River Hills; Robert Cowles of Green Bay, and Sheila Harsdorf of River Falls.
Democrats say if the recall elections sweep all six Republicans out of office, there would be enough votes in the Senate to stop Gov. Walker from pushing his arch-conservative agenda that targets organized labor and drastically cuts funding for public education. Meanwhile, Walker has cut business taxes by about $67 million over two years.
Republicans—who are seeking to recall several Democrats—currently control the upper chamber 19 to 14. They are actively seeking to recall Democratic Sens. Bob Wirch of Pleasant Prairie, Jim Holperin of Conover, and Dave Hansen of Green Bay.
Here's a video on the recall effort in Wisconsin by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee: