Walker Recall Could Begin This Friday

GAB Spokesman: Petitions Could Be Circulated More than 10 Days Earlier Than Target Date Set By State Dem Party

[Madison, Wisc…] On the one-year anniversary of Scott Walker’s election as Governor of Wisconsin, a top state elections official tells the MacIver News Service his recall process could actually begin this week and not November 15 as previously announced by Democratic party leaders.

“Governor Walker is eligible for recall on January 3, 2012. If a group wished to file on that date, the earliest they could register a recall committee and begin circulating petitions is Friday, November 4,” Reid Magney, spokesperson for the Government Accountability Board told the MacIver News Service.

“Wisconsin can’t wait,” reads a missive on the website of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “The only way to get Wisconsin working again is to remove Scott Walker from office as soon as possible.”

Yet the most organized establishment political operatives are waiting nearly two weeks after this Friday before launching their recall bid.

Earlier last month month, they announced their recall drive will begin on November 15.

DPW Chair Mike Tate

Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairman Mike Tate announced the launch of the recall on Monday Night, October 10 during the broadcast of the Ed Show on cable news channel MSNBC.

“We believe we can do this. And we believe it’s too 
important to wait,” Tate said on the show. “And Wisconsin simply can’t wait.”

Despite that statement, while state Democrats and labor leaders are holding training sessions across the state in the weeks leading up to their signature drive, the establishment is not beginning the circulation of petitions on the earliest possible day.

However it is possible that others, not affiliated with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin nor working under the “United Wisconsin” effort, could file with the GAB and begin circulating papers as early as Friday.

Magney explains, under that scenario, recall petitions would be due January 3. There is a 60-day window for petition circulation.

Upon receipt of the petitions, the GAB has 31 days to review the signatures for sufficiency.

“However, 31 days is not enough time, and like in previous recalls, we would have to ask a court for an extension,” Magney explained. ” At this point, we do not know how much additional time we would need, which would depend on how many other recall petitions we might be dealing with concurrently.”

If the Board finds the petitions sufficient, it must order the recall election to be held six Tuesdays from the date of the order. If more than one person challenges the incumbent, that election becomes a primary, and the election is held four weeks after the primary.

Magney noted that the timetable doesn’t take into account the possibility that litigation to challenge a decision of the Board could delay an election.

For example, in the Senate recalls earlier this year, all nine incumbents filed suit to overturn the Board’s decisions. However, in those instances, none of the suits were successful, and the lawsuits did not delay the elections.

“All that said, we could be looking at elections sometime in the late spring or early summer,” said Magney.

If state Democratic Party leaders have their way, the election could be held two weeks earlier than the earliest possible date.