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Wisconsin Democrats today filed with the Government Accountability Board claiming that enough signatures filed to recall State Senator Dave Hansen (Green Bay) are invalid that the recall did not succeed and no recall election should be held.

Here are their findings, in pdf format.

Basically, it breaks down as follows:
18,870 signatures turned in, then at least...
- 2,335 from out of the District
- 499 not signed in the 60 day period
- 516 with bad addresses
- 176 with bad circulator dates
- 1096 with bad circulator addresses
- 160 duplicate signatures
- 49 ineligible voters
- 361 fakes and forgeries
- 360 who stated they were lied to
= 13,318 signatures...
...which is 534 SHORT of the required number!

Besides the obviously invalid signatures from out of the district, much has been made of the for-hire signature gatherers the republicans employed and the possible fraud they committed in the name of a quick buck.

The GAB now has to rule on these signatures and decide whether or not the recall election will go forward.  Here's hoping they do the right thing and we'll have one lest Democrat to worry about as we try to take the Wisconsin State Senate back!

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Comment Preferences

  •  I was hoping that this would happen (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    progressivebadger, rja, Puddytat

    I tried to look at the pdf, but the link is broken.  Could you tell me what "bad circulator dates" and "bad circulator addresses" means.

    In addition, do they have solid proof of the forgeries and signatures gathered through lies?  If they do, I bet that the state GOP can sue the company they paid for not delivering on a product.  And they would be able to demonstrate malice of forethought rather than simple incompetence.  

    Giving the GOP the benefit of the doubt here, but I imagine they would have preferred leaving the petition out for an extra couple of days to cover a mere 534 signatures than turn in fraudulent ones.

    All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. - Schopenhauer

    by BlueberryTomatoSoup on Fri May 06, 2011 at 08:55:14 PM PDT

  •  "Recall Dave Hansen"'s exact response (9+ / 0-)

    and I quote:

    "Recall Dave Hansen's" response to The Democratic Party of Wisconsin trying to disquality the hard work of grassroots petitioners is simply, "Hog Wash." The GAB will not through out over 5000 extra signatures. We understand the amount of work it has taken to get over 18,800 signatures to force a recall. It would be impossible for the democratic party to obtain over 5000 fictious, fraudulent, afidavits in 10 business day, to throw out this petition. Its a shame the democratic party would go to such a low level to disallow the voice and will of the people.

    http://www.facebook.com/recallWIrepubs?sk=wall

    by fcphantom on Fri May 06, 2011 at 09:22:08 PM PDT

  •  I watched all of these recalls on FB (7+ / 0-)

    and most of the time it was like waiting for a train wreck.

    There were 2 separate groups for many of the recalls -- a local groups and a WI GOP group partnered with the Utah people. At first the local groups wanted nothing to do with the WI GOP/Utah groups. But at some point all three of the recalls that turned in their paperwork combining with their district's WI GOP/Utah group. The local Hansen group noted on FB that they were a few hundred short before they combined with their district's WI GOP/Utah group. The Recall Miller group was a few hundred short but refused to combine with their district's WI GOP/Utah group for ethical reasons.

    •  That Miller leader deserves some DKos love (5+ / 0-)

      Seriously.  That guy is a person we should reach across the aisle to praise in no uncertain terms.

      Stop. Stand up. Make a sign. Walk around in public. Be polite and orderly and the rest takes care of itself. Want to shake up the Plutocrats? Demonstrate your attention to politics.

      by Quicklund on Fri May 06, 2011 at 10:35:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah. I think I posted a link to his FB note. (4+ / 0-)

        The Miller guy had an early conversation with the Utah guy and the MIller guy found the Utah guy sketchy so he cutoff contact with him. In the end the Miller group meet when they found out they had a chance to combine but the Miller group just couldn't do it. It was the right thing to do.

        I don't want to diminish what they did, but I also think the Miller people saw how hard it was to get the signatures so they knew winning a recall was an uphill battle.

      •  Also they didn't stand a chance (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        progressivebadger

        Even combined, the Miller recall didn't stand a chance.  His district is composed primarily of the east side of Madison, and the adjacent suburb of Monona.  That's VERY left-leaning.  (To give an idea to those outside Wisconsin of what I mean, the Willy Street Co-Op is in his district - a grocery store that allows low budget art projects to use its space after hours - for example the internet-famous Chad Vader skits were filmed there.  This is NOT even a purple area.  IT's VERY blue.)

        So the Miller recall leader may have realized the futility of the effort and decided that taking the high road of not combining with the Utah group was a gesture that didn't, in the end, coast them anything anyway.

        •  Even if that's true (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NWTerriD

          He caught a lot of flak from his own people for not going the extra mile.  

          Bottom line to me is this:  We should be reaching across the lines of animosity to praise this man for taking an ethical stand in an ethical desert.  It is good for everyone to encourage good citizenry.  Especially in these times.

          Stop. Stand up. Make a sign. Walk around in public. Be polite and orderly and the rest takes care of itself. Want to shake up the Plutocrats? Demonstrate your attention to politics.

          by Quicklund on Sat May 07, 2011 at 11:18:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  All three anti-Dem recalls will have the same fate (5+ / 0-)

    Probably/

    The Democratic challenges are essentially copies of each other. (Note at the end of the Wirch copy there is a typo "Jim" not "Bob" Wirch - a bad paste-over when the Jim Holperin version was edited.) If the GAB accepts the Democratic argument, all three will fail.  If the GAB rejects this argument, all three may succeed.

    It is not clear but I am fairly certain that many of the "bad" signatures depend on this GAB ruling.  Thousands of signatures are rated bad, because some canvassers put down inaccurate address info.  the Democratic Party is asking for all signatures collected by said canvassers thrown out.  We cannot assume the GAB will do so.

    The GOP challenges, in comparison, are based on a technecality.  They claim fewer 'bad' signatures and cannot point to any systematic abuse.

    I found it interesting that the anti-GOP petitions had a space to both print and sign one's name.  The anti-Dem petitions did not have a place to print names.  This simple difference makes the anti-GOP petitions neater and easier to verify.

    It would be astounding if the success / failure of these efforts hinged on a superior form design!

    Stop. Stand up. Make a sign. Walk around in public. Be polite and orderly and the rest takes care of itself. Want to shake up the Plutocrats? Demonstrate your attention to politics.

    by Quicklund on Fri May 06, 2011 at 10:31:09 PM PDT

    •  There is a strategy to the forms and challenges. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      majcmb1, petral, Quicklund

      As I understand it, not having a printed name makes challenges harder. However, once the name is challenged the printed name helps the person being challenged. In short, if a signature gets challenged the people defending the signature can more easily prove the signature is good by having the real name. Without the printed name, the people being challenged only have an illegible name and an address to defend themselves on the challenges.

      Also when there are huge numbers of signatures by a few collectors, the easiest way to get rid of most signatures is to prove that the collector lied, forged, gave bad information, or did something unethical to get the signatures. I'm not sure what the threshold is for WI. Some states will throw out whole collectors if the challenger can show that the collector only lied to a few people or only forged a few signatures.

      •  No question but the high volume is targeted (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        progressivebadger, mswsm

        The Democratic complaint cites 5-6 cases to support the argument that all petitions collected by these individuals should be thrown out.  Perhaps the lawyers will extend that reasoning to all petitions collected by the entire contracting firm being tainted.

        Of course, it will come down to GAB rulings and inevitable court challenges.

        Stop. Stand up. Make a sign. Walk around in public. Be polite and orderly and the rest takes care of itself. Want to shake up the Plutocrats? Demonstrate your attention to politics.

        by Quicklund on Sat May 07, 2011 at 09:21:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  GOP challenges... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      progressivebadger, Quicklund

      The basis of the major GOP challenges is that the GAB itself misinterpreted state law in allowing the recalls to go forwards.  Their signature challenges are not enough to invalidate any recall petition.

      State law requires an individual or committee responsible for the recall to register with the GAB. It also requires a voter in the district to sign to start the process.  In most cases that I know, the voter was a member of the committee

      The GOP is claiming that the voter needed to register with the GAB as an individual, that the GAB improperly certified the recall, and because of this there is no valid recall process.

      RECOUNT. RECALL. RESCIND. REBUILD. Now with 4 R's.

      by stcroix cheesehead on Sat May 07, 2011 at 07:50:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Argument relies on a distinction w/o a difference (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        progressivebadger

        Right. It boils down to an individual signing as a person versus the same individual signing in the capacity of the committee head.  Who knows how legit that claim is?  IANAL

        The list of flawed signatures the GOP cites is in every case about 20% the list of flawed signatures the Dems cite. So on a measure of basic slippiness, the pro-Dems are looking miles ahead of the pro-GOPPERS.

        Stop. Stand up. Make a sign. Walk around in public. Be polite and orderly and the rest takes care of itself. Want to shake up the Plutocrats? Demonstrate your attention to politics.

        by Quicklund on Sat May 07, 2011 at 09:25:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Democratic recalls of GOP senators... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quicklund, progressivebadger
      I found it interesting that the anti-GOP petitions had a space to both print and sign one's name.  The anti-Dem petitions did not have a place to print names.  This simple difference makes the anti-GOP petitions neater and easier to verify.

      It would be astounding if the success / failure of these efforts hinged on a superior form design!

      The GOP efforts started with the tea party and the repubs felt they had to jump in.  The Democratic efforts had a little more time to organize.

      One nice little feature is that the Democratic efforts against the GOP included space for phone number and email address.  We cut these columns off before submitting the form to the GAB.  

      How valuable is this information going to be?

      But it wasn't only the forms.  We had motivated volunteers who were trained before they went out with walk sheets showing most likely signers.  The effort was both grassroots and focused.

      RECOUNT. RECALL. RESCIND. REBUILD. Now with 4 R's.

      by stcroix cheesehead on Sat May 07, 2011 at 07:54:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't mean to imply it was only the forms (2+ / 0-)

        A better wording would be, isn't it interesting how small things can make big differences?

        It was late. :)

        Bottom line is, the #1 difference is motivation and energy. #2 is fa behind.

        The GOPPERS heads are exploding - it's all a Democrat plot!!! - because they cannot fathom the goals that can be reached with hundreds of volunteers working hard.  For most of the Recall Wirch collectors, for example, getting signatures means sitting on a lawn chair for two hours, waiting for people to pull up at their beloved 'drive-in' petition stations.

        Now these people are amazed that petition signers are getting follow-up calls.  The Recall Wirch leader is a real arrogant condescending lout.  I feel certain he never dreamed that his petitions would be examined in such detail.  And on his Facebook page he continues to mislead his own volunteers.

        The GOP won't be satisfied with throwing that lout under the bus, once they catch on to how badly he ran things.

        Stop. Stand up. Make a sign. Walk around in public. Be polite and orderly and the rest takes care of itself. Want to shake up the Plutocrats? Demonstrate your attention to politics.

        by Quicklund on Sat May 07, 2011 at 09:34:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  wasn't meaning to disagree! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Quicklund, progressivebadger

          They have a bad organization, poorly thought out forms, and circulators that didn't give a rat's ass.  Their forms, in that situation, made mistakes almost inevitable.

          We had a pretty good organization, well-thought out forms, and thousands of trained volunteers.  Our forms made success almost inevitable.

          :-D

          RECOUNT. RECALL. RESCIND. REBUILD. Now with 4 R's.

          by stcroix cheesehead on Sat May 07, 2011 at 12:23:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  WI Statute 9.10 concerning sufficiency of data (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    petral, progressivebadger

    on recall petitions.  Notice the use of the word may rather than will.  It appears the interpretation lies with the GAB or county circuit court.

    9.10(2)(e)
    (e) An individual signature on a petition sheet may not be counted if:

    9.10(2)(e)1.
    1. The signature is not dated.

    9.10(2)(e)2.
    2. The signature is dated outside the circulation period.

    9.10(2)(e)3.
    3. The signature is dated after the date of the certification contained on the petition sheet.

    9.10(2)(e)4.
    4. The residency of the signer of the petition sheet cannot be determined by the address given.

    9.10(2)(e)5.
    5. The signature is that of an individual who is not a resident of the jurisdiction or district from which the elective official being recalled is elected.

    9.10(2)(e)6.
    6. The signer has been adjudicated not to be a qualified elector on grounds of incompetency or limited incompetency as provided in s. 6.03 (3).

    9.10(2)(e)7.
    7. The signer is not a qualified elector by reason of age.

    9.10(2)(e)8.
    8. The circulator knew or should have known that the signer, for any other reason, was not a qualified elector.

    9.10(2)(em)
    (em) No signature on a petition sheet may be counted if:

    9.10(2)(em)1.
    1. The circulator fails to sign the certification of circulator.

    9.10(2)(em)2.
    2. The circulator is not a qualified circulator.

    9.10(2)(f)
    (f) The filing officer or agency shall review a verified challenge to a recall petition if it is made prior to certification.

    9.10(2)(g)
    (g) The burden of proof for any challenge rests with the individual bringing the challenge.

    9.10(2)(h)
    (h) Any challenge to the validity of signatures on the petition shall be presented by affidavit or other supporting evidence demonstrating a failure to comply with statutory requirements.

    9.10(2)(i)
    (i) If a challenger can establish that a person signed the recall petition more than once, the 2nd and subsequent signatures may not be counted.

    9.10(2)(j)
    (j) If a challenger demonstrates that someone other than the elector signed for the elector, the signature may not be counted, unless the elector is unable to sign due to physical disability and authorized another individual to sign in his or her behalf.

    9.10(2)(k)
    (k) If a challenger demonstrates that the date of a signature is altered and the alteration changes the validity of the signature, the signature may not be counted.

    9.10(2)(L)
    (L) If a challenger establishes that an individual is ineligible to sign the petition, the signature may not be counted.

    9.10(2)(m)
    (m) No signature may be stricken on the basis that the elector was not aware of the purpose of the petition, unless the purpose was misrepresented by the circulator.

    9.10(2)(n)
    (n) No signature may be stricken if the circulator fails to date the certification of circulator.

    9.10(2)(p)
    (p) If a signature on a petition sheet is crossed out by the petitioner before the sheet is offered for filing, the elimination of the signature does not affect the validity of other signatures on the petition sheet.

    9.10(2)(q)
    (q) Challenges are not limited to the categories set forth in pars. (i) to (L).

    9.10(2)(r)
    (r) A petitioner may file affidavits or other proof correcting insufficiencies, including but not limited to:

    9.10(2)(r)4.
    4. Failure of the circulator to sign the certification of circulator.

    9.10(2)(r)5.
    5. Failure of the circulator to include all necessary information.

    9.10(2)(s)
    (s) No petition for recall of an officer may be offered for filing prior to the expiration of one year after commencement of the term of office for which the officer is elected.

  •  WI Statute 8.40(2) on circulating petitions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    progressivebadger

    The statutory requirements referred to in 9.10(2)(h) are set out, at least in part, in 8.40(2) Wis. stats. that establishes the parameters for circulating petitions.  I commented on this more extensively here, but here's the provision that states what the circulator must affirm:

    The certification of a qualified circulator stating his or her residence with street and number, if any, shall appear at the bottom of each separate sheet of each petition specified in sub. (1), stating that he or she personally circulated the petition and personally obtained each of the signatures; that the circulator knows that they are electors of the jurisdiction or district in which the petition is circulated; that the circulator knows that they signed the paper with full knowledge of its content; that the circulator knows their respective residences given; that the circulator knows that each signer signed on the date stated opposite his or her name; that the circulator is a qualified elector of this state, or if not a qualified elector of this state, that the circulator is a U.S. citizen age 18 or older who, if he or she were a resident of this state, would not be disqualified from voting under s. 6.03, Wis. stats.; and that the circulator is aware that falsifying the certification is punishable under s. 12.13 (3) (a). The circulator shall indicate the date that he or she makes the certification next to his or her signature

    The affidavidts averring misrepresentation may be particularly important here, since they not only support striking the individual signature, as per 9.10(2)(m), above, but they also indicate that the circulator's certification is untrue, since the signers did not have "full knowledge."  I wonder if this could be the basis for disqualifying an entire petition based on the false certification, or even DQing all petitions circulated by a circulator who has a demonstrated pattern of false certifications.  In any event, as exterris rightly points out, the GAB appears to have significant scope for interpretation in the case of challenges.  

    •  You've nailed it! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      progressivebadger
      I wonder if this could be the basis for disqualifying an entire petition based on the false certification, or even DQing all petitions circulated by a circulator who has a demonstrated pattern of false certifications.

      Since the majority of the signatures were collected by few paid circulators, if we can invalidate a circulator it's huge.

      RECOUNT. RECALL. RESCIND. REBUILD. Now with 4 R's.

      by stcroix cheesehead on Sat May 07, 2011 at 07:45:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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