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The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel blog No Quarter has confirmed that the Republican Party of Wisconsin is trying to get fake Democratic candidates on the ballot in the recall elections against GOP state Senators (hat tip Desi's in the diaries):
In letters obtained by No Quarter, local Republican Party officials are encouraging their GOP colleagues to collect enough signatures to get a fake Democratic candidate on the ballot in each of two upcoming recall elections.
The spoiler Democrats, who are identified by name in the letters, would run in the Democratic primaries for the seats now held by Republican Sens. Randy Hopper of Fond du Lac and Luther Olsen of Ripon.
Both of the fake Democrats have a history of giving almost exclusively to major Republicans.
"We need to make sure Democrat challengers face primaries to allow our Republicans time to mount a campaign," Dan Feyen, chairman of the 6th Congressional District Republican Party, wrote in the letter to "fellow conservatives" on Friday.
"A Democratic primary," Feyen continued, "will push the general election back by one month, so that Senator Hopper can have more time to organize a campaign against his liberal challenger."
That's verbatim what is in the other two-page letter encouraging support for the second fake Democratic candidate, except that note substitutes Olsen's name for Hopper's.
This follows on the heels of a report from last week that Wisconsin Republican officials, including the executive director of the state party, were looking to field a fake Democratic candidate in the recall election against GOP state Senator Dan Kapanke. Given all this, it's likely that Republicans at least attempted to find a fake Democratic candidate in all six of the recall elections they face on July 12.
The idea behind this effort is to delay the recall elections. If more than one challenger to the incumbent facing recall qualifies for the ballot, then a recall primary will be held on July 12 and the general election on August 9. Wisconsin Republicans seem to believe that if they have more time to campaign they can stretch Democratic resources thinner and pile on the negative attacks deeper.
Additionally, having multiple recall elections could very well allow Republicans to catch confused Democratic voters "sleeping on July 12," as Dan Kapanke is on record hoping. This might allow Republicans to snatch one or two victories from the jaws of defeat. With Democrats needing to win three of the six recall elections, that could prove to be the difference in the balance of power in the Wisconsin state Senate.
It isn't a surprise that Republicans are trying to pull some final dirty tricks in a desperate attempt to hold onto power in Wisconsin. All we can do is keep fighting back. Please, contribute $6 to the Wisconsin recall effort on Orange to Blue, where you can find all six real Democratic candidates.
This post has been edited. In the original version, I was confusing the rules for partisan and non-partisan recall primaries