Well, la de da! Scott Walker, who became Milwaukee County Executive in a recall election he wholeheartedly approved of is now claiming that recalls are unconstitional. At least that's what he claims in a new lawsuit filed in conjunction with the Wisconsin State Republican Party.
The lawsuit, filed in notorious Waukesha County the same day that Mike Tate, Chairman of the Wisconsin Democratic Party announced that over 507,000 signatures had been collected in the first 30 days of the 60 day recall period, claims that the Wisconsin recall law is unconstitutional.
The lawsuit says allowing multiple signatures is a violation of the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution because it harms the rights of those not signing.
"This lawsuit seeks to protect the Wisconsin electors whose voices have been trumped by those purposefully signing multiple petitions," Republican Party of Wisconsin Executive Director Stephan Thompson said.
Of course, they ignore the fact that the GOP can (and does) challenge signatures on recall petitions, something they engaged in with vigor during the State Senate recalls. They have been loudly proclaiming that the recall petitions are heavily laden with large numbers of duplicate signatures as well as fraudulent signatures such as Mickey Mouse and Adolf Hiltler.
Of course, this is on top of attempts by the Walker administration and Wisconsin Republican Party to replace the Government Accountability Board, a nonpartisan group in charge of elections in Wisconsin. It is the only agency in Wisconsin state government that Walker does not control. It's members, mostly retired judges, was established to prevent partisan control of the electoral process and was created bipartisanly due to complaints about past elections.
Kevin Kennedy, director of the GAB, has reiterated in a radio interview on RW WTMJ radio:
"We've always said the statue doesn't prohibit a second signing, that we won't count the second signature."
The Government Accountability Board's director Kevin Kennedy is defending the GAB's recall review process, saying it has been in place since the 1980s for all recalls including Republicans and Democrats.
On top of that, the recall organizations inspect petitions themselves to avoid challenges when the petitions are submitted. No signature can be rejected, according to the recall statutes, but suspicious signatures can be pointed out when they are submitted.
Scott Walker has defended recall in the past, when he was a beneficiary of it by winning a recall election against the previous Milwaukee County Executive. Strange how the shoe being on the other foot creates
hypocrisy an opposite point of view.
I'm concerned because Walker is using the rabidly RW Waukesha County for his lawsuit. We have seen plenty of funny business there before and I doubt we've seen the last so stay tuned. Walker and the GOP will fight often and fight dirty as we have seen in the past.
Anyway, I'm off to recall so I'll check in when I return to savor and respond to your comments.
Update: 4:54 PM Central: Well I'm back after spending a few quality hours in Thiensville (Ozaukee County) with noiseofrain, badscience, and some other committed and hearty recallers. I'm thawing out. For the most part, it was much better than expected in "red" territory with much more support and honks ane waves and thumbs up and, most importantly, signatures and people grateful that we came than the "Get A Job" or "Go Home" or "Losers" screamers, middle finger users, and expletive shouters or the typical 50ish white guy stopping by for an argument. Merry Christmas to them!
There was one ugly incident where noiseofrain got attacked which I'm sure he'll write about. The local police were prompt, polite, professional and quickly apprehended the guy who has been criminally charged. Noise is OK, but shaken up with minor injury and a busted camera. Believe it or not, he's most concerned about losing the pictures in his camera. He's been told by the police that the damage will be compensated.
In fact, he's already making plans for the Tuesday Light Brigade (that's one stoic guy!).
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So I'm off to enjoy the comments. See you below.
Update #2: Noiseofrains diary is up.