State Senators Jennifer Shilling and Jessica King signing the oath of office following their victories in the Wisconsin recall elections.
After losing two seats in August, Wisconsin Republicans are trying to pass new legislation that will make it more difficult for Democrats to recall any more state senators. Their two-part plan:
- Require that any recalls next year be held under the new legislative district map which Republicans drew last year. As Craig Gilbert of the Journal Sentinel shows, the new map would turn three toss-up districts held by Republican state Senators into district with Republican advantages of 4.8 to 16.2 percent.
- Require that all recall petitions be notarized, thus making it more difficult to collect the necessary signatures. Notably, the Senator pushing these changes, Mary Lazich, previously voted to take away the notary requirement on nomination filing papers.
The first pillar of this plan collapsed earlier today, as Republican state Senator Dale Schultz told the Associated Press that he would not vote for legislation requiring any recalls next year to be held under the new maps:
Wisconsin Republicans don't have the 17 votes necessary to pass a hurried bill that would make it more difficult to recall incumbent lawmakers from office, after a GOP senator said Monday he doesn't support the measure.
Republican Sen. Dale Schultz told The Associated Press he will not vote for the bill. Republicans have 17 seats in the Senate and need all 17 of those votes to pass the measure, assuming all 16 Democrats vote against it.
The bill was hastily introduced by Sen. Mary Lazich, R-New Berlin, on Friday and scheduled for a hearing Monday before the Senate elections committee, which Lazich chairs. The bill would bring new Republican-friendly legislative boundaries into effect immediately and for any recall elections that would take place next year.
Back in March, Dale Schultz was the lone Republican state Senator to vote against union-busting legislation which started this entire fight. Now, with two more Democrats in the state Senate, Schultz can block virtually any legislation he wants.
The fate of the second part of the Republican plan is less clear:
Lazich said she didn't know if there was enough support among Republicans to pass either bill, but she wanted to introduce them and hold the hearing so the discussion could be had. Lazich's committee plans to vote on the bills Tuesday to give the Senate time to take them up Wednesday, its last planned day in session this year.[...]
Schultz said he wasn't familiar with the notary bill and could not say whether he would support it.
Even if the notary bill passes, Wisconsin Democrats have confirmed to Daily Kos that they will go forward with the recalls anyway. Still, they are well aware that such a requirement would greatly slow down the speed at which they can gather signatures, while simultaneously increasing the amount of money and volunteers needed to pull it off.
Please, chip in $5 to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin to recall Scott Walker. We can't allow Republicans to stop these recalls from happening.