Democrats in Wisconsin are saying they now have enough signatures to trigger a recall election of state Sen. Dan Kapanke (R) and will file petitions Friday, the La Crosse Tribune reports.
The recall petition against Kapanke -- who has been targeted because of his vote to pare down collective bargaining rights for public employees - would be the first filed against a Wisconsin legislator following the much-publicized collective bargaining dispute in the state.
Recall organizer Pat Scheller said volunteers have gathered more than the 15,588 signatures needed and that they plan to take them to Madison after a noon rally today at La Crosse City Hall, the Tribune reports.
Every Wisconsin state senator eligible for a recall this year (those who have been in office more than one year) is being targeted by recall efforts. Eight GOP state senators (including Kapanke) have been targeted, while eight Democratic senators are being targeted for having previously left the state to avoid a vote on the collective bargaining measure.
Kapanke has defended his vote for the collective bargaining measure and while he did not return messages from the Tribune Thursday, he has said the recall is "part of the process."
The Tribune reports the next steps in the process following today's filing will be a 31-day review period during which the signatures will be looked at to determine if they are sufficient. Kapanke can challenge signatures during the first 10 days and either party can petition a judge for an extension.
According to the state Government Accountability Board's manual on recall elections, "if the filing officer finds that the petition is sufficient," the filing officer will call a recall election -- akin to a special election for an open seat.
The Tribune notes that once an election is ordered, challengers can begin circulating petitions to get their names on the ballot and would have 10 days to collect 400 signatures.
Meanwhile, The La Crosse County Republican Party is already preparing for a recall election to oust Kapanke, and county chair has said he thinks it's a "foregone conclusion that they're going to get the signatures that they need."