Senators survive recall attemptsWisconsin Legislature
-- You can expect a more moderate agenda from Wisconsin Republicans, after the final recall elections cut the Senate’s GOP majority from five members to one. Democratic incumbents Jim Holperin and Bob Wirch survived their recall challenges yesterday, giving the GOP a 17-16 majority in the state’s upper house.
You can expect a more moderate agenda from Wisconsin Republicans, after the final recall elections cut the Senate’s GOP majority from five members to one. Democratic incumbents Jim Holperin and Bob Wirch survived their recall challenges yesterday, giving the GOP a 17-16 majority in the state’s upper house.
Holperin, of Conover, defeated Tea Party founder Kim Simac of Eagle River by a 10-point margin, 55-45 percent. Kenosha Democrat Bob Wirch had a wider 58-42 margin over Jonathan Steitz, also of Kenosha.
Senate GOP leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau says his smaller majority means there will be less contentious measures coming from his chamber. The governor’s office said Republican Scott Walker looks forward to working together to create jobs and quote, “get more Wisconsinites back to work.”
State Democratic Party chairman Mike Tate said the nine recall contests gave his party momentum for what he called “big wins” next year. All three Democrats who were targeted this summer won their recall votes, while Republicans lost two-of-six contests.
The recalls were spurred by the GOP’s approval of strict limits on collective bargaining by most public employee unions – and a move by Senate Democrats to leave the Capitol for three weeks in an failed attempt to block the measure. Fitzgerald called for more bi-partisanship, but he still scolded Democrats for pushing what he called a “permanent campaign cycle.” In his words, “The Democrats need to start working with the other side of the aisle, not just moving on to their next recall target.” Democrats still say they’ll try to recall Walker next year. Wirch said people are quote, “sick and tired of the extremism they’re getting out there.”
Once again, voter turnouts were reported to be high for the fourth-and-final round of the Wisconsin Senate recall elections. In Kenosha last night, one ward ran out of ballots – and voting was delayed for up to a half-hour. City Clerk Mike Higgins said everyone got a chance to vote, despite the difficulties. Poll officials used a touch-screen voting machine after they ran out of ballots about 6:15 last evening. But the machine broke down. By seven, the machine was fixed – and more ballots had arrived. Jennifer Lohr of the state Democratic Party said it was a struggle all day to keep ballot supplies available at Kenosha’s Lance Middle School. Higgins said some wards had big turnouts and some didn’t. Over 44,000 people voted in the Kenosha area recall election.