By Rick Ungar
It was only a matter of time until protesters in Wisconsin would begin to consider recalling legislators – and the Governor- in response to the efforts to take away collective bargaining rights of the state employee unions.
For Governor Walker, there is good news. The law in Wisconsin provides that an elected official may not be recalled until that official has served one year in office. That means that it’s hands off Walker until January 2012.
As for the state senate, one half of the full body is elected every two years, meaning one-half are safe – the other half, not so much.
Among the sixteen senators who would be subject to recall, eight of them are Republicans who support the Governor’s bill that has caused all the furor.
Wisconsin law requires that a recall group (or individual) must file their intent and then gather the signatures of 25% of the total votes cast in the district during the preceding election for the office being challenged and do so within sixty days. If enough signatures are collected, the recall vote can take place within a few months.
Of the eight GOP state senators who would be subject to a recall action, three of them won their election with 51% of the vote or less. Were those three senators to be recalled and replaced with democrats, that would be all that is required to give control of the senate to the Democrats.
What’s more, should the GOP senators in question feel enough heat from a recall effort, they might well decide that compromise is in order.
Don’t be surprised if we begin to see a lot of petitions circulating among the protesters in the days to come.
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