By Kirsten Adshead | Wisconsin Reporter
MADISON — “Fake” candidates can run for political office, the Government Accountability Board ruled Tuesday, adding another chapter to what has been a bizarre 16 months in Wisconsin.
Burden said campaign finance laws are insufficient for the times.
Walker, operating under a state law that allows officials facing a recall effort to collect campaign contributions without caps, raised $12 million alone in 2011.
The law says lawmakers cannot be recalled during the first year of their term, and for a recall election to be ordered, “a recall petition needs to be signed by electors equaling at least twenty-five percent of the vote cast for the office of governor at the last preceding election, in the state, county or district which the incumbent represents.”
Nineteen states allow recalls of state officials, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which provides research and support for lawmakers and legislative staff.
Wisconsin’s law is one of the strictest, according to Joshua Spivak, a recall expert who writes the Recall Elections Blog.
But Wisconsin’s recall law was written a century ago, Burden said, before women even were allowed to vote.
The ability to share information online — from spreading news about recall efforts to making petitions available for anyone to download — has made hitting that 25 percent easier, Spivak said.
Wisconsin’s nine state Senate recalls last year made history. From 1908 to 2009, only 21 state legislators had been recalled.
The Badger State has made history again this year with the recalls against Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and four state senators.
Still, Wisconsin isn’t alone in its increasing love of the recalls.
In fact, of the 151 state and local recalls held last year, Michigan had the most with 31, Spivak said.
“Even though Wisconsin has just been pushing the pace here, it’s really been going on all over,” he said.
Vos’ amendment passed the Assembly on a near party-line vote, with only one Democrat voting for it, but the proposal died in the Senate.
For the constitution to be amended, two separate, consecutive Legislatures would have to approve the amendment, which would then be put on the ballot for final approval by Wisconsin voters.
The proposal does have the support of, perhaps surprisingly, Shirl LaBarre, who is leading the efforts to recall Jauch.
“Truthfully, yes, I do think that something like that should happen and I do hope it happens in the next (legislative) session,” said LaBarre, who ran unsuccessfully for state Assembly in 2010.
“I don’t know how they can even talk about the aisle to each other when they’ve done the things they’ve done,” she said.
But LaBarre said she believes the Jauch recall is valid because he voted against the mining bill simply to keep Walker from getting credit for bringing jobs to the state.
On Tuesday, Jauch told Wisconsin Reporter those were “unfounded, fictitious accusations.”
“I voted against a bill that sold out the public’s voice to protect the interests of the mining bill,” he said. “I was in favor of a fair, flexible, responsible mining bill that protected the public voice and did not weaken environmental standards.”