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Efforts to recall Republican State Senator Randy Hopper from Fon du Lac have reached another milestone, as organizers issue a call for volunteers to turn in any remaining petitions to be counted. Organizer Scott Dillman says he's sure they have enough signatures to trigger the recall, but he can't give exact figures yet. He says, processing all the information they've collected so far will take a week. They need 15,000 signatures to trigger the recall and he had originally set a goal of 20,000 by April first. He says he should have set that goal higher. Once Dillman tallies and submits his petition, a candidate will have to step up to run against hopper in the recall, which could happen by this summer.
Hopper is the class act whose 25-year-old aide was given a state job in the Department of Regulation & Licencing with over $11,000 of a pay hike from the last person to held the position. It's possible that she needed the pay increase, because her boyfriend, State Senator Randy Hopper, is now mooching off of her in Madison (casting doubt on whether he's serving his constituency in Fond du Lac). Also, with all the strict cuts that public employees are going to recieve under Governor Scott Walker, you can't blame a guy's mistress for needing a bit of extra cash.
Hopper's wife signed the recall petition, and is probably the reason Hopper's recall popped first. Considering that he only won election by 0.19% of the vote in 2008, there seems like a good chance that he's fucked, and not just by his mistress.
Scott Dillman, a former Department of Corrections employee who is one of the campaign's coordinators, wouldn't say directly Tuesday that volunteers had collected the 15,269 signatures required to force the election. But he said that volunteers were planning a last push for signatures on election day next Tuesday, and that he's hoping that the total collected will be "closer to 30,000 than 15,000."
Graeme Zielinski, communications director for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, took exception to the suggestion the recall had reached its goal. He reacted to a Journal Sentinel blog post about it by e-mailing that "your numbers are not accurate," but he wouldn't elaborate. The party has been unwilling to be specific about the number of signatures collected so far in the recall campaigns.
It appears that they're going for overkill. No kill like overkill, I suppose, but I just don't want the Democrats to get cocky here.
Some are speculating that "only about half" of the state senators up for recall will end up with enough signatures to actually go to a recall election. Interestingly, and possibly related, half of the senators up for recall are Republicans, and half are Democrats. To all accounts, while the Republicans are raising as much or more money than the Democrats, it's largely out-of-state money, and they have little in the way of community organizers [snerk] to come and oversee efforts to gather signatures.
If you've been only subjected to national media and have no idea why Wisconsin would start throwing out Republicans that they just put into power, see the now-locked [Wisconsin Protests] thread.