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Capitol Report: Group says it has enough signatures for recall election of Sen.

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« on: April 07, 2011, 01:21:31 pm »

Capitol Report: Group says it has enough signatures for recall election of Sen. Hopper

Capitol Report: Group says it has enough signatures for recall election of Sen. Hopper
JESSICA VANEGEREN|The Capital Times|jvanegeren@madison.com madison.com | (7) Comments | Posted: Thursday, April 7, 2011 10:02 am


Democrats say they have enough signatures to force a recall election of Randy Hopper, R-Fond du Lac.l MIKE DEVRIES — The Capital Times
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The backlash against a largely Republican-supported vote to restrict most collective bargaining rights for a majority of public employees is claiming a second victim.
At 3:30 p.m. Thursday, volunteers will deliver petitions to recall Sen. Randy Hopper, R-Fond du Lac, to the state Government Accountability Board, located at 212 East Washington Ave. in Madison.
Petitions to trigger a recall election against Sen. Dan Kapanke, R- La Crosse, were turned in to the Government Accountability Board last Friday.
"Randy Hopper, like Dan Kapanke before him, made his choice when he cast his lot with Scott Walker and his extreme power grab," said Mike Tate, chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. "Today, a coalition of Republicans, Democrats and independents took the historic steps of calling him to account."
Maggie Brick, the party's executive director, said just under 23,000 signatures have been collected, far more than the 15,629 needed to trigger a recall election.
"Given the momentum, there is really no reason not to collect a buffer," Brick said Thursday. "The extra signatures pretty much guarantee there will be recall against Randy Hopper."
After the signatures are filed, the GAB has 31 days to rule on whether they're sufficient, and if they are, it can set an election date six weeks in the future.
A call seeking a comment from Hopper's campaign office in Fond du Lac was not immediately returned Thursday.
In addition to his vote March 9 to restrict collective bargaining rights, negative press against Hopper mounted when it was confirmed by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Hopper's girlfriend, Valerie Cass, was hired Feb. 7 as a communications specialist with the state Department of Regulation and Licensing.
According to the newspaper, Cass, a former Republican legislative staffer, is being paid $20.35 per hour. The job is considered a temporary post.
Cass not only got the job, but according to a Madison TV report, Cass received a substantial pay raise over her predecessor. If she were to put in a full year in her current job, she would make about $43,200. Her predecessor was paid at a rate of $31,200 a year.
Recall efforts are under way against eight Republican senators and eight Democratic senators.
Groups working to recall senators Robert Wirch, D-Pleasant Prairie, and Jim Holperin, D-Conover, claim they have enough signatures to trigger their recalls. The signatures have not been officially handed over to the GAB, though.
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