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'Protest' Candidates to Remain on Recall Ballots

The Government Accountability Board rejected a challenge filed last week by the attorney for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

All candidates, including those dubbed “fake” or "protest” candidates, will be allowed a spot on the recall election ballots next month.

The Government Accountability Board determined Tuesday that six Republicans running as Democrats in an effort to set up elections on the same day throughout the state, are eligible for the ballot, unanimously rejecting a challenge filed by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

The Board rejected the challenge 6-0, leaving in place a list of candidates who will appear on the May 8 primary ballots.

In a statement on the Republican Party of Wisconsin's website, Communications Director Ben Sparks said:

"We're pleased with today's certification that all protest candidates will appear on the May 8 primary ballot. These candidates are running to ensure election fairness, and today’s ruling guarantees that there is one primary and one general election date for all candidates facing a recall."

Meanwhile, Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said in a statement on that party’s website that the decision marks "one more ethical low" for Gov. Scott Walker.

"Scott Walker has no regard for ethics, just as it is becoming clearer that he has no regard for the people of Wisconsin,” the statement said. “Today represents another stain on Wisconsin's history and traditions of fair play. Wisconsin is a ship without a moral rudder.”

Jeremy Levinson, attorney for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, on Thursday  in the upcoming recall elections.

Levinson wanted all six protest candidates – four in the state Senate recalls as well as one each in the governor and lieutenant governor races – removed from the ballot for running as Democrats when they really aren’t.

The “protest” candidates include:

  • Gladys Huber (D) running in the Walker recall race;
  • running as a Democrat against Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch;
  • Tamra Varebrook challenging State Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) as a Democrat;
  • Gary Ellerman (D) challenging Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau);
  • James Engel (D) running against Republican Terry Moulton in Senate District 23;
  • and Jim Buckley (D) challenging Sen. Pam Galloway (R-Wausau).

Ben Sparks, spokesman for the Republican Party of Wisconsin called the complaint “nothing more than a publicity stunt” in a statement, and pointed to the GAB’s decision to certify the placement of all protest candidates on last year’s recall election ballots.

In a memo to the GAB presented prior to today’s meeting, Michael Haas wrote that “staff recommends that the Board deny the challenges to the protest candidates because no statute prohibits an individual from submitting nomination papers and related documents without the support of the political party whose nomination is sought, or conducting a campaign for office for any political or strategic reason.”

Earlier this month state they were running “protest candidates” in all six recalls targeting Republicans. Republican Party of Wisconsin Executive Director Stephan Thompson said in a press release on the state’s party’s website the reason for doing so was to align elections on the same day across the state. The GAB set the primaries for May 8 and the general election for June 5. But in any races in which there had been no primaries, May 8 would have been the general election date.

The protest candidates triggered the decision of 23-year-old political activist Arthur Kohl-Riggs to run as a “progressive Republican.” He told Caledonia Patch he is running against Walker to force Republicans .

If Walker ran uncontested, Republicans could vote in the Democratic primary and cast a ballot for the Democrat they think would be Walker's weakest opponent in the June general election. Having a challenger in the GOP primary provides incentive to the Republicans to vote for Walker in the primary.

Keith Schmitz April 19, 2012 at 11:43 AM
Rage? Union thugs and greedy teachers exudes love.
Tom Kamenick April 19, 2012 at 11:45 AM
If you want such protest candidates banned, this, ask yourself one thing - do you want government deciding who can and can't call themselves Republican or Democrat? Doesn't that raise major free speech concerns for you?
morninmist April 19, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Walker and his fake friends are toxic. Another corporation has seen the light. Working America ‏ @WorkingAmerica BREAKING: Yum! Brands (owner of Pizza Hut/Taco Bell/KFC) is the latest corp to drop #ALEC: http://j.mp/J9o7Sw #1u
morninmist April 19, 2012 at 05:31 PM
And Walker lost more jobs when he refused to discuss Wind energy. Melanie L. Conklin ‏ @mellconklin Since Gov. Walker took office we have now LOST 10,200 jobs with today's new numbers. Nation as a whole keeps gaining. #wipolitics #wiunion Walker shuts down -"five major WIND energy developments totaling $1.6 billion" http://madcityexit.blogspot.com/2012/04/governor-walker-and-clean-energy-are.html Wednesday, April 18, 2012 Governor Walker and Clean Energy Go Together Like Oil and Water My recent trip to South Carolina took me past a huge wind farm along Interstate 65 in Benton County, Indiana, near Purdue University. Here is a YouTube video to give you a sense of the scale of the wind farm: Governor Mitch Daniels, the Republican governor of Indiana, touts renewable energy from the wind farm here. Our Republican governor? Doesn't like them. No campaign money in them for him. Would cost him campaign money. Wisconsin has fallen behind our neighbors in wind energy production according to Department of Energy data:
morninmist April 19, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Working America ‏ @WorkingAmerica BREAKING: Voter suppression law won't be in effect for #WIRecall http://j.mp/I9WoTn #voterid #waronvoting #wiunion #1u

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