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Recall Petitions Filed Against GOP Sen. Olsen

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MADISON, Wis. (WTAQ) - Wisconsin Democrats filed recall petitions Monday against the third of eight GOP state senators they’re targeting.

Ann Schmidt of rural Wautoma started the drive against Republican Luther Olsen of Ripon. She submitted 24,000 signatures, over 9,000 more than the minimum number required to order a recall election.

Olsen is from a heavily-Republican district. But Schmidt said the bill aimed at limiting public union bargaining powers was a “tipping point” among residents. She also said the GOP is, “breaking the backs” of the lower and middle classes with tax breaks for the wealthy.

Schmidt said it was unjustified and, “not in the spirit of Wisconsin.”

State Democrats are coordinating the recall efforts, to try and win back control of the Senate before their next scheduled opportunity in November of 2012. They need to gain 3 seats in this summer’s recall votes to break the GOP’s monopoly of the governor’s office and both houses which voters approved last November.

Petitions have also been filed against Senate Republicans Dan Kapanke of La Crosse and Randy Hopper of Fond du Lac – and both are challenging the validities of signatures.

The Republicans are being targeted for their votes in favor of the union restrictions. 8 Democratic senators are also targeted for fleeing to Illinois for three weeks in a failed attempt to block a vote on the measure.

The law is being held up in court for now.

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