MADISON (WSAU) If more Wisconsin Senate recall elections are held early next year, Republicans say they’ll try to use the new district lines approved this year – which could give Republicans a better chance of winning. The law which created the new boundaries said they cannot be used until the scheduled fall elections in 2012. But yesterday, Republicans pointed to a 1982 legal opinion from former Attorney General Bronson La Follette. It said new maps could be used in recall elections as soon as they’re approved.
Republicans told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the legal opinion trumps what’s in the new law. Critics said the new maps were drawn in a way that gives the G-O-P an advantage in legislative elections for the next decade. And because there’s only a one-vote Republican majority in the Senate right now, state Democratic chairman Mike Tate said it would be irresponsible for his party not to try and win back control – if only until next fall.
Eleven Republicans and six Democrats in the Senate would become eligible for recall in January, because they’ll be starting the second years of their four-year terms. Senate President Mike Ellis said he’s against any recalls against members of either party. He said it would complicate the legislative session, and the effort to create jobs. Ellis said it would be hard to work together if quote, “everybody’s throwing cans of gas on each other.”