Today’s output from Blogistan Polytechnic Institute’s state-of-the-art HEMMED (High-Energy Meta Mojo Elucidation Detector) machine is another update on the status of rebuilding our states after the unfortunate Midterm 2010 Shellacking.

About a month ago, the HEMMED lab took a look at the various citizen initiatives working to mitigate the damage from the low-turnout election of November 2010.

In Wisconsin, citizens can recall elected officials who have been in office for a year. That opened up the possibility of recalling state senators, elected in 2008, as early as Summer 2011 and Governor Scott Walker in January 2012. (Note: State assemblymen are re-elected every two years and recalling them would have shortened their terms by only about 4 months so no one seriously considered that option).

In Michigan, citizens can recall the governor after 6 months in office. After Gov. Rick Synder put in place a draconian plan to dismantle local governments, cancel union agreements and other contracts and turn the management of municipalities over to private businesses he became a target for recall.

In Ohio, there is a special procedure that allows for citizens to override a bill via a referendum process. The referendum process requires a majority of voters to approve a bill before it can become law. Ohioans targetted Senate Bill 5 (SB 5), their union busting bill, for citizen veto.

Here is an update on the status.

Wisconsin
The Government Accountability Board (GAB) has reviewed the petitions for recalling state senators and found that, despite some questions regarding fraud, 9 elections can be certified. Six will be against Republican state senators and three against Democratic state senators. The original dates set were July 12th, July 19th, August 9th and August 16th depending on whether primaries were needed.

The Wisconsin GOP decided to run some fake Democrats in several of the races to jumble up the dates and make it difficult for voters to figure out when to go to the polls. The Republicans are being chastised because their shenanigans will cost Wisconsin municipalities upwards of $428,000.

In order to tidy up the process the Democratic Party of Wisconsin entered their own placeholders to make sure that there are primaries and general elections for all candidates. The Republicans hoping to unseat our current Democratic state senators already had multiple challengers so a primary there was assured.

The dates as of right now are:
July 12th – Primaries for recalls involving Republican state senators
July 19th – Primaries for recalls involving Democratic state senators
August 9th – General election for recalls involving Republican state senators
August 16th – General election for recalls involving Democratic state senators

There is still one appeal pending to the GAB on the fraud allegations.

Democrats have some excellent candidates for the races to take back control of the state senate:

Jennifer Shilling vs Dan Kapanke in Senate District 32.
Jessica King vs Randy Hopper in Senate District 18.
Fred Clark vs Luther Olson in Senate District 14.
Sandy Pasch vs Alberta Darling in Senate District 8.
Nancy Nusbaum vs Robert Cowles in Senate District 2.
Shelly Moore vs Sheila Harsdorf in Senate District 10.

Democrats will be defending their seats in three districts:
Jim Holperin in Senate District 12
Bob Wirch in Senate District 22
Dave Hansen in Senate District 30

Here is a link to a chart with information on the electoral chances in those senate districts.

The current breakdown is 19 R, 14 D. Democrats need to take a net of 3 to flip the senate and create a firewall to the worst that Scott Walker can do.

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin also announced at their convention earlier in June that they will be working to recall Governor Scott Walker. Mike Tate from the DPW indicated his preference would be to run a recall that puts the election in November 2012 when turnout is high. However, activists want to start recall petitions in November 2011 so that he can be recalled in January 2012, the earliest possible date. The party would not be able to control the process.

Michigan
The language for the Rick Snyder recall petition was approved and supporters of the recall started gathering signatures for the petitions. They need 806,522 valid signatures to get the recall on the ballot in November 2011.

The Fire Rick Snyder web site indicates that they are no longer releasing counts of how many signatures they have gathered because they want to make sure that the information is accurate.

They did provide a countdown clock that had this as of this morning:

07 weeks
13 hours
24 minutes
10 seconds

The filing deadline is August 5, 2011.

The hope is to get the recall initiative on the ballot in November 2011.

In the meantime, to add fuel to the fire, Gov. Snyder had his emergency manager for Pontiac Michigan unilaterally cancel union contracts for police dispatchers.

Wish them luck … the only governors recalled have been California Gov. Gray Davis in 2003 and North Dakota Gov. Lynn Frazier in 1921.

Ohio
The referendum process once the language was approved by the Ohio Attorney General, got off to a good start but the validity of some of the initial 214,399 signatures were disputed.

The Ohio Education Association (OEA) committed to bringing in 150,000 signatures. Their web page provides a graph indicating that have gathered 137,237 as of June 15th.

A total of 231,149 signatures need to be gathered by June 30th and submitted to the Secretary of State to get on the ballot for November 2011.

Good luck, Ohio!

National Implications – One more time

While these processes directly affect the citizens in these three states, they also affect the rest of the country in several ways:
1. It keeps the issue of Republican overreach in the news
2. The success of people-powered politics can energize the electorate

The reports of the very unpopular GOP freshmen governors in Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Maine, Iowa, Pennsylvania and New Jersey being a major drag on the GOP presidential ticket in 2012 should encourage us to keep this in the news.

Recall the overreaching Republicans, Repeal the bad laws they passed despite public opinion and Rebuild our states and our country … sweeping the tea party movement into the dustbin of history.

Happy Thursday to everyone and fist bumps!

The BPI Campus Progressive agenda:
1. People matter more than profits.
2. The earth is our home, not our trash can.
3. We need good government for both #1 and #2.

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