Future recall efforts could require that each page of signatures gathered on petitions be notarized. It’s a bill from state Senator Mary Lazich, a New Berlin Republican, which Madison area Democrat, Senator Jon Erpenbach said is just an impediment to recall efforts. “It’s just another hoop that we see, that the Republicans are putting up, making it more difficult to recall or for someone to circulate papers during a recall,” Erpenbach said, adding that since failing to follow the rules under terms of the bill could result in a felony charge, “it’s also pretty intimidating.” Milwaukee Democrat, Senator Spencer Coggs, said it’s also more work for the state Government Accountability Board. “Under the guise of trying to stop fraud, what they’re doing basically is making it harder for the Government Accountability Board, but also harder for regular people,” said Coggs.
Erpenbach said the bill, which received a public hearing on Monday, does nothing to address the problems which surfaced during the last round of Senate recalls, with paid recall circulators from other states. “You know, if I’m being paid and I live in another state, I don’t mean getting it notarized . . . even if it’s falsified, because I’m not going to be here anyway,” Erpenbach said. “You know damn well the state’s not going to investigate, and you know damn well that they’re not going to go out and get them.”
Lazich said during Monday’s hearing that the notary measure would bring more accountability to the recall process. Kevin Kennedy with Government Accountability Board said it would require more work by his staff. Lazich had originally scheduled a committee vote on the measure (SB 270) for Tuesday, but rescheduled that action for Wednesday morning.
AUDIO: Bob Hague reports (:60)