As the deadline approaches to turn in petitions to recall Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, Democrats are dispelling a few myths. The Dems have released their internal timeline leading up to the Government Accountability Board’s January 17 deadline. The recall headquarters in Madison plans on gathering petitions the week prior to organize the paperwork before submission.
In a conference call to reporters Tuesday, State Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate dispelled the rumor that organizers plan on turning in petitions next week to the GAB. Tate also would not disclose how many signatures they’ve gathered but said they are on track. “We have a very rate of people signing both petitions and I expect that we have a very strong number.”
Democratic spokesman Graeme Zielinski said various blogs and sources are reporting erroneous information. “Another phenomenon are well-meaning volunteers who are leaking raw numbers of signatures versus the actual number of signatures that will be submitted after vetting,” he said in a release.
Once the GAB receives the petitions, it will work to verify the signatures. Meantime there is a legal battle ensuing over the agency’s process. Walker’s campaign and the head of the state Republican Party say it should not be their job to find improper signatures. But the Accountability Board says the law only requires them to check the petitions for full names and valid Wisconsin addresses – and they don’t have the resources to do any more than that.
Waukesha County Circuit Judge Mac Davis last week rejected a request by the recall groups to intervene, saying there’s not time to consider it before the petitions are filed. Davis also said the GAB’s position is the same as the recall groups, so they should be adequately represented in a hearing on the merits of the case, which is scheduled for tomorrow. The recall groups have asked a state appeals court to let them join the suit.
AUDIO: Tate on why Gov. Walker is focusing on signature validation (:39)