So, here's the latest from Wisconsin.
Top Republican justifies running fake Democrats in recall races
By Daniel Bice of the Journal Sentinel
The head of the state Republican Party today acknowledged that it is encouraging fake Democrats to run in recall elections this summer.
Stephan Thompson, executive director of the state party, issued a statement justifying the practice because Republican senators have been too busy in Madison to prepare for the recall elections.
"The Republican Party of Wisconsin has advocated that protest candidates run in Democratic primaries to ensure that Republican legislators have ample time to communicate with voters throughout their districts after the state budget is approved," Thompson said in his statement.
The Journal Sentinel disclosed that the party is hoping to run "protest candidates" as Democrats in the recall elections for Republican Sens. Randy Hopper of Fond du Lac and Luther Olsen of Ripon. Hopper has said he had no knowledge of the matter.
If a primary is held for either party, that would push back the general election by a month, thereby giving the incumbent lawmakers more time to campaign.
UPDATE: Interestingly, it wasn't so long ago when top Republicans were offended by this tactic.
Last year, Thompson's predecessor, Mark Jefferson, complained that Democrats and the unions ran a fake Republican in the re-election contest for state Rep. Bob Ziegelbauer, an Independent from Manitowoc. Jefferson called it a "nasty, cynical ploy."
But in his lengthy statement, Thompson defends and justifies running spoiler candidates:
"The upcoming recall elections are unprecedented not only in Wisconsin, but in our nation's history. Unlike the Democratic Senators who deserted their constituents for a trip to Illinois, six Republican state Senators face recall not for misconduct, but for doing the job they were elected to do: taking a stance on a tough issue that came before the legislature.
"Now, these Republican senators are again busy doing their jobs crafting a fiscally responsible state budget that promotes economic growth, which puts them at a distinct disadvantage with many of their challengers who have had sufficient time to campaign. Because of this disadvantage, and the outrageous nature of elected officials facing recall for standing up for a balanced budget, the Republican Party of Wisconsin has advocated that protest candidates run in Democratic primaries to ensure that Republican legislators have ample time to communicate with voters throughout their districts after the state budget is approved.
"The public deserves time to learn about the differences between the candidates and about the Republican plan to control government spending and boost economic growth vs. the Democrat alternative of job-killing tax hikes."
So, why are the Republicans panicking about the recalls?
From The Plum Line
Posted at 03:24 PM ET, 05/31/2011
Wisconsin Dems 6. Wisconsin Republicans 0.
By Greg Sargent
Conservatives and some political observers are making a big deal out of the fact that the Dem candidate in the closely watched state Supreme Court race in Wisconsin finally conceded defeat today, as had long been expected.
But surely it’s also a big deal that we now know for certain that six Wisconsin Republican state senators will officially face recall elections, while a grand total of zero Democrats may face the same?
Today the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board announced that they have now approved the signatures required for recall elections against the following six GOP senators: Rob Cowles, Alberta Darling, Sheila Harsdorf, Randy Hopper, Dan Kapanke, and Luther Olsen. That means these six elections are definitely moving forward.
Meanwhile, the board has also announced that they are not prepared to approve the signatures gathered by Republicans for the recall of their three Democratic targets. Dems have alleged that the signature gathering by Republicans is fraudulent, and now the board has explicitly claimed that their reason for not approving the recall elections against Dems is that the signatures “have raised numerous factual and legal issues which need to be investigated and analyzed.”
Translation: The fraud allegations just may have something to them.
What this means: While Dems only need to net three recall elections to take back the state senate, it is now within the realm of possibility that even as twice that number of Republicans face recall elections, no Dems will. That’s a pretty sizable advantage for Dems.
Rachel Maddow does a piece on the happenings in Wisconsin:
The GOP is NOT interested in DEMOCRACY. They are interested it -AT ALL. They are about VOTER MANIPULATION AND VOTER SUPPRESSION. It's all they know what to do. LYING AND CHEATING is the name of the game for them.