TOTAL RECALL -- No one can recall seeing this right-wing "organization," except for its right-wing Utah talk show host | Wis.Community

TOTAL RECALL -- No one can recall seeing this right-wing "organization," except for its right-wing Utah talk show host

The opening shot in the effort to recall legislators on both sides of Scott Walker's manufactured budget crisis has been fired from the right. News organizations are quickly spreading a report by the Associated Press that a Utah group has filed formal papers with the State of Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB) in an attempt to recall eight of the 14 state Senate Democratic legislators who relocated to Illinois to halt a vote on Gov. Scott Walker's budget despair -- uh, that is, repair -- bill.

But it's not really a "group." It's a right-wing, Internet-based talk show host who's heavy into fighting any kind of amnesty for undocumented immigrants, and who -- get this -- recently filed a recall petition in Arizona against Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik. The sheriff is another Democrat who -- after Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and others were shot last month in Dupnik's jurisidiction -- had harsh words for talk show hosts and others engaging in hateful and violent speech. Yes, free speech for Democrats is grounds for removal from office, if you've the blunt ideology of a typical right-wing bloviator.

The registrations were filed electronically between February 18 and 21. The self-identified American Recall Coalition now is obliged to file paper copies of the registration statements. The electronically submitted "draft" registrations do not suffice to begin a recall, the GAB said.  Once the group files the appropriate signed paper copies, they will be listed in the GAB's Campaign Finance Information System.

According to the electronic registrations, which are available for public viewing online, the Utah committee filed under the name of Dan Baltes, treasurer, who gave a post office box in Salt Lake City for his address, plus a Utah phone number and an email address.

The Arizona Daily Star newspaper in Tucson several days ago reported that Baltes is an Internet-based talk radio host. You have to wonder if in-state versions of Baltes, such as right-wing talkmeister Charlie Sykes over at WTMJ-AM in Milwaukee, will be chagrined they didn't think to organize this stunt before some self-styled man of the people halfway across the country. 

The "sponsoring organization" for the recall group is listed in the paperwork as Americans Against Immigration Amnesty, LLC. Interestingly, Baltes is, according to the Arizona Star, the executive director of that group. The usual bedfellows, in other words.

Ironic stuff. People like Baltes who are dead set against allowing most if not all immigration into the US are upset because Wisconsin state senators won't immigrate back to their home state and help in disarming their own political party. 

It's not at all clear that Baltes has standing to immigrate his political activism in terms of a recall. The Wisconsin state laws that govern recalls require that "any qualified elector of the election district from which the officeholder was elected may initiate a recall." Gee, I don't think that would include anyone living in a Utah legislative district. 

Also, "a qualified elector is a United States citizen, 18 years of  age or older, who has resided in the district or jurisdiction for at least 10 days." I suppose it's slightly possible that Baltes actually has done that, but is somehow commuting to do his business from Utah. Ya think?

The GAB announcement said the group's "registration statements also must contain the names and signatures of one qualified elector from each of the Senate districts, something the initial electronic registrations did not contain." The GAB's announcement of the petition added:

"The electronic filing of these recall registrations starts the clock on a 60-day period during which the organizers may collect signatures from qualified electors in each of the districts... .

"Once signed recall petitions have been filed with the G.A.B., a 31-day period begins for the Board staff to determine the sufficiency of the petitions.  If the petitions are found to be sufficient, a recall election would be ordered in approximately six weeks.  The incumbent would automatically be on the ballot, unless he or she chooses to resign. Other candidates may register to run in the recall election.  In the event more than two candidates compete, a primary would be held on the original date of the recall election, with the recall election held four weeks later."

So this recall effort is no sure thing, but don't strain your eyes trying to find that out from corporate news media in the next few days. Or from Charlie Sykes.


February 22, 2011 - 4:26pm