Mar 17, 2011 7:45 AM GMT
Partial cut and paste (read for the whole thing) - http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/118138494.html
Campaigns active against all 16 who are eligible
Kristopher Rowe, a respiratory therapist from Shorewood who'd had a small role in President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign, took on a much bigger political role last month.
Inspired by a week of demonstrations in Madison, he posted a Facebook page urging the recall of Republican state Sen. Alberta Darling of River Hills.
A week later, says Rowe, more than 100 people jammed the meeting room under the Shorewood Public Library, and for the past two weekends, hundreds of volunteers have been gathering signatures to recall Darling.
Meanwhile in Green Bay, David Vander Leest, a wind-farm developer who once was on the executive committee of the Brown County Republican Party, was sending out news releases and using Facebook to organize his own recall of Democratic state Sen. Dave Hansen, who had joined 13 other Democrats in fleeing to Illinois to avoid a vote on Gov. Scott Walker's budget-repair bill.
Four hundred people turned out at a meeting at a Green Bay hotel, he says, and now Vander Leest is predicting the effort will have enough signatures to spark a recall election by the end of this month, well before the deadline to deliver them.
With Democratic senators back in the state and the budget-repair bill passed by the Legislature, people such as Rowe and Vander Leest are the face of the next major political battlefield: attempts to recall eight Democratic and eight Republican senators.
Both political parties are helping with recalls. Democratic spokesman Graeme Zielinski says the party is helping with "infrastructure" to the groups - office people and experts to check that the signatures are collected properly.
A group called Wisconsin Progress, whose mission is to elect progressive political candidates, seems to be hiring organizers for many of the recalls of GOP senators.
Juston Johnson, a state Republican Party spokesman, said his party is supplying paid staff whose main purpose is to recruit volunteers to work on the campaigns.
But both parties said it's the grass-roots organizers that are in control of the campaigns.
Johnson said recall efforts against Democrats are "going very well," though he wouldn't give numbers.
Zielinski said the number of signatures gathered by Monday in the effort to recall eight GOP senators was 45% of the total needed - with only a quarter of the time for gathering elapsed. Three of the campaigns were more than halfway home by Monday, he said, and one of those had more than 70% of the signatures needed.