The group working to recall Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) will make “a big announcement” noon on Thursday in Kletzsch Park, according to Kristopher Rowe, one of the group's founders.
Rowe did not immediately return a reporter’s calls but it is expected that the group will announce it is filing the signed petitions with the Government Accountability Board, the Madison-based state agency that oversees elections. A report from The Washington Post says the effort will turn in approximately 30,000 petition signatures.
Rowe asked that all petitions be brought to the park at 6560 N. Milwaukee River Parkway in Glendale.
“The best I can say at the moment is to follow the signs!” Rowe said in an email.
Canvassers have been collecting recall signatures since March 3. The deadline for returning the signatures in May 2 and 20,343 are required to force a recall election. The GAB has 31 days to review and verify the signatures on the petitions, which would mean that an election could be held in mid-July. However, a court challenge or other factors could delay the election.
No candidates have officially announced their intention of running against Darling if the recall drive is successful, however both and have said each would consider challenging for Darling's 8th District.
Neither Darling nor her campaign manager could immediately be reached for comment.
Darling, a Republican from River Hills who has served on the Legislature for 21 years, was target because of her support for Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill, a measure that eliminates state-employed workers of many of their collective bargaining rights.
Darling, 66, is chairwoman of the Joint Finance Committee. She has been a supporter of the measure.
Three lawsuits challenging the enactment of the legislation were filed in Dane County.
A case brought by Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne resulted in a temporary restraining order barring the enactment of the law. Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen has asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to take jurisdiction over the lawsuit.
Ozanne’s lawsuit is based on an allegation that the meeting that set in motion the adoption of the legislation by the Senate was not properly announced under the Wisconsin Open Meetings Law.
Walker contended that the law would save $30 million by June 30 and that it is needed to balance the state budget and enable municipalities to continue operating without raising taxes. Another portion of Walker’s bill bars school boards and municipal governments from raising the property tax or sales taxes.