One Wisconsin Democrat State Senator Faces Recall Vote Today

Today's vote could go a long ways towards determining whether Republicans are able to keep control of the Wisconsin state Senate. Democrats who controlled the state Government Accountability Board were able to delay the vote on the three Democrats facing recalls. See this article here:

The fate of one of the Wisconsin lawmakers who fled the state this year in an effort to block cuts to collective bargaining rights for public workers will be decided by voters on Tuesday.

This summer, Wisconsin is overflowing with recall elections involving nine state senators from both parties, but the balloting in the Green Bay area on Tuesday will be a first definitive outcome in the series of elections that many see as a gauge of public sentiment about the agenda of Republicans who took control of the state this year. At stake in a dizzying, unprecedented series of recall elections is dominance in the Senate, where the 19-14 Republican majority could shift if Democrats gain three seats.

Still, the outcome of the recall election on Tuesday of Dave Hansen, a Senate Democrat, may offer few larger signs of what is ahead for either party in this sharply divided state. Some observers say the particulars of this race make Mr. Hansen's removal less likely than it might otherwise be. Mr. Hansen's opponent, David VanderLeest, a businessman who led the political movement to recall him in the first place, has raised less money, has faced legal problems and has drawn only tepid support from some Republican leaders who tried to get a different candidate on the ballot.

In most of the races, the essential fight is simple.

Three Democrats, including Mr. Hansen, are the subjects of recalls because all of the Senate's Democrats slipped away from Madison earlier this year and fled to Illinois to prevent a vote from taking place on collective bargaining cuts Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, was pushing. (Ultimately, the maneuver failed; Republicans managed to call a vote without the Democrats, and passed the law, but some voters said the Democrats had failed to stay in town and do their jobs.)

Six Republicans are the subjects of recalls for the opposite reason. They voted for the cuts to collective bargaining -- along with a series of budget cuts and other measures that Mr. Walker has called for.

On Tuesday, voters will also cast ballots in primary elections for the Senate seats of the other two Democrats who face recall, but the final elections will not be held until Aug. 16. Final elections will decide the Republican senators' futures on Aug. 9. . . .

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