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Wanggaard Will Not File Recall Recount Appeal

The recall for the 21st Senate District is over now that Republican Van Wanggaard has announced that he will not file an appeal in Racine County Circuit Court.

The election results from both June 5 recall election in the 21st State Senate District and the subsequent recount will stand as incumbent Republican Van Wanggaard decided Tuesday not to challenge the results that show him losing to Democrat John Lehman by more than 800 votes.

"My first call this morning was to leave a message for John confirming that I will not file a challenge in the courts at this point," Wanggaard told Patch.

However, Wanggaard made it clear that he still has concerns about how the election was run — and he said will run for the seat again in 2014.

What his decision came down to, he said, was that the five days he was given between the end of the recount and the deadline to appeal it wasn't enough time to fully investigate even some of the objections his campaign has received concerning issues in the City of Racine.

"There was just so much smoke created by what happened in the city that it's overwhelming," he said. "We have smoke, but no gun, so it doesn't make sense to file an appeal even with over 1,000 objections to things like missing names, missing addresses and missing signatures."

The purpose of the recount was to verify the tally, but he said it also served to highlight the election inadequacies in Racine. Wanggaard pointed to 25 Republicans who stepped forward to serve as poll workers, but weren't allowed to do so by city administration. He said imagines there were probably an equal number on the Democrats' side who were told the same thing.

"We had plenty of people who wanted to work that day, and I'm sure the Democrats did, too. Instead, the city used a temp agency and those workers lacked the proper training on how to administer an election," he said. "It could have been intentional, to look for ways to be slipshod, and I don't know why. It was hectic and busy at every polling location, and to have so many rules not followed really calls the process and the integrity of the election into question."

"We have smoke, but no gun, so it doesn't make sense to file an appeal even with over 1,000 objections..."

What is causing so much concern is the large number of same-day registrations in Racine. According to Wanggaard, 4,400 voters registered on June 5 and the documents used to verify residency are questionable.

"So we're going to be looking through all of those to be sure everyone is an eligible voter," he said.

The Journal Times reported Tuesday that city officials admitted to not yet sending out postcards to verify same-day registrants, primarily because of the large number that need to get entered into the state's system and from participating in the recount. But Wanggaard said those cards need to be mailed within 10 days and even read the statute to us to prove his point.

"The city hasn't done it and why not?" he asked. "We're talking hundreds or potentially thousands of registrations that aren't good. This is something that has to get done."

Now that Wanggaard has made his decision, the state Government Accountability Board will certify the results by 8 a.m. Wednesday, officially returning Democrat John Lehman to his seat in Madison. The term is up for re-election in November 2014.

with a lead of 834 votes. Wanggaard requested a recount on June 20, and it completed on July 2 with the same result.

Lehman calls recount 'needless distraction'

For his part, Lehman said he's relieved to put the election behind him and is ready get to work in Madison.

"All this back-and-forth was needless distraction," he said about the election and the recount. "The Republicans keep talking about fraud, but I've seen very little of that, of people intentionally schnookering the system. There were irregularities in the city, but not real cheating."

Of getting to work in Madison, Lehman said he's already there.

"The Legislature may not be in session, but legislators are working," he noted. "In fact, we're hoping to get an agreement with Republicans to call a special session on jobs."

Still, he recognizes that he didn't win by a large margin and that he is now representing a lot of people who didn't vote for him.

"I am not 'Landslide Lehman,'" he acknowledged. "I know I have to work on getting to the people I represent who didn't vote for me, and I think jobs legislation is a good place to start."

Can Lehman hold the seat?

Brad Wojciechowski, communications director for the State Senate Democratic Committee, said the party is looking forward to November and beyond.

"We are looking forward to defending our majority in November and feel we have a great chance to continue our majority after November," he said.

The returns would have been end of Tuesday. Despte citing concerns over how the recall election in the in particular, Wanggaard said that while he is not filing a challenge, he expects the investigations into "voter irregularities" will continue and evidence will be provided to law enforcement.

Bill Folk, chairman of the Racine County GOP, said he respects Wanggaard's decision.

"It was determined there wasn't enough to move forward with a challenge, and we support that decision," he said. "But the party remains disheartened that this election was predicated on people voting for a senator who does not represent most of the voters in the new district."

Wanggaard noted that the recall elections in 2012 have already cost state taxpayers $20 million, and he is not interested in wasting more money.

But, he told Patch he's not giving up.

“Yes, I will be running again in 2014," he confirmed.

It's a few months, though, until he can file the paperwork to become a candidate again, but Wanggaard said he'll be plenty busy until then working with small business owners to try and create jobs in Racine County and across the state.

"Just because I'm not in office right now doesn't mean I'm giving that up," he stated. "I still know and can work with a lot of people in Madison to continue the work that I've been doing for the past two years, bringing jobs to Racine County and to Wisconsin. I have to keep the focus on doing that because it is still most important to do whatever I can do to get more jobs here."

mau July 10, 2012 at 07:10 PM
"Instead, the city used a temp agency and those workers lacked the proper training....." Why the heck did they hire temp workers when there are resident voters willing to do this job. And which temp agency provided such incompetent workers.
morninmist July 10, 2012 at 07:33 PM
ha ha Hoffa They had since the beginning of the recount to gather evidence. They just blew a lot of steam and did not work. Once again, a grand Welcome Senator Lehman. We can now hold the TeaGOP at bay.
James R Hoffa July 10, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Funny how most of the workers coming from this temp agency signed the recall petitions that were at issue in this election, isn't it?
James R Hoffa July 10, 2012 at 07:56 PM
@morninmist - The City clerk hasn't even sent out the address verification postcards for new registrants required by state election law yet. Legal procedures must be followed first. Nor has the City responded to the open records request seeking review of those new registrations, because the law permits them so much time to answer. Each one of those addresses needs to be personally visited to verify whether or not the elector that filed such registration actually lives where they claimed to live. Until this is done, we'll never really know for sure, will we? You do realize that by expecting Lehman to vote party line, it would effectively mean that he would be representing his party over his constituency, who are largely conservative, having rejected both him and Wirch repeatedly in the past. So, I guess you're against true representative government of THE PEOPLE and instead prefer a representative government of the political party. How very un-American of you! Your mother must be proud! Get a clue before getting stupid next time!
Zelda Warrior July 10, 2012 at 11:01 PM
What a shame that we've resorted to name calling. I believe the "stupidity" came when legislators thought they could pull a fast one and save him politically by secretly off-site voting on redistricting. The courts rightfully upheld the vast number of signatures required (by his constituents who elected him) and validated their unhappiness with his lack of representation. You totally missed the point here, and I believe it is purposefully done. Hyprocricy? You reap what you sow. No, he won't be representing his "newly, meticulously selected people." We've stopped the runaway train, at least temporarily.
James R Hoffa July 10, 2012 at 11:17 PM
@Zelda - Funny how you call out the name calling, which you'd understand if you were familiar with Hoffa's Patch relationship with morninmist, while ignoring misty's childish "ha, ha" directed towards me. Par for the course I guess! How is the redistricting any different than when the Dems drew the maps when they were in majority power? True hypocrisy comes from your application of a double standard premised solely upon your own partisan affiliation / preference. Van hasn't represented the people of the City of Racine since August of last year, as they are now a part of SD-22 and have been represented by Wirch since that time. Well before both the recall was started in November of 2011 and this election was held. And no Courts were involved with this decision - it was the GAB. So what exactly is your point that I apparently missed?
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) July 10, 2012 at 11:46 PM
@Hoffa - if you mean the GAB decided where the recalls would be held, that was actually written into the redistricting bill for when redistricting would affect elections.
James R Hoffa July 11, 2012 at 01:17 AM
@Heather A - Yes, I realize that and you know that I realize that from my comments on past boards pertaining to such issue. But when the Democrats and Dale Schultz refused to pass a bill that would have remedied the error contained in the redistricting bill, the Republicans approached the GAB and asked them to consider the equity involved in the situation, much like a person would argue in Court when following the strict letter of the law leads to an clearly unfair outcome. The GAB followed the letter of the defectively drafted law - clearly one cannot fault the GAB for their decision and it's the Republican's own fault for not paying more careful attention when drafting the redistricting bill. But all of this was to the disadvantage of the people of the new SD-21. In this situation, the representation had already changed, thus a majority of the people voting in this election had not even been represented by Wanggaard for nearly a year prior to the election, and yet these same people were allowed to decide that Lehman would be the representative of the new SD-21, despite the new district's preference for Republican candidates over Democratic candidates - and especially one as hard left as Lehman is. I know it's the law, but does that seem fair to you? Did that decision put the people first, or party politics first? That's the real issue here.
Resistance is futile July 11, 2012 at 02:56 AM
And yet Jimmy, you insist on stating that you speak for all of us, when you do not.
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) July 11, 2012 at 03:59 PM
@Hoffa - absolutely agree that party politics came first in the redistricting law, both the way it was originally written and not even taking up a debate over the amendment. As for how following the letter of law can bring harm, the Republican-led legislature should have considered that when they wrote the bill. It's like - to borrow a phrase from my friend, Denise Lockwood - the child who murders his/her parents and then claims they're an orphan. And you know I would say this had the Democrats done it - not playing favorites for one side of the other. It just is what it is no matter which party led the charge.
James R Hoffa July 11, 2012 at 05:39 PM
@Heather A - You're exactly right - and I too hold the Republicans solely accountable for their screw-up and the situation that it caused. But people do make mistakes, as after all, we're only human. And our system of government recognizes this, which is why our courts are charged with considering equity in addition to the letter of the law. Both sides could have done a much better job at putting the people ahead of their party.
mau July 11, 2012 at 05:55 PM
MacIver Institute City of Milw. confirms to @newsmaciver that 43,200 Election Day Voter Registration Forms submitted on June 5
morninmist July 11, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Van & the WI TeaGOP has screwed Racine and the state! http://democurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2012/07/voucher-tax-david-hazen-chief-financial.html ..officials are looking at possibly closing at least one elementary schools to avert an impending long-term structural deficit in the 2013-14 school year. David Hazen, chief financial officer for the district, said part of the reason the district's property tax is increasing in 2012-13 is because of what he calls a “voucher tax,” which will continue to take its toll on future budgets. This is the easy explanation, something even your conservative neighbor can understand: Last month, the school district raised the estimated property tax (from) 6.42 percent to $9.51 per $1,000 equalized value. The rate includes "the voucher tax," Hazen said. Hazen explained that the district would lose $1.2 million in state aid in the 2012-13 budget because students are leaving the district to go to private schools (and) because the district can’t count the voucher students in their enrollment numbers, the district appears like a richer school district. This means it will receive less in equalized state aid and in order to maintain the funding for the existing student population at the same level, the cost is shifted onto the property taxpayers. “That’s an additional few million dollars, and that’s another 20 to 30 cents added onto the tax levy,” Hazen said. “It’s a tax, and we might as well admit it and fix it.”...
morninmist July 11, 2012 at 06:49 PM
bluecheddar1 ‏@bluecheddar1 Hear about a WI "voucher tax"? 1st come charter schools, 2nd comes increased property taxes http://democurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2012/07/voucher-tax-david-hazen-chief-financial.html #edu #WIunion #Racine
morninmist July 11, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Walker fed you a pack of vile lies and your gulped them up!! America United ‏@Progress2day RT @andysuchorski Weekly unemployment claims in WI skyrocket 47%, & Wanggard staff not even included yet #tcot #wiunion http://www.biztimes.com/article/20120711/ENEWSLETTERS02/120719953/-1/daily_enews/Unemployment-claims-spike-in-Wisconsin#.T_3FBePigSw.twitter
morninmist July 11, 2012 at 07:04 PM
And more lovely news for all the people of WI: Van W is out the door and people are waking up. @Progress2day PPP: Obama opens up lead in Wisconsin http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/7.11.12_PPP_Obama_Wisconsin.pdf #wiunion @GovWalker
James R Hoffa July 11, 2012 at 07:16 PM
@morninmist - Why are you constantly shifting the subject? Hazen is a union stooge moron. Brian Dey displayed with numbers over on the board dedicated to the subject of RUSD how Hazen's math just doesn't add up. Try again - and please try to stay on topic and post your spinned lies on the appropriate boards.
James R Hoffa July 11, 2012 at 07:18 PM
@morninmist - Again, why are you constantly shifting the subject? And why do feel the need to repeat the same off-topic lie multiple times on the same board? Hazen is a union stooge moron. Brian Dey displayed with numbers over on the board dedicated to the subject of RUSD how Hazen's math just doesn't add up. Try again - and please try to stay on topic and post your spinned lies on the appropriate boards.
James R Hoffa July 11, 2012 at 07:24 PM
@morninmist - The fed's confirmed Walker's job creation numbers as being correct. It's not Walker's fault if people are lazy, don't want to work, and would rather file for unemployment benefits. Walker can only create an environment in which job creators are creating jobs - and even the feds have confirmed that they are doing just that under Walker's initiatives. Walker can't force people to take the jobs. Your liberal buddies are supplying you with a never-ending supply of Kool-Aid that you just love to gulp up without applying any independent thought or analysis of your own! Do us all a favor and please learn to develop your critical thinking skills soon!
morninmist July 11, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Hey Hoffa Walker should not have promised 250,000 jobs if, as you say, he can only create the environment. ta ta!!
morninmist July 11, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Hey Hoffa And Brian Dey is a Walker Stooge!! From Hoffa: "Hazen is a union stooge moron. .."
morninmist July 11, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Van will not be there. Good riddance! Spud Lovr ‏@SpudLovr Fitzgerald asks Senate to come back next week. He doesn't know #wiunion trolls decreed that senate won't convene again until 2013.
James R Hoffa July 11, 2012 at 07:45 PM
@morninmist - Then why don't you actually put up for once in your life and go over to the RUSD board and show us how Brian Dey's numbers are wrong and that Hazen's assertions are correct? Or would that require more brain capacity than you actually have? It's so much easier trusting the spoon fed propaganda and rhetoric of the Daily Kos than to have to think for yourself and to effectively demonstrate an understanding of a subject to others, isn't it?
James R Hoffa July 11, 2012 at 07:47 PM
@morninmist - You were constantly parroting the same thing crapola about the Walker recall election, remember? And how did that turn out for you in the end?
James R Hoffa July 11, 2012 at 07:52 PM
@morninmist - It figures that you'd be proud of a man who's not only a convicted draft dodger, but is also known as being one of the most rigid partisans that served in the Wisconsin legislature in the last decade. Van's record indicated that he drafted and supported more bi-partisan supported legislation than any other member during the last session. The only thing that Lehman's victory proves is that your side was never interested in wanting to work together with your cross aisle opponents - you just want your own way all the time and will throw a temper tantrum when you don't get it. You're pathetic!
morninmist July 12, 2012 at 04:26 PM
You are talking of the US House with its Tea Party and the WI TeaGOP. From Hof "The only thing that Lehman's victory proves is that your side was never interested in wanting to work together with your cross aisle opponents - you just want your own way all the time and will throw a temper tantrum when you don't get it. You're pathetic!"
morninmist July 12, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Yep. Spot on. America United ‏@Progress2day Obama's Expanding Lead In WI Means Only One Thing To GOP: An outbreak of pre-election fraud http://bit.ly/P2xJ6X #GOPlogic #wiunion #wiright
James R Hoffa July 12, 2012 at 05:17 PM
@morninmist - You never demonstrated to us how Brian Dey's numbers over on the RUSD thread are wrong. We're waiting for you to show us the truth...
James R Hoffa July 12, 2012 at 05:21 PM
@morninmist - When the MU poll showed Walker leading over Barrett, you guys claimed that it was biased and inaccurate. Now you're trying to claim that poll is un-biased and accurate?!?! How exactly do you keep all of your spin straight or not constantly fall down from making yourself dizzy?
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