Update: OMG!!! It looks like I'm going to get a news day like last Friday when the good news (for us) just kept coming and coming and coming. I hope more good news (for us) keeps getting dumped out on Friday News Dump Day.
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Hot off the presses!
Republican State Senator Pam Galloway will resign shortly rather than face a recall election. This will leave the Wisconsin State Senate with an even number of Republicans and Democrats (16 each). Don't celebrate too much, however. Today is the last day on the Legislative calendar for the year so the impact of her resignation is will be minimal.
Of course, she's not saying that the looming recall is the reason she's leaving.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) confirmed her plans Friday and said he believed Galloway would make an announcement later in the day.Democratic Representative Donna Seidel has already announce she would have run against Galloway in the recall election.
Fitzgerald said Galloway was resigning because of health issues in her family. He said he was confident she could have won the recall election.
Recall dates have been set by the GAB as May 8 for any primary (or the recall election if there is no primary) and June 5 for the recall election if there was a primary. All 4 Republicans recalled have already drawn Democratic opponents. The recalls of Governor Scott Walker and Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch have not yet been certified (the GAB was given an extension for certification of March 30), but will utilize those same dates.
Update: Kossack Danosh reminded me in the comments that this is Friday News Dump Day and might just end up like last Friday and Monday with more and more and more news coming out. Stay tuned.
There have been questions about whether or not this will change the recall primary or election dates. I didn't think so and it turns out it won't according to the now updated Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article (linked above):
That election is preliminarily scheduled for May 8. If more than one candidate runs from one party, that election would become a primary and the general election would be on June 5.
"A recall can't be short circuited" once signatures to recall someone have been submitted, Magney said.
Update 2: It's official now as Pam Galloway has released a statement:
"After a great deal of thought and consideration, I've decided to put the needs of my family first," the Wausau Republican said in a statement Friday. "My family has experienced multiple, sudden and serious health issues, which require my full attention. Unfortunately, this situation is not compatible with fulfilling my obligations as state Senator or running for re-election at this time."Update 3: More on the impact of the impending resignation from now expansive Journal Sentinel article:
Her statement did not say when her resignation would take effect, and her office said she was not available for an interview. She plans to speak to voters in her district on Sunday.
"It kind of puts us in a holding pattern for the next two months," (now recalled Republican State Senator and Majority Leader Scott) Fitzgerald said.(Italics and bolding added by me)
Lawmakers are awaiting a decision from a three-judge panel on whether maps of legislative districts that Republicans drew last year pass constitutional muster. If the federal judges find the maps were improperly drawn, they will likely send them back to the Legislature.
That would mean Republicans and Democrats would have to agree on any new election maps. If they could not, the judges would have to draw them.
How the maps are drawn is crucial because they can give one party an advantage over the other. The maps Republicans drew last year greatly benefit their side, but Democrats and Latinos sued, arguing the maps violated the federal Voting Rights Act and U.S. Constitution because of how they treated minorities and because they caused 300,000 people to wait six years, instead of four, between their opportunities to vote in state Senate elections.
Also, Gov. Scott Walker has talked of calling lawmakers into special session to consider streamlining iron ore mining regulations after a bill to do that failed in the Senate this month when Sen. Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) sided with Democrats to oppose the measure.
Fitzgerald said he believed now it would be much more difficult to reach any kind of deal on mining.
With Galloway's resignation, the Republicans will lose their Senate majority. Fitzgerald said he and Minority Leader Mark Miller (D-Monona) would become co-leaders.
Update 4: H/T to the Kossacks who point out that Jerry Petrowski has virtually jumped in with an announcement (pending wife approval):
Seidel (the Democrat running against Galloway in the recall) says Galloway’s announcement caught her off guard. “I haven’t spoken to Pam Galloway yet but I certainly wish her the best,” she said.
“I would be very eager to distinguish myself from either Jerry Petrowski or Mary Williams,” said Seidel, who dismisses both candidates as lock step followers of the Walker agenda.(italics added by me)
UPDATE: Petrowski made an appearance in the Capitol press room to inform my colleague Jessica VanEgeren, among other media members, that he is considering running for the seat, pending consultation with his wife
Update 5: OMG!!! Ethics charges have been filed against Wisconsin State Supreme Court Justice Prosser. You may remember that RWNJ David (The Choker) Prosser was involved in an "incident" where he accosted fellow Justice Ann Bradley with the lame excuse that her neck got in the way of his hands.
The Wisconsin Judicial Commission filed formal ethics allegations Friday against Justice David Prosser for a June incident in which he placed his hands on the neck of Justice Ann Walsh Bradley.The charges will be sent to the Wisconsin State Supreme Court which will have the option of sending the ethics case to a 3 judge panel or jury, but ultimately the case will come back to them as they are the only body that can make the final decision.
The commission found Prosser violated three provisions of the ethics code for state judges.
Prosser is accused of violating three provisions of the ethics code. One says judges must be "patient, dignified and courteous" to those involved in the court system; another says judges must cooperate with one another; and the third says judges should maintain high standards of conduct to ensure the integrity of the judiciary.The last Justice to have ethics charges filed was RW Justice Gabelmann who avoided sanctions by a tie vote (along ideological lines). Subsequent to that, he has continued to have problems when the law firm who represented him (for free) in that case was found to always have his vote in the numerous cases they represented in front of the Court.
Here's the pdf file of the complaint.
Update: I Don't Even Know Which Number This One is Edition:. The State Assembly has been in session for 30 hours with no end in sight. There was talk of a deal on the draconian bill that would basically have handed the taxpayer funded Milwaukee County Technical College over to business and surrounding (Republican) County Executives, but Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald (brother of recalled Republican Senate Majority (no longer with the resignation of Pam Galloway) Leader Scott Fitzgerald would have none of that.
A change in the bill would have necessitated the State Senate being called back into session.
I have also changed the title of this post to refect the evolving nature of the news in Wisconsin.
Update: Whatever Number This One is Edition: It's official. State Senator Pam Galloway has submitted her resignation letter (interestingly dated March 12). You can link to the pdf of her resignation here.
Curioser and curioser, the Wisconsin State Journal is calling her resignation a "retirement" despite the fact that she is leaving after only 1 year in office. I'm retired and I had to work decades to retire.
Update: Last one: It's nearly 6:30 PM here in Cheddar Land, so nothing more will be coming out. Unfortunately, the State Assembly did pass (on a voice vote) the dreaded MATC Bill (makes 2 Republican County Executives part of a 4 person panel to appoint MATC Board members (despite the fact that those counties don't put a penny into MATC) and gives business a majority of the seats on that board. Add that to the list of things that need to be undone.
They specifically targeted the Milwaukee Area Technical College and didn't include any other technical/vocational school.
Thanks for your interest. Again, this grew longer than originally intended, but the news was just too juicy not to share.
Last Update #2: I thought it would be nice to post coverage of most of these topics from The Ed Show tonight. Enjoy: