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Posted: 1/6/2012 2:42:38 PM EDT
This is good news.

A few weeks ago, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB) said that it would not be checking petitions for the recall of Gov. Scott Walker for duplicates and false names. According to the GAB, all signatures, even if someone signed "Adolph Hitler” or "Mickey Mouse,” would be given the presumption of validity until the Walker campaign flagged and challenged them. One individual bragged that he had signed the recall petitions 80 times; all of which would count unless Walker found them, and then moved to strike.

The Walker campaign immediately filed a lawsuit, charging that the GAB had a responsibility to review the petitions and eliminate any obviously fraudulent names. Yesterday, a Waukesha judge agreed with Walker, and ordered the GAB to take "reasonable” efforts to eliminate duplicate and fictitious names.


Incidentally, the lawsuit was filed in Waukesha County as the result of a little-noticed bill Governor Walker signed in the wake of the state-capitol protests last spring. After Walker’s bill to essentially eliminate public-sector collective bargaining passed, Democrats challenged the law’s legality in the heavily liberal Dane County district court, where it was briefly overturned. (Eventually, the state supreme court reinstated the law.)

Legislative Republicans, arguing that not every lawsuit related to state government should have to run through Dane County courts (where the state capitol of Madison is located), passed a bill allowing lawsuits relating to state government to be filed in the home county of the complainant. In this case, the lawsuit was filed by state GOP executive director Stephan Thompson, who lives in Waukesha County — a much friendlier venue.




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