Yesterday the nonpartisan Government Accountability Board (GAB) approved recall elections against Republican State Senators Sheila Harsdorf, Rob Cowles, and Alberta Darling while also postponing any decision on whether the recall petitions against Democratic State Senators Bob Wirch, Dave Hansen, and Jim Holperin. The GAB’s decision not to take any action on the recall petitions against the three Democratic State Senators came under criticism from Republicans, with Dan Hunt, who led the effort to recall Sen. Wirch saying, “This is an example of a supposedly neutral government agency acting in a blatantly partisan manner to further the objectives of a particular political party.” It’s worth noting that the Government Accountability Board was created in 2008 after every Republican in the state legislature at the time voted to create the board.
A lack of staff was cited as the reason why the recall petitions targeting Sens. Holperin, Wirch, and Hansen were not certified yesterday, at least according to GAB attorney Shane Falk.
“We’ve attempted to work concurrently on all the petitions but we simply don’t have enough staff,” Falk told the board.
While I don’t presume to be an expert on all things pertaining to the GAB and the nine recall petitions filed this year, it’s my understanding there are some serious, serious concerns being raised about the recall petitions submitted against Sens. Wirch, Hansen, and Holperin, including signatures against Sens. Hansen and Holperin being gathered under false pretenses. However, despite the GAB’s decision yesterday not to certify recall elections against the three Democratic State Senators, I’m betting that those recall petitions will ultimately be certified, allowing recall elections against all three to proceed.