It hasn’t been getting much press attention, but extreme conservative Republican State Senator Mary Lazich (pictured, right) has proposed legislation to make it harder to circulate and certify recall petitions by requiring that petitions with recall signatures be officially notarized. Curiously, Sen. Lazich has had a 20-year legislative career to address this issue, but it’s only become a priority for her now that Republican Gov. Scott Walker is facing a serious recall effort.
Scot Ross of One Wisconsin Now summed up Sen. Lazich’s partisan hackery thusly:
“Mary Lazich believes that only Republicans should get to vote. She believes that only Republicans should be able to use the recall process. If Mary Lazich thought recall signature notarization was such an issue, she had the last 20 years of her undistinguished career as a state legislator to do something about it. They threatened to recall Democrat Herb Kohl, and nothing from Lazich. They threatened to recall Democrat Russ Feingold, and nothing from Lazich. They threatened to recall Democrat Jim Doyle, and nothing from Lazich. Of all the shrill, partisan hackery from Mary Lazich over the years, and the list is offensively long, this is the penultimate. Mary Lazich wants to save Scott Walker from certain recall and she’ll use the Republican-controlled Legislature to do it. What happened to creating jobs, Mary Lazich?”
Democratic State Senator Chris Larson also blasted Sen. Lazich’s effort to make it harder to recall elected officials in Wisconsin, right calling Lazich’s legislation an effort to “protect Republican’s power grab.”
“By circulating the ‘Protect Republican’s Power Grab’ legislation today, Republicans seem to be more interested in protecting their own jobs than finding jobs for our struggling, unemployed neighbors. This legislation attempts to silence the people’s voice and prevent Wisconsinites from holding their representatives accountable by ensuring that Republicans facing recall can run in their new, gerrymandered districts rather than the districts that elected them to office. The new districts are not supposed to go into effect for elections until the general election in November 2012, but Republicans are trying to push up that date to make their divisive districts effective immediately.
“If you purchase a vacuum at a department store and are unhappy with its performance, you can return it with a receipt. Unfortunately, this legislation is telling Wisconsinites who bought into what was being sold by Republicans in the 2010 elections and are now dissatisfied with the purchase that they cannot make such a return even though they have the Wisconsin Constitution as their receipt.
“Not only is this effort by Republicans to save their own jobs unethical, but it is also unconstitutional. Article XIII, Section 12 of the Wisconsin Constitution states that laws may be enacted to facilitate the operation of recalling elective officers, but no law shall be enacted to hamper, restrict or impair the right of recall.
“The recall process was codified in our state’s constitution not to protect the rights of elected officials, but rather to protect the rights of the electorate to be properly represented. I will continue fighting to protect the rights of people across Wisconsin by upholding our state’s constitution and its provisions related to recall elections.”
While I understand why Mary Lazich wants to make recalls much harder, given the fact that Gov. Scott Walker is facing a tough recall fight, I can’t help but wonder why Sen. Lazich doesn’t care as much about helping create jobs here in Wisconsin.
Instead of trying to make recalls more difficult and holding hearings on traffic roundabouts, perhaps Mary Lazich should focus on trying to help create jobs in Wisconsin, because that’s an issue that’s important right now.