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Group trying to recall state Sen. Jauch suspends campaign

MADISON -- The Recall Bob Jauch Committee is suspending operations a week short of the petition signature deadline and won't submit signatures to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, according to a committee spokesman.

Sen. Bob Jauch
Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar

MADISON -- The Recall Bob Jauch Committee is suspending operations a week short of the petition signature deadline and won't submit signatures to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, according to a committee spokesman.

"We're very close to getting the signatures and we'd hoped to get it done by this point, but we've decided to refocus our efforts to elect Gov. Walker," Orville Seymer, field operations director of Citizens for Responsible Government, said Friday.

Shirl LaBarre of Hayward, who headed the recall committee to recall state Sen. Robert Jauch, D-Poplar, wasn't available for comment Friday.

"She's feeling good about what we've done," Seymer said of LaBarre. "The bottom line is we'll get (Jauch) in the end. Hopefully, this will pressure Jauch to realize he made a mistake when he (didn't support mining legislation)."

Seymer, whose CRG Network was the main funding source of the Jauch recall effort, wouldn't disclose the number of signatures that had been gathered in the 60-day signature period that began March 19. He disputed that the committee was refusing to admit that it wouldn't meet the 15,270-signature goal and was using the Walker recall election as an excuse to end the effort.

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"It would have been very close (to the 15,270 signatures required) but we didn't feel real confident we'd have a good enough cushion," Seymer said.

A 10 to 20 percent cushion or, a maximum of 18,324 signatures, would have been adequate to survive the verification process the GAB would have conducted after Friday's deadline, Seymer said.

Jauch scoffed at the recall group's claims.

"They've dipped their toes into a number of recalls in recent years and promptly flopped on their faces on each and every one of them," he said. "They had a week left, by the way, so this notion that they had enough signatures but not enough padding is just another lie."

Asked if he was satisfied with the $3,500 the recall committee raised or contributed to the campaign after the first 30 days, Seymer said any candidate other than Walker is having a difficult time finding contributors.

"Walker is sucking it all up now, ask anyone running," he said.

The Jauch recall effort will resume sometime after the June 5 Walker recall election, and by then more money should be available to try to unseat Jauch, Seymer said.

Although many Walker supporters have complained about the state seemingly being in perpetual recall efforts, Seymer didn't see it as a contradiction to restart a Jauch recall.

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"The northern Wisconsin volunteers who have been making the effort ... are the hard-core volunteers who will be out beating the drum" when the effort resumes, Seymer said.

The Jauch recall signatures gathered to date will be invalid as of Friday, said Reid Magney, a GAB spokesman, as all signatures must be within the 60-day time limit. The state places no time or frequency restrictions on recall efforts against elected officials after their first year in office, he said.

The recall committee would revert to a Political Action Committee after Friday but would be required to file a financial report by May 23, Magney said.

Wisconsin Public Radio reporter Mike Simonson contributed to this report. Wisconsin Public Radio can be heard in the Twin Ports at 91.3 FM, in Ashland at 97.7 FM or online at wpr.org/news.

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