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Sunday, March 03, 2024

Walker denied more time to challenge recall peitions

A Dane County judge denied Gov. Scott Walker's request Friday for a two-week extension on the deadline to challenge recall petitions filed against him.

Walker's campaign said an extension until March 12 was necessary because of the large number of petitions filed against the governor. However, Judge Richard Niess's decision means the deadline will remain set at Feb. 27.

The campaign of Kathleen Falk, former Dane County Executive and Democratic candidate for governor in the likely recall, said that Niess's decision was important in stopping Walker from financially benefiting from an extended review period. Campaign fundraising is unchecked before elections are officially declared, but becomes regulated once recall elections are confirmed.

"[Walker is] trying to delay the election so he can raise more unlimited campaign money, but he can't stop this movement to bring openness, accountability, transparency and integrity back to the governor's office," Falk said in a statement.

However, Ben Sparks, Republican Party of Wisconsin Communications Director, said in a statement Niess's decision was "concerning" because it could inhibit an "adequate review" of the petitions.

"The court's decision to deny Friends of Scott Walker an extension to verify these recall petitions is concerning, given that it has become apparent that an adequate review of recall signatures could not be met within the current time limit," Sparks said.

Walker's campaign has reviewed about 330,000 signatures and found errors in 10 to 20 percent of the petitions. In a motion last week, his campaign indicated it could challenge around 100,000 signatures out of the roughly 1 million filed against him, which is under the approximately 500,000 needed to end the recall effort.

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