Democrats are poised to take over the state Senate after Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, announced Tuesday that he won't go to court over his loss in last month's recall election, effectively conceding his seat to his Democratic challenger.

Once his rival, Sen.-elect John Lehman, is sworn in, Democrats will have a 17-16 Senate majority. But it's unclear how much political power they will have, as Republicans still control the state Assembly and GOP Gov. Scott Walker survived his recall challenge — and the Legislature isn't scheduled to be back on the floor for session until after the November elections.

The win marks the only victory for Democrats in June's six recall races. And it's unclear how long they will hold onto the majority — sixteen of the Senate's 33 seats are up for elections this fall, and new GOP-friendly legislative maps passed last year may spell tough races for a number of Democrats.

Wanggaard said Tuesday that he is committed to running for Senate again during the next election. That would be 2014 — unless Lehman faces a recall challenge before then, a possibility according to Republicans.

"As General Douglas MacArthur once said, 'I shall return,'" Wanggaard said.

But Democrats said they don't want to wait for the November vote before taking action, and they called on Gov. Scott Walker to order the Legislature into a special session to work on job creation bills.

"If we can hit some common ground with Republicans, we could get started before January," Lehman said.

He and Sen. Mark Miller, D-Monona, who will become Senate majority leader after Lehman is sworn in, said jobs legislation could include 

"Anything that creates jobs is on the table," Miller said.worker training, boosting small businesses, infrastructure development and other economic development bills.

Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie said the governor has no immediate plans to call lawmakers into session.

"We are not currently looking at a special sesion," Werwie said. "The only way we would consider it is if there were broad bipartisan support in the four caucuses of the Legislature for a narrowly defined bill or set of bills focused on job creation."

Miller and Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, also called on GOP lawmakers like Senate President Mike Ellis, R-Neenah, to facilitate a smooth, swift transition.

"Most importantly, Sen. Ellis has to hand over the gavel," Erpenbach said.

Ellis did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

Senate Republican Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said he is open to sitting down and talking about new ideas, but thinks people would be better served if lawmakers "get their ducks in a row" and wait until January to come back to the floor.

The state Government Accountability Board is scheduled to certify the election results at 8 a.m. Wednesday, and Lehman will have up to 10 days to be sworn in.

Lehman, who was defeated by Wanggaard in 2010, held a 834-vote lead after the June 5 recall. Wanggaard called for a recount, which dropped Lehman's lead only slightly, to 819 votes.

But Wanggaard's campaign has voiced concerns about the vote tally and the election process, such as unsealed ballot bags and missing poll book signatures.

Wangaard on Tuesday still cited "mountains of evidence" he says his campaign found that raised questions about the June recall, but said he did not have enough time from the end of the recount to develop his case to challenge election tallies. State law called for the GAB to wait five business days before it could certify the results and declare Lehman the official winner, which gave Wanggaard a Tuesday deadline to file a lawsuit to challenge the results.

Wanggaard said there was a "surprising lack of cooperation" from Racine city officials.

"The investigation into irregularities does not stop today," he added. "The investigation will continue and evidence discovered will be provided to law enforcement."

Wanggaard also said that Dane County judges' rulings against Wisconsin's new voter ID law played a role in his race.

Lehman and other Senate Democrats had been urging Wanggaard to concede since the recount was finalized last week. And Lehman said the outgoing senator "insulted" Racine and its election workers with his allegations of voter fraud.

State Government Reporter for Wisconsin State Journal

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(59) comments

Good Gosh
Good Gosh

I find it interesting that the Gov. and his minions don't feel any need to call a special session on jobs. Oh! I'll bet they've decided to not worry about unemployment and jobs and all that silly stuff because there are far more important things to think about like which position Walker will be appointed (or annointed to, heh) when Mittens rules the world. Yeah, that's it. Silly us!

tomtom
tomtom

Rumor has it that Romney would appoint Walker as Secretary of the Dept of Homeland Security if Romney gets elected as POTUS.

tomtom33
tomtom33

If you are so interested in jobs, maybe you can ask Obama why he spent his political capital on Obamacare instead of focusing on jobs during his first two years in office when the Dems held large majorities in both Houses.

powmda
powmda

Let the Left enjoy their little moment in the sun. Their four month period of being "in power" is meaningless outside the coffee shops of Madison. Mike Ellis will not call the Senate back into session until January. And, by that time, the Republicans will be back in control. Further, the next time Lehman runs he will be running in the "new" District 21. And, there is no chance in Hades that he will win in that District.

TheJudoon
TheJudoon

That's one scenario.
another is the whole teapublican party might be in jail.

TheJudoon
TheJudoon

Nickolaus changed software before April election breakdown
Her action will cost county taxpayers $256,300 to fix

Sometime after final testing of Waukesha County's election software - but before the April election - County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus mysteriously changed something in her office's computer programming, according to a consulting firm's report released Tuesday.

Only Nickolaus knows what she did. The consultants can't figure it out, and she's not talking.

But whatever she did, it caused a breakdown in reporting election results that will cost county taxpayers $256,300 to fix, the report says.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/waukesha/nickolaus-changed-software-program-before-april-election-breakdown-vl62uqt-162003205.html

array1
array1

Grasp at as many straws as you can powmda, because that all you have. Your cries of fraud and even your magic crystal ball can't change reality; The voters spoke and YOU LOST!

TOP SECRET
TOP SECRET

so the draft dodger has a desk until 2014......but WALKER WINS AGAIN.......lol.......isn't that the BIG prize?......wasn't madison's cry-baby fest all about getting rid of walker.......oops, FAIL.......lol.

TOP SECRET
TOP SECRET

you are CORRECT sir....no chance the draft dodger will win after redistricting........the racine hoodrats will vote for draft dodgers and child molesters (former D mayor gary becker) but the smart folks in the new district 21 will NOT.......i'm currently taking ANY bets, especially from goofy liberals that love throwing their money away.....lol.

array1
array1

Did you get your magic 8 Ball at Walmart?? Hey, say hi to Santa for me.

WI_Expat
WI_Expat

The one thing the recount did prove was there were indeed voters that were disenfranchised in the original count...time and further scrutiny will tell the level of fraudulent voting or handling of votes occured.

qpwoeiruty
qpwoeiruty

There is no proof of voter fraud in WI. However my sister did vote for my mom this year cause my mom wasn't feeling well.

racedog48
racedog48

Top it is me the granny lover from Rochester.

TOP SECRET
TOP SECRET

too funny.....i wonder if granny is up from florida......lol.

racedog48
racedog48

You are correct lehman is a clown. A weak kneed liberal chicken fool. That will again be the disgrace of Racine county

TOP SECRET
TOP SECRET

are you the same racedog48 that friend-ed me on another site?.....if so, good to hear from you........below, some libby thinks that i'm you.......lol......he/she/it must not know that MOST people KNOW that lehman is a CONVICTED DRAFT DODGER.....i guess draft dodgers and even pedophiles (former D mayor of racine, gary becker) are REVEERED BY THE LIBERALS......shame, shame, shame.....lol (while shaking my head)

dmark
dmark

Unlike your boy Mitt who demonstrated for the draft and then took his Magic Undies to France to live in castle and teach the foolish frogs the benefits of Mormonism.

TOP SECRET
TOP SECRET

ah yes.....another libby who compares apples to oranges (deflection) just to DEFEND A DRAFT DODGER......you FAIL......(shaking my head)

dmark
dmark

That's it. Defend your Chicken Hawk in Chief wanna be. I have a lot more respect for those who opposed the war and refused to fight in it than a clueless scum-ball like Rmoney who was born into privilege and thought poor people were there to fight his war for him.

tomtom33
tomtom33

Did Obama ever do missionary work or serve in the armed forces?

TheJudoon
TheJudoon

That whole draft dodger thing is so Vietnam era. Get over it.
I've got no problem with someone who has the good conscience not to fight in an unjust and unnecessary war. Draft dodging can actually be patriotic -- force your leaders to THINK before they engage in war. Any politician who votes for war ought to be on the front lines.
Saying no to unnecessary war is not a problem for this RINO.

TOP SECRET
TOP SECRET

spoken like a true criminal COWARD.......(shaking my head)

array1
array1

YOU have friends, top secret?? Draw your blinds and take you meds, the aliens are watching.

TOP SECRET
TOP SECRET

"YOU have friends, top secret??".......why yes, and you may have some too someday.....well, if you ever move out of your mom's basement......now do your chores or no happy meal for you.....lol.

RedNedLynch
RedNedLynch

The way of conservatism does not allow for emotion to overcome reason. Big excessive tantrums take place left of the aisle.

btw, that's also why exit polls are always wrong - Libs can't wait to tell everyone who they voted for and conservative's rightly believe it's no one else's business.

TheJudoon
TheJudoon

The day a conservative can keep his mouth shut, I'll eat my hat.

ozymandius
ozymandius

your helmet, you mean.

ozymandius
ozymandius

top secret reminds me an awful lot of racedog48.

it's interesting that racey isn't around to spout off his normal crap about Lehman being a draft dodger (which he has in nearly every other article that mentions Lehman and/or VW and the recall for that district) and all of a sudden here's "top secret", using racedog's old talking point in one of his first, if not his first, post and also sporting an avatar of the US Marines insignia, when racey also often talked about his service in the past.

now all that's left is for top secret to call me "oxy" when he replies to me.

there's coincidence, and then there are ducks.

it would be ironic as he!! if top secret was actually racey, since when i first started commenting on here, racey accused me right and left of being a fake account for some other uses (might have been some retired lady in florida, but i'm not sure anymore).

what a clown.

TOP SECRET
TOP SECRET

sorry libby......you FAIL......but i'm sure you must be used to that......(shaking my head)

ozymandius
ozymandius

first, i didn't say you were racedog. in fact, i said it would be ironic as he!! ***IF*** you were. try reading for comprehension, next time...or in your case, at least reading all of the words, not just those that fit what b.s. claim you want to make.

second, after reading your and racey's banter back and forth from last night, the first thought that comes to mind is..."The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

TOP SECRET
TOP SECRET

FAIL.....lol.

RationalThinker
RationalThinker

This Racine election was just another of the many examples of the lying, cheating and do anything short of murder to win elections and advance the progressive agenda that has gone on over the last year in Wisconsin.

I would challenge anyone to look me square in the face and look into my eyes and tell me this election was on the up and up. You can sure see why progressives are so fiercely against voter I.D.

Here are some of the irregularities that are being reported:

1. There were over 4500 same day registrations which was many times higher than any other precinct in the state. Most of these so called Racine voters where allowed to vote by saying they just moved into the area and only showed a bill of some kind that listed resident or occupant. No name listed.
2. Several wards had three times more voters than there were ever cast in the history of voting in that city.
3. Several reports of drag and drop programs where voters were given rewards for voting like drinks or discounts.
4. There have already been some same day registrations found where the address was an empty lot.

There will be more that will come to light as the investigation goes on.

Yes, Wanggaard conceded because of lack of money and it was certain that progressive leaning courts in Dane county would have never over turned the results of this election. He will be ready the next time in 2014 and hopefully the fraud can be proven and Voter I.D. will be allowed to take effect.

G Gordon
G Gordon

Nice repeat of the propaganda, but not one of the allegations you list has been verified by any credible source. Not one. It's the Republican spin machine recirculating rumors and outright lies. Politifact already debunked Wanggaard, Vos, and Priebus on this. There is not one shred of evidence of voter fraud in Racine. Zero, nada, nothing.

Questions...if there were so many "irregular" voters, why did so many of them vote against Wanggaard but for Walker? Or was that part of the conspiracy?

dmark
dmark

Did they all come in on the bus that was loaded with fake voters from Michigan?

dmark
dmark

"He added that Dane County judges’ rulings against Wisconsin’s new voter ID law played a role in his race." since it allowed people who opposed him to vote.

Gordon E Lang
Gordon E Lang

Having met with and talked to Van Wanggaard on several occasions find that all of the previous commentators are totally wrong about him. He was an excellent Senator and gentleman and as General Douglas MacArthur said "I shall return" and so will Van Wanggaard.
He would have won if the Voter ID was in effect as it should have been.

array1
array1

No, he still would have lost with voter ID only this time you would be crying about fake ids.

By the way, you know that redistricting thing the repubs unilaterally pushed through?? .... you may want to check that these two will run in different districts, now 21 and 22.

Tricolor Dog
Tricolor Dog

Ok, the voters have spoken and Mr. Wanggaard has had his day in the sun. He was entitled to a recount as were the citizens of Wisconsin their constitutionally accorded rights of recall. It's over and Lehman will be the senator from Racine until whenever. Let's do the right thing and wish this guy farewell. We're better than the Right - let's act like it.

TOP SECRET
TOP SECRET


"We're better than the Right - let's act like it"

but apparently NOT smarter......lol.

Tricolor Dog
Tricolor Dog

I was smart enough not to be a jar head when I served, that's for sure.

TOP SECRET
TOP SECRET

YAY....the draft dodger has a desk until 2014.......when he will be shown the door AGAIN......the only thing better than voting against a draft dodger......is voting one OUT OF OFFICE......lol.

Woman46
Woman46

Or voting for Mitt Romney. Instead of being a big boy and enlisted in the military or putting his name at the top of the list for the draft (since he supported and protested for expanding the draft), he ran off to France to be a missionary...not in some country that had famine or disease, he went to France. Now that's a man with class (insert sarcasm).

TOP SECRET
TOP SECRET

go ahead woman46.....DEFEND the draft dodger by comparing apples to oranges.....that's what liberals do.....(shaking my head)

tomtom33
tomtom33

Do you know what a missionary does?

tomtom33
tomtom33

Such class in victory.

Roundtable
Roundtable

Good news here....Now for that special session on jobs. Let's hope the Republicans come to the table. All we can do is hope they do, unlike last year nationally.

Jambalaya
Jambalaya

Coincidentally Racine county's Republican sheriff handed over to the DA the results of their "voter fraud" investigation yesterday. And today Wanggaard concedes.

point_break
point_break

What a classless puke. It's all the fault of "activist liberal judges" in Madison enforcing a pesky piece of paper socialists refer to as the "constitution" that rampantly encourages voter fraud. Time for Van Wanggaard to get a real job.

nan3
nan3

Stop sniveling, wipe your nose, and go find something else to do. You lost fair & square-blame yourself.

This Observer
This Observer

"As General Douglas MacArthur once said, “I shall return.”” -- Van Wanggaard

Which begs for a paraphrased response from President Harry S. Truman:
"(He was fired) because he wouldn't respect the authority of the (voters). I didn't fire him because he was a dumb son of a b####, although he was, but that's not against the law for (politicians). If it was, half to three-quarters of them would be in jail."

G Gordon
G Gordon

Classless and obnoxious until the end. Politifact already debunked his baseless claims of election fraud but he just couldn't resist smearing the voters and pollworkers of Racine one more time. Good riddance.

bookman21
bookman21

I thought that he was going to whine until November.

Robert James
Robert James

If there are, in fact, "mountains of evidence", I call on Mr. Wanggaard to make that evidence available for public scrutiny, so that we may all know what happened in Racine. There should be no impediment now to making that evidence available, if it actually exists.

Evidence, now. Not hearsay, not innuendo. If there's evidence, let's see it.

Foghorn Legorn
Foghorn Legorn

Fine. make that request of the officials in Racine and tell them to stop stonewalling so all can see. Mr Wanggaard cannot make public what they refuse to disclose.

Robert James
Robert James

If Mr. Wanggaard doesn't already have the evidence, how does he know that there are mountains of it? How does he know that there is any at all? He made the claim that he doesn't have time to investigate the "mountains of evidence", so either he knows it exists and can prove it, or he's slinging baseless allegations for political gain. Either way, the burden of proof *on his statement* is on him, not the officials in Racine.

TOP SECRET
TOP SECRET

shhh......you're embarrassing yourself......lol.

array1
array1

@TOP SECRET
"Racine county's Republican sheriff handed over to the DA the results of their "voter fraud" investigation yesterday. And today Wanggaard concedes." What's your take on this? Maybe the sheriff is in on the fraud too?


array1
array1

But what about the fraud??? OMG, all the FRAUD!! The ballots, the open bags , the staples and tape!!! The................ oh never mind.

TOP SECRET
TOP SECRET

patience......my liberal nutjob friend.....patience......lol.

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