I made another of my many trips to the Gov’t Accountability Board office today. Instead of photographing a light snow on a crowd of smiling people as I did when Lori Compas submitted 3 boxes of signatures to recall Scott Fitzgerald, I snapped photos of pure sunshine falling on the same determined smiling people. Lori Compas has become known as the woman who organized a recall against Sen. Scott Fitzgerald from her kitchen table because it had to be done. She is now known as the contender for his seat, and her submission of 800 signatures to file for the candidacy today lets the world know that her team of volunteers is chomping at the bit to do much more. The volunteers collected more but they could not all be submitted per G.A.B.’s policies (920 signatures were collected for her bid for office in 7 hours on Saturday and around 900 signatures were collected the next day).
She is also hoping to make a name for heself as a clean campaigner despite the fact that she will be up against a fake Democratic candidate and the ever-snarling personality of the GOP’s Senate Co-Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald [Wisconsin now has 16 GOP and 16 Dem senators after the resignation of Pam Galloway of Wausau and thus Fitz is no longer a “majority” leader].
Gary Ellerman is the man who Lori informed me did cause authentic confusion over the weekend in Wisconsin after he announced he would run as a Dem to primary her on May 8th. But when a photograph of Ellerman emerged showing him standing side by side with Fitzgerald at a Lincoln Day dinner, and when online researchers learned he is the leader of “Walker Walkers” of Lake Mills, his secret was swiftly outted.
I stood with the volunteers discussing their responses to Ellerman’s entry into the race – which were really mere shrugs of the shoulders. It was a response very unlike the alarm many activists [this blogger included] displayed last summer when they saw Wisconsin’s GOP prop up fake candidates in each of the GOP recall races. The feeling is, “Been there. Done that.”
Today amongst a team of about 30 supporters Lori Compas invited Scott Fitzgerald [and I presumed Ellerman] to rise to the challenges she says she will honor in a clean campaign pledge: to attend 5 debates to occur around the district, to collect at least 75% of fundraising monies from inside Wisconsin, and to attend no out-of-state fundraisers.
“I hope Scott Fitzgerald will respond to constituent concerns and pledge along with me to run a clean campaign,”Lori Compas said.
One thing I think Wisconsin can expect from Scott Fitzgerald is condident yet empty statements such as his February 8th remark after 20,600 petitions were submitted to kick off his recall [when only 16,742 were required]:
“I’ll have enough challenges to be below the threshold.”
His recall election was certified between the hours of 9AM and 10AM last Friday March 30th.
As the photo-taking wound down, one couple waited eagerly near Lori Compas. The woman of the pair said to Lori, “What do we do NOW, Lori” as if she were waiting for her instructions from a local field organizer. Lori replied, “Knocking on lots of doors.”
I had to make a correction: earlier I wrote that 75% of collected funds would have to come from within the district as stipulated by the clean campaign pledge. I should have said that the funds are to come from within the State of Wisconsin. 04/02/12 10:53 pm Central