Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wisconsin battle shifts to recall votes -

Wisconsin battle shifts to recall votes -

Wisconsin's battle over labor rights shifted toward a series of recall elections Wednesday after the state's highest court reinstated a bitterly contested law that restricts collective bargaining for state workers.

Unions filed a separate federal lawsuit challenging the law Wednesday, but Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who pushed the measure through the state Legislature, said it was time to "move forward."

Six of the 19 Republicans in the state Senate will face recall votes July 12 after they voted for legislation that curbs bargaining rights for Wisconsin public employees, while three of the 14 Democratic senators who fled the state in a last-ditch effort to block the bill are being targeted by Republicans in separate votes the following week.

Each side accuses the other of being the puppet of out-of-state special interests that have joined the battle since February. State Republicans are trying to force runoffs in their races by recruiting "protest candidates" to split anti-incumbent sentiment, Wisconsin GOP chief Stephan Thompson acknowledged Tuesday.

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