Efforts to recall Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar, after he opposed a mining bill — which failed to pass the Legislature last session — hit the midpoint this week and are “right on track,” according to organizers.
The Recall Bob Jauch Committee hit the 30-day midpoint last Wednesday, according to committee organizer Shirl LaBarre, who said the process is “moving right along.”
While LaBarre would not comment on the number of signatures gathered so far and has not released the numbers, she said the Jauch recall committee continues to be focused on achieving the 15,270 signature necessary to force a recall election.
Jauch’s opposition to a mining bill that would have allowed a Florida company to mine iron ore in Ashland County and Iron County sparked the recall, leaving many people in northern Wisconsin “disgusted” by the senator, LaBarre said.
In LaBarre’s opinion, Jauch’s work on the mining bill was an effort to prevent jobs from reaching working families under the current Republican leadership of Gov. Scott Walker.
“He did nothing but flower [the bill],” LaBarre said. “He brought a compromise which was no compromise. All he wanted was no jobs under Walker — he signed the governor’s recall papers.”
However, Iron County Democratic Party Chair Victor Ouimette said the recall efforts were ill-advised.
Ouimette said he believes Jauch’s representation in his district has been favorable, as every community in his district has benefited from the programs or funding that Jauch has helped push through the Legislature.
The mining bill, which would have streamlined the mining permitting process and slackened regulations, failed to pass this session after Sen. Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center, said he would not vote for the bill and worked on a compromise with Jauch, Ouimette said.
“[Jauch] made an excellent bipartisan attempt to get a responsible mining bill,” Ouimette said. “He worked with Sen. Schultz, who is a Republican, and the bill addressed all of the concerns the mining company had.”
The recall committee will hold three additional rallies in Rice Lake, Superior and Ashland this Saturday in hopes of attaining more signatures, LaBarre said.
According to the Government Accountability Board, if a sufficient number of signatures are filed, the election could take place in late July or early August.
Petitioners have also filed recall papers against Schultz after his vote on the mining bill. Those in charge of collecting signatures did not return comment.