Citizens working to recall one of the MIA Democratic Wis. State Senators say they are the victims of union bullying, and they have video to prove it.
The group Recall Jim Holperin Committe, which is trying to oust Sen. Jim Holperin, issued a press release describing the events of last Thursday, March 10. According to the release, union protesters showed up at a recall event, surrounded the petition table, and destroyed some of the petition. Police, the group says, stood by and did nothing:
The committee then set up in front of the Lincoln County Courthouse to offer citizens an opportunity to sign their names to the petition. Over 1,000 calls had been sent out the previous day notifying area residents of the petition rally.
Upon arrival, members of the recall committee were encircled by union protesters carrying signs and a leader with a mega phone who began chanting and ranting loudly. They packed in tightly around the petition collection table so as to prevent those attempting to sign from doing so. At one point, a pro union protester, pretending to be interested in signing the petition, wrote profanity across a partially collected petition form, than began ripping up the completed petitions that were in close proximity.The policemen who were there, and who were standing in close proximity to these events as they unfolded, did nothing to assist those collecting the petitions as they were being destroyed, despite such an action being a Felony under Wisconsin law. Police also did nothing to clear the walk way for citizens that wanted to sign the petitions. Recall Committee members received many phone calls the following day from Merill area citizens who stated that they showed up to sign the petition, but were too afraid to get out of their vehicles and approach the recall table.
Recall organizers took video of the event, which shows the graphic statement one protester wrote on a petition [CONTENT WARNING]:
Local police chief Ned Seubert responded to the group's accusation via the Wausau Daily Herald. He said his officers responded to two calls about the rally – one about a man who yelled in a petitioner’s face, and the other about a person who tore the petitions. According to him, his officers could not find either person. He added he plans to meet with the recall group to discuss their concerns.
"We know they prevented or made it very difficult for people to obtain the signatures however I only had five officers as well and to try to break up this group would have been impossible for us," Seubert told WSAW, and added that none of his officers witnessed any violence. He also said he was looking into whether election laws were broken by defacing and destroying the petitions.
"It's property. It's someone's property so at the very least it's destruction of property. We are checking to see what violation of election laws might be involved here," he said.