Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Wisconsin Democrats fail to take back state Senate

Democrats have fallen one seat short of taking back the Wisconsin state senate Tuesday, a result that will disappoint organized labor nationally.

According to the Associated Press, State Sens. Dan Kapanke andRandy Hopper were recalled, while Sens. Robert CowlesAlberta DarlingSheila Harsdorf and Luther Olsen held onto their seats.

Republicans controlled the state senate 19 to 14; they now have a 17 to 16 edge. Two Democrats face recall elections next Tuesday, so there is a chance those gains could be undone.

The recalls were sparked by Republican legislation to end collective bargaining for public employees in the state, a move that inspired major protests in February and March. Democratic lawmakers fled Wisconsin to avoid voting on the bill; Republicans passed it without them. The recall campaigns on both sides began soon after.

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