According to a Wisconsin State Journal article on the latest release of documents pertaining to Gov. Scott Walker's scandals under review by the state supreme court, Walker's attorney Steven Biskupic, makes an argument that the governor was not a “candidate” for recall up until the last two months before the June 5th election.
Wisconsin State Journal Excerpt:
“In the case of the 2012 gubernatorial recall, Governor’s Walker’s ‘candidacy’ did not begin until April 9, 2012,” Biskupic argued. “And prior to that time, Governor Walker and his campaign committee were entitled to raise unlimited campaign funds in connection with opposing the circulation of the recall petitions.”
In my view, Special Prosecutor Francis Schmitz simply nails it by quoting state law...
Wisconsin State Journal Excerpt:
In his brief, John Doe prosecutor Francis Schmitz disputed that interpretation, saying Wisconsin law states “a person does not cease to be a candidate for purposes of compliance with” campaign finance and ethics laws “by virtue of the passing of the date of an election.” He said Biskupic’s stance “is clearly not a logical interpretation” of the state’s campaign finance laws.
Schmitz renders the date as an almost arbitrary position for Walker's "candidacy" defense, but I thought, why April 9, 2012? What is special about that date? Possibly because that was the date posted by the Government Accountability Board (GAB) official Certificate of Sufficiency and Order for the Recall Election. The GAB certificate states...
11. Scott Walker shall be the candidate at the recall election without nomination unless he resigns from office not later than April 9, 2012.
Walker is a candidate, unless he resigns, not later than. That is in accordance with Wisconsin Statute 9.10(3)(c), it reads...
(c) The official against whom the recall petition is filed shall be a candidate at the recall election without nomination unless the official resigns within 10 days after the original filing of the petition. Candidates for the office may be nominated under the usual procedure of nomination for a special election by filing nomination papers not later than 5 p.m. on the 4th Tuesday preceding the election and have their names placed on the ballot at the recall election.
That means what Biskupic claimed as a defense is precisely the inversion of the statute. State statute is clear, BECAUSE Scott Walker was the official whom the recall was filed against, he is the candidate for recall prior to April 9th, AND, and that the latest he could END his candidacy was by resigning on or before that date. April 9th IS NOT the day his candidacy started. It is however, the last day he could have ended it. Officially.
Granted, Walker could resign at any time and no longer be candidate or governor. But for matters of sufficiency and order FOR THE RECALL, not the candidates, April 9th was the latest date Walker could have ended his candidacy.
Truth is, we are splitting hairs over dates and definitions over what is or isn't and that is the spinning wheel prosecutor Schmitz quickly brought to a halt.
But for the sake of this argument, I think WHEN a person is assumed running for elective office, under certain circumstances, can be determined by popular public knowledge as defined by the person's intent and actions, and left up to the "candidate" to deny, opt out or resign. However, all incumbents should be assumed a candidate for the office they serve AND also the candidate for recall, up until the day they resign or say otherwise.