Friday’s campaign round-up

FRIDAY’S CAMPAIGN ROUND-UP…. Today’s installment of campaign-related news items that wouldn’t necessarily generate a post of their own, but may be of interest to political observers:

* Wisconsin Democrats have now collected enough signatures to force a Republican state senator, Dan Kapanke, into a recall election. He is one of eight GOP lawmakers being targeted, and the first to be forced into a recall vote.

* For all his nuttiness, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) continues to enjoy the rabid support of his odd fans. In the first quarter of 2011, Paul has raised roughly $3 million — $1 million through his political action committee, $2 million through a non-profit entity called Campaign for Liberty. Paul has not yet said whether he intends to run for president again in 2012.

* Fearing costly punishment from the RNC, the chairman of the Florida Republican Party announced yesterday he’s open to negotiating the date of the state’s presidential primary. Party Chairman Dave Bitner said he’ll settle for going fifth, after Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada.

* Police and firefighter unions have frequently sided with Republicans in recent years, but the wave of anti-union activity from high-profile Republican governors is shaking up their allegiances. Chuck Canterbury, the national president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said his members are “shocked” by the turn of events.

* Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) hasn’t formally launched his presidential campaign yet, but this morning, he committed to participating in a May 5 Fox News candidates forum, to be held in South Carolina. He’s the first to agree to participate.

* Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) also hasn’t formally announced yet, but a top aide told supporters yesterday that Romney is eyeing a launch in mid-to-late April.

* The DCCC is anxious to get back former Rep. Joe Sestak’s (D) old seat in Pennsylvania, and are eyeing Jack Stollsteimer, the state’s former safe schools advocate, for the race.

* And in North Dakota, Sen. Kent Conrad (D) is retiring, with no obvious heir apparent. At this point, two former aides to former Sen. Byron Dorgan (D) are both considering campaigns.