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War may see referendum

If a group of Democratic state legislators have their way, Wisconsin could be one of two states with a "Bring the Troops Home" referendum on the February Presidential primary ballot.

If a group of Democratic state legislators have their way, Wisconsin could be one of two states with a "Bring the Troops Home" referendum on the February Presidential primary ballot.

If it passes both the Assembly and the Senate, the one-sentence nonbinding statewide referendum would give voters the chance to vote up or down the question "Should the United States withdraw its troops from Iraq?"

Referendum author Democrat Dave Travis of Waunakee says it would draw attention to Wisconsin's Feb. 19 primary, which might otherwise be ignored because most other states are holding primaries in the first week of February. Referendum co-sponsor, Rep. Spencer Black of Madison, agrees. He says it will get a lot of national attention and will force the candidates to confront this issue in from of an electorate that's not only going to be voting in a Presidential primary but is also voting on this referendum.

The California State Senate has already approved a more strongly-worded referendum that asks voters if the U.S. should begin immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops. That measure is also expected to pass the California State Assembly.

Wisconsin's "troops home" referendum has a good chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate, but it could face tougher going in the Assembly where Republicans hold a slight majority.

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Thirty-four Wisconsin cities approved "troops home" resolutions last year. The statewide referendum will be introduced sometime in the coming weeks.

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