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Efforts underway to recall Racine alderman

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RACINE (WITI) -- A dispute over whether or not a bar should reopen has some pushing for the recall of a Racine alderman.

Oscar Bueno is leading the effort to recall Alderman Jim Kaplan. The dispute is over the former Las Palomas on the city's north side. It was shut down in 2005 because of nuisance problems.

Kaplan voted against granting the new owners a license, but the full council approved it.

"He said if it was up to him, this wouldn't be a bar and it will not be open as a bar. So when he said that, I said enough is enough," Bueno told Fox6 News.

"I'm more than happy to help them out. I didn't want to see it, but I certainly want another business in the 4th district," said Kaplan.

Kaplan noted that it may have been possible to address concerns in a meeting, but that never happened. He also said it would be unfair to ask taxpayers to cover the cost of another recall election.

Bueno was convicted of drug charges in 2008 and is currently facing charges of food stamp fraud. However, he isĀ asking voters to look beyond his past when deciding whether or not to sign the petition.

"Whatever has been done, has been done," said Bueno. "I'm doing it to help other people, not myself, because other people asked me to come and help them out."

Bueno has 60 days to collect signatures from 25 percent of the voters in Kaplan's district in order to move forward with a recall.