Local republicans support Gov. Walker with rally

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- With the effort to collect enough signatures to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in high gear, on Saturday, local republicans gathered to show support for Walker.

But as they cheered on the governor, protesters were armed with petition forms across the street.

The rally to support Governor Walker was put on by the Eau Claire County Republican Party, and was held at the Ramada Convention Center in downtown Eau Claire.

“Since they decided to kick off the recall efforts, I've been getting calls from regular citizens saying ‘what are you going to do?’,” said Chair of the Eau Claire County Republican Party.

Though he couldn’t make it in person, Gov. Walker thanked his supporters in a special video message.

Michael Griffin of Eau Claire attended the rally.

He said Walker’s polices, including ending collective bargaining, has made Wisconsin stronger.

“And unless you’re a union member you get no benefit from any of this. How are you going to cover a $3.6 billion deficit,” Griffin said.

Supporters coming to the rally had to face a bevy of protesters armed with recall petitions.

Although they’re more than halfway there, Westrate said volunteers may face challenges getting the 540,000 needed to recall the governor.

“They’re going to have to go person to person, house to house, in the worst weather Wisconsin has to offer and in the Christmas season,” Westrate said.

But protesters said they’re banking on a recall happening in 2012.

“They say 300,000 but I'm sure it's more than that. It takes time to count them. I know over the holidays people were turning them in. So we're there now,” said protester Susan Dahl of Fall Creek.

Dahl said she felt compelled to join the efforts to recall Walker because she believes the governor is attacking democracy.

“Without people stepping up we'd have no democracy. People should get out and have their voices heard,” Dahl said.

Speaking to MSNBC on Nov 28, Wisconsin State Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate said 301,000 signatures have been gathered so far.

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