Recall effort against Walker begins

By: Kelly Schlicht, WEAU Staff Email
By: Kelly Schlicht, WEAU Staff Email

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The clock is ticking for opponents of Republican Gov. Scott Walker hoping to force a recall election next year spurred by anger over his proposal effectively ending collective bargaining rights for most public workers.

The petition drive to collect more than 540,000 signatures began in the early morning hours Tuesday, with more than 100 events planned across the state to gather them all. Opponents of the Republican governor must collect 9,000 signatures a day to meet the target.

Walker recall organizers hope to tap ongoing anger over the collective bargaining law and build on momentum from last week's vote rejecting a similar law in Ohio. Wisconsin doesn't allow for a referendum challenging its law to be put on the ballot, so opponents targeted Walker and the three state senators.

Efforts to recall at least three Republican state senators were also expected to be launched Tuesday.

Walker said Monday he was trying not to get distracted by the recall and would remain focused on his 2010 campaign pledge to grow jobs in the state by 250,000 before the four-year term he was elected to serve is over.

He defended his record and said voters were ready to move forward and didn't want to get stuck in an endless campaign cycle.

"We've made a lot of progress," Walker said. "It's a new day in Wisconsin."

He launched his first television ad of the campaign, defending his record while the words "Recall: No" appeared on the screen. The ad was running statewide, except in Milwaukee, according to Walker's campaign manager Keith Gilkes.

Walker said in an interview that he planned a series of ads with people talking about how his initiatives are working in their communities as well as he plans for the future.

"We really believe people want to hear about where we're headed," Walker said. "I think it's important for people to hear my positive vision."

Republicans currently hold a narrow one-seat majority in the state Senate after two GOP incumbents were ousted in recall elections this summer.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said Monday he expected to be targeted for recall in addition to three of his colleagues who defeated Democratic incumbents last year. Democrats said they planned to start recalls against Sens. Van Wanggaard of Racine, Pam Galloway of Wausau and Terry Moulton of Chippewa Falls.

Governors have been recalled from office only twice in U.S. history, in North Dakota in 1921 and in California when voters removed Gov. Gray Davis from office in 2003.

"Any recall attempts filed will be nothing more than a shameless power grab by the Democrats and their liberal special interests, and will not deter Republicans from moving the state forward under responsible leadership," Republican Party spokeswoman Nicole Larson said Monday.

Democrats do not yet have an announced candidate to take on Walker should enough signatures be collected to force an election. The earliest such an election could occur, without any expected delays in verifying the signatures or legal challenges, is March 27. Most expect any election would be later in the spring or in the summer.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

STORY FROM 11/14/11

In just a few hours, the official effort to recall Governor Scott Walker gets underway. And Monday night, last minute preparations are going on.

Democrats locally say they're ready to get out and get signatures, but republicans say they're doubtful they'll get it done. Those wanting to recall the governor need to get more than half a million signatures from Tuesday through January 15.

If they do that, political experts say they could be on the path to making history.

The door hangers are prepped, and the bumper stickers are all ready to go as the Eau Claire County Democrats train volunteers in the Recall Walker effort to canvass starting at the stroke of midnight tonight.

“There will be a countdown to midnight and we're calling it midnight madness here,” says Kristin Dexter, the chair of the Eau Claire County Democrats.

With half a million signatures of eligible voters needed in sixty days, which falls over deer hunting and the holiday season, democrats say they're hoping to ride the wave of anti-Walker sentiment from earlier this year.

“It's a bit over 540 thousand, but nobody doubts that we will collect that. Both the republicans and democrats say that you will have no problem getting those signatures,” says Dexter.

“Personally I think they have a hard row to hoe here, with all of those signatures needed in only sixty days,” says Eau Claire County Republican Chair Brian Westrate.

“My guess is that we'll have the recall election. The big question is, will the governor actually lose the recall election? A lot of that would have to be tied to the candidate the democrats bring forth. We know that the rules that have been set for nearly unlimited spending,” says UW-Eau Claire Political Science Professor Geoff Peterson.

Peterson says in the past one hundred years, only two other governors have been successfully recalled in the United States, and for more than just unpopular policies.

“The idea that a governor could be recalled simply based on the decisions he's making is unusual, and we'll see what happens in the next few months,” says Peterson.

Dems say there will be a rally tomorrow on the UW-Eau Claire campus to kick of signing recall petitions. A spokesman for the Government Accountability Board says you have to be an eligible voter for your signature to count.

Both parties are also planning rallies this Saturday at the capitol in Madison, either for or against walker.

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  • by Hippie on Nov 17, 2011 at 01:14 PM
    One more thing Collin: I'm not a teacher. Can we open this conversation up to state workers that are being affected who are NOT teachers?
  • by Someone's Mom Location: WI on Nov 17, 2011 at 08:33 AM
    All you people that can't wait for that petition to show up at your door are just too funny. You want people to bring you a petiton yet you sign your posts ANON...ROFL!!!!
  • by Mark on Nov 16, 2011 at 08:13 AM
    I'm not signing a petition until the Democrats have selected a candidate. I lived through the Shelley Moore fiasco and don't want an overly-liberal partisan hack to replace Walker.
  • by Hippie on Nov 15, 2011 at 08:05 PM
    I will ask this again, because no one seems to have a response... Would you want the latest politicians to be the ones that determine your pay rate, benefits, and work conditions? If anyone, anyone out there has a real answer that does not involve insults or name calling, please comment. Has anyone out there thought about what it would really be like to have politicians solely responsible for determining the conditions of your job? This has nothing to do with anger regarding having to give more towards my insurance and pension. I, like so many of you have not gotten a raise since 2009 and will not get one until 2013; if even then. I lost 5% of my pay for 2 years due to furlough days, this is all ok, if it helps the state. But as far as determining the conditions of my job, I don't want any crooked politicians (and they all are) making those decisions. Would you?
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 16, 2011 at 02:55 AM in reply to Hippie
      Well said--someone that truly understands.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 16, 2011 at 03:46 AM in reply to Hippie
      Thanks for being a voice of reason.
    • reply
      by ROK on Nov 16, 2011 at 07:14 AM in reply to Hippie
      if i have to choose between crooked politicians and crooked union bosses (who in reality care little about the worker, and are only interested in fleecing the taxpayer to the fullest extent possible and lining thier own pockets), i choose politicians. at least we can get rid of the politicians every couple of years (like we did successfully last fall)
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Nov 16, 2011 at 09:44 AM in reply to ROK
        That's brilliant, ROK. 'Yeah he's crooked but he's my kinda crooked!'
      • reply
        by Hippie on Nov 16, 2011 at 09:45 AM in reply to ROK
        Hey an answer! Thanks! So, who are the taxpayers that they are fleecing? The ones that are working and paying their dues? Or the ones that are getting robbed by paying the state workers wages? Both? And why is it that you think that crooked politicians aren't JUST as interested in lining their own pockets as union bosses? The scary thing to me, is that the politicians have the power to change the laws to help line their pockets. So, thank you so much for your opinion. I however, would prefer to have a crooked union boss helping to negotiate with the crooked policians on the workers behalf.
        • reply
          by ROK on Nov 16, 2011 at 02:34 PM in reply to Hippie
          you are almost there! now go back and read what you just wrote: crooked union boss, crooked politician (dem) on workers behalf. they are working together! dems raise taxes and spending, unions use their deep pockets to keep the dems in charge (how many millions have the unions spent on recounts, recalls, etc?)! why do you think all this is such a big deal? the fat cats have lost their gravy train! it is extremely naive to think this is still all about the little guy.
      • reply
        by Hippie on Nov 16, 2011 at 05:03 PM in reply to ROK
        ROK, unions fund the democrats...correct. And corporations fund the republicans...true? Who do you think has deeper pockets? The unions or the corporations? The system is drastically flawed. That's why I feel that the entire system is corrupt and needs a complete overhaul. And THAT is why I support OWS...its the closest thing to a revolution that this country has seen in a long time. It may be unorganized right now, but man oh man...I hope this train keeps moving forward.
    • reply
      by Hippie on Nov 16, 2011 at 07:16 AM in reply to Hippie
      Still waiting for some valid opinions... Anyone? Anonymous...thank you both for understanding.
      • reply
        by Collin on Nov 16, 2011 at 10:32 AM in reply to Hippie
        Teachers are someone people willingly pay more for if they think it means a better education for their kids. Look at how many people pay serious money to send their kids to private schools. It is not far-fetched to envision the scenario where public schools will go out and recruit talented teachers with significant pay raises. This is, of course, predicated on the rigid union pay scales being removed from the equation. So I ask you, how do you like having your work terms dictated by your union?
        • reply
          by Hippie on Nov 16, 2011 at 02:55 PM in reply to Collin
          I'm sorry Collin, but I just don't get the logic in your post. How are public schools going to recruit teachers that they will pay top dollar to when Walker has taken so much money out of the system already? Additionally, how logical is this when taxpayers are already screaming (and always have been) for their property taxes not to be raised. Lastly, I thought that the overall consensus from the 'right' was that teachers are already highly overpaid, have insanely wonderful benefits packages; and half of them aren't worth what they are paid right now? So, I answer you Collin, we need the union to negotiate our work terms. We pay them to work for us, and I do NOT trust for politicians (again, ALL are crooked) to be in charge of determining my work conditions. Please rebuttal with a scenario that is logic and possible. Because what you just posted makes no sense to me! Anyone else care to chime in? I must say, I'm extremely disappointed in the lack of responses. So many have so much bad to say about unions but cannot seem to confirm that YES, I would like my work terms determined by politicians. Again, anyone?
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Nov 16, 2011 at 04:08 PM in reply to Collin
          at my high school only thing the teachers care about is money and health care
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Nov 16, 2011 at 07:25 PM in reply to Collin
          Oh, good grief, Collin. Do private school teachers make more money than public school teachers? People 'willingly' pay teachers more for a 'Private School education? Or, do they pay more for their children to attend a private school? So, yes... straight out of the gate your argument is based upon fallacies. How, is your complaint regarding 'union pay scales' germaine to an argument predicated on falsehoods? The educational system should resemble the libertarian utopia of the unregulated free market? On another note, Collin... if one is a teacher, their 'work terms' are 'dictated' by more than just your fantastical demon - the unions. Their 'work terms' are 'dictated' by the Government(see No Child Left Behind), the Parents of the children who attend the publics schools, the anti public school crusade that has been growing since literally the day that segregation was abolished on the federal level in the US, and last, but not least... the KIDS that attend their classes. Good grief, Man.. go out there and experience the world you condemn with silly cliches and orchestrated innuendoes. In other words - put your money where your mouth is.
        • reply
          by Collin on Nov 16, 2011 at 08:04 PM in reply to Collin
          Replying to your post below, your logic and facts are entirely boxed in by the highly politicized, union-dominated status quo. Unions make sense in factories, and places where people are highly interchangeable. Teaching is not like that. Good teachers stand out. So do bad teachers. The union method of equalizing pay between the two simply doesn't make sense, and that is why the taxpayer is rebelling. I reiterate the fact that many parents pay extra for private schools as proof that people are very willing to pay more if they think it is beneficial to their child. Nobody is willing to pay more across the board, however, because every school has some teachers who deserve it, and some who don't. So the union system is screwing the teachers with talent, and the taxpayer, all at once. And I really question whether this union smurfs approach is the best thing for educating children. Most everything else works on incentives (meaning money) to do well. I can't see any reason why that wouldn't help in education. And you may have noticed that the concept of merit pay is also anathema to teachers unions. So, no, I am not convinced that a union is required for teachers to be paid well. I am convinced it is required for underperforming teachers to be paid well.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Nov 16, 2011 at 07:31 PM in reply to Hippie
        "at my high school only thing the teachers care about is money and health care" - Which High School would that be? What is your GPA? How many hours per week do you study the curriculum at the High School you currently attend? The devil's in the details, Anonymous. Lay it all out there.
      • reply
        by Someone's Mom on Nov 17, 2011 at 08:32 AM in reply to Hippie
        I am a non-union government employee. I believe this recall is a farce. It will do nothing but cost the taxpayers. The "damage" is already done, let Walker run his course and take advantage of regular elections to either boot him out or let him stay. Honestly, all kicking Walker out is going to do is to put the Unions back in charge. The unions are the ones that threw our paychecks under the bus in the first place. Do you really think public sector employees are going to get all of their benefits back? NO! It won't happen because if everything goes back to the way it was, there will be a recall on the new Gov. because he is coddling the state employee. Put your pens away and find something constructive to do while you wait out the next few years.
        • reply
          by Hippie on Nov 17, 2011 at 09:47 AM in reply to Someone's Mom
          Thanks so much 'Someone's Mom' for sticking to the topic. I assume that you cannot say that you would like for the politicians to be in charge of setting the conditions for your job. I was not asking how you felt about the recall. My question was pretty simple, yet no one seems to be able to give a solid answer. At least Collin tried. Why do you say in one sentence that kicking out Walker will put the unions back in charge but in another sentence say that public employees will never get all their benefits back? If unions were in charge, wouldn't they give us our benefits back? This is why I get so frustrated. I ask for an answer to a simple question from the 'right' side, and all I get is nonsensical rambling. Thanks for nothing.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 16, 2011 at 02:05 PM in reply to Hippie
      Not one of them would want it. I signed recall papers for Walker and Moulton today and felt more empowered than I have in a long time. I couldn't help but smile at the irony that now it's Walker and Moulton who have to sit and take it and not be able to do anything to stop it. At least they have nice offices where they can sit and look at the gorgeous palm trees in Madison while they wait to become unemployed.
      • reply
        by Hippie on Nov 16, 2011 at 04:30 PM in reply to
        I'm starting to agree. I'm hearing nothing but crickets here. Tons of bashing from the 'right' but ask a legitimate question, and you get nothing! Sharon, Jeff From Pleasant Valley, Diane, Richard, RealityCheck, Annie, Laurie, NeverB4, Popsi? This is for you. Please give me a response. Remember, no name calling or insults, just honest, logical thoughtful words. You are all very outspoken against unions. I'm only asking for you to explain why and/or how is my logic wrong.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Nov 16, 2011 at 07:23 PM in reply to Hippie
          You're not going to get any answers, Hippie - they don't have any.
    • reply
      by Collin on Nov 17, 2011 at 07:43 AM in reply to Hippie
      This pro-union thread is a great illustration of what the Democrat mayor of Los Angeles said -- "The most powerful defenders of the status quo are the teachers' unions ... They intimidated people, especially Democrats, from doing anything about reform."
  • by Anonymous on Nov 15, 2011 at 07:29 PM
    Look at it this way. Walker will have time for that trip to Cali now.
  • by John Location: EC on Nov 15, 2011 at 04:49 PM
    My God people...Just look at most of these postings. In my 50 plus years I have never read such garbage (from both sides of the fence)I think you all better learn to coexist as this hate and rancor will shorten your lives and ruin friendships. Once a word is spoken, it's too late to take back. It's good to have an opinion but sometimes it's not wise to step on toes and be hurtful in your delivery of such. I for one choose to express mine in the voting booth.
  • by vj on Nov 15, 2011 at 04:48 PM
    This vote is not just about union vs walker, but middle class vs Koch brothers. Walker not saving us any money/taxes. You see any taxes saving anywhere except for the big business, who are not paying there fair share of taxes. That is what this is all about. Throwing information away is closing your mind to what really going on. I dont see any teachers or union workers having two to three homes. Also,in the long run Walker's budget is no better than the last Governor was.
    • reply
      by Northwoods Free Man on Nov 15, 2011 at 08:01 PM in reply to vj
      Since a corporation is nothing more than a piece of paper how can it pay it's "fair share" of taxes? Then if I own a stock in a company that pays me a dividend I get to be taxed on those earnings again? Isn't that double taxation? Finally, if you raise taxes on companies they will still rightly want to make a return on their investment so they will pass the tax onto their customers if they can and if they can't they will cut expenses (labor) to make up the difference. It is a self defeating proposition to tax companies and gripe that they are cutting labor.
      • reply
        by ahem on Nov 16, 2011 at 04:53 AM in reply to Northwoods Free Man
        Unless the middle class has extra money to purchase what the corporations are selling, this economy is not going to improve. Why have their profits gone up, up, up, and during that same period they have added no jobs?
  • by Defeat the dictator Location: ec on Nov 15, 2011 at 04:39 PM
    We will get signatures if half the republicans in the state have to submit signatures. All the info needed to sign is in any phone book. Focus on smaller towns where more tend to be repukes and less traceable. Go Bluegolds.
    • reply
      by concerned on Nov 25, 2011 at 01:02 PM in reply to Defeat the dictator
      Defeat,,,,,That sounds like something the teachers and union would do. I know that you are too stupid to be a teacher so I assume you just got lucky as to what you said. I'm also sure you are too stupid to hold much of a job so you probably don't belong to a union either.
  • by Darin Location: Cornell on Nov 15, 2011 at 03:08 PM
    I think that everyone sees the negative thing that politicians do and not what they have done to make Wisconsin better. I think that the Governor and the current politicians are doing what we voted them in office to do. We are close to having a debt free state or we have one now. How many states can say that. Yes we lost a lot of rights that were here but did we really need those rights. I am not supporting the decision to recall anyone nor am I saying that it shouldn't happen. I think we need to stand by what we decided for who should run our state and get over it. If you don't like it then you should vote someone else when it comes to the next election.
    • reply
      by uhmmm Darin on Nov 16, 2011 at 05:02 AM in reply to Darin
      From Factcheck: "the tax breaks don’t take effect until fiscal year 2012 and beyond, so they do not contribute to this year’s budget deficit, according to Fiscal Bureau Director Bob Lang. It’s true, however, that they will add $117.2 million to the projected $3.6 billion budget gap in the next two-year budget cycle, which begins July 1, 2011, Lang says. So, the tax cuts make the deficit larger in next budget cycle, but not this one." So Darin while you may think it looks good now, just wait until the budget deficit that Walker kicked down the road comes due.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Nov 16, 2011 at 04:21 PM in reply to uhmmm Darin
        What FY do you think we are in?
  • by JR Location: WI on Nov 15, 2011 at 03:04 PM
    If Walker is recalled it is a dark day for Wisconsin taxpayers, unions have a very narrow agenda and could care less about anyone but themselves and the dues they collect.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 16, 2011 at 04:22 PM in reply to JR
      Much like Walker and the Fitzgeralds.
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