Wisconsin Democrats to launch Walker recall bid November 15

MADISON Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:05pm EDT

Wisconsin State Governor Scott Walker signs the ceremonial bill, after the Republican controlled House and Senate, eliminated almost all collective bargaining for most public workers at the state Capitol in Madison Wisconsin March 11, 2011. REUTERS/Darren Hauck

Wisconsin State Governor Scott Walker signs the ceremonial bill, after the Republican controlled House and Senate, eliminated almost all collective bargaining for most public workers at the state Capitol in Madison Wisconsin March 11, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Darren Hauck

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MADISON (Reuters) - Wisconsin Democrats will launch a drive November 15 to force Republican Governor Scott Walker into a recall election and are confident of getting the more than 540,000 signatures needed, a party spokesman said on Tuesday.

The effort to recall Walker follows an unsuccessful bid by state Democrats to take control of the Wisconsin Senate through an unprecedented array of six recall elections over the summer. Democrats picked up two seats, but remained in the minority.

Walker's proposals to curb the powers of public sector unions in the state as part of the budget process, ultimately approved by Wisconsin's Republican-controlled legislature, sparked massive protests earlier this year.

Democrats collected far more signatures than required in forcing recall elections in six Republican-controlled senate districts and are confident of collecting the signatures for a Walker recall election, party spokesman Graeme Zielinski said.

"We had the warm up in the summer and now we have the main event," Zielinski said.

Republicans also forced three Senate Democrats to defend their seats, making a record nine recall elections. The three Democrats held their seats.

Walker was elected in November 2010 and under Wisconsin law, he must have been in office at least one year before a recall bid. Once the bid is launched, the recall proponents have 60 days to collect and file the signatures with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.

Stephan Thompson, executive director of the Wisconsin Republican Party, said Wisconsin schools and cities had saved millions of dollars under the changes Walker pressed for.

"We welcome and encourage a comparison between the positive results we're seeing around the state and the failed policies of the past favored by those seeking a recall," Thompson said in a statement.

Walker's chief of staff, Keith Gilkes, left his post to return to a consulting business and begin advising the governor ahead of a possible recall effort.

The effort is being run in collaboration with United Wisconsin, a nonpartisan registered political action committee created to organize a Walker recall.

United Wisconsin said in a statement that it had already collected over 200,000 pledges. It wants to collect at least 700,000 signatures to ensure that after petition challenges it reaches the minimum needed to force a recall election.

(Writing by David Bailey; Editing by Jerry Norton)

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Comments (6)
Longbob wrote:
“United Wisconsin” – - HA! Did you see their counterparts at work in the state capitol ” when Democrat senators fled the state to prevent a quorum, and now in major metro areas( blue sanctuaries )protesting – -something? Privileged public sector union activists, UW Madison student lemmings, national union thugs – - – - united? Right.
Who is going to pay the bills should these leftyheads regain control of Wisconsin government? Guess. It ain’t going to be them.

Oct 11, 2011 12:57pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Sensibility wrote:
Just as in the judicial election last spring and the recall elections this summer, it’s up to the people of Wisconsin to stand united with those who stood up for them. Walker made unprecedented reforms to get union domination out of politics. Now the citizens can show their appreciation and gratitude for the gutsy effort that led to this progress.

Oct 11, 2011 1:33pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Phil_EngAmer wrote:
Should a recall happen, you hope that people take the time to analyze the situation objectively. During the state senate recall elections you had whole campaigns run disingenuously while the actual issues at hand were ignored (http://eng.am/mUwM33), and the effects of the recalls were greatly overstated (http://eng.am/nWvjZP).

By the time any such recall would come, you’d hope that people would be enough removed from the vitriol that previously plagued the state and look at the merit of the legislation itself, and what it has achieved thus far (http://eng.am/q1J17I). Whether it’s class size reductions in school districts (http://eng.am/nGSRqB), worker protection (http://eng.am/n6Bc6d), improvements to the health care structure (http://eng.am/nyqwvg), or just overall growth in the public sector (http://eng.am/pPPXkn); the state is making a lot of progress.

Really this is just the start, and by the time any potential recall election rolls around you would most likely see even more. You’d hope that any elected official would be able to be judged on his full term of progress and not just an abbreviated look. However, if that’s not the case for Governor Walker, there’s certainly a growing portfolio of progress to be judged on.

Oct 11, 2011 2:33pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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