A Million Signatures to Recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker
I was thrilled to hear about this on Tuesday. I’m sure hundreds of thousands of other Wisconsinites were thrilled as well. The last time I heard they wanted to have a little over 750,000 signatures to make it right.
But 1.9 million signatures makes it spectacular.
When the election is certified, it will mark the first time in Wisconsin history that a sitting governor will be recalled.
“This represents the most participated in and major recall effort in American history,” Ryan Lawler, vice-chair of United Wisconsin, said at a Tuesday news conference in downtown Madison. “This represents a threshold so overwhelming that it is beyond legal challenge. It’s a crystal-clear indication of how strong the appetite is to stop the damage and turmoil that Governor Walker has caused Wisconsin.”
Organizers had to collect 540,208 valid signatures to recall Walker.
The petition drive to recall Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch also exceeded the required minimum; 845,000 signatures were collected to recall her.
Organizers on Tuesday also announced they had more than enough signatures to recall four Senate Republicans: 20,600 to recall Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau; more than 21,000 to recall Pam Galloway of Wausau; more than 21,000 to recall Terry Moulton of Chippewa Falls; and over 24,000 to recall Van Wanggaard of Racine.
The number of signatures collected to recall Walker rivals the 1.2 million votes the governor received in his 2010 campaign. Forty-six percent of the 2010 electorate signed a recall petition for Walker, Lawler and others at the news conference noted.
Oh, I’m sure that Governor Walker’s supporters (including the Koch brothers and Fox News) would like for people to believe that this is only liberal Wisconsinites who are handing in their signatures. Or that they are fraudulent. On both counts: I don’t think so.
I think that people with conviction also signed the rolls—independents and even some Republicans—who are disgusted with Walker and his policies. They are tired of the divisiveness and heavy-handedness of the troika: Walker and the Fitzgeralds. They see the value of having unions in Wisconsin as another way of having checks and balances.
There are people out in the hinterlands who have had their BadgerCare cut off, and they’re taking care of some minor child or elderly parent who need their medications on a daily basis to stay alive. There are people who were looking forward to the high-speed train that might have cut through Wisconsin on the way to Chicago and then back to Minnesota. It would have brought some much needed jobs and even commerce on its proposed stops.
Now the train is gone, thanks to Walker’s lack of vision, and it will take years before an opportunity to get the high-speed train returns to Wisconsin. And the money that would have watered Wisconsin’s coffers went instead to California.
On top of it, two Walker aides have been recently arrested in a growing corruption probe of Walker’s employees—past and present—and his former tenure as Milwaukee County executive by the Feds. The effluence from this case still hasn’t washed up onto Walker’s shoes. Nevertheless, this does not look good. Even if Walker is found completely innocent of any crime, it would make anyone wonder what judgement he exercises and what criteria he uses to hire certain people. Walker could end up looking like Warren G. Harding, surrounded by people who betrayed him; but of course, while Harding was conservative, he was decidedly more affable than Scotty “Weasel” Walker.
Dems scoured those signatures before delivering them over to the Government Accountability Board (GAB) earlier this week. You think that they would deliberately keep a Donald Duck signature on the rolls? Or someone who is now deceased? Or duplicates? The Republicans who are set to reexamine those signatures aren’t going to find enough to dent the possibility of a recall. People are not playing games here.
And who will take Walker’s place? Dems have got to get this one right, too. I’m afraid that all this energy is being expended on the recall, when Democrats can’t identify an acceptable and agreeable candidate or two to succeed as governor. Someone who wouldn’t put off even moderate Republicans. Kathleen Falk? Oh, hell no. Just because she’s first on the scene doesn’t mean she deserves candidacy. If she couldn’t handle being Dane County executive, quitting in mid-term to “spend more time with the family” so to speak, why in blue blazes would she be able to take being governor? Someone commenting on another progressive blog stated flatly that she was the Sarah Palin of Wisconsin Democrats. No.
Much as I would like to see former Senator Russ Feingold take this seat, he isn’t going for it and he won’t be drafted, either. Tom Barrett, defeated by Walker in 2010, is said to be running for reelection as Milwaukee mayor, but TPM is reporting that he has stepped on the toes of some public employee unions in the city over budget cuts, and thus may be vulnerable. Perhaps he could do some good as governor and help restore that funding. Water always rolls downhill. However, some people hit the snooze button when it comes to Barrett. The few times I have seen him in Madison, he has struck me as someone who is rather staid than energetic. Someone who could not easily light a fire under people. Barrett, though, significantly leads in a poll by Public Policy Polling.
In a poll released Tuesday of likely Democratic primary voters, Barrett led Falk 46 percent to 27 percent. Against Obey, Barrett was ahead 42 percent to 32 percent.
In a matchup between Obey and Falk, Obey led 43 percent to 28 percent. With a four-candidate field, Barrett had 26 percent, Falk had 22 percent, Obey had 21 percent and Cullen had 11 percent.
The survey of 522 likely primary voters was conducted Monday by Public Policy Polling and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca and State Senator Jon Erpenbach look promising. Of these, I like Erpenbach, one of the Fabulous 14 like Cullen, but there is also Congressman Ron Kind, former U.S. Representatives Steve Kagen and Dave Obey, State Senator
- Wisconsin Democrats to submit one million signatures to recall Scott Walker (dailykos.com)
- Signatures submitted to recall Wisconsin govenor (cbsnews.com)
- Al Sharpton Blasts Governor Scott Walker For ‘Bogus Claims’ (huffingtonpost.com)