Wisconsin recall effort draws massive response
photo of post-signature submission celebration in Madison by Craig Wilson
by Amanda Litvinov
A year into Gov. Scott Walker’s tenure, more than a million voters in his state have decided they want him out—and they put it in writing. Yesterday scores of volunteers, including many educators and other state workers, lugged box after box, a total of 3,000 pounds of petitions, into the Madison offices of the Government Accountability Board.
Walker isn’t the only one whose position is at stake.
The number of signatures collected by a coalition of citizens and organizations led by Wisconsin United in just 60 days totaled 1.9 million—which means 1 of every 4 eligible voters in Wisconsin signed a petition. The breakdown is impressive:
- More than 1 million people signed a petition to recall Gov. Scott Walker (only 540,000 signatures were needed)
- 845,000 signed to recall Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch
- Upwards of 80,000 total signatures were gathered to recall four Republican state senators, including Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (and remember that two of their Republican cohorts were already recalled last summer).
“We are proud of our members and leaders who volunteered their nights and weekends to help contribute to the success of this grassroots effort,” said Mary Bell, a Wisconsin teacher and president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council. “It’s been amazing to witness the energy and excitement coming from many individuals who have never been politically active before, but who want to take action to help reclaim Wisconsin.”
But Gov. Walker was not in Madison to witness the day’s events. He was in New York raising funds for his war chest, something he’s spent a fair amount of time doing lately. Though he made attempts on conservative talk shows to discredit the overwhelming success of the signature gathering effort, Walker is clearly preparing for a fight.
Earlier today, former Dane County executive Kathleen Falk announced that she will challenge Walker in the recall election, which is expected to take place this summer.
Walker’s earliest actions as governor—namely his mission to strip public employees of their right to collective bargaining—led to the largest protests in the history of the state of Wisconsin. He is also being held accountable for making devastating cuts to Wisconsin’s education budget and one of the worst voter I.D. laws in the country.
Read more about how Gov. Walker’s destructive policies are affecting Wisconsin educators and students.
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