In Scott Walker recall, Wisconsin Dems tout 1 million recall signatures
By MJ Lee
Jan. 17, 2012
Organizers behind the recall of Wisconsin Gov. Scott
Walker collected 1 million signatures to be submitted
to the state's Government Accountability Board on
Tuesday, dwarfing the required number of names and
virtually ensuring that a recall election will take
place later this year.
A total of 540,208 valid signatures, or 25 percent of
all of the votes cast in the election that put Walker
in office last January, were needed to force a recall
election, but organizers had aimed for hundreds of
thousands more than the minimum requirement to ensure
they met the threshold even if some signatures are
The success of labor and liberal activists in forcing a
recall election guarantees that Wisconsin will have an
election-year reprise of its national star turn from
last year --as ground zero in a climactic conflict
between conservative activists and public-employee
unions. Given the timing of the special election, and
the fact that Wisconsin is a critical Midwestern
electoral battleground, the contest is sure to seep
into the presidential election between President Barack
Obama and the Republican presidential nominee.
The Wisconsin Democratic Party was quick to dub the
recall effort -- which also targeted Lt. Gov. Rebecca
Kleefisch and a handful of Republican state legislators
-- the "biggest" in American history and boasted that
organizers had gathered a whopping 460,000 extra
signatures for the recall of Walker, who infuriated
many in his state last year by pushing through a law
that ended most collective bargaining rights for many
"An incredible number of Wisconsinites have stood up to
be counted and say, 'We can't wait for the next
election. We absolutely must get Scott Walker out of
office right now,'" Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman
Mike Tate told POLITICO.
Meagan Mahaffey, executive director of United
Wisconsin-- the group behind the recall efforts -- said
Tuesday's results sent a "crystal clear message to
Scott Walker that voters are done with his extreme
policies and his destruction that he's doing to our
Mahaffey insisted that the movement did not simply
represent a battle between Walker and organized labor.
"This is a message to people of all backgrounds and all
different types of people that have worked so hard on
this recall. The best outcome for all of us is the
same: Recall Scott Walker," she said.
Kelly Steele, a strategist for We Are Wisconsin, the
group that led Wisconsin's Senate recalls, also hailed
Tuesday's news as a victory for all Wisconsinites.
"Scott Walker lied his way into office, and has since
launched unprecedented attacks on Wisconsin's working
families, dividing the state like never before," Steele
said in an email. "This historic recall is a
million-strong victory for Wisconsinites united to take
their government back from wealthy special interests
who bought and paid for Scott Walker and are dictating
the terms of his extreme agenda."
The Republican Governors Association quickly came to
Walker's defense on Tuesday, announcing the launch of
www.StandWithScott.com -- a website dedicated to
promoting the governor's policies and accomplishments.
"Gov. Walker tackled Wisconsin's challenges head on,
and his plan to turn around Wisconsin is working," RGA
Chairman Bob McDonnell said. "Thanks to Gov. Walker's
leadership, the future prospects of Wisconsin's
taxpayers, families and job-creating business owners
are brighter than ever."
Newt Gingrich was the first GOP presidential candidate
to express public support for Walker Tuesday. "Newt
proudly campaigned for Gov. Walker when he was running
for office and he would proudly do it again. He is one
of the best things going for the Republican Party,"
Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond said.
(For the entire article, go to http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0112/71548_Page2.html#ixzz1jlvmYtbM)
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