One Million Strong

 

(AP Photo/Andy Manis)

Jeremy Levinson, left, a lawyer to the recall committees, talks Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012, in Madison, Wis., about the petitions United Wisconsin will turn into the General Accounting Board offices Wednesday to force a recall election for Gov. Scott Walker. United Wisconsin collected about 1 million signatures to recall Walker. Mike Tate, center, chairman of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, listens.

When I reached United Wisconsin spokesman Erik Kirkstein by phone this afternoon, he was already breathless and having trouble coming up with the neat sound bites PR people are supposed to have on hand. He was clearly ready to celebrate.

"I guess you've heard—it's already been leaked," he said before exclaiming that the effort to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker had gathered more than one million signatures—almost double what his opponents needed to trigger an election. "This has blown away even the highest of expectations!"

He's right. The movement needed a total of 540,000 signatures—a quarter of the votes cast in Walker's election last January. The group had already gotten more than 500,000 signatures just halfway through the 60-day period for gathering petitions, but they set a goal of 720,000 signatures to help buffer against legal challenges to potentially invalid signatures. Wisconsin Republicans and Tea Party groups cast doubt on the legitimacy of the signatures and criticized the new elections because they will cost taxpayers $9 million. With more than a million petitions gathered, Kirkstein believes it will be hard for Republicans to mount much of a challenge, but he promised that United Wisconsin would see the effort through even if a court battle arises. The Wisconsin Republican Party did not immediately return my messages. (Update: They got back to me. See their response here.)

At an event for Walker in Texas last week, critics of the recall attributed the campaign entirely to unions. Not surprisingly, Kirkstein was eager to credit the grassroots nature of the movement, thanking the "over 30,000 Wisconsinites as part of our volunteer army."

The army, however, may soon face some new, more complicated battles.

Unlike the California recall of Gray Davis, in which voters gave Davis an up or down vote and then selected one of his challengers, Wisconsin requires that voters choose between the incumbent and a challenger in one step. In other words, to be successful, the anti-Walker crowd must coalesce around an alternative. So far, it's not clear who that will be, though a few names, all state Democrats, have been bandied about.

Furthermore, though United Wisconsin benefits heavily from Democratic support, the group has remained nonpartisan in the recall effort; they prompted the recall but can't back a candidate. Kirkstein said the group will remain nonpartisan and not make endorsements but will stay active in the effort to unseat Walker.

With the state now in the national spotlight as the center of the labor battle, money from both sides will likely start pouring in. Walker has already been traveling around the country defending his record and raising cash for the race that even he agrees will happen.

The recall itself, said Kirkstein, is "pretty much going to have to be decided by the people of the state."  Well, that and a whole lot of money from across the country.

Comments

This is such a feat. So many people have worked so hard to gather signatures. This is history. We will boot Walker out of office. One person, one vote. All of the money Walker is getting can't go in the voting booth with people. I plan on helping people get their newly required photo id, (thanks to the Rethugs) just as I helped gather signatures and let people know where they could sign-in front of my house! The People have spoken. Walker went too far, lied and was more interested in Tea Party ideology & corporate welfare than what was good for WI. What a Party we will have when we get our new Governor!

You really need to get a life and an understanding of economics. If Walker gets the boot then the thugs in the unions will grind WI into the ground and set their sites on other states. But the good part of it is that any industry that exists in WI will leave, and the NLRB won't be able to do anything about it. They will relocate to right to work states and WI will turn into Detroit, Michigan. The recall election is a signal to private companies to stay the hell away from WI.

"One person, one vote" will not be enough. You'll need voter fraud to beat Walker. Luckily for you the unions are behind the recall.

Trying to be objective about this, I'm not sure that this is a wise move on the part of the democrates. Every dime and moment spent trying to unseat Walker in a recall is a dime and moment NOT devoted to a very weak incumbent president who's facing a real struggle to be reelected. Besides, the recall attempts last year on the state senators were a dismal failure, picking off only two in heavily democratic districts and one idiot who all but threw his seat away cheating on his wife in a blatant fashion. Wouldn't it be something if the recall fails by a narrow margin, which is my prediction, and President Obama also can't carry the state in the general election? Walker might be outspent by big labor, actually he almost certianbly will be outspent by a considerable margin, but his ace in the hole is his Lt Governor, Rebecca Kleefisch. Keep your eye on her. If the the two survive the recall election I believe that she will have a greater future in national politics than will Walker.

What I find of concern here is that 30,000 union activists can potentially unseat a governor who was elected by a majority of the vote in the last general election. I haven't seen any allegations of wrong doing on the governor's part. The unions want to oust him because he wants to curb their collective bargaining rights. If the unions win the recall election, they will have demonstrated their ability to make or break a governor. They will control the state government. If I lived in Wisconsin, regardless of how I felt about Walker, I'd vote to retain him in office.

To all of you who are oh-so-anxious to put the union-government jackboot back on the necks of taxpayers, producers and wealth-builders in Wisconsin by pushing to recall Walker... below is the text of a letter I just sent off to Bob McDonnell, the Governor of our great RTW state of Virginia, who is aggressively reaching out to businesses and corporations in other states for relocation here:
-------------------------------------------
Dear Gov. McDonnell,

I wanted to first take the opportunity to thank you and the rest of your team for the great work you're doing for the people of the Commonwealth.

Though you've had to swim upstream against the anti-business policies of the Obama Administration, your hard and smart efforts are nonetheless bearing fruit by the month. The private sector continues to flourish, evidenced by the latest state jobs report showing 5,100 new jobs created and a drop in the unemployment rate to 6.2%.

In light of all this, I wanted to strongly urge you to keep an eye on the developments in Wisconsin, vis-a-vis the recall effort against Gov. Scott Walker. If Gov. Walker loses his (all-but-certain) recall election, will efforts be directed toward reaching out to the business base in Wisconsin to offer incentives to relocate to Virginia?

The climate for businesses in Wisconsin will become markedly more hostile if and when change in the Governor's mansion and statehouse occur. Corporations and small businesses alike may be searching for new operating venues, so a pitch for our great Commonwealth of Virginia and the unique business and quality-of-life advantages may be in order. Your success in attracting business from the excessive tax and regulatory environment in Maryland has been astounding. Please let me know if and how, as a citizen, I may be of assistance to help duplicate that success as pertains to Wisconsin.

All the best to you.. may your continued efforts to grow the business base in the Commonwealth be successful in 2012.

-------------------------------------------

Be warned, Wisconsinites... you recall Gov. Walker to your own economic detriment. Other states are watching developments in your state closely. Think hard about your actions.

@Spengler47 You're absolutely right the unions will be in control in WI... nothing excites them more than to dictate terms to local and state governments.... and it works so well! Take Michigan and California, for instance...
Oh, wait...

Isn't it ironic that the union thugs are trying to recall Governor Walker at a time when he has turned Wisconsin around for the better? Now instead of a deficit, they are in the black. The state economy is improving. So they want to return to the mess they had when the Democrats controlled everything. Great, just great...

Wow! I never understood the idiom, "Stupid is as stupid does", until now. And the foolish airheads who participated in recalling their governor as the behest of the 1% union leaders really took stupidity to a new low level.

To wisconsinliberal jumping up and down in his momma's basement shouting, "This is such a feat!", there is a 5000 year old prophetic scripture that must have been uttered with dimwits like you in mind: "My people perish for lack of knowledge."

So if you re able to get over your orgasmic joy, maybe you could 'splain just what your governor did that deserves recall, other than threatening the power and money train of the unions? From all accounts, Walker's reforms . . .

prevented any teachers from being laid off,

reduced the cost of union-provided health insurance now that the unions have to compete in the free market rather than the Marxist market of government monopoly and price gouging

enabled school districts to turn their budget deficits into surpluses without layoffs or school closings or elimination of curriculum for music and sports

and reduced people's property taxes.

So wisconsinliberal, just what is so terrible about what Walker did, and the results of the Republican reforms? And what are you expecting to occur when Democrats take over the state house and governorship with union money?

Here's a clue since you are obviously clueless - payback. Somebody has got to payback the money and support the unions provided the Democrats to regain power. So who do you think the Democrats are obligated to serve now - the little guy or the fat cat union leaders?

And just where do you think the cash that the unions spent is going to come from? Here's another hint - it ain't coming from the 1% because there ain't enough of them to give you free education, free housing, free health care, free retirement, and free vacations.

Ironically, but not surprisingly, the dimwitted 99%s are merely working for their union leaders who are in the 1%. As Morpheus observed, "Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony." And I would add a sense of humor as I watch Democrats take over Wisconsin government and do to it what they have done to Illinois, while I laugh gleefully in my redneck red state of small government, low taxes, and carry conceal 2nd Amendment rights.

@truzak, I could not have said it any better myself.

Good luck Wisconsin. As a long time California resident I can tell you what happens to a state when the unions own the government. California has the highest paid government workers and teachers in the country and the governor and legislature are owned by the SEIU and other government unions. The result, awful services and terrible schools, with prison guards making north of $300,000. Over the last decade the state has begun a steady and accelerating decline. The inland portions of the state have unemployment rates north of 20-25% and are starting to look more like poor regions of Mexico than the U.S. Along the rich coast, things are just barely hanging on, but the cracks grow bigger everyday as more stores close and businesses move. It has gotten so bad that you see billboards in cities like Los Angeles imploring Texas to stop "stealing" California jobs. Everyday another company leaves for Texas, Colorado or some other less regulated, less union government controlled state. California is dying and will collapse by the end of this decade if not sooner. It is amazing that in a short time the government unions have turned the state from the innovation and growth capital of the U.S. to Greece. So to Wisconsin I say good luck. Kick Walker out and let the unions own the government and watch your state die, slowly but surely. Watch as government union members retire with lavish pensions and healthcare as you struggle to get by. Good luck.

Good luck Wisconsin. As a long time California resident I can tell you what happens to a state when the unions own the government. California has the highest paid government workers and teachers in the country and the governor and legislature are owned by the SEIU and other government unions. The result, awful services and terrible schools, with prison guards making north of $300,000. Over the last decade the state has begun a steady and accelerating decline. The inland portions of the state have unemployment rates north of 20-25% and are starting to look more like poor regions of Mexico than the U.S. Along the rich coast, things are just barely hanging on, but the cracks grow bigger everyday as more stores close and businesses move. It has gotten so bad that you see billboards in cities like Los Angeles imploring Texas to stop "stealing" California jobs. Everyday another company leaves for Texas, Colorado or some other less regulated, less union government controlled state. California is dying and will collapse by the end of this decade if not sooner. It is amazing that in a short time the government unions have turned the state from the innovation and growth capital of the U.S. to Greece. So to Wisconsin I say good luck. Kick Walker out and let the unions own the government and watch your state die, slowly but surely. Watch as government union members retire with lavish pensions and healthcare as you struggle to get by. Good luck.

As a Wisconin independent I am hopeful the people of our State are going to back up Walker and a settle this union-vs-taxpayer power struggle once and for all. It is pleasing to see a Governor that has some spine and is willing to stick to the promises he made to the State when he campaigned. If those who elected him don't get him through the recall electrion as the victor this is going to encourage unions to grab even more citizen walletshare than they currently have.

I have to agree with the libs and union thugs.... GOV WALKER IS DOING TOO GOOD A JOB TO LEAVE HIM IN OFFICE... Kick him out, and lets get back to welfare, no jobs, debt, and the unions NOT PAYING THEIR FAIR SHARE.... yep.... lets all kick out the good gov...................SICKOS!!!!!!!!!!111

My husband and I decided last night.... WE ARE SENDING GOV WALKER A DONATION... put your money where your mouth is folks..

Keep Gov Walker.

I see the haters are out in full force. I wonder why so many of them are on this site, anyway. Sorry to disappoint you but I don't have time to waste responding to all of this right wingnut b.s. All is not so peachy in WI as you and Walker like to portray. His tv ads are full of lies.

@wisconsinliberal And the SEIU and AFSCME ads and the entire signature-gathering process has been lily-white with total clarity and accountability, right? It's not "hate" to say you're making a mistake. It's also not "hate" to inform you your business base will be harvested into other, mostly right-to-work states in short order. While in the safety and security of your mother's basement, you probably couldn't understand, bu know this... your union-directed temper tantrum out there is going to cost your state dearly. At the end of the day, you'll be California's debt-ridden little sister. Bet on it, friend.

So...does the million include the guy who signed 80 times by his own admission to the newspaper? Does it include the many, many people who signed other people's names - by their own admission? Because until and unless we verify each signature, I for one will not believe it. And what's 9 million more dollars spent after the millions spent cleaning up after the selfish union thugs camping out in our beautiful Capital building for weeks on end. If we lose this battle, I personally will be moving to a right to work state. As a small business owner, not interested in being stolen from by the union bosses who control the Democratic party here.

Even if Walker is recalled, the law still stands! Go ahead unions spend your war chests.

Wisconsinliberal: I understand your state is in the Black this year when you could have been over $3 billion in the Red. Look at the sorry state of Illionis.

Go ahead you WI brainiaces. Go back to deficits and paying your union thugs more than you make.
Sounds like the sound logic of the Liberal Mob to me.

From the many comments using the repeated usage of the words 'union thugs', i can only presume this is a clusterfu*k of anti-american right wing thugs paid to troll this and other sites, and true to Teabag thuggery the troll jobs were probably outsourced.

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