Plans announced for recall of Gov. WalkerWisconsin News
-- If Scott Walker is recalled next spring, he would only be the third governor in U.S. history to be removed that way. According to the AP, California’s Gray Davis was recalled in 2003, and the governor of North Dakota was booted out in 1921. State Democrats say they’re working with the group United Wisconsin to gather recall signatures starting November 15th.
MADISON - If Scott Walker is recalled next spring, he would only be the third governor in U.S. history to be removed that way. According to the AP, California’s Gray Davis was recalled in 2003, and the governor of North Dakota was booted out in 1921. State Democrats say they’re working with the group United Wisconsin to gather recall signatures starting November 15th.
They’ll need to submit at least 540,000 valid signatures by January 17th. The state Government Accountability Board would then have 31 days to certify the petitions. But that process could be delayed by an extension or court challenges. The earliest an election could be held is March 27th if there are no delays. That could be a primary, in which case the general election would be April 24th at the earliest. State Democratic Party chairman Mike Tate said the Republican Walker was quote, “dishonest with the people” when he ran for governor last year. He was referring to the GOP’s passage of the law which virtually ended collective bargaining for most state-and-local public employee unions. Tate said the measure was never mentioned once during Walker’s campaign. But Walker previously said voters would have seen it coming if they knew his track record as Milwaukee County’s executive. And state GOP director Stephan Thompson says Wisconsin’s communities and schools have saved millions of tax dollars thanks to Walker’s reforms. Thompson says his party welcomes what he calls the “positive results” as compared to quote, “the failed policies of the past, favored by those seeking a recall.”
Now that a game plan has been announced for the governor’s possible recall, speculation is heating up about who might run against Republican Scott Walker. Democrat Tom Barrett got 46-percent of the vote against Walker last November. Barrett said today he’s focusing on a re-election bid as Milwaukee’s mayor next spring – but he wouldn’t rule out a run against Walker if a recall election is scheduled. Also today, state Senate Democrat Jon Erpenbach of Middleton said he would take a hard look at running against Walker. He’s one of the 14 Democrats who skipped out of the Capitol for three weeks in March, in a failed effort to block the bill which led to the recall attempt – the virtual ending of collective bargaining for most public employee unions. A spokesman for former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk said she would also consider a run. House Democrat Ron Kind’s name has also come up, even though he decided not to run for governor two years ago, and is not running for Herb Kohl’s U.S. Senate seat next year. Kind is not commenting. Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca of Kenosha praised the recall effort, but stopped short of saying he’d run against Walker. Former Wausau House Democrat Dave Obey’s name has also come up, along with Madison bio-tech businessman Kevin Conroy.
Also today, two Madison Democrats introduced a bill that would restore the public union bargaining privileges. Senate Democrat Fred Risser of Madison and Assembly Democrat Mark Pocan, also of Madison, said they know the bill probably won’t pass with Republicans in charge. But as the recall effort gains steam, Risser and Pocan believes their bill will garner more support as well.
United Wisconsin leaders say they don’t know if their effort to recall Governor Scott Walker will also target Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch or not. The coalition targeting Walker for his controversial law to end collective bargaining rights for state employees isn’t sure yet. The Government Accountability Board is asking for an attorney general’s opinion on how the lieutenant governor might be affected. Candidates for the two offices run on the same ticket in this state, but recall petitions are taken out against just one office holder at a time.