by Kia Marie Green
From the capital rotunda to city streets, many Wisconsin citizens, who oppose Gov. Scott Walker’s decisions, have defiantly spoken out. With protests, rallies and other grassroots efforts, they have let their voices be heard.
Consequently, what started out as a mere campaign has turned into a massive effort, as Tuesday recall supporters launched their initiative to recall Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefish from office.
For the next 60 days, recall supporters will fight to gather half a million signatures to force an election next year. The drive started late Monday night and early Tuesday morning, as recall offices opened across the state. A signing event was even held outside of the governor’s Wauwatosa home.
Talk of a recall began almost immediately after Walker released his state budget proposal in February that took away collective bargaining rights for most public workers, forced workers to pay more for their pensions and benefits and handed down massive cuts to public school districts across the state.
The measure passed in March, took effect this summer and motivated massive protests that grew as large as 100,000. Throughout each protest, the vigor to recall Walker became increasingly clear.
Under state law Walker is not eligible for recall until he has served one year in office, which will be January 2012. However, state law states that recall petitions can be taken out 60 days earlier; recall supporters elected to start the initiative on Tuesday.
While at this time, the petition drive isn’t going door-to-door seeking signatures, United Wisconsin, a political action committee, is wasting no time gathering petitions. Petitions are available at the three Milwaukee offices – on Appleton, Green Bay and National avenues – as well as online.
Once the petitions are filed, the state accountability board has 31 days (until Feb. 17) to review them. If enough signatures are deemed valid, a recall election could take place as early as March 27.
With the recall effort now officially underway, organizers are planning a rally in Madison this Saturday “to show Scott Walker what happens when you ignore the voice of Wisconsin’s middle class,” wrote Maggie Brickerman, the executive director of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, in a statement.
The Recall Scott Walker Rally will feature live music and many special guests and speakers. At the rally, participants will be able to sign petitions to recall Scott Walker.