Why the Scott Walker Recall Is Starting as Soon as Possible

(United Wisconsin)

Back in June, when the Democratic Party of Wisconsin first announced that it would attempt to recall Scott Walker,  chair Mike Tate told Daily Kos that he would prefer if the recall election would coincide with the November 2012 general election. Given this, when the DPW announced on Monday that they would start the process of recalling Walker on Nov. 15, it may have taken some by surprise.

What changed? Four things:

  1. No way to guarantee recall election would coincide with presidential election. As we saw this summer, pinning down an exact date for recall elections is no easy task. Originally, Democrats had hoped that six state senate recall elections would take place on July 12, and three others on July 19. However, due to legal challenges and the fake Democratic candidates Republicans ran in the recall primaries, in the end one recall general election took place on July 19, six were on Aug. 9, and two others on Aug. 16. After this experience, it became clear that it was not possible to guarantee a statewide recall against Scott Walker would coincide with the 2012 presidential election.
  2. Need to keep the grassroots united and active. While organized labor and the Wisconsin Democrats provide much of the organizational muscle to make these recalls a reality, anyone in Wisconsin can start a recall effort as soon as it is legally possible. Many activists on the ground would want to do exactly that, meaning that any wait would result in a loss of grassroots momentum. Further, if a recall effort against Walker were to begin without support from organized labor and/or the Wisconsin Democrats, it would potentially create a dangerous schism between anti-Walker activists.
  3. The longer the wait, the more money Scott Walker can raise. Since any recall effort allows the target of the recall to raise and spend unlimited funds, not jumping on board with any early recall effort would hand Walker a huge fundraising boost. Patrick Marley of the Journal-Sentinel explains:
    Since any recall campaign triggers a period of unlimited fundraising and spending by the target of the recall, multiple recall drives could have created a longer legal window for Walker to raise and spend without limits.
  4. Polling showed the timing was ripe. A poll commissioned by the Wisconsin Democrats in September also helped convince them that any wait to recall Walker would be a mistake:

Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates. 9/12-15. Likely voters, MoE 3.6%:

Recall Walker: 51
Keep Walker: 42
Undecided: 7

With Walker facing numbers like these now, why wait?

Add it all up, and it made a lot of sense to move forward with the recall as soon as possible. This is even though the projected signature gathering period, Nov. 15 to Jan. 13, could include several holidays and some brutal Wisconsin weather.

At Daily Kos, we have added the Democratic Party of Wisconsin to Orange to Blue. Please, chip in $5 to help them recall Scott Walker.

Daily Kos / By Chris Bowers | Sourced from

Posted at October 13, 2011, 3:33am