Recall Walker Signature Drive Poised To Trigger Special Election

This week, the campaign will turn in hundreds of thousands of extra signatures.

The signature-gathering campaign to recall Wisconsin's union-busting Republican governor, Scott Walker, is on on track to turn in far more recall petition signatures than the half-million needed under state law to trigger a special election later this spring, according to The Wheeler Report, a great blog covering Wisconsin politics.

The signed petitions must be turned into the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board on Tuesday, January 17, and leaks to various state and national media outlets, including The New York Times, say that petitions with at least 720,000 signatures will be turned in. The Wisconsin GAB will take 60 days and hire dozens of temporary staff to process the petitions, some of which are expected to be challenged in court by Republicans who are looking for fraudulent names.

However, even Walker himself acknowledged to the Times that the tsunami of signatures, whose numbers will officially be announced by state Democratic Party officials on Tuesday, is simply to big to prevent the recall from happening. The recall campaigners also are targeting other top Wisconsin Republicans and are expected to turn in sufficient petition signatures for those officials as well, various state press reports said.

Most intriguing in the Times story is that Walker is beginning to sound a bit defensive about his efforts to cut union benefits--his pretext for saving the state money and fostering an economic climate creating jobs. Job growth under his administration has been squeamish, owning in some part to the divisive environment he fomented in his earliest months as governor--not just the national economy.

“I never realized,” he told the paper, “how much national money and attention would come in on this particular issue.” 

Wow! So much for knowing his state's populist history and how the modern media--particularly online organizing--works.

AlterNet / By Steven Rosenfeld

Posted at January 16, 2012, 6:24am

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