NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING
DONATE TODAY


The 200K Spring Challenge!

every dollar pledged will be matched by a generous donor

MICHELLE ALEXANDER

EDDIE CONWAY

CORNEL WEST

1 million Wisconsinites petition to recall Gov. Walker


Wisconsin Recall Campaign shows mass opposition to Walker's policies -   January 23, 2012
Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here


Audio

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter



Real News simply has no entertainment value. But its news value puts CNN,MSNBC,ABC& BBC to shame! - Santhip
Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

Transcript

1 million Wisconsinites petition to recall Gov. WalkerNOAH GIMBEL: On Tuesday, January 17, volunteers from the campaign to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker submitted over a million petitions to the state government accountability board. A year ago, Governor Walker's Budget Repair Bill drew major global attention to the Midwestern state. Promising to strip the collective bargaining rights from most public-sector workers, the controversial legislation inspired some of the largest labor protests that the state, and indeed the country, had seen in decades. With a Republican majority in both the state house and senate, the bill passed after protestors spent weeks in and around the Capitol. But the opposition of the people of Wisconsin did not die there. They determined to recall the governor.

Mary Bottari, Director of the Center for Media and Democracy's Real Economy Project, has followed the recall campaign from the start.

MARY BOTTARI, CENTER FOR MEDIA AND DEMOCRACY: Well the drive to recall Scott Walker was truly a grassroots movement. It was folks out in the cold standing by the side of the road waving petitions, setting up permanent little tables in front of coffee shops or in front of grocery stores or department stores, or driving around the state. You could see people of all ages, a lot of retirees out there, some with canes, working really hard on the recall effort. It was organized under rubric of an organization called United Wisconsin, which was grassroots folks just coming together and making this happen. And then they joined forces later in the day with the Democratic party to get those petitions filed.

GIMBEL: Despite the recall efforts, Governor Walker promises that his job-creation strategy needs more time, and that his union-busting budget cuts are an integral part of his economic policy.

BOTTARI: Well, Scott Walker's response to all this—and he did not do a lot of interviews on the day the petitions were filed. His talking point on this has been it's out-of-state unions: this whole thing is being rigged up by out-of-state unions, with out-of-state money and out-of-state people and out-of-state volunteers. This is a very familiar theme to Wisconsonites. Wisconsin is in its sixth month of straight job losses right now. We lost 14,000 jobs in November.

GIMBEL: The success of the recall campaign thus far suggests that Wisconsonites aren't willing to wait patiently for Walker's vision to unfold. But that's not to say that the recall is a sure thing. Last August, recall elections were held in Wisconsin for six Republican state senators. As money flowed into the election from both sides, only two of those seats were lost to Democrats, leaving them one seat short of a majority.

But according to Mary Bottari, the ideological rift between the governor and the people of the state has since widened even further.

BOTTARI: Folks just think that trying to ram the bill through the legislature, you know, collecting money from outside the state, outside interests, being associated with groups like ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, is just not what we're used to here in Wisconsin. And we slashed $1.6 billion out of schools here in Wisconsin at the same time that we gave $2 billion in tax breaks to our richest citizens and corporations in the state. So these are the issues that people have been dwelling on. And the last poll taken on the recall issue that was made public was in November of last year, and at that point 58 percent of people in the state supported the recall effort.

GIMBEL: And as recall petitions are counted, those numbers are proving meaningful.

BOTTARI: The numbers coming out of Wisconsin are astounding. They gathered 1 million signatures for the recall of Scott Walker, the governor, and 900,000 more signatures for the recall of lieutenant governor and four state senators. It was not an easy task to do. Wisconsin has set one of the highest recall bars in the United States of the 19 states that have recall statutes. You have to get 25 percent of the vote from the last statewide election. So these folks had to gather 540,000 signatures to trigger this recall. They doubled that: they got almost 50 percent of the votes in the last statewide election.

GIMBEL: As a recall election is now almost certain to take place as early as this summer, the people of Wisconsin will now hold primary elections to field a candidate to run against Walker. For his part, the governor will not show up for the race empty-handed.

BOTTARI: On the day the petition was filed—actually, the hour the petition was filed, Scott Walker was on Wall Street. He was at a fundraiser hosted by Citibank, the world's original too-big-to-fail bank that received $45 billion in federal bailout funds. He was there for a fundraiser. Right now, as he is under recall, he can raise unlimited sums. It's a strange quirk in our recall law, and until election is actually triggered, he can get checks, and unlimited amounts, from people around the United States. And he's making these fundraising forays down to—for instance, he went down to Texas and he got a $250,000 check from Bob Perry, the Texas Swift Boat billionaire. He's now on Wall Street. And that little fundraiser was hosted by Frank Greenberg of AIG, the company that took the American financial crisis and turned it into a global disaster by selling credit default swaps around the world. So that's where Scott Walker was on the day this recall petition was filed.

GIMBEL: In a year full of elections, the recall of Scott Walker will doubtless be among the most closely watched and the most expensive.

For the Real News, I'm Noah Gimbel in Washington.

End

DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


Comments

Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

Comments


Latest Stories


Grand Jury Indicts 6 Officers in Death of Freddie Gray
TRNN Debate: Are GMOs Safe to Eat?
NSA Whistleblower: No Real NSA Reforms Being Considered by Senate
Post Conflict Fragile States, Will They Overcome?
Pressure Mounts on Baltimore Police Union as Protests Continue
Five Big Banks Plead Guilty to Rigging Currency Markets and No One Goes to Jail
U.S. Might Support UN Resolution That Leaves Palestine with a "Garbage Dump" - Norman Finkelstein on RAI 2 (3/3)
Baltimore Residents Say Anger Over Freddie Gray Could Affect Mayor's Race
Can the DOJ Reform the Baltimore Police Department?
Julian Assange May Be Exiled in the Ecuadorian Embassy, But Wikileaks Continues
Warren Pushes Back Against TPP Fast Track
Illinois House Passes Bill to Stop BDS Campaign Against Israel
Israel's Iron Dome and Palestinian Armed Resistance - Norman Finkelstein on Reality Asserts Itself 2 (2/3)
NAACP Accuses Baltimore Police Union of Intimidation
Former President Morsi Sentenced to Death
Scheer and Hedges: They Know Everything About You (7/7)
EU Plans to Destroy Migrant Boats Leaving Libya
Israel's Descent into Barbarism - Norman Finkelstein on Reality Asserts Itself 2 (1/3)
The Beneficiaries of Republican Budget Bill: Arms Manufacturers
Obama Takes Small Step Towards Demilitarizing Police
Scheer and Hedges: They Know Everything About You (6/7)
Cornel West, Eddie Conway and Rev. Sekou on Building a Mass Movement
Graduating Class of 2015 Most Debt Burdened in History
Scheer and Hedges: They Know Everything About You (5/7)
20% of Africans Live in Post-Conflict Fragile States
Amtrak Budget Cuts Amount to Derailed Priorities in Washington
Scheer and Hedges: They Know Everything About You (4/7)
New Hoops in Gilmor Homes
How to Use Economics and Not Be Used By Economists (6/6)
Cubans Press for Embargo to be Lifted

RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network. Click here for more

Problems with this site? Please let us know

Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting