1 million Wisconsinites petition to recall Gov. Walker

  January 23, 2012

1 million Wisconsinites petition to recall Gov. Walker

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


Share to Facebook Share to Twitter

"The Real News Network" delivers as the title indicates -"Real News". Not news cycle trash or fluff. - Laviero
Log in and tell us why you support TRNN


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.


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


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

latest stories

Clinton Reaffirms Commitment to No-Fly Zone in Syria
Elites Outraged At Trump's Refusal to Accept Election Result
A Bloodier Battle for Mosul Might Begin After the Ouster of ISIS
Justice Department Sues Pocomoke For Violating Rights of Fired Black Police Chief
Officers Withdrawn from North Dakota Following Arrest of Madison Elected Official
Fair Elections Under Attack, Just Not in the Way Donald Trump Wants You to Believe
TiSA Agreement Leaks Show Corporations Pushing Privatization of Public Services
Exxon Fighting to Shut Down Investigations Into Company's Foreknowledge of Climate Change
Opposition Calls for a General Strike As Congolese President Wins Election Delay
The Path to Actual Police Reform Starts with Real Civilian Oversight
HFC Reduction Agreement Is Historic, But No Silver Bullet for Climate Change
What the NYT Left Out About Obama's 'Secret War' in Somalia
After Mosul, Whither ISIS?
US-Russia Tensions Escalating Over Fate of Assad
Seattle Teachers in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter
'Rioting' Charges Dismissed against Journalist for Exposing State Repression Of Standing Rock Sioux
For Indigenous Lenca People in Honduras, Rebellion Is a Centuries-Old Story
Tax Breaks for Wealthy Developers Reinforce Segregation in Baltimore
Eddie Conway Interviews Brazilian Youth Militants
Journalist Amy Goodman to Turn Herself in to Defend Freedom of the Press
Who are the 'Superpolluters'?
Clinton Emails Admit Counterrevolutionary Role of Saudi Arabia in Middle East
We're Not in a New Cold War - It's Far Worse
Brazil's Social Movements Planning General Strike for November
Mock Tribunal Held Against Monsanto in the Hague
Haitian Activist Speaks Out Against Killing of Fellow Activist
US Escalates Involvement in Yemen
Neither Clinton Nor Trump Opposes Fracking
Podesta Emails Show Hillary Is No Champion of Progressive Causes
Breaking Through Power: Robert Vaughn on the Importance of Whistleblowing

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