Organizers of a drive to recall Wisconsin Gov Scott Walker delivered a million signatures to a state board Tuesday, nearly twice the number needed to force a recall election.
Walker, A Republican, drew the wrath of organized labor and their like-minded allies last year when he pushed through a law that significantly curtailed collective bargaining rights for public workers.
State law requires at least 540,208 signatures to force a special election. The over-one-million signatures, weighing roughly 33-hundred pounds, according to Democrats, is nearly the same number who cast votes for the governor in November 2010, and nearly half the total state turnout in that election.
The sheer number of signatures practically guarantees a recall election, which would mark the first recall of a sitting governor in state history and only the third gubernatorial recall election in U-S history. (North Dakota in 1921 and California in 2003.)
The petition drive also secured enough signatures for recalls of six other Republican state lawmakers. Last year, nine state senators faced recall elections –six Republicans and three Democrats. Democrats picked up two seats in those elections, narrowing the GOP’s Senate majority from 19-14 to 17-16.
Once the state’s Accountability Board certifies the signatures (they’ll have 31 days), the recall election will be scheduled, likely for June or July. Democrats haven’t decided who they’ll nominate to face Walker.
It’s always amusing to read the partisan resentment coming from, in this case, Republicans. I read of one comment by someone who said Wisconsin Democrats are playing a strange game of “my way of the highway.” Dare to defy our wishes and we will order a recall. Sorry, but only partisans are bitter and act like sore losers, and we all know that both Republicans and Democrats –be they elected officials or people who elect them– are guilty of that sort of attitude.
However, over a million signatures in Wisconsin is a lot of signatures (assuming they’re all certified). Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum couldn’t even manage to collect 10,000 signatures to get themselves on the Virginia primary ballot. Statistically, if my rough math is correct, one million signatures is around 18 percent of Wisconsin’s population (5.6 million). That’s huge. Meanwhile, in Virginia, 10,000 signatures is barely point-one percent of their total population. (7.8 million).
Citizens have a legal right to recall an elected official for whatever reason they see fit. If voters want to remove Walker (whether they changed their minds or not about him from before), and a legal avenue exists for them to do so, then they should remove him.
In America we give power to those who represent us and we reserve the right to take that power away. Regardless of one’s politics, I say bravo, Wisconsin!