The recall of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker seems to be a foregone conclusion, with the news that yesterday, over 1 million signatures, on recall petitions, were turned into Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board (GAB). The number of signatures needed to recall Gov. Walker, is just over 540,000 signatures. According to the grassroots organization, ‘Wisconsin United’: “This people powered recall movement, per capita, is the most successful in our nations’ history. The size of the recall means that a recall election is inevitable and that any challenge is futile. It is statistically impossible for any challenge of the recall to succeed.” A call placed to ‘Wisconsin United’ confirmed that this organization has attempted to authenticate these recall signatures numerous times, to strike out any illegitimate signatures.
There has been some controversy over who should pay for the vetting, or authenticating, of these recall signatures. According to a news release from the Government Accountability Board, that was released on December 21, 2011: “Much has been made in the media about the Government’s Accountability Board’s role in recall petition review, and whether the board should undertake a much more costly investigation of each signature. The Board will do its part, as required by state law, but the procedures laid out in the statutes give recall committees and the incumbent officeholders committee important roles to play — eliminating fraudulent and duplicate signatures before filing, and challenging signatures after filing. The board will then rule on those challenges.”
The Republican Party of Wisconsin apparently disagreed with the GAB, and sued in Waukesha County to make the GAB responsible for the costs of vetting all of the recall petition signatures. A statement by Republican Party of Wisconsin Executive Director Stephan Thompson said: “The Waukesha County court’s ruling that the Government accountability Board must take affirmative steps to identify and strike fraudulent signatures from recall petitions was a victory for millions of Wisconsin electors who are at risk of being disenfranchised amidst the recall effort. The Republican Party of Wisconsin is committed to working with the GAB in its efforts to preserve the integrity of the recall process, ensuring that all individuals are treated equally, and any vicious names or duplicate signatures are removed from petitions.” The Republicans apparently just do not want to be held accountable for the costs of the signature vetting process.
According to an article in the Associated Press on January 16, 2012, by Scott Bauer: “Walker has meanwhile dominated the state’s airwaves with ads, defending his agenda… he’s also crisscrossed the country raising millions of dollars, taking full advantage of both the conservative rockstar persona built as he put Wisconsin at the center of the national labor rights debates and a quirk in state law allowing those targeted for recall to ignore normal contribution limits until an election date is set.” In a call placed to Friends of Scott Walker, Ciara Matthews, campaign spokesperson for Gov. Walker, said: “The policy of the campaign is that we don’t release information on the number of times we run commercials. I can tell you that six different commercials for Gov. Walker have aired, including the holiday commercial.”
Later in the AP article, Bauer says: “Walker reported in a December that he’s already raised $5.1 million, with about half of that coming from out of state. He received $250,000 alone from Bob Perry, the Texas conservative who was one of the main financial backers behind the Swift Boat Veterans ads that attacked Sen. John Kerry during the 2004 presidential campaign.” This news is very interesting, because of the accusations made by Gov. Walker, accusing the ‘Liberal Democrats’ of using labor union money from across the nation, to help in the recall effort.
In a statement by Scot Ross, ‘One Wisconsin Now’ Executive Director- another one of the grassroots organizations that was behind the recall efforts-Ross says that Gov. Walker has raised: “Massive amounts of out-of-state money: Walker not only took nearly 50 percent of his individual money from out of state, his top four donors totaling $550,000, came from outside of Wisconsin. Of Walker’s largest 655 contributors of $1,000 and above, 53 percent of the money from these contributions, or $1,196,000, is from outside of Wisconsin.”
Until today, there has not been a challenger from the Democrats in a potential recall election for the office of the Gov. of Wisconsin. According to an article printed by a Jessica Vanegeren in today’s The Capital Times newspaper: “While former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk Wednesday became the first Democrat to jump into an expected recall election against Republican Gov. Scott Walker, a recent poll suggests she might not necessarily be the party’s nominee.” There will most certainly be more potential Democratic candidates ready to throw their hats in to this race.
This is sure to be an interesting year in both Wisconsin politics and national politics.
Read more: http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/govt-and-politics/capitol-report/c…