Governor Scott Walker will be recalled as governor and now must defend himself in an upcoming election to be scheduled in the late spring/early summer. In what will be remembered as one of the greatest grassroots movements in American history, over one million signatures of registered voters were gathered from every part of Wisconsin. The recall effort was led by Wisconsin United, a grassroots coalition of more than 200,000 Wisconsinites & organizations who have united to recall Governor Scott Walker.
Organizers behind the recall of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker collected 1 million signatures to be submitted to the state’s Government Accountability Board on Tuesday, dwarfing the required number of names and virtually ensuring that a recall election will take place later this year.
A total of 540,208 valid signatures, or 25 percent of all of the votes cast in the election that put Walker in office last January, were needed to force a recall election, but organizers had aimed for hundreds of thousands more than the minimum requirement to ensure they met the threshold even if some signatures are disqualified.
The success of labor and liberal activists in forcing a recall election guarantees that Wisconsin will have an election-year reprise of its national star turn from last year —as ground zero in a climactic conflict between conservative activists and public-employee unions. Given the timing of the special election, and the fact that Wisconsin is a critical Midwestern electoral battleground, the contest is sure to seep into the presidential election between President Barack Obama and the Republican presidential nominee.
Aside from Governor Scott Walker, also targeted were Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and some Republican state legislators. This included Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau. Also having signatures filed against them were Republican Senators Pam Galloway of Wausau, Van Wanggaard of Racine and Terry Moulton of Chippewa Falls.
If the recall election is successful, not only will the Democrats regain the governor’s mansion, but also have a majority in the State Senate will a real opportunity to repeal the suspension of collective bargaining rights. People like George Shiver typify why Wisconsin grassroots activists are angry and directing their anger toward Governor Scott Walker, his Lt. Governor, and four Republican State Senators.
Asked why he signed a petition to recall Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, George Shiver, 55, emptied a bag of prescription medications onto the coffee table in his untidy Eau Claire apartment. “These are the drugs I take to stay alive every month,” says the single father of four, who is on disability, food stamps and Medicaid. In 2003, he says, doctors told him that a bout of influenza had caused a neurological disorder that routinely manifests itself in dizzying, seizure-like spells. He takes three medications for high cholesterol, one for his kidneys, morphine for back pain, Advair for severe asthma and an anti-depressant he’s been on since his wife committed suicide in March of 2010. “If the governor has his way and keeps cutting things,” Shiver says, “where will it not only leave me, but people like me in the future?”
With passion like this, it appears Governor Scott Walker will be busy defending their record. With over a million signatures filed against Walker and his fellow Republicans, this will be an uphill fight.
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John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African-American studies, published by The Elevator Group Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots: How Barack Obama, Two Bookstore Owners, and 300 Volunteers did it. Also available an eBook on Amazon.