States

Effort to Recall Wis. Governor Begins, and He Fights Back

By Sean Cavanagh — November 15, 2011 1 min read

Opponents of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker have begun their long-anticipated effort to recall him from office—and the Republican officeholder, who has drawn fire for his stance on public workers’ collective-bargaining rights, appears to be ready.

Governors, like other public officials in the state, need to be in office for a year before they’re eligible for recall. The first date when recall petitions could be circulated was Nov. 4, and they could not be offered for filing until Jan, 3, 2012. That gives leaders of the recall effort about two months to collect 540,208 signatures, or one-quarter of the 2,160,832 votes cast in 2010 governor’s race, according to the state’s Government Accountability Board.

Democrats have not yet chosen a candidate for governor, should enough signatures be collected to recall Walker, the Associated Press reports. One favorite of Democrats, former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, said earlier this year that he wasn’t interested.

Walker, of course, drew the ire of Democrats, and brought a nationwide spotlight to Wisconsin, through his aggressive support of a law that stripped teachers and many other public workers of substantial collective bargaining powers.

Fifty-eight percent of state residents are in favor of recalling the Wisconsin governor, and 38 percent oppose it, according to a recent Wisconsin Public Radio/St. Norbert College survey.

By early indications, Walker is determined to make his case to the public. His backers are out with one TV ad, which Politico reports aired during the recent Green Bay Packers’ game. In the ad, a school board member says that Walker’s policies have helped control costs at the local level, an argument Walker has sounded repeatedly.

Here’s the clip:

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A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.