Recall Efforts on Sen. Grothman Amping Up in Ozaukee County
Organizers for the recall are searching for locations to gather signatures, but one alderman is doubtful the efforts will pay off.
Recall efforts for Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) are set in Washington County, and coordinators are in the midst of expanding into Ozaukee County.
Three locations in West Bend will operate on Saturday and Sunday to collect signatures, and Richard Schwalb, coordinator for Ozaukee County efforts, said locations are in the making in the area.
"The budget problem is real, (but) it is not quite as severe as those groups (suggest)," said Schwalb, who resided in Ozaukee County for much of his life. "We don’t think (the budget fix plan has) been presented fairly. We actually believe that the people should have a chance to speak out again on these issues."
Schwalb now lives on the far north side of Milwaukee, and he lives in the district served by state Sen. Alberta Darling, who is also being threatened by recall efforts. But Schwalb said as a longtime resident of Ozaukee County, he felt he could help his neighbors by spreading the recall efforts from West Bend to Ozaukee County cities.
Schwalb is looking for locations in Ozaukee County, but isn't sure exactly which city or which day the group will actively seek signatures in designated spots.
"We’re working on it and we hope we will (have locations picked for the weekend), but it’s day to day at this point," he said.
Port Washington Alderman Dan Becker said he backs Gov. Scott Walker's budget bill, as well as Sen. Grothman.
Walker's bill calls for most public employees to pay higher costs for health care and to contribute more to their pensions. It also eliminates most collective bargaining rights. Protests on both sides of the bill have kept Madison streets and Wisconsin cities busy for weeks.
"I fully support (Grothman) because I support what the governor is trying to do in Madison right now," Becker said, adding that he has little faith that the recall effort against the senator will have much chance of taking hold here.
"My initial reaction is, well ... 'good luck,'" he said. "I don’t think that it’ll work, I think that Glenn is highly thought of by his constituents … I don’t see any recall effort of him working. I think if it actually goes to an election he’ll retain his seat."
Grothman said he's already planning to start efforts of his own, raising funds needed to campaign for his spot.
"I am up for election next year, and I think it’s unfortunate some people want to spend thousands of dollars having an early election," Grothman said. "I am going to have to start raising money aggressively to deal with this threat."
Waring Fincke is the man behind much of the recall efforts in Washington County, Schwalb said, and the group will have signature locations open this weekend.
Those West Bend locations include: Keberle and Patrykus Law Office, 2100 Gateway Ct. (near Hwy. 45 & Paradise Drive); Bob and Barbara Deters (private residence), 1402 W. Decorah Rd. (between 18th and Silverbrook); and Candlelight Collective, 258 N. Main St., lower level (downtown and downstairs from Jeanne's Collectables).
All locations will be open and staffed from 9 to 11 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday as well as 10 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
At leats 20,061 valid signatures need to be raised for the recall to take effect.