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Walker Recall Effort More Than Halfway There, Organizers Say

United Wisconsin, the main recall group, says it has 300,000-plus signatures; GOP calls the effort a "baseless, partisan power-grab."

Just , the group behind the move to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker said Monday it has gathered more than 300,000 signatures — more than half the number needed to force a recall election.

Wisconsinites were signing the recall petition at the rate of 1,040 per hour, according to Wisconsin United, the main group behind the effort. In the first 96 hours of the recall effort, which began Nov. 15, more than 105,000 signatures were collected from all 72 counties in Wisconsin.

The group needs 540,208 valid signatures by Jan. 17 to force an election, and organizers say they hope to gather between 600,00 and 700,000 signatures.

County-by-county figures were not available, however, United Wisconsin said 10,033 residents signed petitions in Columbia County and 16,845 people living in Eau Claire and Chippewa counties signed petitions.

The state Republican Party on Monday evening said the Democrats released the numbers to keep the recall effort in the spotlight.

"The recall effort is a baseless, partisan power grab being pushed on Wisconsin families by liberal special interests," Republican Party of Wisconsin Communications Director Ben Sparks said. "Despite the Democrats' attempts to generate false momentum in their never-ending effort to score political points, Wisconsin families are only interested in moving our state forward.

"We remain focused on Governor Walker's common-sense reforms that have laid the ground work for economic growth, and our economy only continues to improve,"he added in a statement.

Recall efforts sparked after protests starting in March against Walker's budget-repair bill, which eliminates most collective bargaining rights for many public unions.

Protests on both sides of the bill kept Madison streets and Wisconsin cities busy for weeks, slowing passage of the bill. The Republicans removed certain fiscal items and passed the bill, which was then signed by the governor and is now being challenged in court.

Throughout the recall effort there will be no limit placed on donations made to  Walker's campaign, and United Wisconsin blames extra cash for the recent and numerous TV and radio ads supporting Walker.

"Scott Walker has taken to the airwaves, supported by millions in corporate cash, to defend his record of job loss and full-scale assault on Wisconsin’s institutions and values,” United Wisconsin Executive Director Meagan Mahaffey said in a statement Monday. “But all over Wisconsin, the people are seeing through Walker’s deceptions and are moving to take our state back."

Bob McBride December 02, 2011 at 01:45 PM
...in market conditions for all that to change, for all the niceties that made the business relationship between employees and their employers seem like a family to disappear. What you're left with is lean, mean, consumer products machine and, frankly, no one is too happy about working there these days - but they understand why it has to be the way it is. They, for the most part, understand that they have to perform to maintain their jobs. They understand that the days when they can take off to take care of grandma and there will be someone else there to fill in for them are gone. You do have a few who seem to think that the owner skipped town and left them holding the bag, but that's understandable. If you've never done what he did or been involved closely who's done something he did, you don't really understand the decision he had to make and the price he paid for doing so. That's the other side, Michael. Those are the guys who make the jobs that you, because you wanted to go the easy route, work for. They take the risks, they make the decisions, some of them treat their employees very well for as long as they can and, if and when the day comes that they can no longer afford to do that, have to make the tough decisions nobody is going to be happy about. That's the tradeoff for the freedom and the elimination of one level of subordination that you chose to avoid when you went to work for one or more of them.
Bob McBride December 02, 2011 at 01:57 PM
Say What?, basically what JB Schmidt said. In essence, you have a private sector model to use for comparison in the private schools that are out there and have been for years. That's your starting point. I know teachers don't like to hear that, because they know very well that most in the private sector schools aren't receiving the kinds of wage/benefit packages they are and would prefer that compensation be based on those who've put in as much time and money achieving the educations they themselves have. But when you have a direct comparison available in the private sector, that's what the market tells you you're worth.
235301 December 02, 2011 at 03:11 PM
This has been one of the better threads on patch. The entitlement mindset of the public sector/union employee has to be changed. You, as an individual, are a commodity in the workforce. Your salary and benefits are largely defined by supply and demand. For years now the unions have manipulated the system so that they could shelter employees from supply and demand. In the public sector the unions hosed the taxpayer. In the private sector they simply destroyed companies like locusts swarming the fields. Now we have Walker and the Republicans taking the leverage away from the unions and getting public sector salaries and benefits in line with the market. As important as many public sector positions are to society, let's be frank: there's a glut of candidates out there for nearly every public sector position(teaching is a prominent one). This glut has to put a cap on salaries and benefits. Let's be frank, as an employee, wouldn't you want your pay and job prospects to be better when you've specialized and honed your skillset such that a) there's a high demand for what you do and b) there are only a handful of candidates that can do what you do? The union mindset is enforced mediocrity: pay everyone the same no matter how well they perform. Well how well do you think this motivates people to perform?
Kevin Nelson December 02, 2011 at 03:59 PM
Well said! Unfortunately there are far too many people in today's society that are ok with mediocrity, and need the unions to hide behind. I'm not sure they even know what they are fighting for.
Robert W Farkas December 02, 2011 at 04:21 PM
MDS, if you are just reminiscing to an earlier day, fine. A lot has changed and that change is driven by economics in response to what the people desire. There are still communities for which you seem to long. Seek and you shall find, as they say. If you find what you like maybe "you" will be happier there. I have fond memories of shopping on Mitchell Street where there were bakers, butchers, mens and ladies clothing shops, Sear where the car spotter on the fire escape with the microphone would call out the color, make and model of the vehicle and direct them to a parking spot. etc. But people were introduced to the Malls and left Mitchell Street to die. Choice. The People spoke with their feet and their money. It was not big business, the any evil brothers or the government, it was the People and their money. It is still the driving force, Big Box Store over Mom and Pop. The simple fact that people have become so polarized from reality, working as a unit to destroy a legally elected government demonstrates that like the "downtown" changing, the way we interact and communicate has changed also. Simply wishing to have a conversation on a sidewalk is not enough. You have to get out and find a place to have that conversation outside of your comfort zone. Then just maybe, you may learn something. So rather than lament, get out of your car and find the town center as it exist now, not in your memory.
CowDung December 02, 2011 at 04:35 PM
Zeidler actually ran as a non-partisan independent...
SD December 02, 2011 at 04:36 PM
US jobless rate 2 1/2 year low. What has happened HERE? More jobs being lost month after month. It is great to think we are "open for job losses"
Steve December 02, 2011 at 04:51 PM
Obama is a wet blanket
Celeste Koeberl December 02, 2011 at 05:16 PM
FYI here are the facts about job numbers in Wisconsin relative to other states and the U.S.: The average percent job growth for the U.S. in 2011 through October was +1.1%; but at the end of Oct 11, WI ranked 43rd from the top in percent of job growth for the year, at +0.41%; and the only states with lower percent of job growth than WI in 2011 were SD, NC, AR, RI, DE, IN, and GA ("Job Growth by State for 2011", 11/26/11, http://mollysmiddleamerica.blogspot.com/2011/11/job-growth-by-state-for-2011-how-is.html). While the U.S. as a whole gained approximately 1.1% in jobs since Oct 10, WI is one of the states with the lowest job growth, or in some months actual job losses--as measured either month over month, over the past three months, 2011 to date, or over the past year. From Sept to Oct 11, WI lost more jobs in absolute numbers (-9,700) than any other state; from Sept to Oct 11, WI lost a greater percent of jobs (-0.35%) than any other state; over the last three months from July to Oct 11, WI lost the second greatest number of jobs (-21,000 in WI, compared to -22,400 in NY); over the last three months from July to Oct 11, WI lost the third greatest percent of jobs (-0.77% in WI, compared to -0.92% in WY and -1.69% in RI) ; and WI ranked 43rd for percent of job growth from Oct 10 to Oct 11 (+0.22%) ("Which States Were Job Winners or Losers in October 2011", 11/25/11, http://mollysmiddleamerica.blogspot.com/2011/11/which-states-were-job-winners-losers.html).
CowDung December 02, 2011 at 05:33 PM
Do you ever post your original thoughts instead of just bunches of links, Celeste? If a state has a lower unemployment rate to begin with, wouldn't it be expected that they have a lower job growth than states that have an unemployment rate that is higher than the national average?
Celeste Koeberl December 02, 2011 at 05:34 PM
FYI, most threats were made against Democratic state senators, not against Governor Walker or Republican legislators. "Authorities have investigated 89 threat cases against lawmakers of both parties, Gov. Scott Walker and others after the governor introduced his controversial anti-collective bargaining bill in February and Democratic senators fled the state to avoid voting on it, according to Department of Justice records . . . . The records cover 78 closed cases reviewed by the agency’s Division of Criminal Investigation between Feb. 19 and March 25 . . . . Not included in the 128 pages of documents were records of 11 investigations that are still under way. . . . The 78 cases were closed after agents determined that no further investigation was needed, the threats of violence were unlikely to be carried out or the perpetrator could not be identified. . . . The 78 closed cases involve: • 15 threats against Walker. • 30 threats targeting Democratic senators. • 12 threats against Republican senators and state representatives, including a one-line email sent to all 56 GOP Assembly members. • 21 threats targeting Capitol protesters, police, the Tea Party, Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, Dane County Board Chairman Scott McDonell and others." Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/more-than-threats-made-against-walker-lawmakers-and-others-records/article_884e3352-7cf4-11e0-98ed-001cc4c03286.html#ixzz1fOq95UvB
Hudson Resident December 02, 2011 at 06:35 PM
Amen 235301! Only a government union thug would disagree with such astute logic.
Hudson Resident December 02, 2011 at 06:38 PM
We can only hope that the majority of job losses in Wiscsonsin have been those held by trial lawyers and government union thugs.
235301 December 02, 2011 at 07:14 PM
Let's please stop calling public sector employees union thugs. I will agree that the unions and their officers can in many instances be lumped under the heading "thugs", but it's extremely unfair to lump all members into this category. Most teachers would not fall under the category of "thug"(albeit we saw plenty of them acting thuggish at the capital awhile back, with their fake sick notes and all). You have a class of people that are very used to their entitled lifestyle. It's natural for them to push back when a piece of that is being taken away. Hopefully they will come to their senses and realize those benefit packages are unsustainable for the taxpayer and needed to be adjusted.
Shane K December 02, 2011 at 07:57 PM
Why is all that is ever mentioned is the Union Busting that we are fighting against. And who said anything about taxes having to be raised. Do most people forget the first thing walker did when he got into office was give away 140 million of our tax money to the rich. What about conspiracy to commit a riot. What about breaking the open meeting law. What about his friends the crooks. Has anyone researched his buddies. Over 100 million they had to pay in fines for all the laws their companies have broken in the united states. The fact they have been dealing with Iran for the past ten years. Their was nothing wrong with the finances of our state until walker took office. I cant believe how blind some of you are and cant see past just the union bit of it. Anyone who would be for walker is either a millionaire or completely blind. Is this really the kind of person anyone would want in any kind of office position? REALLY?
CowDung December 02, 2011 at 08:07 PM
If you truly think that there was nothing wrong with the finances of our state until walker took office, then you are the one who cannot see. Turn off Rachel Maddow and start informing your self with some facts...
mau December 02, 2011 at 08:31 PM
@Shane, who are you talking about? Who got the $140 million? What conspiracy to commit riot? Who are his buddies, who are the crooks? You talking about Indian Gaming? Oh no that was Doyle. The Mafia? Oh no that is who controls the unions and gambling. What laws did they break? Who is dealing with Iran? China, Russia, the CIA? Where and what is your proof and who are you talking about. I've got 20/20 vision so I must be a millionaire.
mau December 02, 2011 at 08:33 PM
@Hudson, lawyers and the union leaders are the only ones not being laid off. They are the only ones making out.
Say What? December 03, 2011 at 03:15 AM
Thank you so much for not answering my questions, Dufus Brain?! What a tool. Honestly, I could show you what a thug does, but that would involve you crying without knee caps. I don't do things like that, but I think you should consider a new term for union members, maybe union dufus brains. I would agree with the supply and demand argument if schools were a for profit industry. Now, if we only privatized them, got rid of the tax related school levy, sell the buildings, and left education as a choice. Just like colleges, but with no grant money from the government, nothing. A complete libertarian dream world. Then, supply and demand would be ok. In fact, I would support it completely. So, what do you do for a job?
MDS December 03, 2011 at 05:45 AM
CowDug - True it was a non-partisan election, but Carl Zeidler was a Republican. Milwaukee mayoral elections have been "non-partisan" ever since the Republicans and Democrats in Wisconsin joined forces back in 1912 to change the election from partisan to non-partisan so they could join forces and run fusion candidates against the Socialist Party candidates and officeholders that had won the previous election. It worked for awhile, but the Socialists were able to still elect Dan Hoan and Frank Zeidler (Carl's brother) the latter who held office until 1960. Many of the best things about Milwaukee (public lake front, expansive park system, and what was once a reputation for clean streets, clean government, and fiscal responsibilty) can be traced back to their administrations.
MDS December 03, 2011 at 06:14 AM
Robert - I understand the economics of retail (though the construcion of freeways and other actions by government also contributed). But the movement to malls and big box stores has also had the unintended consequence of inhibiting activities such as the collection of signatures on petitions. Our laws still require the collection of signatures not only for recalls, but to get on the ballot to begin with. Maybe the laws should be changed to also allow the collection of these signatures electronically? Or we can change our zoning regulations to require some type of public space or public access in these new shopping areas. Similar in a way to Wisconsin laws guaranteeing us access to our lakes and streams to boat and fish even though the bodies of water are surrounded by private property. Surely our election process is as important.
Bill Clinton December 03, 2011 at 01:24 PM
From Shane........ "Their was nothing wrong with the finances of our state until walker took office. I cant believe how blind some of you are and cant see past just the union bit of it. " Are you kidding me? Doyle = Stealing $$$ from doctors fund..........who's gonna pay that back shane? how much was it? 200 million + .... Wake up !
Bill Clinton December 03, 2011 at 01:26 PM
Want jobs? Try getting rid of the UNdocumented (illegal) immigrants. Wake up people !
Robert W Farkas December 03, 2011 at 02:44 PM
Mds, No. Your entire premise is that the government should control access and purpose to and on private property. Socialism at its worst. Further, you are wrong. If a lake is entirely surrounded by private property you do no have access to it. Stream and rivers are at time different matters if they are "navigable water ways". But that is for another day. The highways and express ways come after the demand for them. Much like the transcontinental railroad came to improve travel conditions and travel time after the pioneers began moving west. Other than for the life and life style of the Indian that was a good thing from which you and many others benefit. From your own words it appears that your entire focus in life is political activity. You want to voice your opinion, speak your mind to the public, Go to the park with a soap box and do so. See how many people hand around to listen. Do it this winter out side, How about collecting signatures door to door as it has been done for years. But that is work out in the cold and rain.Then MDS you do not have to invade the private property and bushiness of those who create jobs and afford you a controlled environment market place with competition to keep prices in check. We are miles apart on this and you are so focus on such a narrow objective I will waste no more time trying to enlighten you or change your way of seeing what is right and what is wrong. Do not ever forget, your rights end where mine begin.
Bob McBride December 03, 2011 at 02:56 PM
MDS there is no shortage of spots available for people to collect signatures. The change you suggest is completely unnecessary. As regards lakes, that's not universal. But that brings to mind an idea for you. Why don't you rent a canoe, head out the Lake Country and see how many late season fishermen or lakeside homeowners you can get to sign your petition?
MDS December 03, 2011 at 06:06 PM
Robert and Bob, We will still get the needed signatures, so don’t worry about that. All I am suggesting is some reasonable accommodation to the new retail environment is made so that petitioners aren’t endangered, for example collecting signatures on busy street corners. Governments have long been able to use eminent domain to create a roadway, or enact laws requiring for example space be set aside for handicap shoppers. A similar space could be set aside for public access. I know you don’t want this for the Walker recall, but someday it may be a group you support that could use this. That you would suggest that petitioners go door to door (and that has been done) seems strange in conjunction with your concern for private property. You don’t want to be bothered at the mall, but it is OK for me to come to your front door? Especially with the Republican’s new “castle doctrine” I don’t really think that is a good alternative any more either.
Bob McBride December 03, 2011 at 07:04 PM
MDS, were you concerned about being able to collect signatures at malls prior to this silly recall effort? Did you speak out in favor of changing those laws so that those who canvased to get politicians on the ballot were able to have that same access? Did you take action to attempt to get those laws changed? As far as going door to door, I'm glad you guys have decided not to do so. After dealing with the numbskulls who came around during the attempt to oust Darling, the last thing I need is some argumentative idiot who doesn't understand the word "no" interrupting my dinner hour. And if it's because you're afraid of getting shot if you do so, all that does is confirm how irrational this whole effort and those who are involved in it really are.
mau December 03, 2011 at 10:51 PM
Mayor Barret can add a lane, next to the bicycle lane on the Hoan Bridge, for all you Anti-Walker people to protest and collect signatures.
Robert W Farkas December 03, 2011 at 11:58 PM
MDS, Unfortunately you do not get it. You appear to be one of those individuals who assumes others share you method of thinking. It may be an indication of your limitations of education, limited global travel or open mindedness when interacting with others. You may very well be the type of person who is not listening to others, rather waiting to talk. May I suggest you read Massys (sp) book, The People Puzzle and also the collection The Glory and the Dream. Then come back and share your thoughts. The use of eminent domain for your purpose is so outlandish and incorrectly applied that it is sad that the thought entered your mind much less you articulated it. You obviously do not understand the castle doctrine or you would not talk so foolishly as have other here who share your perversion of the facts. The low hanging fruit has been picked and now your work will begin. I believe in the end you and your ilk will fail in your goal to displace the legally elected Governor. I collected signatures door to door for a nomination for judge for a friend of mine. I did it that way so I could answer questions and explain his position to prospective signers. That is the best way for all involved. You feel you are in danger of what when on the street? Are you afraid of traffic? You have no Right to force your way into the Mall or onto store property for political purposes and only the extreme left wing nut jobs would want it made a law that you could do so. This is it. Enough.
Nick Poulos December 04, 2011 at 05:55 PM
@JB: I owe you still a response concerning your comments regarding socialism from several days ago. Plutocratic Oligarchy does not include the union members, democrats, or any of those in need. I believe that there is a complete social myopathy that keeps even the best of people from realizing that we all have an ethical responsibility to one another. Your Republican members - especially the Tea Party members - are so disconnected from the rest of mankind's struggle, at least based upon many of the inane comments made. Re-thinking our situation against the light of History may not convince you to re-open your mind, but we can always hope that none of us become closed minded, as so many up here in space are (altho' most of them hide behind names clearly not their own). best. ngp

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