MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Organizers of the effort to recall Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker from office said Monday they have collected 300,000 signatures, more than half of what is needed to force an election.

The United Wisconsin coalition needs 540,208 signatures by Jan. 17 to force a recall election sometime in 2012. They reported Monday that over half the number needed had been collected in just 12 days, with signatures coming in from all 72 Wisconsin counties.

The recall drive was motivated by anger over Walker’s proposal effectively ending collective bargaining rights for most public workers. The law passed in March despite massive protests and the fleeing of all 14 Democratic state senators to Illinois for three weeks.

Organizers’ signature counts can’t be independently verified. The petitions won’t be submitted for verification before organizers have gathered more than the required total of signatures.

United Wisconsin did not report how many signatures had been collected for the recall of Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, but a spokeswoman for the group said the totals were close.

Walker has already moved into campaign mode assuming the necessary signatures will be collected. He has released two television ads to counter the recall effort. The national conservative group Americans for Prosperity has also hit the airwaves in support.

Walker has defended the collective bargaining changes, and other moves such as cutting public education aid, as necessary to bring the state’s budget back into balance at a time when it faced a $3.6 billion shortfall.

Ben Sparks, a spokesman for the Wisconsin Republican Party, called the recall effort “a baseless partisan power-grab being pushed on Wisconsin families by liberal special interests.”

“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,” Sparks said in a written statement.

Anger spurred nine state Senate recall elections this summer targeting six Republican and three Democratic incumbents. Two Republicans lost, leaving them with a slim one-vote majority in the Senate.

Petitions are also circulating against four more Republican incumbents, setting up the possibility of more recall elections next year that could give Democrats control of the Senate.

The earliest a Walker recall could be held, assuming enough petitions have been collected, would be March 27. But legal challenges and additional time to verify the signatures is expected to push any recall election to later in the spring or summer. There could also be a primary.

No Democrat has announced plans to take on Walker. Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate has said Democrats are in no hurry to name a candidate and they hope to make the recall a referendum on Walker.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (38)
  1. KM says:

    They better check every signature!

    1. Jake says:

      The size of the signature list is a testament to how successful the Democrats have been at making a huge part of the population dependent on ever-increasing public salaries that have grossly passed what the private sector Middle Class earns. Whether that list of zealots translates into an actual recall remains to be seen. If Walker is replaced, it will be a clear sign that we’ve passed the tipping point.

  2. Kevin says:

    KM you dont trust union POS? They are as honest as the day is long…….

    1. IMA POS Kevin says:

      you are a pos yourself who is to say you are nor a lying POS. You threaten violence against people who do you no harm. Have you ever thought about anger management. Really you loser POS What benefit to the world are you? All you post is anger. Check yourself into a hospital, please,

  3. Kermit D. Frog says:

    452 Mickey Mouses. 378 Bart Simpsons. 248 Seymour Butts. Etc., Etc.

    1. And One says:

      Goodby Scott Walker

      1. Samuel says:

        When he remains governor will you cry like a baby or hold your breath until you turn blue?

        1. Citizen says:

          @Samuel. When he is replaced, will you cry like a baby and hold your breath until blue? Or continue to whine about the unfairness of the voting process…blah, blah, blah.

          1. Jake says:

            Samuel won’t have to wait very long. After the new Governor has been in office for a year, the other side will just collect a bunch of signatures and recall that person. This is what happens when people abuse a system designed to address malfeasance, not differences in policy.

            The funny part of this is that the recall leaders would have been compelled to seek a recall of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who clearly agreed with Walker and the Legislature on the issue at hand.

            1. Citizen says:

              @Jake. The process is what it is and will play out. Ultimately the voters will decide. I can live with that. Can you?

  4. Al says:

    Organized labor at its best. 1.5 million don’t sign!!! : )

  5. Sultan Fakhary says:

    Why can’t we recall Obama?

    1. The answer says:

      is in the Constitution. Give ‘er a read when you get a chance.

      Or have someone read it to you.

    2. SO SAD says:

      Why do we need to recall Obama? We need to recall all the democrats and republicans who are not doing anything at all. The last I heard, Congress creates bills which the President either signs or vetos. When has it changed that the President does all the work while your elected officials are sitting around doing nothing? And getting paid to do it?

      1. DougT says:

        Yup – Barry O – Leading from behind!

        The House has passed many bills – most of which would have begun our crawl out of the hole Barry and Co made when he first started making the mess worse. The senate has done nothing and of course neither has the president – other than attempt to spend more money we do not have….

        1. Citizen says:

          @DougT. The politics are playing out behind the scenes, and we don’t read that type of analysis on ‘CCO. Think of it as a big chess game, that is, unless you don’t understand or play chess.

      2. sick of people's BS says:

        Did you feel the same when it was all Bush’s fault. Hmmm I think Not

  6. dee says:

    For the same reason they didn’t recall that a hole bush

  7. DougT says:

    Well if the thugs get their recall – whom will they put up against him? And will they win? Doubtful (if its a fair election)

    And the best thing is that the people of Wisconsin will begin to see the benefits of his changes by the time any election comes. And the changes were not that large. – I mean having workers actually contribute to their healthcare and pension? Wow – kind of like the rest of us…

    But of course it was really all about Big Union power. Having members have to write a check and vote every year – now that is threatening to the Union!

    Lessons Minnesota tax payers could learn from – as in We The People – not “The Union Rules!”…….


    1. Bubba says:

      I find it laughable that people think it’s horrible unions are backing this movement, but have no qualms that ultra millionaire foundations and PAC’s are funding Walker’s initial election and ads during this recall effort. This recall may not be successful, but it should send a message that governing by “my way or the highway” doesn’t work for either party.

      1. frozenrunner says:

        IMHO people have issues with unions for a couple of reasons.
        30 years ago when I was in a union, the leader of the local said “a union is as only as good as the membership” A group of Doug T within a union would bot make for a good union The leadership from the district has to do the work the members should have done .The other is petty jealousy towards benefits. Some people see benefits they are not getting and are jealous. They fail to realize the pile of money directed to the workforce is negotiated and only so big, the members decide how to slice the pie

        1. DougT says:

          But of course the purpose of the Union is not about doing a better job – but rather getting better pay/benefits and… more union workers. In the for profit world this can work as there is only so much money available from the company every year. However, I do not think this works too well in the public sector. They treat us like a bottomless pit of money. The Union votes into government whom they like – and the elected official then gives the union what it wants…. Where does that leave Joe non-union taxpayer? On the Union Hook – where else…..?

          1. frozenrunner says:

            Are you for real. What person would not want more pay/benefits. If you think the public employees are treating you like a bottomless source of money then why is the pay and benefits less forworking in the public sector than the private. There have been government empoyee stikes. There is no carte blanche for them. The only carte blanche would be in your mind. Please do a little research

  8. james 4 :14 says:

    The term cheese head comes to mind. What a bunch of fools.

  9. hilarious says:

    I think it’s funny… it’s a bunch of babies who won’t let him finish out his term.

    I’d like to see him stay and clean up the filth of wisconsin.

    1. Citizen says:

      @hilarious. These people are not “babies,” they are citizens exercising their rights in a democracy. If the majority of the Wisconsin voters want Walker to stay—he will stay. Otherwise, he will be voted out. That is the system put in place by wiser heads than you. The recall process is part of the voting process. If it was a Dem in office, I’m sure you would love the recall process. But, of course, it is a GOPer, so Walker should not be recalled.

    2. Murph says:

      Walker is the filth of Wisconsin,wash your key fingers with disinfectant soap!

  10. Adam says:

    Government money doesn’t grow on trees, it gets taken right out of the pockets of tax payers. And, I think that the non-uunion tax payers will see this and realize that Walker has been right all along.

  11. Give me liberty says:

    Per article – No Democrat has announced plans to take on Walker. Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate has said Democrats are in no hurry to name a candidate and they hope to make the recall a referendum on Walker.

    Translation: We have no better alternatives, we just want to whine about the conservative solution. Move to Illinois permanently you cowards.

  12. Citizen says:

    @Give me liberty. Why bother naming a candidate prematurely? When Walker is recalled is soon enough. I can already think of one excellent candidate who is a seasoned politician and who is a decent person, but no way will anyone announce a candidacy prematurely for a governor who is not yet recalled. Very poor form and just not done. Like announcing an obituary before someone is dead! Your argument is spurious.

  13. frozenrunner says:

    you call that proof?.PT Barnum was right.

  14. Molly says:

    Ya, I guess you’re right. They were just kidding when they said the would take names from cemetery headstones. It’s there in black and white on the Dimocrat”s own website. Typical lib, in denial. What color is the sky in your world?

  15. Murph says:

    Wisconsin population about 5 & 1/2 million with 3 million recall signitures they could skip any new election! Actually less than that because many non signees would be too young to vote! He’s toast!

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