HUDSON, Wis. (WCCO/AP) — First-term Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says he’s looking forward to making his argument on why he should keep his job.
“It gives us a great opportunity to tell our story, to tell that we’re turning things around, how we’re heading in the right direction, how we’re moving Wisconsin forward,” Walker said Friday after a news conference in Milwaukee.
On Friday the Government Accountability Board voted 5-0 to order the recall, a move that has been expected for weeks given the large number of signatures gathered between November and January. It took 540,208 signatures to trigger a recall; more than 900,000 signatures were collected.
“I would love to see Walker and his Lieutenant Governor recalled,” said Mark Tomlinson of Baldwin, Wis.
Walker was targeted for recall after he pushed through a law last year that effectively ended collective bargaining rights for most state workers. It also forced the workers to contribute more to their pension and health care costs, which amounted to a cut in pay.
Walker told reporters he would be willing to mobilize the National Guard in order to address potential repercussions from unions.
“That was an incredibly arrogant statement and an incredibly arrogant attack against the unions,” said Tomlinson.
NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Edgar Linares Reports
But not everyone in Wisconsin feels a recall is justified. Rita Johnson of Hudson says this election will be a waste of time and money. She believes in what Walker is doing.
“He’s doing his job,” said Johnson. “With the economy the way it is there’s things that have to be changed and some people don’t like the change, but it’s necessary.”
Walker argued the changes were needed to help balance the state’s budget, while Democrats and other opponents said the true intention was to weaken the power of unions, which have traditionally opposed Republicans.
“I had enough of the guy. He never ran on busting the unions and he ended up busting them,” said Dan, whose wife is a Wisconsin teacher.
The elections board also voted Friday to order a recall against Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, after nearly 809,000 signatures were gathered on recall petitions against her.
The recall elections promise to be bare-knuckle expensive affairs, with millions of dollars coming into Wisconsin from out-of-state special interests. Walker already had raised more than $12 million by mid-January and he has traveled across the country getting checks as large as $250,000 from high-powered conservative backers.
“I don’t think this recall should have ever happened, but now that they have announced it will let’s get it over with,” said Don of Hudson.
Assuming a Democratic primary is necessary, it will be in just 39 days on May 8. The actual recall vote then will be June 5, just 67 days away.
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