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Wisconsin Gov. Walker recall effort heats up

Starting Tuesday, Wisconsin Democrats and labor groups will start an effort to gather more than 550,000 signatures by mid-January on a petition to recall Gov. Scott Walker.

Gov. Scott Walker; Source: Gateway Technical College, Flickr

Walker earned the ire of unions when he pushed a law eliminating collective bargaining rights for public workers earlier this year. Democrats are also planning to recall Republican state legislators, although they haven’t announced their targets, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

The fight is increasingly contentious, with some Democrats fearing that Republicans might gather signatures on Walker petitions only to destroy them, and the Republican Party setting up an online “integrity center,” according to the Journal-Sentinel.

“The site allows Walker backers to submit photos, videos and complaints to the Republican Party. The purpose of the site is to protect voters who “suspect foul play by Wisconsin Democrats or big government union bosses,” said a statement from Stephan Thompson, the party’s executive director.”

The recent labor union defeat of a similar anti-collective bargaining law in Ohio energized labor forces, Bloomberg reports. A number of large rallies are planned across the state in coming weeks.

Recent polls have shown the state split on the recall effort. Walker has been rocked by a corruption investigation involving top staff members.

No Democrat candidates have yet entered the race, although the Daily Mail reports that a number of politicians are jockeying for the slot behind the scenes—possible candidates include former Sen. David Obey and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

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