The Democratic Party of Wisconsin announced on Monday they were teaming up with United Wisconsin PAC to launch a recall campaign against Republican Gov. Scott Walker and his Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch on November 15.
Democrats need to collect 540,206 valid signatures in a 60-day period to force a recall election against Walker. Under Wisconsin law, any elected official who has served at least one year of their current term can be recalled from office.
“This year Governor Walker and special interest cronies attacked Wisconsin with their catastrophic policies,” United Wisconsin said in a statement. “They marketed the concocted ‘budget crisis’ and they attempted to pit the people of Wisconsin against one another. Despite political gimmicks, our opposition to the Governor’s policies was immediate and grew across the state to include hundreds of thousands of citizens.”
The group said that 202,516 had already pledge to support the recall of Walker as of October 9.
A poll (PDF) commissioned by Wisconsin Democrats found that 51 percent of voters would support the recall of the governor and 53 percent had an unfavorable opinion of Walker personally.
“Scott Walker has spent his time in office grabbing political power and catering to corporate interests, not fighting for the middle class,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Monday. “Because of his actions, Scott Walker has rendered himself vulnerable to the one tool left for Wisconsin to hold him accountable-his recall.”
The statewide survey was conducted in September by the public opinion polling firm FM3 Research.
“Not only do wide margins of voters find Walker to be power hungry and too close to corporate interests, but more voters believe that the Democratic nominee would be better than Walker on education and jobs, in addition to being more on the side of average voters,” the firm said in its report.
Democrats gained two seats in the Wisconsin Senate in recall elections this summer, but fell short of the three seats needed to gain a majority. Three recall elections against Democratic state senators were unsuccessful.
Both Republicans and Democrats claimed victory in the recall elections.
“They can say what they want, but this is a crushing defeat for big labor, and for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin,” Stephan Thompson, Executive Director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, said in a statement following the elections. “They said from the start their goal was to flip the majority in the state senate.”
But Democrats noted that 5 of 6 recall elections took place in Republican-leaning districts, exposing the vulnerability of Republicans in the 2012 elections. In total, Democrats won 5 of the 9 recall contests.
Photo credit: Megan McCormick