The Wisconsin recall drive (Part II), targeting Gov. Scott Walker and other Republican officials, is now in full swing.
The Democratic Party of Wisconsin hosted a petition pickup party Monday night, and more than 40 recall supporters wore party hats and blew kazoos as they counted down the final seconds before 12:01 a.m.
The first completed petition was then turned in at the Dem office, at 12:42 a.m. CT, and the recall committee itself was formally filed this morning:
Also, according to the Web site of the state Government Accountability Board, which oversees elections in the state, there have so far been four recall committees files against Republican state senators, including state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, plus three freshmen who picked up their seats from the Dems in 2010: Pam Galloway, Terry Moulton, and Van Wanggaard.
(The latter three have been officially announced as recall targets by the state Dems, and would seem to be much more realistic recall targets than Fitzgerald.)
In order to trigger a recall against Walker, the Dems must meet a strong threshold: Signatures of at least 25 percent of the number of voters in the previous gubernatorial election must be collected in a 60-day window. That means the Dems must get over 540,000 signatures — over 9,000 per day, statewide — plus some significant buffer that campaigns routinely collect in order to protect against signatures being disqualified over one imperfection or another.
Under Wisconsin’s recall law, elected officials must have served at least one year of their current term before being recalled — thus delaying any Dem efforts to recall Walker, and also exempting earlier this year the half of the Senate that was just elected in 2010.
Wisconsin Democrats earlier this year, faced with a 19-14 Republican majority in the state Senate after the 2010 GOP wave, attempted to recall their way to a majority after Walker and the Republicans passed the anti-union law. However, they were also hampered by the fact that the only recall-eligible districts were ones where the incumbent had won their terms in 2008, even during that year’s Democratic wave.
In the end, Democrats were able to pick up two seats, just short of the magic number of three, for a narrow 17-16 Republican majority. Out of the recall campaigns that were waged by both parties, four incumbent Republicans and three Democrats retained their seats, while two Republicans lost to Democratic challengers.