The Democratic effort to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, in a backlash against his anti-public employee union legislation and the state budget, isn’t just set to begin tomorrow — the kickoff will now happen right after midnight!
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:
“We are going to be filing online (with the state) just after midnight that will allow us to start collecting the signatures,” Meagan Mahaffey, executive director of United Wisconsin, said. “There are some midnight collection events around the state. People are ready to go and want to start as soon as possible. There’s a lot of excitement about it.”
United Wisconsin, which is helping lead the recall efforts against Walker, will also make a paper filing with elections officials at the state Government Accountability Board in Madison Tuesday morning, Mahaffey said.
In addition, the paper repots, the state Dems have announced that they will target three Republican state Senators for recall, who were just elected in 2010: Pam Galloway of Wausau, Terry Moulton of Chippewa Falls and Van Wanggaard of Racine.
This does leave open a possible scenario, in which Dems could hypothetically fall short of the required signatures to recall Walker — but at the same time trigger recalls in state Senate races, and have a shot at taking control of the chamber.
In order to trigger a recall against Walker, the Dems must meet a high 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.