Entries in Scott Walker (3)


Wisconsin Governor Recall: Signatures to Be Turned In Tuesday

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(MADISON, Wis.) -- After 60 days of fanning out petitions across the state, United Wisconsin, the group organizing the recall effort for Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker, will turn in their gathered signatures to the Government Accountability Board of Wisconsin on Tuesday at 3 p.m.

Though the group has yet to release a final signature count -- that number will not be released until they turn in the signatures, United Wisconsin spokeswoman Meagan Mahaffey tells ABC News -- it is widely expected that they will hand-in well over the 540,208 names required to hold a recall election.

In mid-December, 30 days into the 60 days allotted for gathering signatures, United Wisconsin announced that they had already collected 507,533 names. They are aiming to gather over 700,000, as some names are likely to be thrown out during the verification process.

“Tomorrow is going to be a great day for us,” Mike Tate, chairman of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin told ABC News Monday.  “We’re going to hand in a number that we believe will be well beyond any potential challenge from Scott Walker’s campaign.  We’re going to be working hard to make sure that the many numbers of people who signed these petitions are heard and that we have an election.”

After the signatures are turned in the Government Accountability Board will have 60 days to verify the signatures, though they have requested additional time.  Should the GAB verify that United Wisconsin did submit the 540,208 necessary names, Democrats will have six weeks to hold a primary, followed by an additional four weeks until a general election against Gov. Walker would take place.

With these time stipulations in mind, the earliest a recall election would occur is late May 2012.  The timing could be pushed back however, should the board be granted additional time to process signatures, or should any lawsuits be filed on either party's behalf.

The Republican party of Wisconsin has been firmly dismissive of the efforts against Governor Walker, particularly citing the cost to Wisconsin taxpayers should a recall election go forward.

“We have no doubt the Democrats were able to rally their left-wing base around this baseless and expensive recall effort,” writes Ben Sparks, spokesperson for the Republican Party of Wisconsin.  “This shameful recall of the governor will accomplish nothing but saddle Wisconsin taxpayers with over $9 million in un-budgeted costs.  Voters rejected the Democrats’ era of job loss and deficit spending in 2010, and they’ll do it again in 2012.”

There are several established Wisconsin Democrats who have been cited as possible gubernatorial candidates to challenge Walker should the recall go forward; the list includes former Congressman Dave Obey and Congressman Ron Kind.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Wisconsin Judge Strikes Down Collective Bargaining Law

Scott Olson/Getty Images(MADISON, Wis.) -- A judge in Wisconsin struck down a law Thursday pushed by Gov. Scott Walker that would take away nearly all collective bargaining rights from teachers and other public workers.

Judge Maryann Sumi said lawmakers did not allow enough time between posting the date that the measure would be voted on, and when legislators actually took up the bill.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


In Wisconsin, State Workers March Over Pension Cuts

Photo Courtesy - Mark Hirsch/Getty Images(MADISON, Wisc.) -- Thousands of public workers marched in Wisconsin's capital before a legislative vote Thursday on whether to slash public worker pensions and curb collective bargaining rights of unions.

"There are thousands of people here -- 20,000 at least!" said Scott Favour, a Madison, Wisconson, police officer, describing the crowd that surged around Gov. Scott Walker's office Wednesday.

Officer Favour, himself a protester, was taking the day off to express his opposition to the governor's so-called budget repair bill, which would close a state shortfall of some $3.6 billion in part by asking public employees to pay a greater share of their pension and health insurance costs.  The bill would also curb collective bargaining rights and make it tougher for public employee unions to operate.

Alexandra Nieves, 35, another police officer, says the bill "is upsetting."  The governor's take-back on pensions and health insurance was something she never anticipated when she joined the force three years ago.  Still, it's his proposal to curb collective bargaining that disturbs her most.

"What have we fought for all these years?" she asked angrily.  "It's like telling a woman you can't vote -- that you should take off your shoes and go back to the kitchen."

The governor, asked by ABC News if he was surprised by the size of the turnout, said, "No, not at all.  When you do something bold, you'll get a reaction."

The governor had telegraphed his intentions even before he assumed office.  In a speech last December he had declared, "We can no longer live in a society where the public employees are the haves and taxpayers who foot the bills are the have-nots."

His bill now asks state workers to pay 5.8 percent of their own pension costs (that percentage, he says, is below the national average) and 12.6 percent of health insurance costs (about half the national average, he says).  Those changes together would help produce $30 million in savings in the last quarter of the current fiscal year.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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