Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Democrats And United Wisconsin Kick-off Governor Walker's Recall Campaign Rally

Hundreds of Democrats and supporters met Tuesday in Madison to begin training for the petition recall drive against Republican Governor Scott Walker.

By H. Nelson Goodson
October 26, 2011

Madison - On Tuesday, about 500 democrats and members for United Wisconsin gathered in Madison for a kick-off petition recall training rally against Republican Governor Scott Walker. The Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman, Mike Tate confirmed that organizers need to get at least 540,206 valid signatures to successfully recall Walker in 2012. The recall drive will begin on November 15, and they have 60 days (until Jan. 17) to submit the signatures to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.
The petition drive organizers plan to get about 700,000 signatures before the due date. More than 10,000 signatures would have to be gathered per day state wide to accomplish their goal.
Democrats are also pushing to generate or raise about half a million in donations before November 15.
Guest speakers at the recall kick-off training session were, former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, state Senator Jon Erpenbach, former Congressman Dave Obey, a potential recall candidate for governor and current Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. Obey acknowledged that he would rather see U.S. Senator Herb Kohl or Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett run for governor in 2012. Kohl will retire by 2012. Both Kohl and Barrett have not indicated they would actually run for governor in 2012.
Governor Walker is being recall for his failure to let the public know while he campaigned for governor that he intended to eliminate most union bargaining rights for the majority of state employees. The two year (2012-2013) budget that was approved by the Republican controlled legislature and signed by Walker eliminated collective union bargaining rights for most state employees, cuts $800 million in public school funding, boosted tax credits for businesses, it eliminated in-state tuition for undocumented students attending public universities and colleges and not excluding other major cuts.
Recently, the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced that between September to August, 1,300 jobs were lost in the following four counities, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington, Ozaukee and including Janesville that lost 1,000 jobs alone.
This week, Governor Walker announced the appointment of Reggie Newson as the new DWD Secretary. Last week, Scott Baumbach resigned as the DWD Secretary after serving only five months in the position. Baumbach took over former DWD Secretary Manuel "Manny" Perez who resigned abruptly after just serving five months as well from January to May 2011.
The Republican controlled Assembly recently passed a bill to allow employers to fire or keep felons from getting jobs without fear of being sued. The felon bill goes before the Senate for debate.
In September, the Associated Press (AP) learned that Governor Walker reneged on his campaign promise that he would pay the full cost of his state pension once he became governor in January. Walker's paycheck stubs provided to the AP showed, he began paying towards his pension only after a bill was passed for state workers to pay their fair share of 5.8 percent towards their pensions. Walker's office had no comment.
In other legislative news, Wisconsin legislators confirmed, that the state has borrowed up to $1.18 billion from the feds to help pay unemployment insurance benefits. The state has yet to repay the debt to the feds.

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