With a June recall election all but certain, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says the debate is no longer just about collective-bargaining rights for state workers. Union leaders and others, he said, have made it personal.
“They want me dead. I don’t think that’s an exaggeration,” Mr. Walker said in an exclusive interview with The Washington Times after a roundtable discussion Thursday at the American Enterprise Institute.
His opponents have until Jan. 15 to collect about 540,000 signatures and trigger another election, which would surely center around Mr. Walker’s successful but controversial efforts to strip many collective-bargaining rights from teachers and other government employees in his state, all in an effort to close budget gaps and put Wisconsin back on firm financial footing.
Mr. Walker said he expects the drive to be successful and is preparing for the possibility that, for the second time in less than two years, he’ll be back on the ballot.
The recall initiative already has claimed several victims. In August, Democrats captured two seats in the state Senate, but fell short of recapturing the majority, which would have allowed them to block further changes sought by Mr. Walker and his Republican colleagues in the Legislature.
Central to the union strategy has been a successful public relations barrage that portrayed Mr. Walker as the leader of a right-wing, union-breaking movement that organized labor and its Democratic allies feared could spread across the country.
This time, however, Mr. Walker and his supporters hope to be better prepared.
Shortly after his inauguration in January 2011, union members from across the country descended on Madison and mounted an unprecedented public attack on Mr. Walker and his policies. At its height, the demonstrations drew nearly 100,000 people. Residents were bombarded with television, radio and print ads, funded with union money.
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Judge rules for Walker campaign on recall petition signature questions
This is excellent news for Walker - especially considering it is by no means certain that the coalition of big labor and online leftists who are seeking a recall election for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker can get the required number of signatures in time to beat the January 17 deadline.
They are going to find it considerably harder now.
A judge ruled Thursday that the state Government Accountability Board needs to take more aggressive action to vet recall signatures that are expected to be submitted in two weeks against Gov. Scott Walker and other Republican office holders.
The ruling by Waukesha County Circuit Judge J. Mac Davis came in a case filed Dec. 15 by Walker's campaign committee and Stephan Thompson, executive director of the state Republican Party, asking Davis to order the accountability board to seek out and eliminate duplicate and fictitious signatures and illegible addresses in recall petitions.
Davis, who refused to enter injunctions in the case, based his decision on his interpretation of state law, more than on equal protection arguments brought up by the Republicans. He also said that the board must take "reasonable" efforts to eliminate such signatures.
Kevin Kennedy, director and general counsel of the board, said after the hearing that his organization would have to discuss the decision to see what it needed to change in procedures already in place.
In court, Kennedy testified that entering signatures into a database to look for duplicates could take eight extra weeks for his staff, and could cost $94,000 for software and outside help.
Steven M. Biskupic, attorney for the Republicans, argued that not catching invalid signatures violated the constitutional rights to equal protection of people who chose not to sign recall petitions.
Read this story at americanthinker.com ...