News / USA

Drive Underway to Recall Wisconsin Governor

Kane Farabaugh

The governor of the U.S. state of Wisconsin faces a possible special election to remove him from office. Opponents are angry at Governor Scott Walker for backing legislation earlier this year that restricted the collective bargaining rights of public employees. They are now trying to gather enough signatures to force a recall vote.

On a cold morning in Madison, Wisconsin, a steady stream of vehicles pulls off to the side of the road, greeted by clipboard-armed volunteers like Ray.

“I’ve organized a group of about 80 people," said Ray. "Most of us are retired teachers and we’ve set up what is called a drive-through. It’s kind of like a McDonalds' drive through where people will drive in, and sign our petition to recall Governor Scott Walker.”

Ray didn’t want to use his last name for fear of retribution for participating in the recall effort.  but he says his drive-through petition is working.

“This is our seventh day, and we are at about 2,400 signatures right now," he said. "We are getting a little over 400 a day.”

A political action group called United Wisconsin is spearheading the effort to recall Governor Walker.  And the group's director, Meagan Mahaffey, says the more than 540,000 signatures needed to trigger the recall vote are within reach.

“The first 48 hours, over 50,000 people had signed the petition to recall Walker," she said. "In the first 96 hours, we were at over 105,000 petitions that had been in our office in our hands to recall Walker.  Over 20,000 people have gone online to download the petition and more and more do it every day.”

The uproar began last winter, when Walker, a Republican, moved to balance the state budget with legislation that curbed collective bargaining rights for state employees.  The bill passed after lengthy procedural roadblocks, and also requires public employees to contribute more towards their benefits.

“What this represents is a threat to the union movement within the state, and because the unions are so important to supporting Democrats, a threat to the Democratic Party as well," said Professor Charles Franklin.

University of Wisconsin, Madison, Political Science Professor Charles Franklin says the recent rejection of similar legislation in Ohio was a victory for the labor movement.  But he says there are stark differences between the two states.

“Ohio had a very clean vote, either for or against this specific bill that was passed," he said. "Here in Wisconsin it's not just about that bill, it’s about the governor as a person, it's about his other policies.”

Governor Walker is fighting back against his opponents, using TV ads that also appear on YouTube to send the message that his controversial legislation is working.

“I think this sets the theme," said Franklin. "That ad stresses how school districts have been able to deal with their budget cuts and issues because of the flexibility they’ve received with the changes in these union rules.”

Even if Walker's political opponents gather enough signatures to force a recall election, that does not necessarily mean he will be forced from office. Democrats also have to find a candidate who can beat the Republican incumbent in that special election.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid