Walker recall effort underway - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Walker recall effort underway

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MADISON (WKOW) -

MADISON (WKOW) -- Democrats kicked off the official effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker very early Tuesday morning at 12:01 a.m.

People packed Hawk's Bar & Grill on State Street to be among the first of the 540,208 signatures needed by January 17 to trigger a recall election.

"I would say the energy feels like I'm running alongside a freight train trying to jump on," said Lynn Freeman, vice chair of United Wisconsin.

United Wisconsin tried to spread that energy at the recall kick-off event with six signing stations—white petitions to recall Walker and yellow petitions to recall Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch.

The group says there are more than 9,000 people trained across the state to go above and beyond the minimum requirement by collecting 800,000 signatures.

"It's a fight we didn't start. It's a fight we don't want, but it's a fight we have to finish," said Mahlon Mitchell, president of Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin.

United Wisconsin says there was a coordinated, deliberate cyber attack on their website Monday. They think it was an attempt to deny people access to a downloadable recall petition available on the site.

Democrats are not the only ones reaching out. Governor Walker's campaign aired an ad during the Green Bay Packers game Monday night, focusing on the his budget reforms.

"We are going to focus less on [the Democrats'] parties and more on Walker's record of bringing jobs to this state," said Brian Schimming, vice chair of the Republican Party of Wisconsin. "The Governor is not afraid of this… he welcomes the opportunity to show people what has been going on at the Capitol."

Republicans recently launched a website to let people report recall petition fraud. They say RPW staff will investigate the claims.

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United Wisconsin, the group spearheading the recall of Governor Scott Walker, will waste no time getting its petition drive started.

They planned to start gathering signatures at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

For the many people who volunteered for the recall effort, midnight can't come soon enough.

"And I just can't wait, this has really been a really incredible journey," said volunteer Ilana Strauch.

Strauch and about a dozen other volunteers spent the day at United Wisconsin headquarters making final preparations for the petition drive.

They start the real countdown at Hawk's Bar on State street at 9:00 p.m., Monday.

"And we are gonna be marching up to the Capitol, with our petitions at 12:01," said Strauch.

And that is only the beginning, according to United Wisconsin Spokesperson Meagan Mahaffey.

"We've got, in the next week or so, hundreds of events that are gonna be happening all over the state and even a lot of events tonight at midnight, the first chance that people have to sign the petition, so, we're feeling good," said Mahaffey.

But, Governor Walker seems very calm on the eve of that petition drive.

At a bill signing ceremony Monday afternoon he talked about the recall effort giving him a chance to tell voters about his record.

"A lot has happened this year, much of it has been very positive for the people of the State of Wisconsin," said Gov. Walker (R-Wisconsin).  "We're gonna share that story."

However, Walker said his focus won't be on the recall effort, but on creating the 250,000 jobs he promised last November.

"The bottom line is, there are gonna be people who want to reverse the course of the last election," said Gov. Walker.  "All I can do is stay focused on doing what I said I'd do when I was campaigning and that's exactly what I'm doing right now."

But the Republican Party is focused on the recall.

They set up a web site at www.recallintegritycenter.com urging people to report any incidents of fraud associated with the petition drive.

It appears the Governor won't be the only one facing a recall.

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin planned to file paperwork Tuesday to recall three Republican senators:  Van Wangaard of Racine, Terry Moulton of Chippewa falls and Pam Galloway of Wausau.

 

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