UPDATE: Walker Recall Petition Drive Hits the Half-Million Mark

Organizers sets new target of collecting 720,000 signatures to force recall election for Wisconsin governor.

Story updated at 11:40 a.m. CST Thursday to reflect new numbers.

One month to the day after the start of the effort to from office, organizers announced Thursday that they have collected more than 507,000 signatures on recall petitions.

Gathering the majority of the 540,280 petition signatures needed to spark a recall election, Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairperson Mike Tate told supporters at a press conference Thursday, volunteers will continue to canvass.

United Wisconsin, which is spearheading the recall effort with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, echoed Tate, setting a new goal for how many signatures it hopes to collect: 720,277. That's one-third of the total turnout in the November 2010 election that saw Walker become the new governor.

"We are well on our way," Tate said a press conference Thursday.

"Scott Walker and the Koch Bros. think they can hold onto power by drowning out our voice with millions in false, misleading television ads. But now, we know that at least half a million Wisconsinites have risen to take back Wisconsin."

Meagan Mahaffey, United Wisconsin’s executive director, said in a statement Thursday, “...The people of Wisconsin are not buying his lies and are moving at record pace to stop Walker’s destruction and recall him from office.”

United Wisconsin launched the recall effort on Nov. 15 and has 60 days to gather the signatures. Petitions are due to the state Government Accountability Board, the state agency that oversees elections, by Jan. 17.

Meanwhile, Republican Party of Wisconsin spokesperson Ben Sparks called the recall effort a "blatant power grab for the Governor's mansion."

"The simple truth is that Governor Walker was elected by an overwhelming majority of Wisconsin voters who were tired of the Democrats’ job-killing agenda, and they have zero desire to go back to the failed policies of the past," Sparks said in a statement to Patch.

News that the recall effort has come close to its signature goal in one month is not surprising. After all, the recall groups announced in late November that they had in the first 12 days of the petition drive.

What remains to be seen, however, is how many of those signatures are valid. Wisconsin law allows people to sign the petitions more than once, and one man told a Milwaukee television station that he put his signature on recall petitions more than 80 times.

In addition, the GAB set off a firestorm this week when one of its staffers said the agency would not automatically strike names like Mickey Mouse and Adolf Hitler from the petitions — as long as those signatures were dated and had Wisconsin addresses.

However, Tate said as volunteers vetted the signatures before Thursday's announcement, duplicate or invalid signatures were thrown out.

"We have a very extensive signature verification process that goes through and make sure that petitions we hand in are valid," Tate said. "There will be some errors on them; there are obviously some people that will sign Mickey Mouse to try to mess with the process and give the Republicans a few good talking points, but I am extremely convinced that not only are we are doing our due diligence, but that there is…hundreds of thousands of residents that have accurately signed these petitions that want to recall Scott Walker.”

The 507,533 signatures collected thus far do not include those gathered to recall Wisconsin Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, Tate said, though he said they are on track to gather the amount needed.

Tate said organizers would not start to talk about possible candidates to challenge Walker until they reach their new goal of more than 720,000 signatures.

As the target of the recall effort, Walker can raise unlimited campaign funds, whereas state law limits campaign contributions to $10,000 during typical gubernatorial races.

Nick Poulos December 31, 2011 at 01:39 AM
Valorie: great posting. WE lost a precious right when the Supreme Court created its worst decision in 100 years: the decision to allow, unquestioned, ungoverned purchase of the airwaves by the wealthy. This debate over whether we should give up all decision-making and individual rights so that the wealthy,the aristocrats, the few, the plutocratic oligarchy can have their way. Our generation made these decisions. Some of us were more culpable in being aware of the implications - revocation, for example, of banking regulations led to this Depression. Or, those of us who downsized and rationalized companies so as to maximize profits while knowing full-well and for the entire narrative that thousands of jobs would be lost permanently; or, those of us who send (!) jobs off-shore to maximize our own personal profits all the while knowing that any jobs that do land back on American shores will come at a pay scale insufficient to support the already existing debt and lifestyle. No, the Koch Brothers do not want us to pay attention. None of 'em do. That is why I ask us to re-learn what it means to think for ourselves. @Lyle: the odd remarking Saxon(?) really ought to read about the way the jp morgans and the other robber barons, & their ilk, crushed the workers up through the first 1/3rd of the 20th century. It is worsening as the divide widens. Now it is being done only more subtly. we need a new social n civil contract for our Democratic republic.
Hudson Resident December 31, 2011 at 03:32 AM
stosh December 31, 2011 at 04:30 AM
The TOOL is working: In November, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 29 states and the District of Columbia, decreased in 19 states, and was unchanged in 2 states. The largest over-the-month increases in employment occurred in New York (+29,500) and Texas (+20,800). The largest over-the-month decrease in employment occurred in Wisconsin (-14,600), followed by Minnesota (-13,700)
William Welbes December 31, 2011 at 07:22 AM
Sorry but that is a pathetic response. However considering the only union represented public workers thanks to our great gov. are law enforcement, I understand why you do not use your name. You may find yourself regreting that post.
William Welbes December 31, 2011 at 07:24 AM
You speak big, but why are you to chicken to use your real name. Or are you embaressed by your ignorance.
morninmist December 31, 2011 at 02:58 PM
Cheers to all. RecallWalkerBot Recall Walker Bot Good morning, Wisconsin. You will recall Scott Walker in 13 days. #wi13 #wiunion #wirecall #wiall #p2 50 minutes ago
Nick Poulos December 31, 2011 at 04:06 PM
Saxon: are you one of those 1/2 of 1% who is so wealthy that walking over people is more fun than having an ethical social and civil contract that adheres to social co-operation? If not, as one of the 99.5%, why would you support the "Robber Barons"? It is and was and always has been "the bosses" who have been "vicious" in their treatment of the workers. It has been those bosses you want to canonize who exploit, humiliate, and continue to mistreat today's workers: hence, both in the past as well as today - perhaps more than ever- representation was, and is, needed @Saxon Realm. (I don't think you want to let people know about your being "viscously anti-union", but if oiliness and a gelatinous nature is an accurate description of you and your personality and now is considered by you to be next to godliness that would be different: whatever floats your boat!). But then again given your nom d plume perhaps you are longing for the days of cross-bows and lopping off the hands of your serfs for stealing food since they are no longer being paid: Saxon: try reading a balanced history of the Unions as they fought for civil and social equality and justice.
morninmist December 31, 2011 at 04:46 PM
Interesting development to say the least. Of course the ruling should be tossed out. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-31/wisconsin-prosecutor-asks-state-court-to-void-union-law-ruling.html Wisconsin Prosecutor Asks State Court to Void Union Law Ruling By Karen Gullo and Marie Rohde - Dec 30, 2011 11:01 PM CT A Wisconsin prosecutor said the state’s highest court should throw out its June ruling upholding legislation curbing public employees’ collective-bargaining rights because one justice failed to recuse himself from the case. Ismael Ozanne, district attorney in Dane County, which includes Madison, the state capital, alleged in court filings yesterday that Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman received free legal work in an ethics case from a law firm, Michael Best & Friedrich, that assisted state officials in the union law case. The “unusual” fee arrangement wasn’t disclosed at the time, and Gableman should have recused himself from the case, Ozanne said in filings. He should be disqualified from the case and the high court’s 4-3 decision in June upholding the law should be thrown out, Ozanne said in documents filed with the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Hudson Resident December 31, 2011 at 05:44 PM
Since when did liberals discover ethics?
Lyle Ruble December 31, 2011 at 06:07 PM
@Hudson Resident...Long ago and we're still waiting for you to discover them!
Sam Vedder December 31, 2011 at 07:07 PM
HA ha ha... I don't think Lyle knows what the word "ethics" means.
Hudson Resident December 31, 2011 at 07:18 PM
@Lyle Ruble.... That's a good one! I don't know who makes me laugh more in these "discussions", you or morninmist. Or maybe it's Thursty.... Hey, did you sign any new social contacts lately?
Lyle Ruble December 31, 2011 at 07:44 PM
@Sam Vedder ...You bring so much to the discussion. Thank you for your insight.
Lyle Ruble December 31, 2011 at 07:45 PM
@Hudson Resident...How do you sign a social contact?
Hudson Resident December 31, 2011 at 07:56 PM
Well Lyle, by the looks of things it might be in blood.... Nothing like a good revolution to overthrow the politicians and government union thugs....
Lyle Ruble December 31, 2011 at 08:10 PM
@Hudson Resident...You certainly talk big. Are you threatening to overthrow the government of the United States? What other seditious acts have you been involved in?
morninmist December 31, 2011 at 09:26 PM
@Hudson It is you and your kind that like death and blood. Here is the latest TeaGOP thug! ifoloyou1 ifoloyou Oshkosh pizza guy Carl cited for death threats against recall petitioner oshko.sh/stE8rg #slaponthewrist #wiunion #RECALLWALKER http://www.thenorthwestern.com/article/20111231/OSH0101/112310413/Tensions-over-Walker-recall-effort-lead-rise-complaints-police
morninmist December 31, 2011 at 09:28 PM
@Hudson The only gov. union thugs now are the police and firefirefighters. You going to take them on with your bully talk?
Lyle Ruble January 01, 2012 at 01:43 AM
@Saxon Realm...Lol, that argument went out with the election of Ronald Reagan Please keep it coming them coming, especially after the New Year.
Nick Poulos January 01, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Saxon: easy. Personally, I think that your comments are so far off base and that you are so misinformed that people will dismiss you, finding your comments to be either laughable, or extremist, or bigoted, or not at a minimum not of a co-operative stance. Someone fed you a lot of bovine scatology and you ate it up. Tubal-detox-ville has opening right after the first. Unions are not thugs nor evil. Many of our jobs no longer are here because leaders of many public firms gamed the system. Rather than investing in their companies, they consolidated, right-sized, rationalized, and sat back until they didn't make enough; at which time, the jobs went off-shore or were out-sourced (a company "firing" an entire department over the weekend, for example, returning under a less costly and responsible structure on Monday. Many of these manufacturing companies promoted cash-cow nation status, driven by quarterly numbers, with leaders often greedily believing that their unethical behavior would not catch up with them; feeling instead that if they could skim it off the top and keep the dogs at bay until they were fat, rich, retired , and no longer "responsible" Pick up a few books and catch up: you might start with "Cornered" - which does talk about the loss of jobs and of future potential good jobs as a result of consolidations, down-sizing, right-sizing, and other factors. Then try "FreeFall". That one will examine the current Depression & how our Banking system helped facilitate it.
morninmist January 01, 2012 at 06:41 AM
@Saxon You parrot Vicki and Charlie sooooooo well. Parrots are soooooooooo boring!!
Tulsa January 01, 2012 at 07:24 PM
So who gave us nafta and gatt , Clinton and congress and who bailed out the Banks Bush and who bailed out the Us auto makers and screw the bond holders Obama . not a dimes worth a differance between them .
Craig January 01, 2012 at 07:43 PM
And who gave China all the US manufacturing jobs? It took 12 years to come back and bite us squarely on the a$$.
Craig January 01, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Under the new voting rules, shouldn't a recall signature require showing voter ID prior to signing? I think that should be decided by the courts!
Tulsa January 02, 2012 at 02:08 AM
The rules are AGAIN late and grandfather for this election Always playing from behind these Dumb A$$ republicans then cry foul . Try thinking ahead and kept your head in the game .
William Welbes January 02, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Funny, but in four weeks of collecting signatures and talking with other people who are, I have yet to me an out of state volunteer. I would say you are either naturally paranoid based on your mindless diatribe or you are just spewing lies to sound big. Either way you are an example of why walker must go.
Keith Best January 02, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Gov. Scott Walker will not be recalled. Here's the reality.... Quote from the Sunday Jan. 1st Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-"The governor did balance the budget with fewer gimmicks than in the past; he did reduce the structural deficit significantly; he did put a lid on property tax increases; he did give schools and municipalities more control over their budgets." Note this is not coming from the governor or talk radio, but the largest newspaper in WI. Walker's reforms are working, there's no denying it.
Nick Poulos January 02, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Keith; Sadly, there is no unbiased journalism for any of us. Certainly , no one should be so ill-informed as to believe anything that is printed, or online, from the Journal Sentinel! They are paid to be biased journalists: size of reach should frighten those of us who really want the truth. What is the ownership interest of the Koch brothers, for example? Money pays for the truth it wants us to buy into: not necessarily the truth that has been concealed.
morninmist January 02, 2012 at 09:15 PM
The Right leaning Journal Sentinel endorsed Walker for Gov. They endorsed a person without a soul who Lies. Enough said. .............. Keith Best 11:07 am on Monday, January 2, 2012 Gov. Scott Walker will not be recalled. Here's the reality.......... Note this is not coming from the governor or talk radio, but the largest newspaper in WI. Walker's reforms are working, there's no denying it.
SD January 04, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Is it wonderful for the increase in property taxes this year? Also it would been great to take a train from Minneapolis to Chicago, that's right Wisconsin is going back in time. Wouldn't a new train created jobs? I thought Wisconsin was open for business.


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