Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker’s job is on the chopping block, following a 5-0 vote by the state’s election board to allow a recall election. After validating over 900,000 signatures (and excluding ones like Adolf Hitler, Donald L. Duck, and Mick E. Mous), officials announced that an election will decide Walker’s fate. The collected signatures are almost double the 540,208 needed to force a vote.
Walker is not the only name on the recall ballot however, as Republican Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and four Republican state senators are included. A primary will be held on May 8th, and the election on June 5th.
At least three Democrats are vying for the primary position, hoping to beat Walker in the election. If they succeed, he will only be the third governor in United States history to be recalled.
A Democratic Party spokesman said of the recall that:
“This was the greatest petition campaign in American history for a reason: Scott Walker’s radical overreach and abuse of power.”
Scott Walker is the first governor in over a decade to face a no-confidence vote, following a new law put in place that takes away almost all of the power from public sector unions. The law forced state and local workers, like teachers, to pay pert of their cost for health insurance and pensions, and also took away unions’ power to negotiate wage increases above inflation.
The most controversial part of the law required unions to be re certified by a vote of membership each year, threatening their existence in the state.
Ken Mayer, political science professor at the University of Wisconsin stated hours before the recall election was announced:
“If Walker wins, it will be public ratification of what he has done over the past 18 months. If he loses, it will be evidence that Democrats and their allies can still mobilize public support for their positions.”
One expected candidate on the Democrat’s side, although he has not officially announced he would run, is Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who lots the 2010 election to Scott Walker by a very narrow margin. The last governor to be ousted from office was Gray Davis in California, replaced by actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The following video shows the start of the petition to recall Governor Scott Walker: