On March 9 of this year, Fitzgerald was central to a joint committee meeting and vote held in seeming violation of the state’s open records law that allowed the Senate to then vote on the so-called budget “repair” bill without its Democratic members present.
Lori Compas lives in Scott Fitzgerald's highly conservative district and is fed up with him. Undeterred by the heavy lift it will take to secure enough recall signatures for the ballot, she went ahead and filed recall paperwork last week to begin the process.
“I decided last Friday that I would do this,” Compas explains. “I realized that if I didn’t do it, it wasn’t gonna happen.” However, she admits, “I feel like I’m this little ant flinging a crumb at a giant.”
Sometimes all it takes is one person stepping up and deciding something needs to be done to start the ball rolling.
Since then, Compas says, “It’s been beautiful. I can’t believe the response.”
Interest in the petitions has been so immense that an initial run of copies she’d thought would last until Thanksgiving has already run out. People heading out to collect signatures for the Walker and Kleefisch recalls have been overwhelmingly supportive of adding the Fitzgerald petition to the bunch.
And in the relatively conservative District 13 people of all political stripes are showing interest in the campaign.
“Something has really changed in the last year,” Compas says of Fitzgerald’s time in office. She sees the main reason to recall the senator having less to do with ideology and more to do with methodology. “The important thing is not what he’s done, but how he’s done it,” Compas adds, referring to the March 9 incident and much of what’s happened since. She believes that the folks in the district have largely lost faith in Fitzgerald because of those issues.
Yes, as it turns out, people don't like being lied to, misled, and strong-armed into something they don't agree with. Imagine that. Compas has set up a website and welcomes all donations and efforts to get the necessary signatures. She isn't being supported by the Democratic party at this time, so it's truly a one-woman grassroots effort.
Compas isn't the only one pursuing recall efforts. Democrats in Wisconsin have filed the paperwork to recall Governor Scott Walker and Senators Pam Galloway, Terry Moulton and Van Wanggaard.
Wisconsin's message is clear: Subvert democracy to serve corporate masters at your own peril.