United Wisconsin, the group coordinating the recall against Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Scott Walker, announced that they had gathered 300,000 petitions towards the recall in the first 12 days of the recall efforts, reaching the halfway mark in less than a quarter of the time necessary to gather the petitions. 540,208 valid petitions have to be gathered by January 17, 2012, the end of the 60-day timeframe to make the recall official.
Scott Walker has taken to the airwaves, supported by millions in corporate cash, to defend his record of job loss and full-scale assault on Wisconsin's institutions and values," United Wisconsin Executive Director Meagan Mahaffey said in a statement. "But all over Wisconsin, the people are seeing through Walker's deceptions and are moving to take our state back."
In the first 96 hours of the recall effort, United Wisconsin and its supporters collected more than 105,000 signatures from all 72 counties in the state.
An election could occur as early as March 27, although it will likely be later if Republicans challenge the petition signatures or file lawsuits.
Democrats are waiting until after the petition drive to begin discussing potential opponents for the recall election. United Wisconsin lists the top 10 reasons to recall Walker:
1. Walker was elected on a promise to create 250,000 private sector jobs in Wisconsin. After seeing the impacts of his disastrous policies, his administration has acknowledged that Walker won’t get anywhere close to fulfilling his campaign promise.
2. Walker’s budget cut over $800 million from our public schools, while at the same time placing caps on the amount of money school districts in Wisconsin can collect in property taxes to fund their schools.
3. Walker cut over $500 million from the BadgerCare program. More than 200,000 Wisconsinites could face premium increases, and over 50,000 people may be cut from their state insurance plan completely as a result of this cut.
4. While he was slashing funding for public schools and health care, Walker gave giant tax breaks to corporations, which added roughly $117 million to Wisconsin’s budget deficit.
5. In October, Wisconsin led the nation with 9,700 job losses, 9,300 of which were in the private sector. This happened after Walker held his “jobs session” with the legislature, during which no jobs bills were even taken up.
6. Walker stripped most public employees of their right to collectively bargain. Walker’s union-busting bill means that teachers, nurses, prison guards, and other public employees in Wisconsin no longer have a say in their benefits and working conditions
7. Walker signed a Voter ID bill that will make it harder to vote for thousands of eligible voters in Wisconsin. The people most affected by the restrictions in the bill include students, the elderly, the poor, and the disabled.
8. While refusing to meet with Democratic lawmakers to negotiate a compromise on his union-busting bill, Walker spent 20 minutes on the phone with who he thought was out-of-state billionaire David Koch. During the call, Walker bragged about the baseball bat in his office and admitted that he considered planting troublemakers in the crowd at the protests.
9. Wisconsin was supposed to receive federal funds to build a high-speed rail line from Milwaukee to Madison. Instead, Walker refused the money, which would not have added anything to the state budget, and the funds went to other states.
10. After hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites came to Madison to tell Scott Walker not to balance the budget on the backs of working families, he put the State Capitol on lock down, preventing thousands of protesters from entering the building.
Those interested in more information on the recall efforts can visit United Wisconsin or Recall Scott Walker. Official petitions for Wisconsin residents or volunteers can be obtained from United Wisconsin. The group is also accepting contributions to help the recall efforts.