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Awesome song and video on the Wisconsin protests from from The Wildbirds
On Friday, the first petitions to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker were submitted, and several groups launched efforts to remove the Republican and his second-in-command, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch. Petition gatherers have 60 days to collect 540,208 signatures. The petitions filed on Friday were submitted by an organization called 'Close Friends to Recall Walker' and the filing means that Walker can begin collecting unlimited contributions to fight the recall.
Democrats immediately cried foul about the filing:
The Democratic Party of Wisconsin, which had announced its intention last month to launch the recall Nov. 15, quickly branded the move a "dirty Republican ploy," but it's not clear what Brandt's loyalties are.
"This is the Republican ploy we have been predicting would happen," says Graeme Zielinski, a spokesman with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. "The only reason this was filed was to open the dirty rain shower of unlimited corporate cash."
The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reports that the person who filed the first petition, David Brandt, is a contributor to Walker and to the Wisconsin Republican Party. Being able to collect unlimited donations is Walker's primary strategy in defeating the recall and this early filing gives him the ability to get a head start on the opposition. State law lifts the cap on contributions to his campaign during the recall drive.
Wisconsin law allows for multiple ongoing recall efforts. On November 15, the Wisconsin Democratic Party and community activists plan to file their own paperwork launching their petition drive against Walker.
The questionable early filing is not the only trick that Walker and Republicans have attempted to use to thwart the will of Wisconsin voters. Republicans introduced a bill that would require all petitions gathered to be notarized, a rule that could've derailed the petition drive by making the process too burdensome to complete during the 60-day period required by law. The proposed law was almost certainly unconstitutional and appears to have been abandoned.
Those interested in supporting the Democratic efforts to recall Walker can donate via ActBlue.