Walker recall petition drive in full effect in Waukesha
Post by Lisa Mux on 11/16/2011 2:00pm
The following post originally appeared at the blog Waukesha Wonk and is re-posted here with permission of the author. The opinions expressed within do not necessarily represent that of dane101.
The Waukesha Walker Recall Office was in full effect when I stopped by Tuesday afternoon around lunchtime. They were rocking the signatures like a well-oiled machine. You could walk in, sign the petitions, and get out quickly, or linger at the table and chat with one of the knowledgeable volunteers, like Emily Thomas, a recent UW-Milwaukee grad and Wauwatosa native. Emily kindly answered my questions about the first day of Waukesha Walker Recall-palooza.
Emily was genuinely excited to talk about her experiences so far, and was energetic, despite having volunteered until about 1:30 a.m. on Monday. She described how a couple and their son, a Carroll University student, had come in shortly after midnight to sign the petition papers as a family. Many area students have already swung by to add their name to the list, according to Emily.
But it’s not just students who have flooded the place. Jim, a volunteer who, by profession, works as a landlord and has owned video production and animation companies in the past, said there wasn’t a specific demographic coming through, that people from all walks of life have been calling and stopping in. Like Emily, Jim was eager to discuss the day’s events thus far.
Jim had been busy answering phone calls, assisting in the office, and running around completing various other tasks Tuesday morning. He said he was in communication with the Walker Recall Offices in “two thoroughly conservative areas of Waukesha County: Menomonee Falls and Oconomowoc," and that they’ve had a “great response” so far. When I asked Jim if there was concern about possible Republican attempts to derail the process, by, say, collecting signatures and then destroying them, he answered, “Yes, a lot of people are worried."
Jim said he reminded people that the collection and destruction of signatures would be a felony, and that there’s not a whole lot they can do to prevent Republican trickery. “All we can do is get more than enough signatures, which we are going to do, to make up for that” and “if anyone believes they’ve been misled, sign again. The GAB will cross off the second name.” Jim recommends that Wisconsinites sign the petitions at the recall offices around the state (a complete list can be found at wisdems.org/recallhq).
Understandably, Jim is not a fan of trickery. Furthermore, he’s giving his time to the Walker Recall Petition Drive to fight what he sees as the “clear and obvious efforts to suppress Democratic votes here in Wisconsin.” Jim believes that Walker’s legislation is “very damaging to our state and our democracy,” that “the Republican effort to destroy unions is very misguided and…Republicans are threatening Capitalism itself by going after workers’ rights because they are creating such a huge divide between the rich and the middle class. It’s an unbalanced and unsustainable system.”
Jim is a union supporter because “unions provide an important balance in our political system and our economic system, and without unions, workers are little more than serfs or slaves.”
Overall, Jim has had a “very positive experience” working to get the Waukesha Walker Recall Office ready to open for the past ten days, and he expects that to continue now that it's up and running. Both he and Emily seem confident that we’ll get the required signatures necessary to trigger a recall election for both Walker and Kleefisch. Emily summed it up best when she told me that “A lot of people underestimate just how dedicated the Democrats in Waukesha are” and that “Waukesha is going to surprise a lot of people.”