Total Recall: Enough signatures for Wanggaard recall, other Senate recalls close or on track
Post by Christie Taylor on 12/19/2011 10:15am
UPDATED: 9:45 a.m.
As of Sunday morning volunteers for the campaign to recall Sen. Van Wanggaard of the 21st district have collected at least 16,000 petition signatures, more than the 15,500 that would make him eligible for recall.
Wanggaard, whose district covers Racine County, is one of four Republican senators targeted for recall this winter, and volunteers in his district are passing around three petitions instead of the usual two.
"We're going all out every single day," said Kelly Gallaher, organizer of the progressive group Communities for Change, a partner organization in the campaign to recall Wanggaard.
The petitions still have to be sent to Madison, where the Democratic Party will weed out duplicates and incomplete signatures and make the count official, Galleher said, but meanwhile the signature thermometer at the volunteer headquarters in Racine was red to the 16,200 mark Sunday morning.
And while the committee now likely has enough signatures, she says they will hold out for at least 18 to 20 thousand total, to ensure that signatures disqualified for errors or duplicates don't land them below the minimum needed.
She said that on top of the voter ID bill and moves by the Walker administration to weaken environmental protections, the residents of Racine County, a large proportion of them Hispanic, were concerned about the administration's stance on immigration. In May, Assembly Rep. Don Pridemore (R-Hartford) introduced a bill that, like similar legislation in Arizona, would require law enforcement to report persons arrested on suspicion of a crime who fail to provide identification within 48 hours of being arrested, among other things. While no movement has been made on the bill since August, Gallaher says, county residents are still very concerned. "All you have to do is say 'Pridemore,' and they know what you're talking about," she said.
Gallaher said when she goes out to gather signatures with volunteers, those who sign are connected to at least one of those issues. "And one is enough to convince them to sign," she said.
She said, as the campaign shifts from focusing on community hotspots to canvassing neighborhoods, she's confident they'll get enough extra signatures to be sure they have enough valid ones: "Almost every day, we're still finding tons of people who are saying, 'We've been looking for you so we can sign.'"
Fitzgerald recall changing strategies as halfway point reached
Meanwhile Lori Compas, who is independently organizing the effort to recall Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald without the official backing of the Democratic Party, said the group hit 9,200 signatures as of last Sunday night. A fresh count for this past week will be available by Monday or Tuesday. Her grassroots effort is aiming for 300 signatures per day, for a total of 18,000. The minimum required to trigger a recall election against the Juneau Republican is 16,792.
On Wednesday, she announced a change in strategy from drive-through signing to door-to-door canvassing, to compensate for likely losses from the the upcoming Christmas and New Year's weekends. "This campaign will be won or lost on weeknights from 6 - 9 p.m.," Compas wrote.
To assist volunteers in canvassing effectively, the campaign has also launched a new web site where they can sign up for and report on their work. Petitions can then be mailed to the central headquarters.
Other updates: Moulton, Galloway, fundraising
The Wausau Daily Herald reports that efforts to recall Sen. Pam Galloway of Wausau have yielded more than 10,000 signatures as of Thursday. To force a recall election, 15,647 signatures are needed. In an e-mail Monday morning, committee head Nancy Tabaka-Stencil said their totals were at roughly 70 percent of the minimum. "No difficulties here other than that she is not very well known," Tabaka-Stencil said. "I'm sure I've met more of her constituents than she has."
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that the group working to recall Terry Moulton, based in Chippewa Falls, has also collected more than 10,000 of the 14,958 required signatures.
The senators have all filed fundraising reports in the past couple weeks. Channel3000 reports that Fitzgerald has more than $280,000 on hand for campaigning in a potential recall election, while Galloway has $83,000 in the bank, Wanggaard has $53,000, and Moulton has $87,000. Meanwhile, the recall committees have all raised between $3,500 and $7,000 to support their efforts.
Christie Taylor (@ctaylsaurus) covers science, environment, and, depending on the season, state politics for dane101. She verbs a lot of nouns, including rollerskates, radio, and Kurt Vonnegut. A Madison native, she's not sure she'll ever quite manage to leave Wisconsin, and that's just fine by her. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.