Days after Ohio voters rolled back a law curbing collective bargaining rights, Democrats in Wisconsin plan to combat a similar law by recalling Gov. Scott Walker.
Since Wisconsin state law does not allow recall petitions for laws passed by the state legislature, as was done in Ohio, voters who are up in arms about legislation passed earlier this year that eliminates public employee’s rights to collective bargaining are attempting to collect the 540,000 signatures necessary to force their governor into a recall election.
Walker pushed the legislation through the Republican-controlled legislature this spring in a attempt to fill a $3.6 billion budget shortfall. Hundreds of protesters filled the Wisconsin state capitol to oppose the legislation, which Walker said would allow state local governments the freedom to make necessary budget cuts.
“Any recall attempts filed will be nothing more than a shameless power grab by the Democrats and their liberal special interests, and will not deter Republicans from moving the state forward under responsible leadership,” Republican Party spokeswoman Nicole Larson told The Associated Press.
More than 100 events are planned across the state Tuesday to kick-start the 60-day drive for the more than half a million signatures necessary to put a Democratic candidate for governor on the ballot in 2012. If organizers are successful in recalling Walker, it would be the first time in state history that a governor has been recalled.
Nationwide only two governors have ever been successfully recalled, in North Dakota in 1921 and in California in 2003.
Wisconsin voters have already recalled two Republican senators who supported the legislation and hope to do the same to Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefsich and at least three more GOP state senators.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.