Walker recall efforts begin

Walker recall efforts begin

Story by Haley Zblewski

Those who oppose Scott Walker have 60 days to collect 540,000 signatures and force a recall election for Wisconsin’s governor, as the effort to recall him kicked off at 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 15.

On the first day of the recall, Recall Walker supporters gathered in the UW-Eau Claire campus mall with petitions, asking people to sign.

College Democrats of Wisconsin Chairman Paydon Miller said that he anticipates the recall will be successful.

“In Wisconsin, we’ve always been on the forefront of independent empowerment and independent rights,” Miller said. “What we’ve seen with the Walker administration has been a radical step against working families, against the middle class in general. What we’re seeing is an awakening of the middle class and people are angry.”

On campus alone, Miller said that the volunteer effort is the biggest that the university has ever seen. “Students, who are generally seen, incorrectly in my opinion, as being apathetic have some skin in the game now,” Miller said.

Miller said the budget cuts to the UW System and the number of faculty and staff who’ve retired from Eau Claire recently are just two of the reasons why students are getting involved.

“What we’re seeing now is a grassroots push from people who’ve taken it on themselves to say ‘We deserve better as a state,’” Miller said.

If the 540,000 signatures are collected throughout the state by Jan. 14, a recall election will be held with Walker facing off against a candidate from the Democratic Party.

Many students on campus signed the petition and cited reasons similar to Miller’s as to why they want to see Walker recalled.

Jonathan Hames, a non-traditional senior sociology major, has already signed the petition.

“I’m unsatisfied with what Scott Walker has done,” Hames said. “Especially with collective bargaining. He shows this stubborn inability to listen to his constituents. It seemed to become more of a power grab than an actual representative of the people.”

While he remains unsure as to whether or not a re-election will be successful, Hames thinks the Recall Walker effort will collect enough signatures.

Not all on campus agree that Walker should be recalled, though.

UWEC College Republicans Chairman Tim Duffy said that, while he agrees with the right and ability to hold a recall, he doesn’t think the recall efforts against Walker are for a
legitimate reason.

“Those against Scott Walker are drawing on the past, on one issue, that they disagreed with,” Duffy said. “Maybe if he committed a crime — which he didn’t — but right now recall is being used not as it was intended to be used.”

Duffy said that students and workers are angry about Walker ending collective bargaining in Wisconsin, and aren’t seeing the whole picture because they’re still angry.

“It’s too soon to tell how his policies are doing because we’re only one year out,” he said. “Gov. Walker deserves his full four-year term to see the full four-year effect of his policies. It’s not even a year since the budget was passed in the summer, and we’re slowly starting to see results and I think they’re good results.”

Duffy said he thinks the recall will be pretty successful in getting signatures, but the effort will not be enough for Walker to lose a recall election.

Right now, Walker’s supporters are waiting to see what goes on with the petitions before they start to act, Duffy said. But on campus, there is a need to reach out to students, he said.

“(On campus) it’s a matter of getting the message out to students that they need to make an informed decision,” Duffy said. “They’re going to be faced with recalling Scott Walker, and I think it’s imperative that they overcome that rhetoric ‘Oh, Scott Walker is against students.’ But instead of taking that as is, students really need to take a look into why they’re saying Gov. Walker doesn’t like students. Gov. Walker’s opposition is taking advantage of that rhetoric in light of the recall effort.”

Andrea Holm, a sophomore geology student has no intention of signing the petition and said she doesn’t think the recall will be successful.

“Overall, I think students are getting their opinion from the university system,” she said. “I voted for Walker. Other people voted for him. They wouldn’t have voted for him in the first place if the majority of the population of Wisconsin hadn’t wanted him.”

Miller remains confident however.

“We’re going to be talking to voters, we’re going to be talking to students, we’re going to be talking to faculty about these real world effects that these cuts and what his agenda has done to our state.” Miller said. “Scott Walker will be recalled.”