Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair Mike Tate announced today that recall organizers are submitting more than 1 million signatures on petitions to recall Governor Scott Walker.
That number represents a whopping 46 percent of the electorate in the last gubernatorial election--185 percent of the number of signatures needed to trigger a recall election.
At a mid-day press conference Tate and Democratic Party lawyers announced the "overwhelming" signature totals. Then they went on the offense, demanding a quick count of the signatures and prompt certification as soon as the Government Accountability Board (GAB) can determine that the target of 540,208 signatures to recall Walker has been met.
"Given the numbers we've turned in, it should be no problem showing we met the goal," said Tate.
"We urge them not to waste the taxpayers' time and money."
Democratic lawyer Jeremy Levinson warned that the GAB's announcement last week that is changing the process for validating signatures should not slow down voters' expectation of a timely election.
"If they've gone off and reinvented the process at the last minute in a way that turns it into a lingering, drawn-out process, it will be a violation of the statute," Levinson said.
"There is no reason they can't just stop and certify once they know the target is met," Tate added.
Today at 3:00, Fort Atkinson forklift operator Julie Wells, the citizen who filed the papers to launch the recall, will lead a parade through downtown Madison to the GAB offices to deliver 300,000 pages of petitions. Early today, the GAB offices were inspected by a structural engineer to make sure they could withstand the weight of the 3,000 pounds of documents.
The size and weight of all those petitions is symbolic of the huge popular opposition to Walker in the state.
It is also, Tate pointed out, equivalent to "two of the heaviest dairy cows . . . or 158 of the heaviest badgers" in Wisconsin.
"Sent straight up it is 128 times higher than the tallest building in the world," he added.
Volunteers are also submitting recall petitions containing more than the required number of signatures for Lt Gov Rebecca Kleefisch, Sen Terry Moulton, Sen Pam Galloway, Sen Van Wanggaard, and Sen Scott Fitzgerald.
After the parade to submit the petitions, recall volunteers and supporters will gather at the Monona Terrace convention center in downtown Madison for a victory celebration.
If you liked this article by Ruth Conniff, the political editor of The Progressive, check out her story "Tommy Thompson/Scott Walker Smackdown."
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