- Associated Press - Monday, November 14, 2011

MADISON, Wis. — Political foes hoping to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker over his moves to significantly curb union rights in Wisconsin planned a late-night rally and early-morning pajama parties to officially kick off the effort.

More than 100 events were planned across the state Tuesday to begin collecting the more than 540,000 signatures required to get a recall election on Wisconsin’s ballot next year. Supporters have until Jan. 17 to turn in signatures.

Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and at least three Republican state senators also will be targeted for recall next year. Two GOP state senators lost their seats during recall elections this summer, though Republicans narrowly held on to their control of the Legislature.

“I fully anticipate there will be signatures collected in every single Wisconsin county tomorrow,” said state Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate. He said he hoped to collect at least 600,000 signatures by the deadline.

The recalls, organized by Democrats, labor unions and others, are largely motivated by Republicans’ adoption of a Walker-supported law that effectively ended collective-bargaining rights for most public workers. Wrangling over the law earlier this year spurred protests that grew as large as 100,000 people and motivated all 14 Democratic state senators to flee the state for three weeks in an ultimately vain attempt to stop the proposal.

Mr. Walker said Monday he remains focused on fulfilling his campaign promise to create 250,000 new jobs by 2015, when the term he was elected to last year ends. He defended his record and said voters were ready to move forward and didn’t want to get stuck in an endless campaign cycle.

“We’ve made a lot of progress,” he said. “It’s a new day in Wisconsin.”

Governors have only been recalled from office twice in U.S. history, in North Dakota in 1921 and in California when voters removed Gov. Gray Davis from office in 2003.

The Wisconsin Republican Party announced Monday that it was launching a website to gather details about potential fraud related to recall-petition circulation. Party Executive Director Stephan Thompson encouraged people to submit videos, recordings, photos and other incident reports that he said would be reviewed by party staff as well as retired law enforcement officers.



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