Republican Gov. Scott Walker ended the standoff by signing into law a measure that eliminated collective bargaining from all non-law-enforcement public sector unions – a move his party says will help better state budget woes, but that critics say amounts to nothing more than union busting. Wisconsin recall law prevents him from being subject to a recall until 2012.
Democratic senators are being criticized for fleeing the state for several weeks to prevent Republicans from having a quorum to vote on a budget bill. Republican senators are being criticized for removing the collective-bargaining provision from the budget bill through a controversial legislative maneuver and then passing the provision as a separate bill without a quorum.
Recall efforts are seldom used, and when they are, they typically fail because of the money needed to mobilize petition drives and to defend the validity of the signatures in court, Mr. Magarian says.
But the organizational help from outside the state could help, says Mr. Spivak. “The money is there and the will is there. Which makes it an unusual situation compared to the past but it may not be unusual compared to the future,” Mr. Spivak says.
Wisconsin makes it easy for outside forces to get involved in recall efforts. According to the state’s Government Accountability Board, which oversees campaign finance, elections, ethics, and lobbying laws, only one person from each recall committee is required to reside in the district of the legislator who is the target of the recall.