Out-of-State Group Joins Effort to Recall Wisconsin 14

Protests in Madison, Wisconsin Saturday February 20, 2011- Photo by Natalie Rosen

Protests in Madison, Wisconsin Saturday February 20, 2011- Photo by Natalie Rosen

Protests in Madison, Wisconsin Saturday February 20, 2011- Photo by Natalie Rosen

According to a report yesterday in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a group from Utah called the American Recall Coalition has registered electronically to set up recall committees against members of the Wisconsin 14 — the Democratic state senators who have fled across the state line to Illinois to prevent a quorum from voting on Gov. Scott Walker’s union-gutting budget bill. Reid Magney, spokesman for the Government Accountability Board, told the Sentinel that the Utah group seeks to recall Sen. Bob Wirch of Kenosha and five other Democrats — Lena Taylor of Milwaukee, Mark Miller of Monona, Julie Lassa of Stevens Point, Fred Risser of Madison and Dave Hansen of Green Bay. Though Magney’s office is still waiting to receive paper registrations from American Recall Coalition, the out-of-state group may begin collecting signatures for the recall elections in those districts.

The Mormon Church in Utah has come under fire since the 2008 national election for bankrolling Proposition 8 in California — which overturned same-sex marriage.

The Sentinel reports that the groups need about 16,000 signatures to force a recall election for each senator. The exact number will vary from 11,000 to 21,000 signatures, Magney said, depending on how many votes were cast in the 2010 governor’s race in the targeted district. Democrats and labor unions are also considering whether to recall as many as six Senate Republicans for supporting Walker’s plan. Sen. Alberta Darling of River Hills is among those targeted. Magney also told the Milwaukee newspaper that a group has formed a political action fund to collect donations to support a recall election for Walker. But an official recall effort could not start until Walker, who took office last month, has served in the Capitol for at least a year.

Jacob Wheeler

In addition to shooting videos for The UpTake, Jacob Wheeler is a contributing editor at the progressive political magazine In These Times, publishes the Glen Arbor Sun in his native Michigan, and authored "Between Light and Shadow," a recent book about the Guatemalan adoption industry. Wheeler's stories have appeared in such magazines as the Utne Reader, Earth Island Journal, Rotarian and Teaching Tolerance magazine, and newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle and Christian Science Monitor. He speaks fluent Spanish, German and Danish.

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