Recall effort launches in Douglas County“There’s a lot of excitement in the area,” said Rep. Nick Milroy, D-South Range, as he walked out of the Superior Recall Walker office Tuesday carrying a handful of petitions.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
“There’s a lot of excitement in the area,” said Rep. Nick Milroy, D-South Range, as he walked out of the Superior Recall Walker office Tuesday carrying a handful of petitions.
The statewide recall movement began Tuesday. Some opponents of Gov. Scott Walker commenced their petition drive early with pajama parties and midnight madness-themed events, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. The first completed petition was turned in for inspection at the new Democratic office at 330 E. Wilson St., at 12:42 a.m., the Journal reported.
In Douglas County, the first signature was netted a few minutes after 9 a.m. By noon, 20 people had signed at the office and a number of volunteers were circulating petitions in the county.
“This has been happening all over the state,” said Kaeleen Ringberg, field organizer for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “I couldn’t have asked for a more successful first day.” The overall feeling in the office, which saw a steady stream of visitors all morning, was positive.
“People are in such a good mood today,” Ringberg said.
“I think it’s great,” said Quinn Thompson of Superior, a member of the Douglas County Democratic Party.
Marv Finendale of Superior plans to spend most of his afternoons volunteering at the site.
“I like the idea that anybody can come in and sign a petition because they’re not happy with where Gov. Walker is going,” he said.
A paper thermometer on the wall of the office at 1810 Belknap St. showed the local goal — 5,000 signatures from Douglas County. Statewide, more than 540,208 signatures must be collected to trigger a recall election. Coordinators have until Jan. 13 to collect the signatures. According to the United Wisconsin website, the recall election would take place six weeks after the Government Accountability Board verifies the signatures. If there were a contested primary, the general election would take place four weeks after the primary.
To sign a petition, you must reside in the district of the elected official being recalled and be eligible to vote in Wisconsin. A photo ID is not required to sign a recall petition, according to information provided by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.
Although petitions are available online, Ringberg said training is encouraged for anyone who plans to circulate them.
“There are legal procedures that need to be followed,” she said. “As a circulator, you are responsible for the signatures you gather.”
In all, approximately 100 people have been trained to collect signatures in Douglas County. Ringberg said nearly 400 people have been trained throughout the area she covers, which includes Ashland, Bayfield, Iron and Sawyer counties. Anyone interested in circulating petitions can get a 20-minute training course at the Superior office between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. daily. In the first few weeks, Ringberg said, people should call (715) 817-6579 before dropping by to make sure a trainer is available.
Signatures are being taken at the Superior office. In addition, two community events are scheduled this week. Members of the American Federation of Teachers will be collecting signatures at a rally beginning at 6 p.m. tonight at VIP Restaurant, 1201 Tower Ave. A rally at Center City Park is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Thursday followed by a reception at the Superior Recall Walker office. Ringberg said volunteers plan to set up roadside stops in the county for people to sign petitions, as well.
She invited anyone to stop by the office and meet the volunteers, who include members of United Wisconsin and People First of Superior/Douglas County as well as union members.
“We’ve opened the office up to these other groups,” Ringberg said. “This is a Wisconsin issue, not a partisan issue. We’re working hard to make sure everyone feels welcome.”
For more information, visit www.unitedwisconsin.com or www.wisdems.org/recallhq.
Daro Crandall, chairman of the Republican Party of Douglas County, encouraged people to research websites such as www.reforms.wi.gov and www.itsworkingwisconsin.com to get both sides of the issue.