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Posted: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 4:00 pm

About a month into the active Recall Walker effort, local participants on both sides of the cause remain pumped up - some hoping to see Gov. Scott Walker get the boot, others offering support to Wisconsin's embattled chief executive.

Recall organizers first began circulating petitions Nov. 15 and lead-up events were held in Beloit, Janesville and elsewhere across Wisconsin. In the time since, Recall Walker volunteers - clipboards and pens in hand - have become a common sight outside local grocery stores, city council meetings and other places of public gathering.

Others have made phone calls, and some have gone door-to-door. Recall workers have set up temporary office at Beloit's United Steelworker's Hall on Shore Drive and have hosted sign-and-drive events along Riverside Park every weekend. Estimates of how many signatures have been gathered locally were not available, but statewide more than 300,000 were tallied in the first 12 days, according to statements made by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

No updated figures have been released since that time.

More than 540,000 valid signatures are needed to force a spring recall election, in which Walker would face a yet-to-be determined Democrat challenger. Organizers are now about halfway through the 60-day period in which signature gathering is allowed. A verification phase comes afterward, and only once the more than half-million signatures have been approved can a recall election occur.

Those involved in gathering signatures come from various walks of life. Some are concerned citizens, others are public officials.

Mark Spreitzer, a first-time member of the Beloit City Council, confirmed that he has actively been supporting the recall effort, but was unable to give comment, per media relation rules set by the Democratic Party.

Meanwhile, Roger Anclam, the Turtle township chairman, said he's been passionately protesting against Walker for some time now, and once the recall effort got moving, Anclam was along for the ride.

"Walker has been dishonest from the beginning," Anclam said. "I'll be at the hall, I'll be in the streets."

He cited Walker's policies on unions and education as key failures, while also claiming the governor has unfairly given favorable treatment to corporations.

Certainly, the Recall Walker volunteers are passionate and noticeable.

Less visible are those who think Walker's made tough, but important, choices that are in fact leading Wisconsin forward to times of better economic growth and prosperity.

Vicki Seichter, a building maintenance worker at Beloit College, said she's sent money to the Walker office "to fight the recall."

"He's doing the right thing even though he knows it will make him unpopular," Seichter said, noting that Walker understands governments do not have unlimited sources of money.

Seichter has been asked to signed recall petitions, but has declined every time.

Meanwhile, on the same campus, sophomore Renee Gagner has been on the opposite end, asking near and far for signatures to remove Walker from his position.

"I've been pretty passionate about politics since high school," she said. "There's no way I couldn't do anything about it."


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  • billtinder posted at 5:40 pm on Sat, Dec 24, 2011.

    billtinder Posts: 4850


  • Delavan Mike posted at 9:05 pm on Fri, Dec 23, 2011.

    Delavan Mike Posts: 1295

    Really? You honestly believe that, don't you? And here I just thought you annoyed me on purpose just because you found entertainment value in it. You actually believe it? I also have noticed that I seem to be the only one you disrespect in this way, so either you have developed some sort of twisted infatuation with me and my posts or you are frustrated that your arguments are so weak and so you resort to disrespect when you have no better comeback. So please go right ahead, keep firing away. I know I should be the better man and not fire back, but I am only human and I never claimed to be a better person than you or anyone else who posts here. I always start my posts respectfully even when I disagree with someone. I do not whine any more than you do Mr. Hypocrite (previously established and admitted to by Bill). I don't care for cake. I care for respectful debate and no one here has been disrespected by me without dishing it out first.

  • billtinder posted at 5:07 pm on Thu, Dec 22, 2011.

    billtinder Posts: 4850

    Your posts are every bit as disrespectful to me as I am to you; the only difference is I don't whine about it. I guess you want to have your cake and eat it too!

    l'm glad you love it, I'll do it some more.[whistling]

  • Delavan Mike posted at 7:12 pm on Wed, Dec 21, 2011.

    Delavan Mike Posts: 1295

    You are very respectful on the few occasions my opinions happen to coincide with yours, which is about 10% of the time. Any time you disagree with me it is in a disrespectful manner. You claim it is because my posts "don't make logical sense" or I have put my foot in my mouth. Why do you think that justifies a disrespectful response? Why can't we simply agree to disagree?

  • Delavan Mike posted at 6:09 pm on Wed, Dec 21, 2011.

    Delavan Mike Posts: 1295

    Thanks again for proving my point. I love it when you do that!

  • billtinder posted at 4:35 pm on Wed, Dec 21, 2011.

    billtinder Posts: 4850

    That's not true, I'm very respectful that 10% of the time when your comments actually make logical sense. It's the rest of the time that your toe fetish becomes apparent, due to your propensity to stick your foot in your mouth, that my tendency to comment on total absurdity filters out. At least you don't have to worry about losing credibility, since you can't lose what you don't have to begin with! Maybe you should curl up and cry about that. [crying]

  • Delavan Mike posted at 12:40 pm on Wed, Dec 21, 2011.

    Delavan Mike Posts: 1295

    Yeah, Bill, your arguments are so new and fresh. I use the same arguments because they are still valid. At least they are my own. That would be the definition of the word "originality". I don't proofread my comments? Wow. Get a clue. Your example below is not even an example of a contradiction! Do you know what the word means? I am upset when expected to gladly accept earning even less and I wasn't the one complaining about compensation packages for public employees. Others brought that up and I responded with my reasons for why I didn't agree with them, not just on this posting but on others. Where is the contradiction there? I think I'll curl up in a ball now and cry because Bill called me stupid. Again, Bill, your constant disrespectful tactics erode your credibility. Duh.

  • billtinder posted at 10:55 am on Wed, Dec 21, 2011.

    billtinder Posts: 4850

    Delavan whines about a lack of originality, yet only presents the same old tired and inconsistent diatribes. And yes I've been turning your arguments back onto you for a long time now, because it became apparent that you don't proof read your comments before submitting them. All those contradictions make for an easy soft target. Your other weakness is your propensity to say what ever is expedient at the moment, with out any regard for statements you've made in the past, (and sometimes the present) case in point:

    "I just get upset when I'm expected to gladly accept earning even less"

    Next paragraph:

    "I wasn't the one complaining about compensation packages."

    "Those were the the private sector people complaining."

    Right, they're all complaining about not getting stuck with a 3.6 billion dollar deficit.

    Delavan gump sez: "stupid is as stupid does!"
    And who can argue with that?[beam]

  • Delavan Mike posted at 5:20 pm on Tue, Dec 20, 2011.

    Delavan Mike Posts: 1295

    Bill, I love teaching, so I can accept that I don't earn as much money as people in the private sector. I just get upset when I am expected to gladly accept earning even less because the public wants me to "pay my fair share".

    I didn't say the private sector was better and I wasn't the one complaining about compensation packages. Those were the private sector people complaining. I only responded to it.

    By the way, nice way to steal my argument and use it against me. Couldn't come up with original material, eh? I have been telling private sector people who think public sector workers have it so good to come on over to the dark side for a while now.

  • billtinder posted at 3:54 pm on Tue, Dec 20, 2011.

    billtinder Posts: 4850

    Yep, there's those words again, "fair and competitive". I can only speak for myself, but if I worked somewhere that paid wages that I didn't view as "fair and competitive" I would just go work where the money was better. By the way, where would that be? And why aren't you there yet? Please feel free to jump out here; where everything is so much better and then maybe you'll get everything you DESERVE.[rolleyes]

  • Delavan Mike posted at 10:02 pm on Mon, Dec 19, 2011.

    Delavan Mike Posts: 1295

    I agree both sides have good reasons to fear the future whatever it may bring and both sides are right based on their different perspectives.

    Why do you have a hard time believing public workers will be left out in the cold if thee economy improves? While private sector business will be free to give employees whatever raises and benefit increases they desire in an effort to recruit the bast workers the public sector will still be bound by Act 10 if the Republicans remain in power.

    I do not disagree Wisconsin was in need of SOME financial change, though Illinois is in a lot worse shape than we are. Though I do not doubt SOME change was needed I have seen some compelling arguments that the situation in Wisconsin was not as dire as Walker made it out to be and was actually made worse by some of the first things he did when elected. I do not agree all of his radical changes were necessary.

    You are obviously correct that private sector workers have been losing wages longer than public sector workers have. Even so a study I referenced before shows the total compensation (salary plus benefits) for public workers is lower than what it is for comparable private sector workers. Just saying we can't afford to pay public workers a fair (there's that word again) and competitive (how's that word) total compensation package is not reason enough to force public workers and social programs like Badgercare to "pay their fair share" while other groups are not forced to do so.

  • billtinder posted at 6:44 am on Mon, Dec 19, 2011.

    billtinder Posts: 4850

    You have your own good reasons to fear what will happen if the Republicans, (and Walker) remain in control, just as others have good reasons to fear what will happen if they if they don't. Both camps are right to feel the way they do and both camps are merely being speculative, since we have no way of knowing for sure what's up the sleeve of either party and must base our reasoning on past practices.
    You also have a tendency of combining the terms "fair" and "affordable", when in reality the two have very little in common. "Fairness" is a speculative term based on opinion. Your wage structure prior to Walker, may have been too high or too low depending on who's point of view you wish to take, but times were better, more people were employed and paying taxes, and those wages were affordable so no one kicked too much. For that reason I have a hard time accepting the argument that when prosperity returns to the private sector, the public sector will be automatically left out in the cold. If past history supported that speculation, your wages and bennies wouldn't be an issue today. On the other hand "affordability" is a more finite term. During the last two decades, while public sector employees continued to enjoy upward mobility in wages and benefits, the private sector suffered through concessionary contracts, stagnant wages and lost benefits and jobs, as a result of free trade agreements. Apparently you didn't see the connection between your comfortable lifestyle and the private sectors ability to pay or perhaps you just thought that by nature of being a public employee you were somehow immune to market forces. That was all true under the Democrats, but with Walker came a dose of reality and a wake -up call. Even if he hadn't been elected an economic train wreck was in the cards anyway, and one need look no further than Illinois to see to see what path irresponsibility in finances leads to.
    You may be correct in your assumption that when and if private sector prosperity returns, you may not be able to recoup lost wages, but then we've been losing them far longer then you and we won't be able to recoup them either. Consider those facts when you argue what's fair, and yes; you do need to pay your fair share, though you don't have to like it.[wink]

  • Delavan Mike posted at 4:34 pm on Sun, Dec 18, 2011.

    Delavan Mike Posts: 1295

    I disagree there are only two choices. I certainly do not want to give Walker a full term to do even more damage to the state than he already has. That is a real concern. Some argue the recall is nothing more than a quest for revenge because even if its successful it is not likely public workers will gain back what they lost. I agree we will never go back to way things were. Even if Walker is recalled and the Democrats regain control of the governor's mansion and maybe the Senate it would be political suicide for them to try to return everything to the way it was before Walker. Therefore I do not believe putting the Democrats back in power would bankrupt the state and I do believe Walker should be removed before he does even more damage. This isn't just about the damage he has already done. Who's to say he isn't plotting more attacks against public workers or social programs like Badgercare next year? If he survives this recall maybe he will take that as a mandate like he did the November election. Some people worry about what will happen if Walker is recalled. I worry about what will happen if he isn't. This may be only the beginning. Some people would be happy if that were true. They can feel free to vote for Walker in the recall election.

    I don't have numbers for how everyone has been impacted by Act 10. All I now is it has impacted me by more than $100 paycheck. Since I have been teaching for about 15 years there are many teachers with more experience than me and many with less. I feel I am right in the middle and might represent an average figure.

    My point about the Forbes article was that it shows the public is not paying as much as Walker wants it to believe for pensions and health benefits. Instead of focusing on those items tax payers should be considering if the overall package of salary plus benefits is out of whack. My argument has been that since public workers have accepted lower salaries to get the better benefits the overall packages have been reasonable in comparison to comparable jobs in the private sector. Walker and many of his followers would have you believe public workers overall packages are much better than comparable packages in the private sector.

    I understand the argument that tax payers can no longer afford to pay public workers what they have been paying them. The message that sends to public workers is that they should take the bullet for everyone, not "pay their fair share" like everyone else. As I wrote on another blog (and Bill agreed with me!), we have been paying our fair share all along, so asking us to take these cuts without a fight is really asking for more than our fair share. In addition, if affordability is really the issue what happens when the economy improves? Can public workers then argue that the state can again afford the things that were cut and should get them back? Sorry, Act 10 is law and those things aren't coming back while private sector workers will see raises and bumps in benefits. But we need to pay our fair share and like it.

  • billtinder posted at 10:13 pm on Sat, Dec 17, 2011.

    billtinder Posts: 4850

    The truth is that I don't know exactly how much is conceded, because it's a percentage of compensation and we all know that all public workers are not paid the same amount. $100 per pay period is just a number that I've seen tossed out here, but if you have more accurate figures feel free to share them.

    Yes, it's pretty hard to blame someone for their lack of success, if you remove him and replace him with someone who is diametrically opposed to his overall philosophy. Even if he survives the recall, millions of dollars that could have been better used to entice investment will have already been squandered. I am personally sceptical of his chances of creating jobs like he promised mainly because I believe it's a national problem (trade laws), but I think he should have his full term to try to prove me wrong.

    Mike, they really do cost the taxpayers what they think they cost. The fact that public employees shifted their pay to cover insurance and pensions in no way diminishes the total cost involved. I don't know how you came up with the idea that I had forgotten your other post, since it is totally irrelevent to the point I was trying to make. Wisconsin has had 5 bad months in terms of economic activity and job losses, which it can be surmised is a direct result of all the lost public sector income that was being spent in local economies before, but now no longer is. I was merely pointing out that if Walker wants his term to be a success then there should be some announcements forthcoming about one heck of a lot of good jobs on the way, in the very near future.
    The choice is simple:
    You can give him his term and see whether he can turn the state around or
    You can go back to bankrupting Wisconsin.

    Remember.... a vote for Cullen is a vote for Illinios![rolleyes]

  • Delavan Mike posted at 7:02 pm on Sat, Dec 17, 2011.

    Delavan Mike Posts: 1295

    $100 per paycheck is a bit low, Bill.

    Again I see the writing on the wall. If Walker is unable to create the jobs he promised he will just blame the recall like Bill is doing here.

    Collective bargaining could have been retained without giving it all back. Even Walker admitted removing collective bargaining had no impact on the budget. There is also the Forbes article I cited on the other blog that Bill even said made a good point about how public sector pensions and health benefits do not really cost tax payers what they think they cost. Bill, if that was a good read for you then why did you forget it so quickly?

  • billtinder posted at 10:46 am on Sat, Dec 17, 2011.

    billtinder Posts: 4850

    The removal of roughly $100 of spendable income from the pay checks of every public employee and the impact it's had on the economy and employment is no surprise. The real question is whether Walker will be able to parlay those savings on incentives towards investments in new manufacturing and the prosperity that they would bring, and also how long it will take to reverse the downward trend. Obviously, that strategy won't happen overnight, but for him to be successful, he needs to start showing significant progress in the very near future. Unfortunately, the current rush to recall him presents the very real possibility that Wisconsin will take a giant step backwards without ever giving his plan a chance to succeed. If that happens the Democrats will return the state to the direction that Illinois has gone; and continue the ruination of Wisconsin through unaffordable spending, higher taxation, and an unfriendly business climate.
    Mary would have us believe that the recall has nothing to do with money, when in fact it has everything to do with money. What Walker's policies have done is prevent the practice of making concessions with one hand while recouping them with the other. The proof lies in the whole recall process as Walker is not the only Republican up for recall. The Democrats are merely using his name as a smokescreen to try to regain a majority control.
    As far as fraud on the recall signatures goes... I don't see where there would be any need for it, since it only requires the signatures of half the democrats that didn't vote for him in the first place. Really, how hard can that be?
    As bitter as Walker's policies have been for public employees to endure, recalling him may be tantamount to "cutting off your nose, to spite your face". As I've pointed out in the past, prosperity public and private; will be largely dependant on an influx of good family supporting jobs and the old model didn't fill that bill.

  • beloit51 posted at 8:51 am on Thu, Dec 15, 2011.

    beloit51 Posts: 1639

    "Walker has been dishonest from the beginning".Anclam said. Which Wisconsin Politican has Not been Dishonest ? At Least Governor Walker is facing,Acting on Issue's ALL previous (Dishonest) Administration's just kept on back burner for "other's" to deal with.Allow Governor elect S.Walker the opportunity to Do The Hard Job He was elected to do.IF there is a new Governor will Him/Her be allowed a chance to Govern,or another Recall??
    100% of The People are never satisfied,Majority is or Governor Walker would not of won Governorship.

    "Your Humble Servant"

  • Mary Erpenbach posted at 5:44 pm on Wed, Dec 14, 2011.

    Mary Erpenbach Posts: 12

    Hi jmartin,
    Wow, you got so much wrong in such a short post that I feel compelled to set the record straight.

    1) Micky Mouse and Hitler will not be counted on the petitions. The Democratic Party of Wisconsin has thousands of volunteers checking every petition for duplicates and fraudulent names, such as Micky Mouse and Hitler. This is far too important for them to mess around and turn in petitions with joke names on them. The Republican Party will go through every petition, too.

    2) This recall and the protests that preceded it have NOTHING to do with money. Proof? Public worker unions offered to give the governor every penny he asked for, way back in February, less than three days after he announced his plan. When they offered, though, he refused to take it unless they ALSO gave up their right to collectively bargain. And he admitted, in sworn testimony before a congressional committee in Washington, that those rights had no fiscal impact whatsoever on Wisconsin's budget. It didn't cost the state anything for workers to have those rights, and it didn't gain the state any money when Governor Walker was ultimately successful in taking away those rights. To say that people are protesting or circulating recall petitions or signing recall petitions because they "don't want to pay" is a complete lie. There's not one shred of truth to it, and the fact that the unions tried to give the governor the money nearly a year ago proves that there's not a shred of truth to it.

    3) Count me among the people who think public workers should pay for their own benefits. The difference between you and me, though, is that I understand something you don't: THEY ALREADY DO PAY FOR THEIR BENEFITS. They have ALWAYS paid for 100 percent of their benefits. What the governor did was give them a pretty steep pay cut, plain and simple. A Nobel Prize-winning economist, and Forbes Magazine have already pointed this out. In fact, they call it The Wisconsin Lie when Governor Walker says that all he is asking workers to do is "pay more for their benefits." So next time you hear him say that, or you say that, understand that what you are doing is telling a great big Wisconsin Lie.

    4) You didn't mention this in your comments, but I thought I would point out that since the governor signed Act 10 into law and got the ball rolling, Wisconsin has lost jobs and suffered economic damage to the point where we are now the WORST state in the nation in terms of economic and employment trends. It's not working.

  • cynicaleye posted at 4:29 pm on Wed, Dec 14, 2011.

    cynicaleye Posts: 601

    Let's see, how many new jobs has the Walker administration created? NONE!
    Walker himself admitted at a congressional hearing that getting rid of collective bargaining in Wisconsin did NOTHING to help the budget. And "jmartin" they do pay for their benefits. Get the facts.

  • jmartin posted at 4:19 pm on Wed, Dec 14, 2011.

    jmartin Posts: 252

    Wow and now Mickey Mouse and Hitler will be counted on the petitions, way to go Dems you are a sad bunch that don't care about what is legal or ethical. I guess I already knew that though, what cry babies you are becuse people think that you should pay for some of your own benefits.


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