Only five hours after progressive groups in Reedsburg began circulating a petition to recall Gov. Scott Walker at various locations across the city, more than 100 people had signed.

The Reedsburg Area Concerned Citizens and Reedsburg Area Progressives, supported by United Wisconsin and the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, began circulating recall petitions at 6 a.m. Tuesday.

The groups have set up a "drive-by recall" station on Vine Street, near the Reedsburg Public Library, and have stationed circulators at various downtown businesses.

Bill Waser, coordinator for the recall effort in Reedsburg, said Tuesday morning that more than 100 people had signed the petition by 11 a.m.

"We're going to have people there constantly from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on both sides of the street," RACC and RAP member John Dietz said. "People can just stop their cars on either side of the street and we'll come up. They can sign the petition without getting out of their cars."

About 40 people attended an informational session at the Reedsburg Public Library on Monday night on proper methods of collecting signatures.

Reedsburg resident Mark Cummings said he attended the meeting because he disagreed with Walker's policies and the changes he has seen across the state since Walker took office.

"The stakes are high," Cummings said. "If he remains in office for all four years, he will radically change things across Wisconsin for the worse."

The recall effort - organized not just in Reedsburg but across Wisconsin - is motivated in large part by the Republican-led adoption of a law that significantly curbed bargaining rights for most public employees.

More than 100,000 people protested against the law at the State Capitol last spring, and all 14 Democratic senators fled to Illinois for three weeks in an attempt to block the law.

Keith Peterson, the Reedsburg representative for the Republican Party of Sauk County, said he thinks circulators will have a hard time recalling the governor, even if they collect enough signatures to force a recall election.

"I think they're going to have a tough time because I think what Walker has done has worked," Peterson said. "I'm against this recall.

"Elections have consequences. If you don't like what's happening, wait 'till the next election and vote them out. Don't do this."

Those hoping to recall the governor have to collect about 540,000 signatures by the Jan. 17 deadline. Waser said the DPW wants to collect 700,000 signatures by then.

Waser hopes to get at least 32 percent of the population of Reedsburg to sign the petition. "(The statewide goal of) 700,000 people is 32 percent of the people that voted in the last election," Waser said. "We want to collect the same (percentage) of signatures here.

"I have no doubt we'll reach it. We have good groups that want to protect our rights."

Keith Peterson, the Reedsburg representative for the Republican Party of Sauk County, said he wasn't sure that progressive groups would reach their goals in the area.

"It can tend to be a 50/50-type situation," Peterson said. "There are parts of the city that are conservative and other parts that aren't, so we'll see what happens."

aabercrombie

@capitalnewspapers.com

524-4336

 

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guitar

The girl in this photo is a high schooler who isn't even 18 yet.

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