MADISON -- The Democratic Party says the recall effort against Gov. Scott Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and several senators could collapse, if supporters aren't able to raise $150,000 by next Friday, December 16th. They say this money is essential for keeping the recall offices across the state open. Meanwhile, Republicans say money may not be the only motivation behind this fundraising drive.
Gathering the more than half a million signatures required to force a recall election against Governor Walker is a statewide effort, and Democrats have opened field offices from Milwaukee, to Madison, to LaCrosse, to Steven's Point, to Appleton. 42 total offices have been opened, and these offices have gathered 20,000 visitors a day.
Now, three weeks and more than 300,000 signatures into the recall effort, Democrats say they're strapped for cash. The Democratic Party has asked for donations on its website, saying $150,000 needs to be raised, and quickly, or the recall won't happen. "We're going to have to make tough choices, which would effectively mean the end of the recall," Graeme Zielinski, Communications Director with the Wisconsin Democratic Party said.
Don Taylor is the Republican Party Chairman in Waukesha County, and says money may not be the only motive for a fundraising drive. "I wonder if it isn't just a call to arms to the union people, to keep them stirred up a little bit," Taylor said.
UW-Milwaukee Governmental Affairs Professor Mordecai Lee says telling voters a cause will fail without financial support is typical political hyperbole. "It's very common, whether coming from Republican or Democratic sources to see these near hysterical kinds of claims, because that's the way to mobilize the base for them to reach into their pocket and make a contribution," Lee said.
Republicans say they expect the money to go to paid signature collectors, but Democrats say with the exception of a few paid staffers, the recall is volunteer-driven, and the people working to collect signatures are not paid.