By State Representative, Leon D. Young
Last week, most state newspapers carried a headline story detailing Scott Walker’s decision not to challenge the recall petitions that have been presented against him. But, in typical Walker fashion, nothing is ever what it appears to be with this governor.
Walker initially had 10 days, under state law, to challenge signatures. A Dane County judge granted him an additional 20 days. But he was later turned down when he sought two more weeks to examine the 152,500 pages of petition signatures.
The Government Accountability Board (GAB) now has the sole responsibility for determining whether the recall petitions pass muster. The GAB’s search will include scrutiny for incomplete, duplicate or fraudulent signatures, and has until March 19 in which to make a decision whether there are a sufficient number of valid signatures (540,200) to recall Scott Walker?
The GAB has already hinted that it may have difficulty meeting the March 19 deadline. This creates an interesting and unfair dilemma for those seeking to run against Mr. Walker. Under a recall scenario, a candidate being challenged is free to raise unlimited sums of money from campaign contributions instead of the usual limit of $10,000 per donor. Hence, the longer the GAB takes to certify the petitions, the more opportunity Scott Walker has to enrich his campaign war chest.
Scott Walker has already raised over $10 million for his recall efforts. To make matters worse, David Koch and his brother Charles are the main financial backers of Americans for Prosperity. The billionaire brothers have pledged their financial support for Scott Walker and have already dumped over $700,000 into Wisconsin.
From all indications, based on early election polls, the Walker recall is going to be a close race. Scott Walker will have a treasure trove of money to ward off an opponent. But, this governor is under political siege and over a million people signed petitions to have him removed from office. It should be quite interesting to see which of these warring sides wins out.