The news that the recall effort against Governor Scott Walker had eclipsed 300,000 signatures on Monday came as no real surprise to those intimately acquainted with the political atmosphere of Wisconsin. Even those faintly acquainted could have figured as much just from the size of the rallies in Madison last winter.
While there was a worry that some of the momentum from the rallies would diminish, and Walker was counting on it, people were in fact itching to sign the recall petitions, and rightly so.
It was announced last Tuesday, a great "take out the trash day," by the Department of Labor that "the only state with an over-the-month statistically significant decline in employment was Wisconsin" with 9,700 private jobs lost in October.
This is the fourth month in a row that Walker gets to preside over job losses in our state, raising the unemployment figure from 7.3 percent to 7.7 percent.
When Walker hinted that his policies were the reason for job creation in June he set himself up to own any job losses that may come in the future, and he owns this.
The fact that the economy continues to shed jobs is not the only reason there is a huge grassroots movement to recall the governor.
Wisconsin leads the nation in cuts to education according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. This is in addition to the cuts the UW System saw, totaling $315 million between lapses and budget cuts.
In the 21st century we are competing economically not just nationally, but on a global scale. That is going to require a workforce that is educated to meet the demands of an ever-changing environment and cutting education funding is harmful to making Wisconsin competitive on a global scale.
Republicans have already started running ads in support of Walker, and are trying to portray the recall effort as a "power grab" by the Democratic Party, yet this could not be further from the truth. This is a truly grassroots effort by local citizens, not the astroturf organizations of the tea party.
In fact it was one of Walker’s supporters who filed the first recall petition a week early because doing so allowed Walker to start raising unlimited money for the election that is sure to come.
It is clear that Walker’s policies aren’t working for Wisconsin and by allowing him to remain in office for a full term will result in our state falling behind in the global economic environment.