MADISON, Wis. — Political foes hoping to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker over his moves to curb union rights in Wisconsin planned a late-night rally and early morning pajama parties to officially kick off the effort.
More than 100 events were planned today to begin collecting the more than 540,000 signatures required to get a recall election on Wisconsin's ballot next year. Supporters have until Jan. 17 to turn in signatures.
Walker came out swinging, running his first television ad in reaction to the recall during the Green Bay Packers' Monday night football game.
"Wisconsin's best days are yet to come," Walker says in the ad. "It won't happen overnight, but we are on our way."
Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefsich and at least three Republican state senators also will be targeted for recall next year. Two GOP state senators lost their seats during recall elections this summer.
The recalls organized by Democrats, labor unions and others, are largely motivated by Republicans' adoption of a Walker-supported law that effectively ended collective bargaining rights for most public workers. Wrangling over the law earlier this year spurred protests that grew as large as 100,000 people and motivated all 14 Democratic state senators to flee for three weeks in an ultimately vain attempt to stop the proposal.
Walker said Monday he remains focused on fulfilling his campaign promise to grow jobs by 250,000 by 2015, when the term he was elected to last year ends. He defended his record and said voters were ready to move forward and didn't want to get stuck in an endless campaign cycle.