Walker Recall Effort Says 300,000 Signatures In

Organizers of the effort to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker from office said they have collected 300,000 signatures, more than half of what is needed to force an election.

The United Wisconsin coalition reported the totals on Monday, just 12 days into the recall effort. They need 540,208 by Jan. 17 to force a recall election sometime in 2012.

The recall drive was motivated by anger over Walker’s proposal effectively ending collective bargaining rights for most public workers.

Walker has already released two television ads to counter the recall effort and national conservative group Americans for Prosperity has also hit the airwaves in support of Walker.

“Scott Walker has taken to the airwaves, supported by millions in corporate cash, to defend his record of job loss and full-scale assault on Wisconsin?s institutions and values,” United Wisconsin Executive Director Meagan Mahaffey said Monday in a statement. “But all over Wisconsin, the people are seeing through Walker’s deceptions and are moving to take our state back.”

United Wisconsin said signatures have been collected in all 72 counties.

The group said that in the first 12 days of the recall Walker signature collection, 10,033 residents from Columbia County signed recall petitions. In addition, 4,713 residents in Pierce County, 3,698 residents in Oneida County, 8,540 residents from Portage County, and 16,845 Eau Claire County and Chippewa County residents have signed recall petitions, according to the group.

The Republican Party of Wisconsin released a statement regarding the collected signatures, calling the recall effort a “baseless power-grab being pushed on Wisconsin families by liberal special interests.”

The statement goes on to say that “Wisconsin families are only interested in moving our state forward. We remain focused on Gov. Walker’s common-sense reforms that have laid the ground work for economic growth, and our economy only continues to improve.”