- Posted January 23, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Wisconsin Celebrates Recall Effort- And the Aftermath
- zdan, CNN iReport producer
Madison, WI In an event that followed the delivery of nearly 2 million recall petitions, Wisconsin citizens gathered at Madison’s Monona Terrace to celebrate the historic event. As you walked into the ballroom, it resembled more a Democratic National Convention than a celebration of the delivery of petition signatures earlier in the day. On January 17th a confirmed crowd of over 3,000 gathered to hear from United Wisconsin representatives and volunteers, Mike Tate, Chairmen of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, Phil Neufeldt, president of Wisconsin’s AFL-CIO, and John Nichols, correspondent from the Nation Magazine.
It was clear the crowd of thousands were from America’s Dairyland. People of all walks of life, ages, union, non-union, teachers, firefighters, and middle America walked the floor, chanted, and cheered. John and Kate Bausch stood proudly behind a LED Recall Walker sign, and held up a hand-written note which simply said, “thanks a million” in reference to the petitions gathered. The couple from Darlington, Wisconsin said, “We came here to be with the people. We have a lot of hope.” They quietly looked at the camera and said, “One year later the energy is the same. He’s going to be history (as our Governor).”
The event at times felt like a large political convention mixed with a Mardi Gras atmosphere, added with energy, passion, and inspiration. You could see it in the eyes and hear it in their voices. In some of the panoramic super wide angle shots, the lens could barely cover one-third of the actual scene.
Outside the ballroom, booths were set up with stacks of Recall Walker signs predominately in the blue and white of United Wisconsin, a non-partisan Political Action Committee (PAC) whose sole purpose is to recall the Governor Walker and Lt. Governor, Rebecca Kleefisch.
Later in the week, on Saturday, January 21st, a rally pro-Walker rally was held in Hart Park in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin near Milwaukee. News reports puts the audience size between hundreds and thousands although exact numbers have yet to be confirmed. The organizers utilized Facebook to promote the event. The event did not go without incident according to the Huffington Post as several anti-Walker protesters unfurled an anti-Walker banner in front of the stage. U.S. Senate candidates Mark Neumann and Tommy Thompson spoke at the rally.
Up next, the verification of nearly 2 million recall petitions for the Governor, Lt. Governor, and four Republican legislators, including Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald. The three other senators up for potential recall include: Senator Pam Galloway of Wausau, Senator Terry Moulton of Chippewa Falls, and Senator Van Wanggaard of Racine.
After one year of Wisconsin recalls, the stage is set for a long and bitter battle as the state heads for potential recall elections of six GOP legislators. While the initial celebrations are over, the real work begins now, with elections likely coming early this summer.