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Wisconsin's Recall Elections Are Set for June 5

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This article cross-posted from The Nation


REUTERS/Darren Hauck

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker will be the first chief executive of an American state to face a recall election because he attacked the rights of working people to have a voice in their workplaces and in the public life of the land.

The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board on Friday morning certified more than 900,000 signatures on recall petitions to remove the anti-labor governor -- far in  excess of the required 540,000. They also certified more than 800,000 signatures to remove his lieutenant governor. And four of Walker's key legislative allies, including the powerful majority leader of the state Senate, will also be forced to face the voters.

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The accomplishment of the grassroots campaign to recall and remove Walker and his allies is dramatic. And the confirmation of that accomplishment marked "a historic day in democracy for the state of Wisconsin," according to Wisconsin AFL-CIO president Phil Neuenfeldt. 

The accomplishment is, as well, unprecedented.

Two American governors have been recalled and removed in American history -- in North Dakota in 1921, in California in 2003. Individual legislators have also been recalled and removed.

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But there has never been an instance where recall elections could on the same day remove a chief executive and flip control of a legislative chamber from one party to the other.

That's the prospect that Wisconsin faces on an electoral timeline that was formally set Friday morning by the GAB.

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John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

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