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Wisconsin Gov. Walker Won't Challenge "Frivolous" Recall Petitions

By Chuck Sudo in News on Feb 27, 2012 8:20PM

The effort to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker took another step closer to realization today, after Walker's office announced they wouldn't challenge the nearly one million signatures that were collected by recall proponents.

The governor's office had until 5 p.m. today to file a challenge. Despite being granted a 20-day extension, Walker's campaign was only able to review 400,000 signatures, and claimed 10 to 20 percent of them were erroneous. When recall proponents filed their petitions in January, they said the sheer number of signatures were necessary to ward off any challenges from Walker. Had that percentage rate held, recall propponents still would have had more than the 540,208 signatures necessary to force one.

Walker took to the media to decry the recall effort as a "distraction" and a "frivolous" waste of government funds.

“It’s a huge distraction not just for me, but the legislature. It’s $9 million of taxpayer money just to run this,” said Walker on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “Think about the number of kids, think of the number of seniors we could help in our state with $9 million we didn’t have to waste on this frivolous recall election.”

All that stands in the way of a recall election is a review of the signatures by Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board, a process that should take three weeks. Walker's campaign asked that office to consider independent examinations of the petitions by two Tea Party-affiliated groups. If the Government Accountability Board verifies the minimum amount of signatures, a recall election will be held in the fall. Walker said he is confident he will work to regain the public's trust as he did to earn it when he was elected two years ago.

Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Democratic Party released its first ad in the recall campaign today. "Walkergate" compares a John Doe investigation into current and former Walker aides to the Watergate scandal, using clips from each to draw the parallels.