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Saturday Afternoon at the Recall Petition ‘Drive Through’ in Wisconsin

A first-hand account of citizen activism at an abandoned gas station that served as headquarters for a petition drive to recall one of the fleebagger senators.

Phil Boehmke


March 13, 2011 - 1:23 pm
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It seems like an eternity since all 14 of Wisconsin’s Democratic senators abandoned their duty in a mad dash across the border into Illinois. The antics of the runaway senators were little more than a silly diversion from the angry protests that had descended upon the capitol during the first few days of their self-imposed exile. As the days slowly passed, the initial bemusement over the “fleebaggers” gave way to a feeling of resentment which then grew into genuine contempt among the hard-working taxpayers of the Dairy State.

Unlike the self-serving public sector union protesters and their hard left allies, the good people of Wisconsin did not storm the district offices of their wayward senators nor did they email death threats in a morally bankrupt attempt to subvert the democratic process through intimidation. Across the state, the beleaguered taxpayers began grassroots recall campaigns against all eight Democratic senators who had served the requisite year in office required by law.

Not to be outdone by the legitimate recall efforts of the people, the Democrats (who deny any involvement) countered with a well-organized campaign of their own. The MacIver News Service obtained an advertisement posted on a Washington, D.C.-area website which was recruiting activists to serve as “field organizers” for recall campaigns against Republican senators in eight Wisconsin districts. This central planning brand of astroturf seems particularly well-suited for the dietary needs of their sacred cows in the public sector unions.

On Saturday afternoon I had the privilege of assisting the “Recall Wirch” petition effort at a “drive through” location in Kenosha.  Having heard first-hand accounts of well-organized union obstruction at a number of sites the previous weekend, I was prepared for the worst. Upon arriving at the vacant gas station which served as our site, I was relieved that everything looked calm and orderly. The morning team gave our small group clipboards, petitions, instructions, and encouragement before heading home for the day.

Our greatest challenge during the four hours we manned the “drive through” didn’t come from protesters, but rather the strong gusts of wind which chilled us to the bone and periodically blew over one of our large “Recall Wirch” signs. During our shift we encountered only three anti-taxpayer protesters (in the most general sense) who screamed a variety of incoherent insults and expletives which were met with smiles, waves, and somewhat less than genuine replies such as “thanks for your comments” and “have a nice day.” We were all amused by their boisterous rants, as if somehow volume could compensate for their sheer lack of lucid engagement or substance.

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