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UPDATE: Looks like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's critics aren't the only ones that have been energized by the recall push.
The Republican has raised more than $12 million since the start of last year to fight to stay in office, according to his latest campaign finance reports. Walker's camp also announced earlier this week that roughly $4.5 million of that came in just the past five weeks, while the recall effort was in full swing.
The Appleton (Wisc.) Post Crescent reports that large chunks of that cash came in from a number of out-of-state sources with deep pockets, including a total of $500,000 from billionaire Texas home builder Bob Perry, who is known for financing the "swift boat" attack ads against John Kerry.
Unions and like-minded Democrats pushing to recall the Republican governor announced last week that they have collected 1 million signatures, roughly twice the number needed to force a recall election later this year. Officials are currently reviewing the signatures, and will likely take several weeks, if not longer, to complete their work.
Tuesday, Jan. 17: Wisconsin Democrats looking to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker say they delivered more than 1 million signatures to the state Tuesday, nearly doubling the number needed to force a recall election.
Walker drew the ire of organized labor and their like-minded allies earlier this year when he pushed through a law that significantly curtails collective bargaining rights for public workers, further exacerbating a partisan fight in Wisconsin and giving Democrats hope that they could successfully mount a recall challenge.
Politico reports that Walker's opponents had until this afternoon to submit roughly 540,000 valid signatures, a total that represents a quarter of all of the votes cast in the election that sent Walker to the governor's office last year. The union organizers easily cleared that threshold, a move designed to ensure that the minimum requirement was met even if some signatures are disqualified and, no doubt, to send a message to Walker and his party.
"The size of the recall means that a recall election is inevitable and that any challenge is futile," United Wisconsin declared on its site. "It is statistically impossible for any challenge of the recall to succeed.”
If recalled, Walker will join only two other governors who have lost their jobs in U.S. history: Lynn Frazier of North Dakota in 1921 and Grey Davis of California in 2003. Democrats have not yet decided who they will nominate to face Walker in the recall election.