Wisconsin Democrats filed petitions Tuesday afternoon with more than a million signatures calling for a recall election against Gov. Scott Walker, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. The move is in reaction to Walker’s attacks against his state’s unionized workers, a tone that set off a wave of anti-union efforts across the country and could jeopardize the livelihoods of many black public sector employees.
The filing comes a year after Walker ended most union bargaining for public workers in the state. Experts say the shear number of signatures will ensure the election will be held. But they also flag Democrats don’t actually have a candidate yet.
“The debate over Walker is critical for many reasons, but high among them is that it’s the first, big modern example of working class white communities pushing back on tactics that have been used against people of color for decades,” Colorlines.com’s Editorial Director Kai Wright said on Tuesday.
Wright provides more context on today’s announcement:
“The right has spent decades attacking the public sector by blowing racist dog whistles. First they called anyone who needed help from the public sector lazy or criminal. Then they said anybody who appeals to government for protection from bias is looking for “special rights.” Now it’s greedy, entitled public sector workers—jobs that, not coincidentally, are uniquely important in black communities. Walker overplayed his hand, and in doing so revealed an important truth: Inequity starts with people of color, but it doesn’t stay there.
If Wisconsin’s recall goes though it will become the third state in history to recall their governor.