Running away may not be a very good political strategy for the cut and run Democratic State Senators in Wisconsin. At least one of the hiding politicians is facing a recall effort. The law is that State Senators who have been in office for at least a year can be recalled. Sen. Robert Wirch, D-Pleasant Prairie is facing the wrath of his constituents.
In order to recall Wirch or any other state senator who has been in office more than a year, petitioners must collect signatures equal to 25 percent of the votes cast for governor in that particular senate district. For Wirch’s to face recall opponents would need approximately 15,000 signatures.
Cheryl Herrick, 51, of Burlington, has a message for her “missing” state senator, Sen. Robert Wirch, D-Pleasant Prairie. “Come back and vote,” said Herrick, who works in retail. “Elections have consequences.”
Wirch, who represents Burlington and most of Kenosha County, is one of the 14 senate Democrats who fled Madison last week when the state Senate was scheduled to take a vote on Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to essentially eliminate collective bargaining for public workers.
Wirch has not returned calls for comment for several days.
In downtown Burlington on Monday, the consensus among area residents selected at random was that Wirch should go back and vote. Many, including Herrick, said they would like to see Wirch recalled for avoiding his vote. By running away, he is not doing his job, said Kellie Kerkman, 39, of Burlington.
“All I see is this teaching our younger generation to run away from problems. It’s time to grow up,” said Kerkman, who owns Kerkman’s SplitEnds, a hair salon at 316 N Pine St.
Wirch’s constituents expect the State Senator to operate by the same rules as the rest of us:
Down the street, Carl Schultz, 61, of Twin Lakes, said Wirch should be fired for avoiding “his responsibility.”
He recalled firing a worker from his car part manufacturing business, Five Star Fabricating, for repeatedly missing work after receiving multiple warnings, he said.
“If they are hired to do a job, they should be there,” said Schultz, who feels that way about his employees and his state legislators.
And the possibility of a recall may become a reality.
Dan Hunt, 51, of Pleasant Prairie, where Wirch lives, is looking into forming a committee to recall the senator. So far he has 175 volunteers who have signed up to help circulate petitions to recall Wirch, he said as of Monday afternoon, but he said he would need about 300 volunteers to successfully launch a campaign. According to the Government Accountability Board he would need about 15,000 signatures for a recall election.
Wirch and the other State Senators who abdicated their responsibility, should be recalled and made to pay back their salaries for their time hiding out of state.