-By Corbin Hiar
January 12, 2012- Scott Walker has been a polarizing figure since becoming Wisconsin's governor one year ago. Only months after moving into the Madison governors' mansion, the 44-year-old Republican sought to fix the state’s budget gap by pushing a bill that cut pay and benefits for public sector workers and strictly curtailed their rights to collective bargaining.
But now, largely as a result of his brazenness, the first-term governor is facing a potential recall election. State Democrats and local union organizers have until Jan. 17 to gather the 540,208 signatures needed to force an early vote sometime this year.
Walker defended his actions and attempted to explain the flood of cash he's received from outside the state since his standoff with organized labor in a three-part profile by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, the final installment of which was published Tuesday.
Out-of-state donors have given the embattled governor $3.2 million as of Dec. 10, the final campaign contributions disclosure deadline in 2011. That sum accounts for an unusually high 42 percent of his total war chest.
“Not a penny of that would be here if it weren’t for the recalls,” Walker said.