Embattled Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says some who are backing his recall “cross the line” by harassing his family and neighbors and targeting his children’s friends on Facebook for rebuke. The chief executive of the Badger State also told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren Monday much of the vehement opposition to a budget-trimming law he signed earlier this year, which restricts public unions, comes from outside Wisconsin.
“That’s what happens when you see so much influence coming in from outside of Wisconsin — that’s not the way we do it in Wisconsin — we don’t attack people because [of] a difference of opinion,” Walker said. “People came out to my home and attacked — not attacked but harassed not only my family, but my neighbors. They have been [singling out] folks on my kids’ Facebook site and they have said outrageous things about my family again today.
“Again, it’s one thing to form a debate, and another to distract or distort it,” he said. “And nobody — whether they are for or against me, including those who oppose our recall — nobody should be doing things that cross the line like that.”
The recall drive was motivated by anger over Walker's proposal effectively ending collective bargaining rights for most public workers. The law passed in March despite massive protests and the fleeing of all 14 Democratic state senators to Illinois for three weeks.
Recall backers need 540,208 signatures by Jan. 17 to force a recall election sometime in 2012. As of late last month, a group supporting the effort said over half the number needed had been collected in just 12 days.
Van Susteren noted Walker ran for governor on a budget-cutting platform and wondered why there was such fervent opposition to actions he promised on the campaign trail. Walker said the curbing of public unions’ collective-bargaining rights was indeed part of his pre-election initiative.
“In fact many of the groups part of the recall movement . . . actually ran flyers that said: ‘Don’t vote for this guy because he will make changes to collective bargaining’ — they were warning that,” Walker said. “The first recall Scott Walker website was put up November 2010. This has been plotted out all along the way and they have used the hype and attention to move forward on it.
“This is about having a new election — in our state you don’t need a reason,” he said. “In our case we will be given an opportunity to reaffirm that positive message to the voters yet again in this next election.”
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