Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald and Governor Scott Walker each yelled “squirrel” today, attempting to distract the hounds that are getting close to recalling Walker. Fitzgerald spewed some nonsense about restructuring the non-partisan Government Accountability Board (GAB), the agency that oversees elections in Wisconsin. He also introduced a bill to make signing a recall petition more than once a felony.
It’s all noise, as is the Walker campaign’s announcement that it had filed a lawsuit to try to get the GAB’s plans for verifying recall signatures declared “unconstitutional.”
Their smokescreens were an attempt to hide two sets of numbers that were announced elsewhere today: Recall organizers said they have already collected over 507,000 of the 540,208 necessary signatures to force a recall election against Walker, while the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) whispered as quietly as possible that preliminary seasonally-adjusted numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show Wisconsin lost 11,700 private-sector jobs in November. That makes 5 straight months of private-sector job loss in Wisconsin.
The report shows the number of public service jobs also went down by 2,900 in November. That makes for a grand total of 14,600 jobs lost last month.
The DWD press release points out that the preliminary BLS numbers for October were revised and showed a much lower loss of jobs than previously announced. But it was still a loss, so the streak stands at 5 months. The state of Wisconsin has lost over 21,000 jobs since Scott Walker’s first budget was implemented on July 1, 2011.
Jobs going away while recall signature totals skyrocket adds up to a very, very bad day for Scott Walker and his dwindling circle of die-hard supporters. If his past history is any indication, expect Governor Walker at a photo op with military veterans within the next couple of days. It’s his favorite method of shielding himself from growing public frustration over his failed economic policies, outrageous power grabs, and lack of compassion for working people.