Recall of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is underway

Starting Tuesday, Wisconsin Democrats and labor groups will start an effort to gather more than 550,000 signatures by mid-January on a petition to recall Gov. Scott Walker.

Walker earned the ire of unions when he pushed a law eliminating collective bargaining rights for public workers earlier this year. Democrats are also planning to recall Republican state legislators, although they haven’t announced their targets, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

The fight is increasingly contentious, with some Democrats fearing Republicans might gather signatures on Walker petitions only to destroy them, and the Republican Party setting up an online “integrity center,” according to the Journal-Sentinel.

“The site allows Walker backers to submit photos, videos and complaints to the Republican Party. The purpose of the site is to protect voters who “suspect foul play by Wisconsin Democrats or big government union bosses,” said a statement from Stephan Thompson, the party’s executive director.”

The recent labor union defeat of a similar anti-collective bargaining law in Ohio energized labor forces, Bloomberg reports. A number of large rallies are planned across the state in coming weeks, and Walker has been a target of demonstrations while traveling in Iowa and Illinois.

Recent polls have shown the state split on the recall effort. Walker has been rocked by a corruption investigation involving top staff members.

No Democratic candidates have yet entered the race, although the Daily Mail reports a number of politicians are jockeying for the slot behind the scenes — possible candidates include former Sen. David Obey and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.