All those "Recall Walker" pledges signed since the Capitol protests began in February will finally be put to use.
Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair Mike Tate made an appeal on Monday night for donations and volunteers, hours before he was set to go on The Ed Schultz Show to share the news.
"In fewer than 37 days, we will need to organize, train and fund an army of grassroots volunteers who will need to collect more than 540,206 valid recall signatures," Tate wrote. "Before I go on the air, can I count on you to make a donation of $11.15 towards our goal of raising $540,206 by Nov. 15?"
According to state law, Walker must be in office a year before recall papers can be filed with the Government Accountability Board; that means papers could be delivered as early as Jan. 3, 2012.
One-fourth of the number of ballots cast in the November 2010 gubernatorial election, or 540,206 signatures, is needed to trigger a recall election.
United Wisconsin has been collecting pledges online to recall Walker, and says it has 202,516 of them in hand. United Wisconsin founder Michael Brown told radio host Stephanie Miller over the summer that the group was shooting to collect 700,000 signatures, which would provide a healthy cushion for any signatures deemed invalid.
The pledges will give the group a boost towards that goal. All those who signed the pledge will now be contacted by the group and directed to where they can sign an actual recall petition.
The recall election could be held as early as April 2012.
Who might run against Walker is still an open question. Potential candidates include former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk; state Sen. Jon Erpenbach, one of the 14 Democratic senators who fled the state to delay passage of Walker's collective bargaining law; former U.S. Rep. Dave Obey and state Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca.
The Democratic Party noted in a Recall FAQ that a recall election should not be entered into lightly, but called it a "just and proper tool to force accountability upon those elected officials who act as if there is none."
Stephan Thompson, executive director of the Wisconsin Republican Party, said in a statement that his party was eager to answer the charges levied by the recall movement.
"Wisconsin school districts and local municipalities have saved millions of taxpayer dollars thanks to the Governor's reforms, and we welcome and encourage a comparison between the positive results we're seeing around the state and the failed policies of the past favored by those seeking a recall."