On Monday night, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) will kick off his campaign to beat a recall effort ahead of recall petitions due to be mailed out Tuesday.
Walker will be airing commercials on "Monday Night Football" on Nov. 14 in four television markets across the state. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal reported that the first-year governor will spend $300,000 on the ads Monday night, as well as purchasing with other commercials around the state. The game features the Green Bay Packers facing off against the Minnesota Vikings.
"That's a big buy," said a Democrat who has worked on statewide campaigns.
Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie referred questions to the state Republican party, which didn't return calls.
Walker's biggest buy is in Madison, where the first-term Republican governor will be spending more than $150,000 for air time on four network stations and cable.
Anti-Walker forces plan to kick off a recall petition drive on Tuesday morning, with the hope of forcing an election to recall the governor in 2012. The recall drive will begin with a rally on Tuesday, as organizers seek to obtain more than 540,000 signatures by the Jan. 17 deadline to force the election.
Among the events other planned to jumpstart the recall drive Tuesday is a rally in front of Walker's home in the Milwaukee suburb of Wauwatosa. Walker, a former Milwaukee County executive, divides his time between the house and the governor's mansion in the Madison suburb of Maple Bluff.
As part of the recall effort, organizers plan to circulate petitions to recall Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch (R), who was Walker's running mate in the 2010 election, and several Republican state senators.
Progressive efforts against Walker began shortly after the governor took office in January and proposed controversial changes to the collective bargaining rights and benefits of public employees. Several state senators were recalled in elections over the summer.
The petition drive against Walker begins a week after 61 percent of Ohio voters moved to repeal a new state law to limit the collective bargaining rights of public-sector workers. The Ohio measure was the first time voters directly weighed in on the collective bargaining reforms that have been popular recently among first-term Republican governors. Also in last week's election, Arizona voters recalled Senate President Russell Pearce (R) for his role in writing the state's controversial immigration bill.
Only two governors have been recalled in U.S. history: North Dakota's Lynn Frazier (R) in 1921 and California's Gray Davis (D) in 2003. Former Arizona Gov. Evan Mecham (R) was the subject of a recall election in 1988 that was canceled after Mecham, under federal indictment at the time, was impeached by the state legislature.