Volunteers working for the effort to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) captured a video this week that they claim is proof of the sort of intimidation and harassment they've been subjected to over the past month.
In the video, available at ABC affiliate WISN, a visibly upset Fred Frisby can be seen approaching the camera of Walker recall volunteer Steve Nagel while hurling obscenities and eventually making physical contact. Frisby was later arrested by local police and charged with disorderly conduct.
"I just thought this guy is out of control. I could just see the steam coming off his head. So I thought, 'Wow, this could be serious,'" Nagel, who was out on a busy street in Brookfield, Wisconsin collecting petitions, told WISN.
Another volunteer, Steve Spieckerman said Frisby got angry after volunteers wouldn't answer questions about what they didn't like about Scott Walker.
"Do you pay health care? No, you don't pay health care. You mooching off the system?" Frisby can be seen asking, before apparently grabbing Nagel's camera.
"He turned around and he jammed the camera back in my chest and he put his fist up to my face and said, 'How do you like that?'" Nagel said.
Some petitioners claim that this type of behavior has become typical in the recall campaign.
Volunteer Jim Brown told WISN that there are "a lot of people who flip us off, who yell at us and call us names," but earlier reports suggest that some actions are more hostile than this.
There have been multiple reports of opponents to the Scott Walker recall effort destroying or defacing petitions, a felony act punishable by a $10,000 fine or up to 3 1/2 years in jail. Volunteers have also alleged more violent forms of intimidation, such as death threats, destruction of property and one reported incident in which a driver supposedly threatened petitioners with his vehicle.
Despite these claimed encounters, volunteers for the Scott Walker recall effort reported that they had collected more than 300,000 signatures as of the end of November, just 12 days after the beginning of the petition drive. They'll need to collect 540,208 valid signatures by Jan. 17 in order to trigger a recall election.