The anti-tax, anti-government fanatics known as CRG (We call them Citizens for Republican Government) say they're going to recall Gov. Jim Doyle.
CRG, which made its bones taking out former Milwaukee County Exec Tom Ament and a number of county sups over the pension scandal, haven't fared so well in recent years, especially when they've ventured outside of the Milwaukee metro area.
CRG's announcement Saturday had a familiar ring. No wonder. Here's a 2005 story, the year before the 2006 election. In those days, CRG was riding high.
Recall group aims to grow, take on Doyle;
Citizens for Responsible Government broadens its ambitions statewide
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Publish Date: November 28, 2005
Fresh from its role in recalling Pewaukee Mayor Jeff Nowak, Citizens for Responsible Government is aiming to spread its influence away from its southeastern Wisconsin base to challenge politicians statewide. Nowak’s ouster marked the latest triumph for CRG, a populist movement born of the 2002 Milwaukee County pension scandal recalls.
Since its start, CRG spawned or adopted 15 affiliates statewide and has brought to full stops the political careers of Milwaukee County Executive Tom Ament, six Milwaukee County supervisors, aldermen in Wauwatosa and Franklin, and now Nowak.
Now it has its sights set on the biggest political target in the state: Gov. Jim Doyle.
Chris Kliesmet, the CRG Network’s Milwaukee-based executive administrator, says the group aims to have "boots on the ground" in all 72 counties and raise a war chest of $1 million from a membership base of 10,000 people. That’s a long way to go from the current loose confederation of local operations, mostly in the Milwaukee area, operating with about $5,000 in the bank, according to a campaign finance report.
To become the force Kliesmet and his partner, Orville Seymer, envision, they’ll need to figure out how to transform people angry over very local issues like lake management districts and the removal of a high school football coach to a united, statewide political machine.
Within a month of the time that story ran, in December 2005, CRG failed miserably in a recall effort against Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, collecting only one-fifth of the 35,000 signatures it needed. The Doyle recall never materialized, and the group has failed in some other recalls since then.
Unless CRG is fronting for some group with actual money and organization -- like the Republican Party -- The Doyle campaign can roll over and go back to sleep for awhile. CRG Network PAC has $6,100 in its war chest.
"We're going to need close to 10,000 circulators" of the petition, Saymer said. "It's a massive undertaking."
They would need to collect 540,425 signatures in 60 days to force a recall.
Maybe that's why the recall effort was in the 13th paragraph of the online story and not even in the headline.