I've begun typing, deleted, and begun this entry again several times already. My brain has fairly turned to mush now that recall stage one is over, but I need to get this report out, functioning cerebrum or not.
When we started this challenge, it was meant to provide a fun way to push ourselves to collect as many signatures as we could. I went into this fully aware that I probably wouldn't reach 1,000 signatures, but the idea was to create a network of people who would encourage each other to rise higher than we might have otherwise. I think we did that. I'm proud of all of the challengers.
Bob Bergman, despite death-threats, managed to collect a grand total of 1,554 signatures. He's the only challenger who made it to 1,000, and then he went above and beyond by another half. Let's face it: Bob is amazing! He is the Recall Challenge King!
The title of Recall Challenge Queen goes to Karen Tuerk, who first threw down the gauntlet and made the initial challenge. As the challenge progressed and signatures were harder to come by, I kept telling myself that I was OK as long as I was still ahead of Karen, who'd I'd managed to barely keep ahead of until around Christmas. Around this time, Karen became a born-again circulator. While I succumbed to sinus pressure, Karen became an absolute recall fiend in Senator Fitzgerald's district, ending with 807 signatures for Walker and 283 for Fitz. Recall Fitz HQ spoke of her amazing work with apartments and trailer parks when I stopped in to spend my last recall day there. Karen's willingness to travel to Fitz's district and put in the extra work there was fabulous, and I humbly bow down to her and all her recall prowess.
While I exited the gate strongly, the wear of traveling for three family Christmases followed by some mysterious health drain (it all makes sense in retrospect, though that's a story for another day) shaped a poor second-half performance on my part. I ended with 679 signatures for Walker, 6 for Galloway, and 7 for Fitz. My initial response was to be disappointed that I only made 68% of my goal, but as someone else pointed out, that's 679 signatures. Yeah, I think I can feel good about that.
The tagteam of @wisocialworker @boxmansigns ended with 553 signatures for Walker and 28 for Fitz. I was happy to see that all of our Madison-area challengers took on Fitz's district. Excellent numbers!
Jenna Pope, AKA @BatmanWI, lost count somewhere around 450, though ended with at least 460. Like Karen, Jenna spent her last days in Fitz's district and lost track of her own signatures for him (she thinks 30-40) since she was focused more on gathering the signatures and encouraging other people to show up and help in the district. Excellent work, especially the encouragement part!
Though @amadorlicea found that working double shifts made the original goal unattainable, she still managed to pull in 25 signatures before all was said and done. Under the circumstances, I'd call that pretty impressive.
So there you have it. Our band of ragtag challengers collected a total of 4,078 Walker signatures, along with a side helping of around 350 Fitz signatures and a garnish of 6 Galloway signatures. Not too shabby. Good work, challengers! Thank you for volunteering your time and energy to bring about a brighter future for Wisconsin. You are all heroes in my book, (er, blog)!