Barrett recall organizer can’t say how many signatures he’s collected

MILWAUKEE — The man who launched a long-shot bid to recall Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett couldn’t say how many signatures he’s collected so far because he isn’t keeping track as he goes.

Allen Jansen told FOX6 News in a brief telephone interview that he has been out collecting signatures and “I do have some other people who are working with us.”

Jansen’s group, “Save Our City, Milwaukeeans Can’t Wait,” must collect more than 51,000 signatures within a 60-day period. Jansen started the clock by filing recall paperwork ten days ago, meaning he has 50 days left by state law.

Asked about a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel report that the Milwaukee firefighters’ union has made recall petitions available at its union hall, Jansen said, “I appreciate the help from anyone.” He said he is a former Milwaukee Fire Department captain and knows the issues that affect the department.

Jansen said he will not run for mayor if his efforts to recall Barrett are successful. Instead, he said Milwaukee should conduct a national search for its next mayor and find someone “who really wants to run a top-25 city.”

Jansen’s group has little presence on social media and in the city – a stark contrast to the efforts to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in late 2011 and early 2012. Asked about the difficulty of his task, Jansen said, “We’re going to give it a try.”

Asked why he scrapped plans to talk with news reporters about his efforts last week, Jansen said “things just didn’t work out.” He said his wife is having  a procedure on Tuesday but he pledged to talk publicly about his efforts later this week.