Thursday, March 27, 2008

State Sen. Alberta Darling: Low-Key Campaign, Or Bowing Out?

Rumors are circulating among very reliable sources that State Sen. Alberta Darling's low-key campaign for re-election to her North Shore seat may, in fact, be signalling an intention to call it quits.

State Rep. Sheldon Wasserman, (D-Milwaukee), has been running flat out against the River Hills Republican incumbent for months, plodding through the worst winter in any living person's memory and hitting more than 10,000 doors.

Darling, by contrast, is scheduling small sit-downs with constituents, and some Republicans are nervous that without a vigorous defense, the seat may default to Wasserman and add to the Dems Senate majority.

Time will tell if Darling is in or out, or if another GOP option emerges - - regardless.


Jack Lohman said...

I hope the latter. Nice lady but absolutely refuses to support ethics and health care reform.

Anonymous said...

Alberta Darling is running again - no question about it. It's a 56% Average GOP performing district.

Green and Van Hollen won it in 2006 (terrible year for the GOP with Ave Gov Election tunrout for the GOP and Presidential Level Turnout for the Dems). Bush won it with comfortable margins.

Wasserman is a classic liberal who it trying to fool voters into believing he is a conservative. And any tim a candidate tells you that they did doors - they usually are lying and at best did a third of whatever number they quote you.

James Rowen said...

Everything I hear about that district and race, and I live a few blocks from its boundaries, is that Wasseman is indeed doing doors, like a machine.

And I don't hear that he is representing himself any differently than who he is. He's got strong personal appeal and a record of constituent-service that easily moves with him when he's out on the campaign trail.

As I said, there's not much evidence that Darling is doing the same at the retail level, and while she is the incumbent, he is one also, so she is not up against some unknown.

Obviously the District is strongly Republican, but there are sure signs that '08 is not going to be a good for the GOP.

I don't doubt that the Republicans will work hard to hold that seat, but in this case, the incumbent looks overmatched.

As I said, we'll see, but I think something is happening at the street level in that District that is different than in recent campaigns there.

And that's what people are talking about.

Jack Lohman said...

I don't at all dispute that Wasserman only did a third of the doors he claims, but I'm disappointed to hear that Darling is indeed running.

She claims to not vote on bills because of money from special interests, but her co-sponsoring the wine distributor bill that was anti-free-market from the start, and the money she took from WOW Distributing, tell a different story. See Troy Fullerton's excellent piece here:

As well, she supports the taxpayers funding her own health insurance but refuses to support the reverse, a Healthy Wisconsin bill that would be the best thing that could happen to this state's businesses and our economy.

But follow the money she has received from health care and insurance interests and you'll see why. She also received gobs of cash from Aurora interests and now keeps hands off as they gobble up market share in SE Wisconsin.

I don't want my senator bought by anybody, not even the interests I support.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know the spending differential?

Most challengers of (relatively sane) legislative incumbents (i.e. not Tom Reynolds) need to outspend the incumbent.

Wasserman's a stand-up guy, smart. Hope he can raise enough and win.

James Rowen said...

You won't see much spending until it's lit and TV spot time, I'm guessing.

Anonymous said...

The district is 51.4% GOP performance, not 56%.

Also, elected officials, liberal or conservative, deserve better than to be accused of being a liar. If he did 10,000 doors, then he did, unless you prove otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Darling is running again and she will win.

Wasserman and his minions have been feebly trying to spread rumors to the contrary because they know a: he can't win in a Republican-leaning district, b: he has a WORTHLESS ten year record of non-accomplishment in the Assembly, and c: Darling is a popular, hard-working, well-funded incumbent.

If you want to talk "word on the street," the Democrats have no faith in Wasserman winning this race. The only thing he brings to the table is the ability to spend his own money. He will get virtually no help from the Dem establishment, which will be too busy fighting in other Senate seats, and of course, the Assembly.

James Rowen said...

To Anonymous said:

As I said, time will tell.

Anonymous said...

Quick! Name one legislative accomplishment in Sheldon Wasserman's decade in office.

Uh, didn't he try and make it tougher for old people to drive? Um, something about merging some counties together or something? Uh...

I'm sure the Republican voters he is courting will find his message of "It's either up or out for me" to be a very compelling reason to go out and vote for him.

James Rowen said...

I know he helped get defibrillators in greater circulation. I also remember something about bills being approved, even when the GOP controlled the Assembly, to raise the pay for healthcare workers, and to get more information to families about relatives in mental health facilities.
What's your point?