Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Scott Walker Could Retire Alberta Darling

State Sen. Alberta Darling, (R-River Hills), could be collateral damage exhibit "A" in the Scott Walker-inspired spate of recall election petition drives underway statewide.

Scott Walker, Wisconsin's Alberta clipper (and major Darling donation recipient, too).

Sure, Darling has protection among Republicans in the silk stocking portion of her district, and into more conservative Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington Counties, but she also faces surging, committed and probably unprecedented Democratic organizing in the more densely-populated Milwaukee County communities of Glendale, Brown Deer, Whitefish Bay, Shorewood and portions of the east side of Milwaukee.

She beat then-State Rep. Sheldon Wasserman, (D) in his 2008 challenge, but only by 52%-48%.

And that was before Walker "dropped the bomb" (his phrase, to the fake David Koch) on unions and the middle-class - - issues on which Darling, a co-chair of the legislature's Committee on Joint Finance, had raced out to defend Walker.

And for which Darling earned her very own PolitiFact false rating when she implied that public sector unions wouldn't miss bargaining on non-wage issues because unions usually don't bargain those issues, anyway.

This is a key section of that PolitFact scolding, as Darling had said:

"...The governor is proposing that we have collective bargaining deal only with wages which is how it is, for the most part, in the private sector."

"That didn’t sound right to us.

"Walker’s bill would rewrite the state Employment Relations Act -- a law covering state employees that is more than 50 years old and was last amended in 1971. But private sector unions are covered by a federal law and generally bargain on all sorts of things.

"We tried to reach Darling to ask for her backup, but she didn’t respond."

"So we turned to some experts who are involved in private sector labor relations. And we took a look at federal law, the National Labor Relations Act, which governs most private employers...

"The law gives workers the right to bargain collectively for a contract that sets wages, benefits, hours and other working conditions, the NLRA says.

"The law also requires workers and employers to "bargain in good faith about wages, hours, vacation time, insurance, safety practices and other mandatory subjects."

"That covers a lot more than wages.
You can bet that Darling is hoping the Senate Democrats come back from Illinois and make a deal, and fast - - but I keep hearing directly that people in Darling's district who are fed up being represented by a River Hills Republican already are reporting huge progress on recall petition signature collection.

Time will tell, but I'm thinking the requisite number of signatures will be collected well within the 60-day statutory period.

[Note: check out the posted comment from the recall organizer Kristopher Rowe. I don't know him, but he's got important first-hand information about how the effort is being run.]


Anonymous said...

If we can just get this recall across the finish line we have a strong chance in the election.

Interesting that Alberta is not one of the senators wavering.

Anonymous said...

Hey James--Kristopher Rowe--Darling Recall Campaign Organizer--we are making excellent progress. We had over 600 volunteers for our first canvassing event go out and knock on doors to collect signatures.

Also--if you could use some of your influence--you may have heard Sen. Fitzgerald go on record as saying he knows for a fact that I have direct links to the Obama camp. I spoke with a reporter from WSJ this morning and tried to get out in front of that story--check the print edition tomorrow to see if that part of my story made it past his editor.

So--having said that--I am not an Obama operative--Darling claims to a journalist I am front for big labor and I am paying canvassers to collect sigs.

I held a town hall meeting before this thing actually started and we had 140+ people show up--standing room only--they all expressed the same sentiments and were looking for someone to lead this thing--so I just did it.

I am a respiratory therapist. I have a lovely wife and two cats. The only thread attaching me to Obama is that we are both Democrats, I got to meet him once for 30 seconds, I volunteered for his GOTV push and I subsequently voted for the guy.

To be honest--I wish he would call me!

I just wish people would realize that me and the over 600 volunteers that I have been coordinating are not paid. More than half of them aren't even union. We are doing this on our own time on behalf of humanity.

Ian said...

We went door to door with the recall petition Saturday on the far NW side of Milw in one of the least affluent areas in Alberta's district. Of the 37 people who opened the door, 33 signed and 2 asked for more information but indicated they were likely to sign.
Sunday, in 1 hour outside of a Whitefish Bay pharmacy, 19 signed and many gave a thumbs up indicating they had already signed.
This could really happen! But we can't let up at all.

James Rowen said...

These comments tell me that the recall effort is effective. I am sure it is inspiring and will motivate the other efforts, too. Many thanks. She's my Senator - - for now - - so I will be signing a petition, too.

Betsey said...

The Walker budget also robs Sen Darling of a favorite phrase she's been using for years when pressed for answers on education funding issues:

"We spend PLENTY on education in this state."

She can go back to what she was born to do: become one of the "ladies who lunch." She's been out of her league for years.

Anonymous said...

Kristopher--Go get 'em!

The people that count in this state know that the 'organizers' of this protest and movement are just regular folks like them--the "little people" who put out the fires, care for the babies, heal the sick, protect the citizens and educate the children and pay the gol durn taxes.

I hope that each and every time Walker and ilk try to say that the Wisconsin 14 are being directed by national union leaders, or that most of the Madison protesters are from out of state, that someone like you, Kristopher, stands up to say: "Nope. It's just me and other loyal Wisconsinites like me."

BTW: In the early 90's I did clinic protection when busloads of national ant-abortion wackos came to Milwaukee to try to shut down abortion clinics here. They used that same tactic on us: "Are you going to collect your checks now?" As laughable then as now--for those of us who know better.

Anonymous said...

Betsey: As a friend of just and humane social policies, it is not necessary to denigrate Alberta Darling as one who may join "the ladies who lunch," when its her policy-related shortcomings and lack of empathy for hard-working people that are at issue here.

Dave said...

To the sanctimonious scold whining about the anonymous writer referring to Alberta Darling (R-White Suburb) as a "lady who lunches", why don't you spend your shaming time on the repugs, not on those who accurately characterize this women?

Darling is the darling of polluters, the greedy, and those who are easily fooled by this embarrassment of a politician. I could think of lots of activities Darling could do other than "lunch". But if she does start the lunch thing, hopefully she'll be eating the fish that are contaminated with mercury following her flip-flop on the mercury bill several years ago. She's a hack that deserves shunning she will be enduring for years to come.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if a recall effort has been initiated for Jeff Stone?

Anonymous said...

During the first standing-room only town hall meeting about the Darling Recall effort, a union member from her district stood up to tell the crowd about how Senator Darling refused to meet with him or answer his emails or phone calls, even though he had her cell phone number.

So he read her number out to the crowd and asked them to give it a try. A woman in the audience promptly began dialing, and Senator Darling picked up. The woman politely explained who she was, why she was at the event, and the questions people wanted her to answer. Senator Darling's response?

"I'm at lunch."

When the crowd began booing and yelling, "we can't afford to have lunch!" she said, "I'm having lunch with my husband, I'll call you back" and hung up.

So yes, Senator Darling is a lady who lunches and a lady who can't be bothered to interrupt a lunch date with her husband to take questions from a packed room full of her own constituents with serious concerns about the impact of a piece of legislation that she fast-tracked through Joint Finance.

Anonymous said...

Darling had it right not voting agaist Walker's bill she is out to lunch

Betsey said...

Dear Anonymous March 9, 9:57 pm:

When I accused Sen Darling of being a "lady who lunched", I had no idea that the story you related had even occurred--what an interesting coincidence! But thank you for telling us and in so doing, defending me a little. (Dave, thank you too.)

I was only trying to make the point that Alberta Darling, and others of her social class and "world view" often blithely go out to lunch, have a manicure, go shopping or visit a spa when they're feeling stressed. Stress-relieving that's not typically financially available to other hard-working, tax-paying Wisconsinites. The 20ll equivalent of Marie Antoinette: When told that the peasants had no bread, she said "Well let them eat cake!" Or, if we River Hills Republicans aren't having any problems, then how can anyone else be having them?

Being accused of "lunching" isn't the worst possible insult anyone could level at Darling. I was trying to tone it down a bit from my real (angry) feelings towards her and several other representatives who are paid rather well with our tax payer dollars for the small amount of work required of them, and then represent only themselves, their families and their friends.

Anonymous said...

@ Dave: I can see how I might have been mistaken for a "sanctimonious scold" as a second look at my comment seems to refer to myself, when actually I was directing the words "a friend of just and humane social policies" to Betsey, which was meant to be a compliment to her. But both her comment and mine were rather minor matters.

Anonymous said...

"We are doing this on our own time on behalf of humanity."


Hey Recall Campaign Organizer, Humanity called - it said to get a a job!

Anonymous said...

When Darling was making her specious comments that nobody was going to lose their right to collectively bargain, she apparently also overlooked the fact that all UW instructional staff have lost their ability to collectively bargain. Here's a link to the actual bill, WHICH SHE BRAGS ABOUT HELPING TO DRAFT.