Ten thousand out-of-work Wisconsin residents have been without federally-financed unemployment benefits since April 16th because the State Legislature has not passed a measure to accept the money.
So a special session is the only way to approve that funding - - though out-of-session legislators can keep collecting their daily $88 in expense money, tax free, just for going to the Capitol for any work-related purpose, no matter how briefly.
I'm betting the long-term unemployed would take that darling expense benefit/perk/entitlement deal any day, too.
So will Senate Republican Alberta Darling from River Hills, co-chair of the Legislature's pivotal Joint Finance Committee, step forward on behalf of unemployed Wisconsinites whose benefits have run out?
Darling is facing a recall ballot later this summer, so the better question is, which Darling might address the issue, should she find the time away from her get-out-the-vote meetings?
Polling and politics will guide the decision: if Darling feels she is in a genuine struggle against recall election challenger Sandy Pasch, a Democratic member of the Assembly, the more moderate and compassionate Darling could swing into action.
Darling has promised to support a special session on the jobless- - the same version who played good cop to Scott Walker's bad when, during budget writing as co-chair of the Joint Committee on Finance, she backed the continuation of the state's seniors' drug prescription plan that Walker wanted to scrap.
Then there's the 'screw-the-workers, run-to-the Right' Darling who carried water for Walker all year and did a lot of the legislative dirty work against workers interests on Joint Finance.
The same bad-cop Darling who used Joint Finance to cut $6.8 million from Milwaukee County's child welfare program.
She and other Republican legislators could continue to sit on their hands and allow available federal unemployment support dollars to sit idle, too.
That would tell us Darling thinks she can remain in office by running in place and playing the Scrooge.
[Update: Looks like the Dems are going to beat Darling to it:
@JulieMLassa Julie LassaI am proud to join Sen. Hansen in authoring a bill to extend unemployment benefits for people whose benefits are close to expiring. #wiunion
There's also the third Darling - - the one who plays good cop and bad cop at the same time.
That was the Darling who supported a 30% cut to the state's signature public lands and access program - - while also denying the cut meant backing away the program.
Both-ways Darling, after feeling the heat, flipped on her own special interest budget provision that would have forced Milwaukee taxpayers to keep paying fired-for-cause police officers.
Walker then got to play good cop for Milwaukee taxpayers to Darling's bad-cop on behalf of some really bad cops, and vetoed her porky budget amendment.
Unemployment and the plight of low-income citizens - - whether they're out of work or paying property taxes in Milwaukee's generally modest neighborhoods - - are not the biggest issues in Darling's upscale River Hills home town.
Her home town Milwaukee County suburb, where building codes require two-acre lots and five acres is preferred, has household income than triple the US average and more than quadruple that found in Milwaukee County as a whole, data show.
Darling is probably more comfortable playing good cop to her River Hills base, and bad cop to the rest of the District.