Saturday, August 1, 2020

Alberta Darling mouths fake GOP 'local control' piety during mask order attack

Wisconsin GOP 'leaders' like State Sen. Alberta Darling invite ridicule when they claim that Gov. Evers' masking order violates the principle of 'local control' which Republicans have been systematically ripping up for years:
“I think it should be up to local control and not be a demand from the governor as a major statewide mandate. Our state is different in different places and to take away local control to decide that I think really is an abuse of power,” she said.
This is more than a regurgitation of Eisenhower-era GOP boiler-plate or a bid to put to sanitize a dangerous position during a killer pandemic with pretty words.

It's bulls*it.

The Legislative Reference Bureau documented at least 180 times during the Walker years when Republican legislators, with Darling playing a key leadership role on the Joint Finance Committee, rolled back or killed local controls or foisted unfunded mandates on local taxpayers from the safety of gerrymandered seats in the State Capitol, as State Rep. Katrina Shankland has noted:

For eight years, when Republican lawmakers had total control of state government, they preempted our local leaders from doing what’s best for their communities. According to our nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, these lawmakers have passed legislation 180 times to remove local control or create unfunded mandates. This includes limiting local oversight over our environment, and repealing employment protections and so much more.
For example, Darling was co-chair of the Joint Finance Committee in 2017 when it moved to serve big businesses by ending local governments' protections of their citizens' clean air and water. 
Local governments would not be allowed to regulate air and water quality or restrict blasting at some sand mines, quarries and gravel pits under a provision in the state transportation budget. 
The state Legislature's budget-writing committee inserted language into the spending plan Tuesday that would restrict how local governments regulate sand mines, quarries and gravel pits that supply material for public works projects after April 2018.
In essence, the policy would bar counties, cities, towns and villages from restricting things like truck traffic, blasting and setbacks. It would also block local governments from setting their own air and water quality standards beyond those enforced by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. 
And that's been the GOP method of operation.

You can go back to Act 10, when Walker papered-over the attack on unions which his big donors and wanted with local control gift-wrapping, stripping away local school board authority to negotiate work rules, pay and benefits with teachers, as veteran Capitol watcher Steven Walters noted at the time: was purely a “local control” issue, the first-term governor insisted.
Darling's disingenuous camouflaging of a yet another GOP power grab with fake piety for the grassroots echoed what I'd noted in May that GOP Speaker Vos had tossed out:
Republicans running the WI Legislature on behalf of Scott Walker and his donors spent years stripping municipalities of local controls as they slashed funding and consolidated power, particularly over cities, to lay right-wing, anti-union and environmentally-damaging damage on the public sector...
But now that the state is facing an unprecedented public health and fiscal emergency with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, these same GOP legislators have decided this is precisely the best time to cut Democratic Gov. Evers and the state resources he manages out of the logical and statutory role he was playing and let all the local governments do their own thing.
Leaving the state without a coherent coordinated strategy so the virus can have an easier time moving from community to community.
Top GOP lawmakers now want to leave virus plan in the hands of local officials 
Does Vos get to get away with saying this?
"As a Republican, I believe in local control," he said Thursday.
Fast forward to Saturday. Does Darling get away with it too? 

Alberta Darling at Ann Romney rally.JPG
Joint Finance Committee Co-Chair State Sen. Alberta Darling, (R-River Hills)


Jake formerly of the LP said...

Correct. Darling is a pathetic hack who proves the 21st Century GOP motto is "Our rules don't apply to us."

Send her into her long-overdue retirement this November, so she can live out her last days at the Ozaukee CC's 19th hole while the rest of us move forward.

Anonymous said...

Here's the truthiest truth from this blog post, about Darling:

"It's bulls*it."

Ron Legro said...

I documented on Facebook this morning the reaction from Darling's office when I wrote her as a constituent urging her to support the Evers masking order. Below is her office's letter back to me. Galling how, rather than prioritizing the state Department of Health or other medical experts in determining a preventive course of action against the pandemic, her office's letter cites as supreme the advice of ... the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. How very tone deaf and politically correct a Republican she is. Don't worry, because while the senator's views aren't particularly responsive, she's ... worried! Not foremost worried about the coronavirus but instead more fever dreams about the governor's "real" intent in issuing an emergency order against the threat of that virus.

Here is her office's letter. The bracketed note is mine.

Dear Mr. Legro,

Thank you for reaching out to Senator Darling’s office regarding the Governor’s recent statewide mask mandate. I will pass along your thoughts to Senator Darling.

First and foremost, Senator Darling believes that people in Wisconsin should continue to make smart decisions to protect themselves and those around them. She believes that everyone should practice social distancing guidelines and wear a mask when appropriate, and encourages businesses to follow WEDC [that's the Walker-created Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation] guidelines to protect customers. Senator Darling supports the decisions of many local municipalities, restaurants, doctor's offices, bars, gyms, and other businesses that already require individuals to wear masks and keep their distance while inside, as these decisions are best made at the local level instead of through a one-size-fits-all statewide mandate.

With that being said, Senator Darling takes issue with the process through which the executive order was implemented. She worries that a fresh emergency declaration for the pandemic is the beginning of an effort to keep students out of in-person classes this fall, which she has publicly expressed deep concerns with on many levels. As you are likely aware, many school districts in the area have been planning to begin session in-person this fall in conjunction with the recommendations of many scientists, experts and pediatricians.

Thank you again for reaching out. If you have any questions or further comments for me to pass along, please feel free to do so again.

Best regards,
Noah Kirchner
Office of State Senator Alberta Darling
8th Senate District
(608) 266-5830