Darling Says Re-election Will Not Be Easy

River Hills Republican fields questions about education cuts, Planned Parenthood and the high-stakes campaign for her 8th Senate District seat.

Despite her more than 20 years in the state Legislature, Republican Sen. Alberta Darling said Tuesday she is facing an uphill battle to re-election in the .

In an appearance before a media panel at the Milwaukee Press Club, Darling was asked whether she was confident about winning the re-election.

“I’m not sure. It’s going to be about turnout. It’s about turnout,” she replied. “Is this tense for me? Yes. Do I think I’m going to win? I’m giving it my best shot.”

The recall election was brought upon Darling after more than 30,000 signatures were gathered in her 8th Senate District. While the recall effort coincided with the uproar over collective bargaining changes, her opponent, Democratic state Rep. Sandy Pasch, is campaigning on Darling’s overall influence on shaping Gov. Scott Walker’s budget as a co-chair of the powerful Joint Finance Committee.

Darling said the union-limiting budget repair bill at the center of the controversy has drawn in a lot of outside money for third-party advertisements and canvassing efforts.

“The real reason I’m being recalled is because I took on the special-interest groups,” she said. “It was very clear we were making decisions to make these major reforms for Wisconsin, and if we did what we were going to do, that there would be a lot of angry unions from all over the country that would come into Wisconsin and invest against us.

"A target is on my back because I stood up for the taxpayer and said, 'We will not be beholden to anyone but you.' ”

Darling’s appearance at the press club’s Newsmakers Luncheon comes the day after Pasch to the group. The group invited both Darling and Pasch to debate in the same setting, but Darling declined the offer.

One panel member questioned why the state’s technical schools took a disproportionate cut in the 2011-13 budget, even though Darling touted the benefits of trade schools in growing a skilled manufacturing workforce.

Darling said the technical schools also receive money from tuition and property taxes, so she thought the cut was a tough choice that needed to be made to close a $3.6 billion budget deficit.

Darling said she was elected as an advocate of education, and she remains an advocate for education, despite a more than $800 million cut in aid to school districts across the state.

She said most school districts were able to survive the cuts without cutting teachers, with the help of the budget repair bill, which eliminated most collective bargaining rights. She pointed to the Mequon-Thiensville School District, which she said saved $2.5 million as a result of Walker’s reforms.

“You don’t hear a lot about this, but a lot of the school boards asked us to make the mediation/arbitration changes we did,” she said.

When questioned why she, as a former member of the Planned Parenthood Board of Directors, would deny federal funding for the organization and cause offices across the state to close, Darling said she left the organization 25 or 30 years ago when it "shifted its focus to abortion."

"The Planned Parenthood budget that was in the budget this year, we turned those into health block grants in family planning," she said. "We preserved 90 percent of the money for women health issues but not through the Planned Parenthood organization because many legislators were considered about the funding for abortion."

The prosser-cuter August 05, 2011 at 03:48 AM
@Kiernan - how many teachers lost their jobs during the Doyle Administration. MF was laying teachers off every year to compensate for the spiraling cost of benefits. As far as you now changing your tune to education nationally, it doesn't have anything to do with the current issues in Wisconsin. Go talk to the feds about that.
Craig August 05, 2011 at 03:49 AM
First of all, no teacher has missed a paycheck - yet. Come September, that may change. Cutting state aid to education coupled with the elimination of CB rights has saved SD money. MFSD: eliminate WEAC as the Healthcare insurance company=$1.5 Million Make teachers contribute 5.8% towards their pension =$1 Million Make teachers contribute 12.5% towards Health Ins. =$1.5 Million Approx savings to tax bills per household in MF = $500/year That savings may be enough to keep some students from becoming homeless, and leaving MFSD...which in a way is protecting teaching positions here. You are right Kiernan, it doesn't do anything to fix sliding test scores, and no additional money is going to the classroom- that problem started more than a decade ago and isn't going to be simple to fix.
The prosser-cuter August 05, 2011 at 03:50 AM
Remember who issued death threats against senators: Remember who occupied and shut down the capitol; remember who bullied and intimidated businesses; remember who staged mock funerals; remember who protested the special olympic ceromonies. Remember who left the state and stopped representing the people they were elected to serve! Then remember who fixed our budget deficit, who gave our schools and government entities the tools to get them in the best shape they have been in for several years. Remeber who is trying to protect the integrity of our elections through voter ID. Remember who balanced a 3.6 billion dollar inherited deficit without raising taxes. Remember who put a cap on your property taxes. Remember who has improved the business (jobs) climate in this state in only 7 months. While I know all of these elections are becoming a hassle, it is important that you and everyone you know get to the polls on Tuesday to support Alberta Darling and the other republican senators. We can't afford to reward the bad behavior of the democrats, and undo all of the positive momentum created by Governor Walker and the republican majority.
Kiernan August 05, 2011 at 03:53 AM
Nice one, Aldo! Darling does a lot of breast beating about doing what she was elected to do. but does she really think she was elected to deny health care to kids, women, the elderly and the poor, wreck public education, and bust unions that protect the interests of teachers and other public servants? Does she really believe the voters gave her a mandate to remain distant from her constituents, to blow off appearances at town hall meetings and let voter correspondence go unanswered? Was she elected to become a mindless pawn for the Koch brothers and Governor Wanker? iOnly someone intent on destroying forever all that Wisconsin used to stand for would support North Shore Nancy.
Kiernan August 05, 2011 at 04:02 AM
Actually, I DON'T know who issued death threats against republican senators -- if any were really issued at all. In at least some cases, I personally believe the alleged threats were fabricated by senators seeking to transform themselves into political pariahs.
The prosser-cuter August 05, 2011 at 04:05 AM
Screw it! Walker would have been better off just firing 3.6 billion dollars worth of your union bretheren state employees to balance the budget. Would have been a lot less grief. Problem is Walker cares too much!
Kiernan August 05, 2011 at 04:08 AM
Problem is Walker cares too much!" To quote Rodney Dangerfield in "Back to School." he really cares . . . . about what, I have no idea!
Craig August 05, 2011 at 04:16 AM
State Police have made one arrest regarding the death threats made via email.
The prosser-cuter August 05, 2011 at 04:17 AM
I believe they know who issued the death threats. Dane County DA still sitting on it!
Kiernan August 05, 2011 at 04:19 AM
Lee Harvey Oswald; Where are you when we need you!
The prosser-cuter August 05, 2011 at 06:38 AM
@alberta d and @ass candle http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/126782318.html So much for your DMV closing argument.
Morninmist Same August 05, 2011 at 10:49 AM
NO CRAIG. --If Darling had any morals she would be hanging her head in shame! http://www.onewisconsinnow.org/press/disability-rights-advocates-said-darling-bill-will-bring-harm-to-children-with-disabilities.html Disability Rights Advocates Said Darling Bill Will Bring 'Harm to Children with Disabilities' August 4, 2011 ‘If Darling Spent Time Listening to the People of Wisconsin Instead of Lobby Groups Spending Money to Save Her, She’d Know the Truth’, says OWN Madison -- One Wisconsin Now released the following statements in response to irresponsible claims made by the Republican Party of Wisconsin about Sen. Alberta Darling’s harmful Assembly Bill 110. The bill is directly modeled after legislation from the corporate American Legislative Exchange Council and supported by the American Federation for Children, which is spending over a quarter of a million dollars to try and save Darling in her recall election. “The state’s most respected organization that fights for the rights of people with disabilities testified that Alberta Darling’s corporate-influenced bill would be harmful for children with disabilities. If Alberta Darling wasn’t spending all her time cozying up to lobbyists and corporate special interest groups trying to save her in the recall race, she might actual meet with real people who have real concerns about her harmful legislation.”.............
Morninmist Same August 05, 2011 at 10:55 AM
I agree.
Tass Kandle August 05, 2011 at 03:31 PM
I don't know why you people think that repeating lies enough makes them true. "Remember who issued death threats against senators" There were death threats against ALL of the senators. The democrats just didn't cry about it like the GOP did making a melodramatic speech on the floor. Look it up, the dems actually got more "threats of a serious nature" than the GOP crooks did. In fact the heroic 14 actually had teabagger nut jobs like you following them around and camping outside their hotels with guns. Fox "News" kept telling their location on TV and every time they did within 1/2 an hour armed posse of you nutsos would show up with guns. Several were arrested after looking in windows at the hotels. "Remember who occupied and shut down the capitol" That would be the republicans. People showed up to exercise their constitutional rights. The GOP shut down the capitol, locked it down for the first time in my life, and posted an occupying force of armed goons to keep people from exercising their constitutional rights. The courts ordered them to open the doors but they refused. They spit on the law, the constitution, and the people. Then when an elected law maker tried to get into his office he was beaten up on camera by Walkers SS jackboot thugs. So ask yourself, who really turned the capitol into an occupied territory and shut it down.
Craig August 05, 2011 at 03:51 PM
@Ass Candle: I think you have some eggs that are scrambled. The FIB 14 were not attacked or harassed by armed 'teabaggers'. The FIB 14 may have been doing their own teabagging in their hotel rooms though, as they had no work to do because they left Wisconsin like little kids who take their balls and go home. Illinois is the only State in the country that does not allow conceal carry- have you been living under a rock? You think that making that accusation of guns outside the hotel rooms will make it fact? You have to invent a better story than that- unscramble those eggs next time. As to shutting down the Capitol Bldg., then why did the place stink like BO? Tell me why homeless people are not allowed to sleep in there but nut cases like you were allowed? Those armed gaurds you refer to as goons and jackbooted thugs were policemen- some came from all over the State to work the OT. Most of them are Union Police, and you called them Goons and Thugs. When you spread false propaganda be prepared to be discredited as a person with the brains of a turtle.
Carolo August 05, 2011 at 04:04 PM
The University of Wisconsin Survey Center's Badger Poll found that 59 percent of residents disapprove of the performance of Walker. The poll found that 55 percent of respondents were dissatisfied with the way things are going in Wisconsin. The poll found that 78 percent of respondents believe having the recall option is a good thing. Nearly two-thirds of respondents felt that state government is run for the benefit of big interests, rather than the benefit of the people.
Tass Kandle August 05, 2011 at 04:04 PM
""remember who bullied and intimidated businesses" Not sure what you are talking about there. If a boycott is "bullying" in your mind then you are a fascist. "remember who staged mock funerals" So what? Its freedom of speech to hold a mock funeral for our schools. "remember who protested the special olympic ceromonies." No one protested the special olympic ceremonies you liar. There was a protest going on while the special olympics was going on. Thats like saying they were protesting the food being served in the cafeteria because they both happened at the same time. You are a liar and purveyor of falsehoods. "Remember who left the state and stopped representing the people they were elected to serve!" You know thats a lie too. They had too leave the state in order to represent the people. Love it or hate it the union busting bill was a very big piece of legislation and allowing such a bill to be rammed down the peoples throat in 2 days would have been a failure to represent and serve the people who elected them. Have you seen the heroes welcome they got? I defy you to show me a piece of footage like that where the heroes failed to represent their people. No one gets a heroes welcome with 120k+ people if they failed to represent their people. So stop killing your credibility with the lies. I mean if you ever had a good point no one would notice because we all discount your posts on account of your constant parroting of lies.
Carolo August 05, 2011 at 04:16 PM
Problem is that Walker and the others ALL talked about jobs, jobs, jobs. Immediately after being sworn in, their real interests surfaced. Cutting and slashing programs, getting rid of Unions, firing, firing, firing. And still their constant interest in helping out their "special interests" at the top of the heap continues. When Walker was asked by Congress if breaking the unions helped with the recovery of Wisconsin and reduced their debt, he said NO. This, for him, was a self-serving move and of no benefit to anyone but his private interests. Fake Democrats to force a primary? Invalid petitions with dead peoples names on them in the Democratic petitions? His phone call with the "pretend Koch". His changing voter laws, redistricting, closing DMV offices. Look what 8 months of these people have done to Wisconsin? Once the re-call is behind them all, then they will really go to work to finish bringing the State down. Right now they are tip-toeing around trying not to anger more people than they already have.
Tass Kandle August 05, 2011 at 04:16 PM
"who gave our schools and government entities the tools to get them in the best shape they have been in for several years." Total lie. Ask anyone who isn't on the GOP payroll and they will tell you our schools etc. are going to suffer immensely. "Remeber who is trying to protect the integrity of our elections through voter ID" Another lie. There has been NO evidence of any voter fraud. The handful of illegal votes cast every year are by felons who haven't completed their paper work. You know dam well that law is intended to turn away eligible voters and to deny it just makes you even more of a liar (as if that was possible.) If they really wanted to maintain election integrity they would ask why 15000 votes can magically appear 3 days after the election in cut open bags and bags that aren't marked. Ask why Kathy Nikalaus refuses to comply with the audit by election officials. Ask why Waukesha county has had more votes tallied than votes cast more than once. Ask why on an important election they had a 98% turn out when the average is less than half of that. "Remember who has improved the business (jobs) climate in this state in only 7 months." Whats good for out of state billionaires and fat cats is not always good for working people. Corrupt politicians with their hands out for corporate bribes, lack of workers rights, ability to pollute, no need to give back to the state, etc. THAT is what they think is good.
Craig August 05, 2011 at 04:27 PM
Candle: Do you make an effort to be so ignorant, or does it come naturally for you? It seems as though you can't comprehend facts. I do not know where you get your information from, but I advise you try another source or sources.
Tass Kandle August 05, 2011 at 04:30 PM
"Then remember who fixed our budget deficit" That could have been done without starting a civil war. He didn't have to attack workers rights, insult and degrade the firefighters, police, firefighters, garbage men, fish/game guys, etc. He didn't have to make laws intended to make it difficult to vote, to make it so the crippled, the old, the poor, the overworked and the young couldn't vote easily. He didn't have to allow all the nuts who think they are Rambo to walk around with guns in their waist bands. I am going to carry (I am highly trained and an excellent marksman) but the idea of any nut being able to play dirty Harry in public is a terrible idea. Wisconsin has never allowed concealed carry, Why start now? Carry your guns on the outside. He didn't have to allow little old ladies to be choked by a judge. He didn't have to defy court orders, break the constitution, break the law. He didn't have to talk a prank call and consider sending violent trouble makers into the peaceful protests, about how he was waiting for his bribe in Cali after the protests, etc. Listen to the Walkergate tapes. They are disgusting. He and his toadies didn't have to use every dirty political trick in the book. Fake democrats, magically appearing votes, lying robocalls and mailers trying to fool people about when the election is, on and on. Most of all he didn't have to turn this state into s G-D freak show. The entire country is laughing at us and rightly so
Craig August 05, 2011 at 04:42 PM
@Ass Candie: You do not like to use facts in any of your statements. You refuse to acknowlege any replies with factual information. Do you know the difference between propaganda and truth?
The prosser-cuter August 05, 2011 at 04:49 PM
After listening to the clueless rants of Kass Tandle, I now support tax payer funded abortion. If only it was available to your parents! Wow! Get a grip
Craig August 05, 2011 at 04:59 PM
@Prosser: ROFLMAO You are so right! I think that candle is so far up there it caused brain damage.
Tass Kandle August 05, 2011 at 08:11 PM
"The FIB 14 were not attacked or harassed by armed 'teabaggers'" Yes they were. Fox News had private investigators following them from hotel to hotel and Fox would broadcast their locations every chance they got. Several times tea baggers had to be ticketed by the police for trespassing. In some of the police reports there is mention of firearms in the trunks of their cars. So just because you don't see something on Fox News or on Drugs LImbaughs radio show doesn't mean it didn't happen.
Tass Kandle August 05, 2011 at 08:24 PM
"Those armed gaurds you refer to as goons and jackbooted thugs were policemen- some came from all over the State to work the OT. Most of them are Union Police, and you called them Goons and Thugs." True, for the first week most of the posted guards were honest policemen. However once these police went to Madison it was found that in between shifts they were protesting. So they would guard the entrances, go back to the hotel and change into a "COPS for labor" shirts and protest. Once this was discovered Walker replaced them with State Troopers and private mercenaries from Wackenhut and DCI. The goon in charge of the State Troopers is Steve Fitzgerald, the father of the Fitzgerald boys. He couldn't get a job as sheriff so Walker hired him as his top goon. Walker knew he would order the ST to break whatever law he wanted them to. No loyalty to the law, only to their corporate billionaire owners. DCI is a private security (hired goon) firm out of California. Look them up. The private DCI is not to be confused with the WI DCI, totally different entities. Wackenhut is another rent-a-goon firm Walker has used before. You can search Walker Wackenhut. These armed rent-a-goons have been caught on tape identifying themselves as police but refused to identify themselves. They also wore lapel pins from Wisconsin LEOs but were not from these agencies. This is all fact and you can look it up. I know republicans don't like facts or research but go ahead, look it up.
Craig August 06, 2011 at 04:01 AM
Ass Kandie: You are nothing but a steaming pile of crap. I know them cops who were at the capitol- none were quick change artists -after a 12 hour shift they drove home. They didn't work day after day allowing themselves free time during the off shift. Having a firearm in the trunk of your car is not being armed -as you portrayed the tea baggers looking into hotel rooms while armed. Please get yourself spayed or neutered- stupidity at the extreem that you suffer from should be eliminated from the gene pool. And for God's sake- don't excersize your right to carry- you are far too ignorant to have anything on your person that isn't made from foam rubber.
Morninmist Same August 06, 2011 at 05:25 PM
Thanks for that poll results.
Kiernan August 06, 2011 at 06:48 PM
I think you'll find those numbers also reflect the public's disapproval of Governor Walker's Joint Finance Committee Stooge, Sen. Darling.
Kiernan August 06, 2011 at 07:03 PM
Total lie. Ask anyone who isn't on the GOP payroll and they will tell you our schools etc. are going to suffer immensely. " Careful, Tass, they'll show you an Alberta Darling press release that gutting public education was actually good for schools! As a teacher, you can take it from me that public education, the teaching profession, and our state's young learners ARE going to suffer immensely. The irony of it all is this. In a few years these same whack jobs will be the ones moaning that public education in Wisconsin sucks, and that their kids pass a college entrance exam or land a job because they didn't get a quality education.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »