.

A Stunning Reversal

Senator Darling's most recent flip-flop and steadfast support for this extreme budget reinforce what this recall election is really all about.

In the Joint Finance Committee's final sprint to pass an already pork-filled budget, Senator Darling - co-chair of the state's budget writing committee - slipped in some more bacon in the middle of the night.  An amendment that Senator Darling sponsored would have allowed fired Milwaukee police officers - including those suspected of very serious offenses like drunk driving, domestic abuse, and even rape - to continue receiving pay until all of their appeals have been exhausted.  

This provision was heavily favored by the Milwaukee Police Association, which has strongly supported and donated to Senator Darling and many other Republican candidates.

Milwaukee taxpayers were burdened with this costly mandate for years until lawmakers took action to reign in and repeal it over the past two legislative sessions.  It is estimated that Milwaukee taxpayers were saddled with roughly $4.5 million due to this mandate, and legislative action to tighten the spigot has saved hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars. 

Not only did Senator Darling ask Governor Walker to veto her special interest handout after voting for it in committee and vocally supporting it on the Senate floor, she actually voted to eliminate this mandate in 2008.  This type of behavior simply defies logic – that is, unless you are a 20-year career politician. 

Unfortunately, Senator Darling's recent addition to her laundry list of flip-flops over the years only symbolizes how she has similarly turned her back on her constituents through the toxic state budget she wrote and voted to enact.

In the budget she considers the “best budget [she has] ever seen,” she chose to shift billions of dollars from public education, healthcare, and local services, to handouts and favors for big corporations and special interests. 

The fact that Senator Darling continues to boast about the great success her and Governor Walker’s budget represents for her party bosses and campaign donors shows just how out of touch she has become with the values and priorities of her constituents. 

Her most recent flip-flop and steadfast support for this extreme budget reinforce what this recall election is really all about.  It is about taking back the 8th Senate District for the people of our community and electing a Senator who will represent the values we all share – the same values Senator Darling unfortunately seems to have forgotten, or flip-flopped on, time and time again.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

CowDung July 06, 2011 at 02:16 PM
I guess that "Change" thing is only good when Obama does it?
Drive To 24 July 06, 2011 at 02:29 PM
Hi CowDung: nice to meet you. just wondering if you read the article. As a strong advocate for the poor,jobless and disabled I have serious reservations about these cuts. I also ride the bus to Summerfest along with thousands of other riders who enjoy this service. I guess if you never use the bus I can understand your perspective. I wonder what Darling thinks about this? Has she responded to these cuts. Just curious.
CowDung July 06, 2011 at 02:56 PM
Yes, I read the article. I guess we will see what really happens come Summerfest time next year. I'm thinking that a lot of the claims being made in the article are more of the same 'gloom and doom' projections that tend to follow when something is cut. Funny how reality never seems to match those projections...
Bob McBride July 06, 2011 at 04:23 PM
Sorry Lyle, this whole thing is about union power. The unions have the most to lose from this - their stranglehold on public employee contracts. Every action has been right out of the union playbook from the get go.. They're afraid it's going to work and from what's been demonstrated in some communities (those who didn't succumb to pressure to lock in or extend a contract prior to the bill going into effect) it already has. My point, as it always has been and continues to be, is that there's nothing that can't be reversed should it be found not to work, via the next legitimate election cycle. Your side (the side of the unions) won't put up with that, even though that's the way we've been doing things for years and years, through administration after administration. You're attempting to sell this "need" for recalls and all the other nonsense your side has engaged in, based on a lot of hyperbole and overblown projection. It's more important to your side that you do everything within your power, including misleading people to the extent that you can, to overturn the last election than it is to do what we've been doing for years. Respecting the outcome of an election and the votes of those who voted in it.
CowDung July 06, 2011 at 04:35 PM
Drink Huber? I think we finally found something we can agree on...
Bob McBride July 06, 2011 at 04:44 PM
Bob, I've looked at what Walker has done. I've looked at what Darling has done> I'm good with it overall. As for the bus situation, let's see if you can figure out why Abele selected the ones he did for elimination.
Lyle Ruble July 06, 2011 at 04:46 PM
@Bob McBride II...Bob, I am in agreement with you that it is all about unions. However, I am a bit more skeptical than you and I see Walker and Republicans as wanting to bust the unions in order to secure and maintain control. By stripping the unions' ability to bankroll Democratic candidates, the Republicans will be able to outspend the Democrats, thus assuring their power. At this point with the limitation on collective bargaining, the public unions are done.and will lose the majority of their members. Without members and a steady stream of dues, no political donations. It's a move worthy of Karl Rove and is brilliant unless you're sitting on the other side.
Drive To 24 July 06, 2011 at 04:48 PM
Lyle: Although I voted for Walker and Darling I am feeling extreme voter remorse. I especially feel duped by Walker. I honestly thought he would be able to use the high speed train funds for roads but that got shot down and then to lose the money for the Chicago- Milwaukee run. I now see him a political sociopath. As a nonunion worker and moderate conservative, I was very supportive of the demonstrations in Madison. Our founding fathers and Fighting Bob L would be proud. Godspeed in the recalls. It's time to bring down this fascist.
CowDung July 06, 2011 at 05:08 PM
So what you are saying is that we either have candidates in power that the Unions control, or we have republicans?
Lyle Ruble July 06, 2011 at 05:15 PM
@CowDung....The Republicans have always been able to raise more money being supported by large corporate donors and the rich. The unions were the single largest contributors to the Dems. Today money is important to get a message out and if you have more money to spend you have a greater influence on the message. Unless the Dems. can get grassroots to come up with more money, the money game will give the Republicans a distinct advantage.
Bob McBride July 06, 2011 at 06:00 PM
Lyle, So you're saying that unless dues are mandatory, the unions will lose the majority of their members, even though they can still be used to negotiate wage issues? I guess that doesn't say much for unions, does it? Unless people can be forced to join unions, they won't. Darnnit! Thanks for at least acknowledging that it's absolutely imperative to their survival that they be able to make membership mandatory. And here I thought all along it was that good old union solidarity. As for stripping the ability to contribute, I could make the same argument about your side as regards your "tax the rich, tax and regulate corporations" mantra. Let's cut the crap, Lyle. Stop blaming money, the Kochs , Karl Rove, the Boogie Man or any other supposedly nefarious force out there working behind the scenes. It's getting to be a bit too much "birther", really. We had an election. Your side lost. You're unwilling to wait until the next one because you know darn well that what Walker's proposing, particularly as it relates to our educational system is going to work. And that scares the living you-know-what out of you. Lyle, you're too smart to really be going with the row you're hoeing here and if this is the best you've got, then there's nothing much of substance at all. Oh, and saw your post about going down the same road again. Why it never made it here is a mystery, but, really, it's more of a quarter mile oval, isn't it?
Lyle Ruble July 06, 2011 at 06:34 PM
@Bib McBride II...I'm not blaming money, the Kochs, Karl Rove or any other nefarious force. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but I have to admit that the Republicans have done a good job of putting it all together and catching my side with our pants down. The issue of mandatory dues is born out by Indiana's public unions, losing 90% of their membership after the Governor eliminated collective bargaining. I predict it will be true here also. Anyway to the issue of the recall elections; if we are to go by the recent track record of the Dems. you guys don't have anything to worry about; we haven't won a single battle since the November election. You can't blame us for wanting to put a stopper in the Walker bottle if we can. To you it may seem irrational, which it is; but, that's politics. Will we all survive; oh yeah, but we don't have to be happy with our performance. I just worry that Walker and company will take us so far down the libertarian road that it will take decades to bring everything back into balance.
Bob McBride July 06, 2011 at 08:31 PM
Pau...er..Bob, nice try.
Joe July 06, 2011 at 08:41 PM
Can anyone tell me where I can pick up a couple of Pasch signs? I need a rather large one.
Lyle Ruble July 06, 2011 at 08:47 PM
@Bob...I really don't think Bob II is really all that angry. However, he is very adamant in his position and beliefs. I am a liberal and I enjoy his posts because he can argue his position with clarity. Bob II is currently working for someone else but has had his own business. If I remember correctly, he at one time managed blogs and information for AOL. Prior to living in WFB he resided in Waukesha County, Pewaukee I think. My view of Walker and Darling is that they represent extreme conservatism. Darling is an uber fiscal conservative and Walker is enamored with libertarianism and sees himself as John Galt incarnate. He and Paul Ryan are big supporters of Ayn Rand. Also, Walker is a Gen-Xer utilitarian professional politician. Although he is not formally educated, his innate political sense is extremely good and he knows how to work power. His move on turning the State's Executive into a autocracy is really frightening and to have people like Bob II supporting him is even more frightening.
Bob McBride July 06, 2011 at 08:49 PM
Lyle, Your side was caught with its pants down not because of any particularly skillful maneuvering on the part of the Republicans. If ever there was a time when there was a lack of political gamemasters in general, this is that time. What got you guys was the fog of the buzz from 2008. You took way too seriously your victory in that year. Think about it. You beat John McCain and Sarah Palin after 2 W terms. You could have darn near run your mascot, a donkey, and won. Instead, you let yourselves believe that you'd found a new kind of leader and believed your own hype to such a degree that it led to your downfall in two short years. There's your lesson. Not that the Republicans outsmarted you. You outsmarted yourselves. Which, frankly, probably explains the absolutely outrageous reaction when it happened and the absolute need on your side's part for a redo. So no, I don't worry, but I don't underestimate the determination and drive that can result from self loathing either. Got the quarter mile to yourself now. Have at it.
Joe July 06, 2011 at 09:14 PM
I'm new to this blogging and find this comment section quite interesting although eye opening so far. i just read Bob's and Lyle's take on Bob II. I have to agree with Bob in that his rhetoric is caustic in nature. He does use his words to bully as Bob said. But on the other hand Lyle is correct. He is very good at getting his point across albeit missing some common courtesy. So Lyle, how would you classify Bob II. He seems to attack people rather than communicate with them. Would hate to meet him in a bar with his concealed weapon and start talking politics.
CowDung July 06, 2011 at 09:21 PM
Perhaps it's because I tend to agree with him more often than not, but I don't find Bob McB II to be a bully (or bully-ish) at all.
Drive To 24 July 06, 2011 at 09:29 PM
Excellent points Lyle. It's interesting how different your style of communication is so much different from Bob II's. It seems no matter how courteous you are he just slams you with his rhetoric. I was a conservative but never tongue lashed people like he does. Has Bob II shown any sympathy for the liberals financially affected by Walker and Darling's actions? I am just so shocked at what Walker did. As a moderate conservative who associates with many of Bob II's kind, Walker and Darling's actions have turned even those most ardent conservatives to reflect on who they will vote for. Some are asking for recall Walker signs. It's just a tragedy Lyle.
Lyle Ruble July 06, 2011 at 09:44 PM
@Joe...Welcome to our private little world of blogging on the Patch. You have to understand Bob II doesn't suffer fools lightly and he will test everyone's mettle. All I can advise is to not personalize him statements. His assertive style is mild compared to some of the others who get on. I think Bob II would be fun to sit down with in a bar and discuss politics. He knows he's not always right and occasionally will cede a point here and there. All I can advise is to continue with Bob II because he'll make you sharper.
Drive To 24 July 06, 2011 at 09:44 PM
Hey Bob II - I found your comments regarding the bus route cuts interesting. What cuts would you suggest. Just curious.
Lyle Ruble July 06, 2011 at 09:51 PM
@Bob...Bob II is not a unfeeling lout. He is concerned with people's well being but he doesn't feel that public employees and teachers are being any more adversely effected than those in the private sector whose been suffering through the economic debacle that we're in. In general, he sees public employees and teachers as being a bunch of spoiled whiners. I don't share his view, but I understand it. At best I can say Bob II is a survivor and if the recalls succeed you won't hear him complaining about it. As far as I'm concerned Bob II's approach is much like other intellectual conservatives.
Drive To 24 July 07, 2011 at 01:36 AM
An intellectual conservative - that's interesting. With respect to the recalls though, if they fail he will rub it in every liberals face with an intellectual twist to it. If this is how the intellectual conservatives approach things, how do the white trash gun toting conservatives approach things?
Lyle Ruble July 07, 2011 at 01:56 AM
@Bob...The people you describe will drive you off the site for a period of time until they are spent. There comments are intolerable.
Sammy July 07, 2011 at 02:41 AM
This Article is completely False. There's not one ounce of truth in it. The Person who wrote it, should be brought up on False Journalism Charges. Or Slander. That is ,If the Person who Wrote it and took the bribe to write it, Would have Signed their name to the article. Wow , The Patch is now just another Lying left wing Propaganda Site. Wont be back here. It's amazing how stupid these writers are.
Lyle Ruble July 07, 2011 at 03:12 AM
@Sammy...Good bye!
Keith Schmitz July 07, 2011 at 03:49 AM
Really. Why are you wasting your time...and ours?
John Hayes July 11, 2011 at 09:31 PM
Can a liberal be as ugly as a conservative? Let me try: you folks are dimwitted, extreme ideological (not to mention scatological) scum. You have no ability to understand the damage your unfaltering faith-based belief system is doing to the people of the country. You blame the wrong people. You are blind to the obvious. There is no arguing with you because, simply put, you are too stupid to have an intelligent conversation with. You are like the old woman who was my neighbor in Germany two decades ago, who, despite everyone else's take on it, couldn't be talked out of believing that the 3rd Reich was good. She was completely brainwashed, and could never take on a valuable thought again.
John Hayes July 11, 2011 at 09:34 PM
Vote Pasch tomorrow! Don't let Darling screw us again.
Drive To 24 July 11, 2011 at 11:25 PM
Yeah John- decided as a moderate conservative that the right in Wisconsin have sold their souls to the tea party and right wing religious zealots. Look at Bachman! Is that the best the right has? God help us all. I finally took the leap today and went canvassing for Pasch. I met so many very sensible people who are calm and collected yet they know through lengthy discussions with them that Walker's agenda is not the Wisconsin way of doing things. They are even more concerned about Darling and her extreme voting record. Many students I encountered can't wait to recall Walker and Darling. Anyway, I saw an incredible amount of Pasch and recall Walker signs. I can see why the republicans are redistricting as they are. They don't want to compete. They seem really scared to resort to such immature antics. They simply have too much power and need to be put in check. I'm voting for Pasch.

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