Darling Recall Effort Promises 'Big Announcement'

Supporters are asked to come to Kletzsch Park at noon on Thursday.

The group working to recall Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) will make “a big announcement” noon on Thursday in Kletzsch Park, according to Kristopher Rowe, one of the group's founders.

Rowe did not immediately return a reporter’s calls but it is expected that the group will announce it is filing the signed petitions with the Government Accountability Board, the Madison-based state agency that oversees elections. A report from The Washington Post says the effort will turn in approximately 30,000 petition signatures.

Rowe asked that all petitions be brought to the park at 6560 N. Milwaukee River Parkway in Glendale.

“The best I can say at the moment is to follow the signs!” Rowe said in an email.

Canvassers have been collecting recall signatures since March 3. The deadline for returning the signatures in May 2 and 20,343 are required to force a recall election. The GAB has 31 days to review and verify the signatures on the petitions, which would mean that an election could be held in mid-July. However, a court challenge or other factors could delay the election.

No candidates have officially announced their intention of running against Darling if the recall drive is successful, however both and have said each would consider challenging for Darling's 8th District.

Neither Darling nor her campaign manager could immediately be reached for comment.

Darling, a Republican from River Hills who has served on the Legislature for 21 years, was target because of her support for Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill, a measure that eliminates state-employed workers of many of their collective bargaining rights.

Darling, 66, is chairwoman of the Joint Finance Committee. She has been a supporter of the measure.

Three lawsuits challenging the enactment of the legislation were filed in Dane County.

A case brought by Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne resulted in a temporary restraining order barring the enactment of the law. Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen has asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to take jurisdiction over the lawsuit.

Ozanne’s lawsuit is based on an allegation that the meeting that set in motion the adoption of the legislation by the Senate was not properly announced under the Wisconsin Open Meetings Law.

Walker contended that the law would save $30 million by June 30 and that it is needed to balance the state budget and enable municipalities to continue operating without raising taxes. Another portion of Walker’s bill bars school boards and municipal governments from raising the property tax or sales taxes.   

The prosser-cuter April 25, 2011 at 06:27 PM
@Lyle: I deal with reality. I have posted my thoughts on the potential outcomes of the recall elections elsewhere in this thread. While it is impressive that the organized union folk were able to gather several thousand more signatures than needed for all of their recall efforts, I think it is even more impressive that the unorganized recall efforts against the three democratic senators were able to do the same. I think you have a shot at knocking out Kapanke and Hopper, but I think Hanson and Holperin will also go down. Wirch could also lose giving republicans a net gain of one.
CowDung April 25, 2011 at 07:01 PM
I think that the potential of a Walker recall will largely hinge on how the recall elections turn out. If republicans keep their seats or gain seats, then I think that the recall movement will lose steam and fizzle out before Walker is eligible for recall. Also in Walker's favor is the large amounts of savings that are coming from the concessions inspired by the budget repair bill. The 'gloom and doom' predictions about Walker's 'draconian' cuts don't seem to be materializing...
The prosser-cuter April 25, 2011 at 07:52 PM
I also think as more and more of these unnecessary costs that democrats/unions are putting on the taxpayers get exposed, the more their cause will be hurt. Three recent examples are: 1) Cruella Deville's million dollar plus taxpayer funded unnecessary recount. 2) Racine Unified School District having to extend the school year by a day at a cost of $478,000 to the taxpayers because of the "sickout" 3) Janesville School District refusing to open up previously agreed upon contract. They have to lay off something like 100 teachers to make budget. Since they refuse to re-open contract and pay a nickel towards health insurance and pension, they are asking taxpayers to voluntarily donate $300 each to avoid the layoffs. In essence they are asking the taxpayers to kick in more cash to pay their exhorbitant benefit costs. Lord help them if they have to pay some of these costs themselves.
Lyle Ruble April 25, 2011 at 08:31 PM
@ The prosser-cuter...You deal with your reality. Your thoughts deal in probabilities as do all predictions. The real contest in the recall is in the 8th Senate District. Of the 90k votes cast in the November election in the district; a third of them signing a recall is impressive. I don't know that the democratic recall efforts are any more organized than the republican recalls. I do know that the recall of Darling was purely grassroots. It is not which party winds up controlling the Senate since the Democrats have nothing to lose; they're already down three seats and the Senate minority. I see Kapanke and Hopper going down as well as Holperin. Hansen and Wirch barely hold onto their seats and Darling loses hers.
Lyle Ruble April 25, 2011 at 08:35 PM
@CowDung...It's too early to judge the impact of "Walker's draconian cuts"; most have not been implemented yet and the full impact will not come up until the State Biennium is passed and is in place. So far I don't see the great flood of business coming in.
Lyle Ruble April 25, 2011 at 08:43 PM
@The prosser-cuter... First of all you are assuming that each of these local issues will impact the overall recall elections. Kloppenburg's recount will have been done and I'm not so sure the recount will be a complete state recount. I think, when it becomes obvious that there are not enough votes out there to change the overall results, she'll withdraw the request and concede the election. Each recall election will stand on its own and in the 8th district it will be a referendum on Walker and Darling as a representative of conservative power.
The prosser-cuter April 25, 2011 at 09:30 PM
How many of those thirty thousand signatures are voters? I really don't think Alberta has much to worry about. Menomonee Falls and Germantown will support her. The only reason it was close last election was the Obama tidal wave.
The prosser-cuter April 25, 2011 at 09:34 PM
Lyle, my examples above are just that. Frivolous waste by democrats and their union bretheren. They make not impact individual recall elections, but these are the types of waste that will drive conservatives out to the polls.
Lyle Ruble April 25, 2011 at 09:43 PM
@The prosser-cuter... There are enough moderate Republicans and independents that will cross over in her strongholds to put her reelection in jeopardy. Don't count your chickens before they hatch.
The prosser-cuter April 25, 2011 at 09:48 PM
I don't see it happenning.
The prosser-cuter April 25, 2011 at 09:50 PM
For sake of argument , Lyle, will you guys shut up and go home if you are unsucessful in your recall efforts, and let democracy work, or will you continue to whine and cry and be obstructionists!
Lyle Ruble April 25, 2011 at 09:51 PM
@ The prosser-cuter... the timing of the elections will be critical. If they come down as a single election in July, it will effect turnout. Many families may be on vacation, especially those with school age children. Eligible college students will be gone for the summer; thus the election may hinge on school teachers and older folks coming out to vote. This is an election which will be up in the air.
Bob McBride April 25, 2011 at 09:55 PM
Lyle, what are you basing that on? A moderate Republican is going to vote for, for instance, Sandy Pasch instead of Alberta Darling? Even if they don't particularly care for everything Scott Walker has laid out in his BRB and buy into the line that Alberta Darling is going to follow his marching orders from this day forward, it doesn't mean they're ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater and jump into bed with a solid tax-and-spender like Pasch. I'm not even certain you can count on 100% of the independents going your way. I know people who would define themselves as independents who have been extremely turned-off by the way those on the left have been behaving since this whole soap-opera began. You might want to heed your own advice regarding the chickens, which explains the need your side sees to keep the heat on with this whole recount fiasco. You're going to need an Obama-sized turnout come recall election time to assure any kind of significant "change" in the balance of power in Madison.
CowDung April 25, 2011 at 09:56 PM
The effects of the BRB are already pretty apparent--unions are making concessions and helping school districts balance their budgets for next year. Shorewood is even predicting a $152k surplus with their most recent proposal--$737,794 of that is savings from having teachers contribute to their pensions...
Lyle Ruble April 25, 2011 at 09:59 PM
@ The prosser-cuter... If we are unsuccessful in our recall efforts, I think the legislators are safe until they come up for their normal reelection cycle. However, Walker is still on the "hit parade" for recall next January. The current grassroots organizations are already organizing for that. We will continue to speak our minds and make the case to protect the less fortunate and I don't see that as being obstructionist. Besides we have a presidential campaign coming up and both sides will be mobilized for that.
Lyle Ruble April 25, 2011 at 10:16 PM
@Bob McBride II... Hello Bob, its been awhile since you and I have dialoged. I haven't any scientific evidence to back up my statements. Everything is strictly anecdotal from talking to recall canvassers and other old folks around the district. Another sign that Alberta isn't feeling secure is the efforts she is putting into advertising even without a candidate to run against her. I also think the campaign rhetoric will be different and will concentrate on the Walker-Darling connection. I don't necessarily think the balance of power in Madison will change and I'm definitely not counting any chickens. If you look at some of my previous posts on the string, too many variables to make any predictions of any consequence.
Lyle Ruble April 25, 2011 at 10:21 PM
@CowDung... I've been looking at Shorewood's figures too and it is the small savings from teacher contributions and also the passage of the referendum that are leading to the surplus. Greater savings can be made by closing SIS and consolidating schools. I would support a consolidation between Shorewood and White Fish Bay School Districts.
Bob McBride April 25, 2011 at 10:32 PM
Lyle, At this point if Darling wasn't putting efforts into it, some of you would be accusing her of being aloof and too self-assured because she's an isolated Northshore Nancy or some-such. I'd probably not hang too much on the word of recall canvassers either. There's a degree of selective hearing that people, particularly those motivated to the point that some of the canvassers are, impart into their opinions regarding what's going to happen. I think you know as well as I do that your side is intent an using whatever means necessary, including the completely uncalled for recount in the Kloppenburg Prosser election, to keep the fires burning. I fully expect that at least weekly throughout the recount process there will be press conferences announced by the watchers on your side calling into question borderline "irregularities" (real or not), just to keep their faces in the news and the troops motivated. There is a real possibility that could backfire. In fact, it's possible this whole recount at this point has been a mistake. There's no way it can be justified based on the possibility of the election turning for Kloppenburg. I don't even see anyone on your side seriously defending that position. One thing your side has, I think, grossly underestimated is the amount of bad will they've generated with the marches and recalls and, now, this recount. That could be very tough to overcome at this point, particularly if they don't see it and proceed as they have been.
Lyle Ruble April 25, 2011 at 11:23 PM
@Bob... I couldn't agree with you more. This is going to be "hardball" politics at its ugliest. I hope Alberta is up to the task. If she's going to turn the momentum back into her favor, she's going to have to walk into the lion's den over here next to the Lake. If I was directing this Kloppenburg recount, I would drop it and move on. I hope that once her camp realizes that it's a lost cause and causing trouble in the recalls, she'll drop it and push all that money over to the recall elections. You're correct that it can cause a backlash during the recall elections. I have faith in North Shore voters. They tend to be better educated and less emotive. I think, Alberta and her opponent, whoever it might be, will be well vetted and we'll have a good idea what the electorate wants.
The prosser-cuter April 26, 2011 at 03:36 AM
I think the republicans have already conceded the presidential election. The only way Obama can f it up is by letting gasoline get to 6 or 7 dollars a gallon and screwing up the economic recovery that is beginning to take place.
CowDung April 26, 2011 at 02:29 PM
Yes, the referendum was a big part of it, but I don't think that over $700k in teacher contributions are really 'small savings'. Being able to shop around for health insurance providers has also been cited as a source for large savings. If it weren't for the BRB, there's no way that we'd be able to see those savings. Greater savings would be realized by closing SIS and consolidating schools, but at what price? It would definitely change the character of our schools. Do we really want to mix Intermediate age kids with High Schoolers? Would class sizes be increased? Would we lose the 'walkability' of our neighborhood schools if WFB was part of our district?
CowDung April 26, 2011 at 02:31 PM
Who are the 'less fortunate' that Walker is allegedly failing to protect?
Jay Sykes April 26, 2011 at 03:22 PM
Good luck even asking to merge WFB & SW school districts. The 3 grade school districts that feed Nicolet share some services, but with 30+ years of talk and failed referendums, have not been able to 'merge' and become a K-12 Nicolet district.
Lyle Ruble April 26, 2011 at 06:05 PM
The BRB was a wake up call to many and forced a new look at funding issues. However, this is something that could have occurred without imposing the loss of collective bargaining. So I guess the threat of the BRB had the desired effect; important to note the BRB has yet to take effect. One of the proposals being considered is to close SIS, turning Lakebluff into the new middle school with grades 6-8, Atwater would be k-5 and SHS would remain the same. This is currently on the rear burner until the 2010 census results come in. If the mean age of the village is over 40, then the project could proceed forward. If the project moves forward, then SIS could be disposed of or used for something else. I have been told that the closing of SIS would not increase class sizes. As far as consolidating WFB and SW districts into one; I am looking at consolidating the school administrations into one entity. I believe there would be significant cost savings for both communities. Whereas the Nicolet consolidation hasn't moved forward for what I believe are a variety of reasons; however SW and WFB are very similar in SES and general community conditions. Therefore, if it would work anywhere, SW and WFB are the best candidates.
Lyle Ruble April 26, 2011 at 06:28 PM
@CowDung... If you look at the BRB and Walker's Executive Budget, anyone on W-2, SNAP, Badgercare, Badgercare Plus or Seniorcare are going to have their benefits cut. These are generally considered the most vulnerable and less fortunate. Also, the proposal to open up the voucher program is unlimited and money diverted from the public schools and the healthcare and workfare programs are designed to pay for the vouchers. What doesn't make sense is if your cutting funds to education, why would you increase funds to an unproven program like charter school and vouchers. DPI test scores don't support expanding the program at this time.
Kiernan August 05, 2011 at 01:47 PM
The lines are clearly drawn. You support Alberta Darling; we support Sandy Pasch and we support middle-class working families. We'll mobilize the vote big-time, too For your information, Sandy Pasch raised more money last month than the well-heeled Senator Darling, so save your breath about the donations pouring in. Please remember that in 2008 Sheldon Wasserman came within just 1,007 votes of unseating Darling -- and that was in a time of relative calm before our soon-to-be unemployed state senator joined Scott Walker's war on the middle class.
Kiernan August 05, 2011 at 02:01 PM
There's a large, silent majority of voters out there who know that Darling's actions are harmful to education, public workers and the middle class. They don't display yard signs or attend rallies. They aren't counted in the polls, and don't openly acknowledge their support of Sandy Pasch. They just go about their business, waiting for election day, and on that day they will erepudiate the Darling-Walker regime and sent Alberta packing. Good always triumphs.
Craig August 05, 2011 at 02:24 PM
@Kiernan: It took you four months to come up with that reply? I am going to predict who wins the election in a week :-)
Kiernan August 05, 2011 at 02:55 PM
Okay, Prosser-cuter, just to show you that I'm not the left-wing liberal you seem to think I am, B.O. was not my choice for president. I wouldn't want it to get around, but I actually voted for John McCain. But you're right, I think Obama has a lock on a second term, failing some mismanaged crisis or the emergence of a truly charismatic republican candidate. I don't think Mitt Romney is charismatic enough.
Craig August 05, 2011 at 02:57 PM
I voted for Vladimir Putin.


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