Pasch, Darling's First Debate a Heated One

Candidates in 8th Wisconsin Senate District race mix it up on "UpFront with Mike Gousha."

State Sen. Alberta Darling has been on the defense ever since petitions to get her recalled from office were validated by the state in May, but she went on the offense in her first face-to-face meeting with challenger Sandy Pasch.

With a little more than two weeks to go until the in the 8th Senate District, the two appeared on "UpFront with Mike Gousha" on WISN-TV this weekend in what quickly became a heated forum.

It became evident quickly how heated the trail leading up to the recall election has become as Pasch, the Democratic lawmaker from Whitefish Bay, addressed Darling, the Republican incumbent from River Hills, directly during most of the debate, while Darling refused to acknowledge her opponent, speaking only to Gousha. As moderator, Gousha had to step in and direct the discourse as both candidates would interrupt each other.

Collective bargaining

The recall against Darling was largely initiated over her support of Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill, which eliminated most collective bargaining rights for public workers.

Darling defended the measure, saying school administrators now have the freedom and the tools they need to balance their budgets after the necessary cuts.

When Gousha asked if she would work to reinstate the abolished collective bargaining rights, Pasch said it's vital to restore those rights.

"Have I agreed with unions all the time? No. But does that mean they don't have a right to sit at the table," Pasch responded. "The way we do things in our state is bring people to the table and work things out."

Pasch said while collective bargaining is part of what sparked the recall, it wasn't the only issue in the race. She said residents in the 8th District have seen Darling become more conservative over the years.

“She did get my vote 20 years ago…she used to be the moderate Republican from the 8th Senate District, and that is not true anymore,” Pasch said.

The state budget, jobs

Darling said after former Gov. Jim Doyle and Pasch's policies failed, the residents of Wisconsin voted in a Republican majority and the message was clear: control spending and get the state back on the right track. Darling said she is doing what she was elected to do.

And, Walker’s two-year budget plan for the state is working, Darling said, noting that half the jobs created across the country in June were in Wisconsin.

“We didn’t raise taxes. We did the hard job, we made cuts,” Darling said. “It was difficult but we held up our part."

Pasch countered by saying Walker's policies have divided the state.

"They have stopped listening to half of the people in the state of Wisconsin," Pasch said.

Pasch said the state was struggling when she joined the Assembly, however, Darling has been in the Senate for 20 years and on the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance for 10 years.

“Before you hurt your arm patting yourself on the back for the job creation…we have to look at are these temporary, seasonal jobs," Pasch said about the latest job numbers. "Are the kids graduating from the UW system going to find jobs with benefits or be able to stay in Wisconsin and raise a family here?"

“It’s a very disingenuous attack to say it’s one party’s fault," Pasch added. "We have to work together.”

Gousha asked Pasch whether creating jobs are important to her, as her campaign has focused on education, health care and collective bargaining.

Pasch said the state needs to focus on creating family-supporting jobs, and that Darling and Walker have gutted the state of the core things that attract that sort of employment, like strong schools.

“I will reach across the aisle and grow jobs together,” she said.


There should be more discussion centering around shared sacrifice, Pasch said. Darling has let a lot of people down in her Senate district with cuts to education and state programs, she added.

“Yeah, there is a huge deficit, but are we going to make the children of the state of Wisconsin bare the burden?” Pasch asked.

Darling said, however, that schools are better off for next year.

“The real question has to be, did we get results?” Darling said of actions taken by Republicans. “In education alone, the sky didn’t fall, we prevented massive layoffs. The government didn’t shut down like Minnesota.”

Gousha asked Darling if she puts the interests of the business community above those of the public education community. Darling said creating jobs and living within the state’s means are the party’s priority but education has always been important to her.

“Education has always been a priority, whether you’re Republican or Democrat and I’ve always been a pro-education candidate,” Darling said. “We gave the schools the tools…and as you have heard, there are no massive layoffs, there are no massive cuts in the classrooms.”

Pasch accused Darling and the Republicans of ramming through legislation like the budget repair bill, but Darling said she and her GOP colleagues are simply listening to their constituents.


Pasch said the that takes Shorewood out of the 8th Senate District was done because the GOP is afraid it will lose the district if the boundaries stayed the same. It was done without any local input and the plan disenfranchises minority groups.

"It was a rapid way to grant power for the next 10 years," Pasch said.

Darling said she has nothing to do with the GOP redistricting plan but if it is a political tactic or usurps minorities' rights, it will be challenged in the courts.

"It has to be fair, but there are controversies every time redistricting happens," Darling said. "The party in power is always perceived as doing power grabs."

Lyle Ruble July 26, 2011 at 01:54 PM
@The prosser-cuter...Don't misread my statement. I don't live or work in California or New York. Therefore, I'm not worried about them. I'm committed to correcting Walker and the Republican's power grab here in Wisconsin.
Lyle Ruble July 26, 2011 at 01:57 PM
@Bob McBride II...Everything go OK yesterday? I was thinking about you.
The prosser-cuter July 26, 2011 at 04:30 PM
Again Lyle, what power grab? Balanced budget with no tax increases. Schools in best finaincial shape they have been in for years. No massive public employee layoffs like the other states. Local control back to municipalities and school boards. This power grab is a figment of your imagination.
Lyle Ruble July 26, 2011 at 04:59 PM
@The prosser-cuter...If you don't understand taking away legislative power and legislative representation, then you don't understand autocracies and the control by the few.
The prosser-cuter July 26, 2011 at 05:33 PM
Who had legislative power taken away from the Lyle? Don't give me the stuff about the redistricting either, because that is what happens whenever there is a party in control. You know as well as I do that will ultimately be decided by the courts. Probably a lefty Dane county one at that!
The prosser-cuter July 26, 2011 at 05:34 PM
Lyle - you and your party are really grasping for straws about now! Everything Walker is doing is working, and it drives you nuts!
Craig July 26, 2011 at 05:59 PM
Walker should have hit them harder than he did. I am still unhappy about the amount of share the pain the poor unions have had to endure...Why only half of the National Average? Why 12.5% and not 25%? Very few people have pensions anymore, and would love to have one as good as the teachers do. Most would be happy to contribute half of the costs for such a great pension. My taxes deserve to be spent wisely- Walker took us one step in the right direction. Once this recall nonsence is over maybe we can get more accomplished to further that move toward fiscal responsibility. Thank you Alberta and Scott for working for ALL of us Taxpayers!
voltaire July 26, 2011 at 06:38 PM
@George Nestico -- you espouse exactly the hateful and insulting rhetoric I cited. You can't disagree with someone civilly but instead resort to personal insults. It sounds really juvenile and brands you as someone who takes the easy way out instead of sticking to the subject.
Lyle Ruble July 26, 2011 at 07:51 PM
@The prosser-cuter... 1. Constitutionally we have three branches of government who are separate and equal. The state legislature has allowed the executive branch to take over making decisions on medicaid, senior care and Badger Care Plus and make changes without getting legislative approval. Same goes for the welfare programs. 2. Walker also got the legislature to go along in removing each Department Legal Council from the civil service system and makes them political appointees. Including the State Labor Relations Board Chairman. The SLRB rules on work place arbitration and will now be susceptible to conflicts of interest. 3. It has been decades since there has been single party control at the time of redistricting. That is why it has wound up in the courts in past redistricting. Now the courts won't touch it because there is no credible opposition since both houses are in agreement.
Nate July 26, 2011 at 08:28 PM
Ronald was responsible for bluffing the USSR into bankruptcy with Star Wars. He did what he had to do at the time with economics unlike your current guy who just sits on his thumb waiting for the next election. If it bothers you so much, I was planning on changing my pic soon any ways. Ronnie just chaffs at you liberals' thin skin even in death.
235301 July 26, 2011 at 08:32 PM
Either George Nestico is the reincarnation of William Faulkner or he skipped grammar class. I'm going with the latter.
Lyle Ruble July 26, 2011 at 08:33 PM
@Craig...The recall nonsense won't be over until Walker faces recall. Jerry Brown might have a job for you if your interested.
Lyle Ruble July 26, 2011 at 08:35 PM
@voltaire...Don't you have enough to do in Illinois, why mix in our business?
235301 July 26, 2011 at 08:52 PM
Lyle: Definition: Moral hazard occurs when a party insulated from risk behaves differently than it would behave if it were fully exposed to the risk. Totally applicable here. Since the government "safety net" is there these folks are free to engage in risky behavior such as drug use, unprotected sex....Now, the blame for all this in my opinion starts with Johnson's Great Society and it just got progressively worse over the years, the more money we throw at the problem the worse it gets. The American Dream is a concept where each successive generation stands on the shoulders of the previous generation. It has been a steady progression of each generation doing better than the last. It certainly has been true in my family in large part I believe due to the emphasis on education and hard work. In the segments of society that are so dependent on government handouts the previous generation is trying to find out how far they can stoop down to make the next generation's existence even worse. They despise education and anyone that gets educated is an outcast. Their work ethic is the pits and they have no one in their family that can even approach providing a decent example for them. And the final nail in the coffin is having multiple babies out of wedlock. Children raising children is a disaster(one only has to watch MTV's 16 and Pregnant for a glimpse into that world). Anyone that has children knows the first five years are absolutely critical for a child's developement.
235301 July 26, 2011 at 08:56 PM
Continued: Poor nutrition and stimulation in those first five years are absolutely critical for a head start in life. If that is missing it's over and we have someone that will either be dependent on the government or in the penal system for the better part of the rest of their life. And this is not a race issue as there are plenty of examples of this behavior from all the races. But the bottom line is throwing more money at the problem will not fix it. We've gotten ourselves in such a deep pit now that the remedies are barbaric in nature but at some point they have to happen. Look at cities like Detroit to see a bleak future without fixing this problem.
Lyle Ruble July 26, 2011 at 09:57 PM
@235301...I know what moral hazard is an how your are attempting to use. As I said before it is associated with very specific conditions and doesn't directly relate as you are using it. I understand the theory you are putting forth and your theory is lacking. I will attempt to not make this too complicated. 1. The genesis of what we are facing in the high poverty areas came from the Great Migration beginning in 1915 and lasting to 1970. This is where people left the crushing poverty and lack of any opportunity in the deep south. The industrial centers of the N.E., the Midwest and California provided employment opportunities to these uneducated and no skilled workers. Here in Milwaukee the majority of the Great Migration came from the Mississippi Delta Region. 2. These economic immigrants created their own communities and were hard working families only trying to take advantage of economic opportunities. There was work for whoever wanted to work and that lasted until the beginnings of the 1980s. However, here in Milwaukee as elsewhere, the interstate highway system was put right through these communities, splitting them up and destroying their continuity. In Milwaukee this was the Brownsville Community. 3. In the 1960s Johnson's Great Society was created as well as the War on Poverty. One of the best things to come about from this was the opening of college opportunities to people who had previously been denied.
Lyle Ruble July 26, 2011 at 10:37 PM
@235301...(continued) 4. During the Great Depression the question of taking care of the deserving poor and the undeserving poor was settled with the enactment of Social Security. Social Security took over the care of the widows and orphans (deserving poor) and AFDC was created to handle poor children attempting to keep families together. The premise for support was that mothers needed to be with their children until the child reached the age of 6. Food stamps also began in the 1960s to do two things; first to fight malnutrition within the poor, and second, to provide markets for farm production and to stabilize the agricultural markets. Things worked relatively well until the late 1970s and beginning of the 1980s. The one thing about the AFDC program was that it sustained the family, including fathers. 5. Under Jimmy Carter AFDC changed eligibility that if an capable adult was in the household, that benefits would be lost as long as the other adult was in the home, this act split up the families. this is where the strong matriarchal impoverished families came into being and the advent of the "Welfare Queens", the maximum of only 3% met this criteria.
Lyle Ruble July 26, 2011 at 10:49 PM
@235301...(continued) 6. 1980s devastated the "rust belt" and all the jobs for low skilled and the no skilled workers. This began the wide spread unemployment. Major corporations also began their exodus to the southern and southwestern tier of states moving jobs away from the rust belt. Couple that with the outsourcing of work to overseas; jobs were gone for the impoverished. 7. In the 1990s, based on a changed premise that if non poor women could go back to work after only 12 weeks maternity leave, then poor women could do the same. One major problem; non poor women usually had already been working and had marketable skills. For the most part they had jobs to go back to. Born was W2 and other programs that have furthered devastated the families. W2 might have worked if there had been jobs available, but there aren't. The second Great Depression has made the situation even worse and now you and others that share your views want to throw them under the bus. To solve the problems once and for all will take a national committment like we had for sending a man to the moon or fighting the Second World War. We have always approached the situation half hardheartedly and never put the necessary resources forward. You don't see these kinds of issues in other developed nations, why ours?
voltaire July 27, 2011 at 01:30 AM
@Lyle Ruble -- who do you think you are telling me not to mix in in Wisconsin politics. This forum is open to all and besides I have many friends and relatives in WI, not that I have to explain anything to you. I've got your number. You comment under the guise of being an independent when in reality you're very liberal. You figure that way you'll seem reasonable, unlike many others of your ilk. I bought that at first but not anymore. I also thought you were better versed in the English language but have caught two additional pretty glaring errors (after Coeur d'Alene), i.e., confusing the contraction 'you're' with the possesive 'your' and confusing 'affect' and 'effect'. I bring this up because you act so self-righteous like most other liberals I've come across. You can't hold your own against some of the cogent arguments I've seen so have to resort to juvenile taunts like George Nestico. Same playbook.
Andrew Martin July 27, 2011 at 02:25 AM
Voltaire, read the real Voltaire and get lost! You are clearly and seriously insane. Not to mention arrogant, artificial, and probably a dangerously deluded person. And, as usual, just like all the other rightwing nutjobs, you hide behind a fake online moniker.
Craig July 27, 2011 at 02:28 AM
Lyle...what exactly are you implying regarding the job offer?
Lyle Ruble July 27, 2011 at 02:52 AM
@voltaire...You have chosen an interesting nom de plume. I wonder if you fashion yourself to be a modern incarnation of the great enlightenment writer and philosopher. I welcome your criticism of both my grammar and ideas. My query concerning your involvement in the political situation occurring in Wisconsin was a curiosity on my part as to why you would involve yourself in something that doesn't seem to have a direct impact on you or your situation. I am independent and I feel free to analyze and criticize the actions taken by all parties. My personal philosophical and historical interests are focused on social philosophy as well as morals and ethics. I condemn those who are reactionary, ill informed, and intolerant. I fully grasp the views and concerns of conservatives and liberals; neither of which I find don't have much credibility when viewed as a bigger picture. I find your charge of self-righteousness as laughable considering your posted statement. It seems more like a projection on your part. As far as cogent arguments, you should try much harder. You are not living up to your namesake.
voltaire July 27, 2011 at 02:57 AM
Andre' -- j'ai lu Voltaire, et dans la version originale -- so there! I can't believe such intemperate remarks coming from someone who ran for WFB trustee (haven't checked to see if you won) but there again you left wingers can only resort to name calling and incivility. And as for your accusation of hiding behind fake online monikers, from the way your cohorts are treating ANY Republican in Wisconsin with such animosity, I'd say there's good reason to avoid being a target of your thug tactics. I'll be sure to tell all my Bay friends about you.
Craig July 27, 2011 at 03:16 AM
Lyle: Disregard my last post; I now notice there is a lefty Craig posting here. I on the other hand am right handed.
Lyle Ruble July 27, 2011 at 03:16 AM
@Craig...After Walker and Darling are recalled you'll probably want to leave the state.
Craig July 27, 2011 at 01:15 PM
Lyle: you said: @Craig...After Walker and Darling are recalled you'll probably want to leave the state. Did you also complain about your taxes? IF they are recalled, everyone will want to flee the state! I guess we all had it so good under Doyle huh? Be prepared to take more than your RMD from your retirement plan if that happens.
Chris Heather July 27, 2011 at 01:29 PM
@Shelby Anne not every where did the unions offer concessions. Especially in big part of Sandy Pasch/ Alberta Darlings district. You either not paying attention the current MPS fight or are just flat being a liar here. You know where the MPS Union is refusing to make concessions right now.
Chris Heather July 27, 2011 at 01:35 PM
yes Pasch Lies: http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2011/jun/10/sandy-pasch/democratic-wisconsin-state-rep-sandy-pasch-says-go/
shelbyanne July 27, 2011 at 01:54 PM
Alberta Darling: Vote for me or be punished! Sandy Pasch will represent you. Even if you didn't vote for her. Democracy you can believe in.
Craig July 27, 2011 at 03:49 PM
Sandy Pasch is a Union Rep? In case you had not noticed- people voted for change you can believe in and that is all we have left in our pockets- change! The tax and spend mentality has been proven to fail every time- yet you endorse an idiot like Sandy? She hasn't had a good idea yet! Her best work is done in the ladies room- and that is what she will do to us taxpayers. We have been crapped on enough- you may like that sort of thing, but I am sick of it.


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