Will it be Darling vs. Pasch? Official Announcement Coming Thursday

Whitefish Bay Democrat remains mum, but fellow lawmaker says Pasch will take on Republican senator.

State Rep. Sandy Pasch, a Democrat from Whitefish Bay, will run against Republican Sen. Alberta Darling in the according to another Milwaukee area Assembly Democrat.

However, Pasch declined to confirm the comment by state Rep. Chris Sinicki, which occurred over the weekend at a labor event in Bay View. Pasch would say only that a formal announcement would come on Thursday.

Sinicki’s comment occurred at a gathering Saturday to commemorate another stressful time in the state’s labor history. Seven labor protesters calling for an eight-hour workday were shot to death on May 1, 1896, as they marched with picket signs.

At the event, Sinicki introduced several Democratic lawmakers to a crowd of about 200 people. When she introduced Pasch, Sinicki said Pasch would be running against Darling.

Organizers of the recall campaign are being coy about their candidate of choice. Kristopher Rowe, a founder of the Darling recall group, said the choice is between Pasch and Sheldon Wasserman, a former member of the Assembly who lost to Darling by about 1,000 votes in 2008.

“Both are strong candidates and we intend to get behind them 100 percent,” Rowe said.

Wasserman, contacted by phone, would not comment on whether Pasch has been tapped to take on Darling in a July recall election.

Asked if he would support Pasch, who won his seat in 2008, Wasserman said: “Whoever runs will have all of our support. The bottom line is that we really need to defeat Alberta Darling.”

Wasserman said earlier that he was considering a rematch but added that the Republican controlled Legislature could easily move him out of the district in the upcoming redistricting that must be completed by 2012. Wasserman lives in most southern portion of the district.

The Darling recall effort was spurred by the series of events leading to the passage of Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill that attracted thousands of protesters to Madison. The legislation easily passed the Assembly but was stymied in the Senate when 14 Democrats fled the state, depriving the Republicans of the two-thirds vote needed to pass a fiscal measure. Republicans amended the measure so a simple majority was required for a late-night vote. Charges that the Republicans violated the Open Meetings Law when they amended the procedure have mired the measure in lawsuits that are still pending.

Whoever runs against Darling will have a formidable battle.

Darling, chairwoman of the Joint Finance Committee and strong proponent of the measure, was one of eight Republicans targeted. The 66-year-old lawmaker has been a legislator for 21 years, all but two years in the Senate. One poll conducted several weeks ago indicated she would easily win.

But the sprawling 8th Senate District is fairly evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, as the 2008 race showed.

Darling has also raised nearly $500,000  for the campaign and has mailed several batches of campaign literature.

Rowe noted that the recall effort, which began March 3, attracted hundreds of volunteers and collected more than 30,000 petition signatures, about a one-third more than needed.

The Government Accountability Board, the state agency that must verify the petitions, was granted an extension of the 31 day-certification period because of the unprecedented number of recall efforts.  The extension could delay the recall elections that, under normal circumstances, would have been held in mid-July.

“When it comes to boots on the ground and a true grassroots organic movement, we have the upper hand,” Rowe said in an e-mail.

ike May 04, 2011 at 09:30 PM
But my comment was "Since when does our government and/or unions determine what people in ANOTHER country get paid for their labor?" I understand your point. But I was commenting to your comment that Lyle's points are due to gov/union influences. I see Lyle's comments as relating to low labor cost abroad, not high labor cost here. But high labor cost here does not necessarily cause one to seek cheap labor abroad. In fact, one could argue that higher labor cost here leads to a competitive labor market that improves labor quality making it less attractive to look for labor abroad.
Keith Schmitz May 04, 2011 at 09:33 PM
Boy, if there these tremendous union/government influences in this country why are corporate executives getting paid so damned much compared to the rest of the country, who are seeing their pay shrink. Looks like those influences aren't working all that well are they Gordon?
Lyle Ruble May 04, 2011 at 09:48 PM
@Gordon E Lang... Only one problem; the private sector is not creating jobs. It is said that business is sitting on $1.5 trillion in cash, yet jobs aren't being created. What are they waiting for? If you are so naive to think that businesses of any consequence are coming to Wisconsin, then your drinking the Walker/Kleefish cool-aid. Businesses need to be created locally, not hijacked from some other place. If they are willing to move here on a whim, they will leave just as quickly as they came. If the state is serious about supporting small businesses and jobs, then guarantee capital loans to business entrepreneurs who create new business.
Kit Vernon May 04, 2011 at 10:22 PM
The trouble with most "business-building" government subsidies to business is that they are just giveaways. Business gets them, but has to make no guarantees in return. I'm not opposed to giving INCENTIVES which reward companies who create jobs, but that's only rarely the case. The fact is, we're playing in a rigged game. Looking at the big picture, I'm constantly amazed that it has been possible to convince so many people that it is in their best interest to give tax advantages to companies who give so little back, and cushy personal tax codes to the wealthy. They fight among themselves over the scraps while the big cats get richer and richer. The problem isn't union salaries and benefits, it's $15 million dollar bonuses and obscene golden parachutes for peopl;e who are already obcenely rich.
N. Peske May 05, 2011 at 12:05 AM
I first met Sandy Pasch at a town hall meeting after she'd served her first year. She was so encouraging--she spoke of how she didn't feel the partisanship the media whips up, how some of the strongest supporters for her proposed legislation on mental health parity were conservatives from upstate. She laughed at her naivite in thinking that you have to attach a pile of research to proposed bills--she assumed her colleagues would demand that level of excellence from her. And the first time a legislator got his facts wrong, she looked around the room for the person whose job it was to correct the record--because she assumed there had to be someone in that position. This is exactly the kind of citizen legislator we need and deserve. Her concerns about the lack of discussion and careful combing through of the budget bill show that she is utterly dedicated to serving her constituents. Whenever I've seen her confronted by angry people, she has always shown grace and demonstrated respect for their rights and opinions. It would be fantastic if she would run against Alberta Darling!


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