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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.

Kit Vernon May 03, 2011 at 09:10 PM
Right on, Keith! All this union-busting under the guise of budget reform is simply a Right-wing effort to weaken unions so they won't be able to give financial support to the Democrats, who despite their flaws, are the only party which attempts to look out for working people instead of those who don't need looking after. The pay of CEOs has rise sharply over the last few decades. Europan CEOs don't make the ridiculous salaries of American CEOs, and they seem to do OK. Moreover, the share of US wealth held by the top 1% is incredibly high. People like Darling, Walker and the execrable Ryan will only make this inequity worse. Ryan is courageous? How much courage does it take to transfer wealth from working class people to your fat cat contributors?
Warren May 03, 2011 at 09:31 PM
Lie Al, I live in Disneyland: we have you "Goofy" and Schmitz -" Dopey". How long before you wake up? I get a kick out of the likes of you that continually deny reality to make yourself feel good and to support your narcissistic personality disorder. As for proof Schmitz, it's on its way. Soon we will have required voter ID, you'll see the difference in election results. Not in your favor, by the way. Me worry - not on your life - a recount may be called for by Alberta Darling for exactly the reason I stated. NOW you are finally getting it.
Keith Schmitz May 03, 2011 at 09:37 PM
Thanks for outing the real reason for voter ID Warren.
CowDung May 03, 2011 at 10:12 PM
Ryan, Walker and Darling are responsible for the sharp rise in CEO pay over the last few decades? Perhaps you should look more toward the boards of directors of those companies rather than blame a few Wisconsin republicans...
Lyle Ruble May 03, 2011 at 10:13 PM
@Warren....Narcissistic Personality Disorder; are you using the DSM IV definition? Reality is a function of selective perception defined through the lens of our values and beliefs. One man's fantasy is another man's reality. Voter IDs wouldn't be needed in the 8th Senate District. The 8th is made up of fairly small communities where most everyone knows each other. Most students eligible to vote will be out of college and university for the summer; therefore, there will not be a large student vote. Other than teachers and public employees, other unions are not represented in large numbers within the area. What you have to worry about is older voters turning out who have made the connection between the Walker Agenda, the Ryan Agenda and the Darling Agenda to continually shift money away from the middle class to the wealthy. Do a little reading and research on mental health disorders and libertarianism.
Lyle Ruble May 03, 2011 at 10:23 PM
@Jay Sykes...I looked at the background for the study and I want you to think in terms of independent variables that were not properly accounted for. First; what was the population at the beginning of the 35 year study. Second; what part has technology played in reducing the number of people working in the listed industries. Third; low skill and no skill manufacturing jobs have been off shored. Measures must be compared between worker productivity over the same period. Also, we have moved from a industrial/manufacturing economy to a service/information economy. Lots of problems with the U of Washington study and many things were taken out of context to support fallacious arguments by the right.
Kit Vernon May 03, 2011 at 10:30 PM
There has been a move toward establishing a plutocracy at the expense of ordinary people over the last few decades, aided and abetted by the Republicans., who are a wholly-owned subsidiary of the wealthy and privileged, The same wealthy few who people those boards, with their Ayn Rand views of society who both boost CEO pay and contribute heavily to the Republican party. Look at the contribution to Ryan's and Walker's campaigns, and even those of a clueless nobody like Alberta, and the truth is obvious to anyone who is willing to see.
Keith Schmitz May 03, 2011 at 10:39 PM
A lot gets heaped on the shoulders of schools. Looking at that time period, a lot has happened demographically and economically, including the stagnation of the middle class by Reagan policies. All of us are guilty of taking one study and acting like we've won an argument. The only difference here is that we are not WSJ columnists. Like I said. Talked to Moore once and seen him a number of times on the TeeVee. He is intellectually light as a feather and fits in perfectly with any Murdock run organization. Maybe more money isn't the answer. I know working with the American Society for Quality that there is a lot of research into how to make schools more efficient. However, the opinions of the sociopathic Grover Norquist to the contrary, starvation has never enabled anyone or any thing to work better.
Jon May 03, 2011 at 10:50 PM
I just want to point out that Massachusett DEMOCRATS voted to curtail collective bargaining privileges of public employees. Of course the liberal media did not publicize this (journal sentinel). This was never a partisan thing, simply a way to reign in spending...I suggest everyone who protested in Madison bus out to Mass. to chastise their own party.
Gordon E Lang May 03, 2011 at 11:05 PM
@Keith: If Germany is so great why don't you move there? Then you can have your cake and eat it too.
Lyle Ruble May 03, 2011 at 11:06 PM
@Gordon E Lang... To make the blanket statement that too much government and the unions are responsible for the job loses, not only illustrates your lack of knowledge but is an out right misrepresentation of the facts concerning general employment in the U.S. The responsibily for job loss is a direct result of business decisions made indpendent of the government or unions. The decision to move jobs offshore was prompted by five primary variables: 1. To take advantage of low and no skill labor. 2. To participate in emerging global markets. 3. To avoid increasingly stringent government regulations. 4. To take advantage of a lower cost skilled labor and professional labor force. And, 5. To take advantage of lower cost energy. Now, the question to you is where is too much government and the unions?
Keith Schmitz May 03, 2011 at 11:15 PM
Thanks ever so much for elevating the level of dialogue Gordon.
Lyle Ruble May 03, 2011 at 11:21 PM
@Jon... Read the Mass. legislation. It only applies to removing health care from collective bargaining. Unlike Wisconsin they are not going to strip all the collective bargaining rights away from public employees.
Jon May 03, 2011 at 11:49 PM
Regardless, they are limiting their "rights." They no longer can enjoy extremely unrealistic healthcare premiums at the expense of the taxpayers...it will save Mass. 100 MILLION...Even Democrats realize it's about saving money...nothing ideological. Richard Trumka (AFL-CIO) pres. must be going crazy!!!
Jon May 03, 2011 at 11:52 PM
It is good to see Pasch is running...she is a weak candidate. She will get destroyed in Alberta's district. Besides Shorewood of course.
Lyle Ruble May 04, 2011 at 12:28 AM
@WFB Mike and Jon...Gentlemen: Mike, think about your taxes not going up from a single payer health plan. All the money that's being spent for private health plans can easily pay for single payer and have money left over. If Wisconsin leads the way, maybe the nation will get the message. Jon, go ahead and underestimate Sandy. In fact she's so weak that you guys should stay home home.
Nate May 04, 2011 at 12:58 AM
Ask Massachusetts how their state-ran healthcare is going. It was Romney (R) who led the way there and admitted failure.
Keith Schmitz May 04, 2011 at 01:32 AM
Thank you Alberta for dismantling yet another part of our infrastructure... The Joint Finance Committee when the members voted to repeal RTAs in Wisconsin, and take away one of the last remaining options for communities to adequately fund their transit systems. The JFC also voted to eliminate: - Bike and pedestrian funding - The capital funding program for SE Wisconsin transit (commuter rail) - Funding and structure for intercity bus program
Gordon E Lang May 04, 2011 at 06:40 PM
@Lyle: I my opinion all of your 5 points are due to (at least partially) too much government and/or union influences. Remember it is the private sector that produces jobs and hence more income to the government without need for tax increases.
ike May 04, 2011 at 07:50 PM
Gordon: Since when does our government and/or unions determine what people in another country get paid for their labor?
CowDung May 04, 2011 at 07:57 PM
OK, so I guess it's all due to the Vast Right Wing conspiracy...
Lyle Ruble May 04, 2011 at 08:23 PM
@CowDung... "if it quacks like a duck, it walks like a duck and looks like a duck; it's a duck". However, Kit got something wrong; the conspiracy goes back at least four decades. Up until now; no one with more than average intelligence took the radical right seriously. The original right wingnut was Ayn Rand and look who worship her now; Scott Walker and Paul Ryan. As my father in law always says; "follow the money". That will lead you right to the right wing plutocracy.
CowDung May 04, 2011 at 08:52 PM
...if it doesn't lead you to the Union bosses first.
Gordon E Lang May 04, 2011 at 08:58 PM
@Ike: They do determine how much is paid in this country which drives up the cost in the USA, resulting in the movement abroad.
Keith Schmitz May 04, 2011 at 09:27 PM
Those imaginary union bosses doing exactly what dung? What have they got to with the before mentioned plutocracy that the before mentioned puppets are supporting -- at our expense?
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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