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Group Accuses Darling of 'Hiding' from Constituents

Grassroots North Shore members show up at senator's Menomonee Falls office to demand meeting on state budget.

A group of progressive activists showed up at state Sen. Alberta Darling's  Menomonee Falls office Tuesday to protest what they said was her refusal to meet with constituents.

The group, the Grassroots North Shore, wants Darling to hold listening sessions on the state budget in her district. The group of about 15 people left letters at Darling’s office in Menomonee Falls. Darling, who supported Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed state budget, is one of several state senators facing recall.

“We’re here to make a statement,” said Curtis Marshall, who lives in River Hills. “No one has been able to see her in a couple of months. I’ve called her, I’ve e-mailed her, but there is no response. She’s hiding from us.  I’m really concerned about the budget how it affects people who have little or no health coverage.”

Andy Potts, a spokesman for Darling, disputes the contention that the River Hills Republican is avoiding meeting with constituents.

“She’s quite available,” Potts said. “They can call her office and schedule a meeting. That’s the best way for people to go.”

Martha Pincus, who lives in Fox Point, said she has not gotten a chance to discuss issues with Darling. Pincus said Walker's proposed state budget unfairly targets poor people and unions.

“She’s appeared at a couple of meeting with (Congressman F.  James) Sensenbrenner. He usually has his Republican politicians with him,” Pincus said.  “I feel that I’m not being served by Alberta Darling. I have written letters, my husband is a physician and we have both signed these letters. We get these stock letters from the Alberta Darling’s people and not one of concerns we raise has ever been addressed. It’s sad. It’s very upsetting.”

Potts said that Darling, who is the co-chairman of the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee, was in meeting Tuesday.

“It’s a busy time here in Madison,” Potts said. “She’s going to be here quite a bit. The goal is to be done by the end of May.”

Members of the Grassroots North Shore group stressed that meeting with constituents - whether they support or oppose you - is part of the deal of being a lawmaker. And they insist that Darling has failed them.

“The principle of democracy is founded on communication and dialogue,” Marshall said. “This administration, which Alberta is a part of, absolutely refuses to talk with or negotiate with the people, especially when it comes to collective bargaining rights.”

Lyle Ruble May 05, 2011 at 02:01 PM
@Bob McBride II... C'mon Bob you have advocated changing to meet prevailing conditions in your past posts. You have indicated that since we are in such fiscal trouble that it requires change to address the so called crisis. Now your backing away from the necessity of change when it comes to Senator Darling. It's a different world now and it's very "plugged in". Even ole codgers like me are now plugged in. I don't think it is an unreasonable expectation to think that Alberta should step her game up.
The prosser-cuter May 05, 2011 at 03:59 PM
"This is very valuable information, thank you. You have changed all of my opinions!!! Great debate, thanks! I wish I could help you understand my point, but I can't explain it any more clearly. You know my opinion and I know yours, now what?" @Ike - Now what? I go to work, you probably go protest something!
CowDung May 05, 2011 at 04:02 PM
The "radical and immoral" budget proposal has yet to be debated in session or passed. Doesn't that make the recall effort a bit premature?
Bob McBride May 05, 2011 at 05:18 PM
Lyle, Seriously, I can't get too excited about Darling not tweeting or updating a Facebook page. If folks are going to hold that against her, then so be it. Frankly, it says more about them than it does her. BTW, since it looks like you're now officially a blogger here, I'd just suggest for your own interest you google "bloggers" and "Ariana Huffington" and "lawsuit". You might find some fascinating reading, particularly since AOL has her out front on this push to get people to provide free content for a money-making enterprise - something they've gotten themselves into a jam over in the past.
Lyle Ruble May 05, 2011 at 06:03 PM
@Bob McBride II... Yeah, I'm with you on the tweet and facebook. In many ways it's just silly and doesn't' mean anything. Look at John McCain and his tweeting. I am aware of Ariana Huffington and those issues. I blog to get more ideas out there and try to get people to think. I'm not interested in making money off of it, but I also don't want to get caught up in some of the screwy things that go on. Thanks for the concern and I will certainly watch to make sure I'm not going to get stung.

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