An interesting development in the Wisconsin recall wars: GOP state senator Alberta Darling, one of the top targets of the Dems’ recall drive, told a radio show host that those who are making over $250,000 should not see higher taxes because they are “not wealthy.”
Labor will grab on to this in the days ahead to highlight exactly what this whole fight is really about: Pushback against class warfare that Wisconsin Republicans are waging against working people. The quote comes at around the 7:45 mark of an interview Darling gave to conservative talk show host Mark Belling:
I just went to a woman today and she said, “Why are you giving tax breaks to the wealthy?” I said, “What do you consider wealthy?” She said, “$250,000 and above.”
And I said “that is small business.” Those are small business people. Those aren’t wealthy people. We are not interested in raising taxes on the quote “rich.”
Here’s why labor and Dems see this as significant. Darling is the co-chair of the committee that passed Scott Walker’s union-busting proposals. Here she’s revealing that while it’s okay to take away the bargaining rights of public employees, allegedly on behalf of the Wisconsin taxpayer, people who make over $250,000 should be protected and given a tax break because they are supposedly not wealthy.
Dems have privately conceded for months that they don’t think Darling can be recalled. But Dem polling recently suggested she may be vulnerable to her challenger, state Rep. Sandy Pasch. And major conservative money is now pouring into the effort to prop her up, suggesting that the right is worried that Dems targeting Darling are succeeding in widening the recall playing field. As difficult and unlikely it seems that she’ll be dislodged, you can’t overstate what a big win recalling Darling would represent to Dems and labor, and this latest quote will only serve to sweeten the prize.