The Buffalo Beast, a liberal blog site, recently prank-called the governor’s office claiming to be David Koch, an uber-right wing billionaire donor who helps fund Americans for Prosperity and various other conservative campaigns -- including Scott Walker’s in 2010.
The prank-caller talked to Walker about his plans in the coming days regarding getting his budget passed. Walker told the Koch-impersonator about his plans to goad the 14 Democratic senators that are preventing quorum back to Wisconsin.
“What [Senate Republicans] are doing today is bringing up all sorts of other non-fiscal items, many of which are things members in the Democratic side care about. And each day we’re going to ratchet it up a bit,” Walker said. One of those issues is the proposed Voter ID bill.
Walker also discussed with the impersonator a plan to withhold direct deposit checks for the 14 senators. “The Senate majority leader had a great plan he told me about this morning,” said Walker. “[The Senate] is going to pass a rule that says if you don’t show up for two consecutive days on a session...the Senate chief clerk can actually have your payroll stopped.”
The governor talked briefly about possibly tricking Democrats to return to the state, using a procedural maneuver to create a quorum in the Senate.
“I would be willing to sit down and talk to [the Democratic Assembly leader],” he said, “but only if all 14 [Democratic senators] will come back and sit down in the state Assembly -- legally, we believe, once they’ve gone into session for that day, and they take a recess, the 19 Senate Republicans could then go into action and they’d have quorum.”
“Bring a baseball bat,” the Koch impersonator says.
“I have one with my name on it,” Walker responds.
Gov. Walker even compared his stand against public service employees to that of Reagan firing PATCO employees in the 1980s.
“That was the first crack in the Berlin Wall,” Walker asserts, “because the Communists then knew Reagan wasn’t a pushover.”
Gov. Walker’s spokesman said that the prank call proves that the governor says the same things in public that he does in private. Apparently I missed something -- I don’t recall Walker ever saying in public he considered placing troublemakers in the midst of the protesters surrounding the Capitol...
Koch impersonator: What we were thinking about the crowd was planting some troublemakers.Did the governor just admit to having considered planting “troublemakers” in the crowd in order to instigate the protesters?
Walker: We thought about that... (Emphasis added)
I don’t condone the use of manipulation, of lying to anyone in order to create a news story. What the Buffalo Beast website did in order to get information out of Scott Walker was deplorable journalism, unethical, and frankly wrong.
With that said, the information is out: we know what Walker said and where his priorities lie. He doesn’t care about getting money back into the hands of taxpayers. He only cares about getting more money into the hands of the wealthy, of the super-rich who will back his campaign.
When “David Koch” beckons, Walker answers the call, ready to sell out the people of his state in order to appease his political puppet master. But when Senate Democrats try to contact the governor -- the very 14 that he’s trying to convince to come back to Wisconsin -- he seems to be too busy to care.
This bill was never about fixing a budget mess. It was never about ensuring that public service employees pay their fair share. It was simply about making Wisconsin a union-free zone, a place where workers would have no influence over their payroll, benefits, or workplace conditions. It was about appeasement of one set of political donors and punishment of Walker’s political foes.
Everyone in Wisconsin should know that THIS is their governor, THIS is the man who represents our state. And every Wisconsin citizen should be infuriated by his actions, ashamed of this dark chapter in our state’s history.
I also want to tip everyone off to a new hotline to call if you do want to voice your concerns to Gov. Walker. Blogging Blue has set up a voice mail where you can voice your grievances to the governor. Call 1-888-882-7921 to get what you need to off your chest.