Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Walker/"Koch" Tapes: The Definition of Numbnuts - UPDATED

Wisconsin Governor, Tea Party darling and conspiratorial union buster Scott Walker took a call today from who he thought was David Koch. Interesting who Walker's willing to speak with after saying he would speak with no one. "And so Walker, believing himself to be on the phone with his patron, seems to have had a long conversation about busting Wisconsin's unions." But it wasn't Koch. It was Buffalo Beast editor Ian Murphy.

Buffalo Beast Publisher Paul Fallon told The Huffington Post that the audio is "absolutely legit." That the call took place as described by the Beast has been confirmed by Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie.
"Basically what happened was, yesterday morning [Murphy] was watching television about this Wisconsin stuff and he saw a report where he saw Walker say he wasn't going to talk to anybody," Fallon said. "And he said, 'I bet he would talk to somebody if he had enough oomph behind him.'"
Their conversation included trashing MSNBC, dividing the public sector and private sector unions, and the domino effect this would have in busting other unions in other states. Silly me. Taking Gov. Walker at his word, I thought this was all about balancing Wisconsin's budget and had nothing to do with union busting.

And in admitting the conversation took place, spokesman Werwie said nothing they spoke about isn't something Walker wouldn't say in public. Unless of course that something is strategy on how to force the Wisconsin Democratic Senators currently AWOL back to the floor, including stopping direct deposit of their paychecks.

UPDATE (2:45pm): A member of the Wisconsin 14 responds:
A member of the crew of 14 Democratic state senators who fled Wisconsin to prevent passage of a sharp anti-union measure, said a revealing prank phone call involving Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has strengthened the resolve of those breaking the quorum and pushed them even further away from the negotiating table... [calling] Walker "cocky" and "gullible" for believing that David Koch, the billionaire conservative bankroller, would call him up to discuss political tactics.
...The part that really had my eyebrows up is the idea that he would trick us to come back for a compromise and use that as an excuse for passing it," said [State Sen. Chris] Larson. "He is such a hypocrite because he is saying what we are doing is an affront to democracy and then he is going to trick us into coming back?"
"To anyone who was thinking, 'Well they wouldn't try anything shady,' this puts an end to that idea," he added.
Nice going, Scotty.

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