Listen To Scott Walker Get Pranked By Fake Koch Brother (VIDEO)
Ah, Scott Walker: Wisconsin governor, GOP presidential candidate, and a man who doesn’t quite get the Twitter machine. Remember the days when, instead of blundering about England and talking about cheese, he was best known for the war he was conducting on Wisconsin’s unions? Back in early 2011, as part of a so-called Wisconsin Budget Repair Act, Walker proposed gutting collective bargaining rights for public service employees. This proved to be a rather unpopular move. There were massive protests and 14 Democratic senators left Wisconsin, so as to deny Walker the quorum he needed to ram his bill through. It was in that context that Walker received a call from a man who he thought to be his good buddy, David Koch. (Spoiler alert: it wasn’t David Koch). It’s telling that, at this point, Walker wasn’t doing much by way of talking to anyone. Yet somehow he found time for a 20 minute chat with one of the good old Koch brothers. It’s also telling what they talked about. Walker started by explaining how he intended to deal with the missing 14 Democratic senators.
Scott Walker: The Senate majority leader had a great plan he told about this morning – he told the Senate Democrats about, he going to announce it later today, and that is the Senate Organization Committee is going to meet and pass a rule that says if you don’t show up for two consecutive days on a session day in the state Senate, the Senate chief clerk, it’s a little procedural thing here, can actually have your payroll stopped from being automatically deducted.
“David Koch”: Beautiful.
“David Koch”: Now you’re not talking to any of these Democrat bastards are you?
Scott Walker: Uh, there’s one guy that’s actually voted with me on a bunch of things I called on Saturday for about 45 minutes mainly to tell him that while I appreciate his friendship and he’s worked with us on other things tell him I wasn’t going to budge.
“David Koch”: Goddamn right.
Walker raises the possibility that those public sector employees participating in the protests might be in violation of the law, and “David Koch” offers a startling possibility, which Walker accepts without reservation.
“David Koch”: Well they’re probably putting hobos in suits. That’s what we do. Sometimes.
Then Scott Walker starts talking layoffs of public employees, as a way of “ratcheting up the pressure.”
Scott Walker: The other thing is I got layoff notices ready. We put out the at risk notices. We’ll announce Thursday and they’ll go out early next week and we’ll probably get 5 to 6000 state workers will get at risk notices for layoffs. We might ratchet that up a little bit.
“David Koch”: Beautiful, beautiful. Got to crush that union.
Then Walker goes into a fairly detailed plan to trick Senate Democrats back to the capitol, for the sole purpose of establishing a quorum, at which point his legislation can be rammed through. “David Koch” approves, but has a further suggestion.
“David Koch”: Bring – put a baseball bat. That’s what I’d do.
Scott Walker: I have one in my office. You’d be happy with that. I’ve got a slugger with my name on it.
After the veiled suggestions of violence, the talk moves to a larger agenda, spreading the anti-labor agenda across the country.
Scott Walker: I talk to Kasich everyday. You know John’s got to stand firm in Ohio. I think we could do the same thing with Rick Scott in Florida. Snyder if he got a little support could probably do that in Michigan. You start going down the list, and a lot of us, there’s a lot of us new governors who got elected to do something big.
“David Koch”: You’re the first domino.
Scott Walker: This is our moment.
And then comes the best part.
“David Koch”: But uh, what we’re thinking about the crowds was uh, was planting some troublemakers.
This is followed by a long pause.
Scott Walker: You know the well, the only problem, with, cause we thought about that. The problem, my only gut reaction, right now the, the, lawmakers I talk to have just completely had it with them. The public is not really fond of them. . . The guys we got left are mostly from out of state and I keep dismissing it in most of my press comments . . . My only fear would be if there was a ruckus caused is that that would scare the public into thinking that maybe the governor’s got to settle to avoid all these problems.
Classy Walker, classy. He has no objection to the ethically questionable notion of agents provocateurs – he simply doesn’t think it would be tactically effective. So that’s nice.
The whole exchange is interesting for a number of reasons. For one, it gives an unfiltered look into Walker’s underhanded strategies for passing a bit of legislation that was widely reviled by the public. He ended up being successful and, thanks to a massive infusion of cash from the real Koch brothers, managed to ride out the political shit-storm that followed. But the phone call is interesting for a simpler, yet far more frightening reason. Walker is a man who wants to be president, and being president generally involves things like having good judgement and a bit of common sense. That he could be so easily duped by a man who speaks of hobos and baseball bats and agents provocateurs is troubling. Imagine “President” Walker getting a late night call from an “Ali Khamenei” impersonator. That’s a conversation that could end very poorly, hilarious though it might be. If Walker can’t even recognize his own sugar daddy, I’d submit that his judgement is flawed enough to disqualify him for the presidency.
Check out the video:
And now watch an interview with Ian Murphy, the man who pulled it off:
Image: Flickr Creative Commons
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