Buffalo Beast Poses as David Koch, Calls WI Gov. Walker

23 Feb

The story behind the prank phone call is here. David Koch is one of the famed Koch Brothers, the Hayekist moneybags behind the tea party and much of the anti-Obama right wing.

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Koch: [Laughs] Well, I tell you what, Scott: once you crush these bastards I’ll fly you out to Cali and really show you a good time.

Walker: All right, that would be outstanding. [*** Ethical violation much? ***] Thanks for all the support…it’s all about getting our freedoms back…

Koch: Absolutely. And, you know, we have a little bit of a vested interest as well. [Laughs]

he’s pretty reasonable but he’s not one of us…”

Some more of the transcript, since the Beast’s site is down:

Koch: I’m very well. I’m a little disheartened by the situation there, but, uh, what’s the latest?

Walker: Well, we’re actually hanging pretty tough. I mean—you know, amazingly there’s a much smaller group of protesters—almost all of whom are in from other states today. The State Assembly is taking the bill up—getting it all the way to the last point it can be at where it’s unamendable. But they’re waiting to pass it until the Senate’s—the Senate Democrats, excuse me, the assembly Democrats have about a hundred amendments they’re going through. The state Senate still has the 14 members missing but what they’re 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 little bit…. The Senate majority leader had a great plan he told about this morning—he told the Senate Democrats about and he’s 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, but—can actually have your payroll stopped from being automatically deducted—

Koch: Beautiful.

Walker: —into your checking account and instead—you still get a check, but the check has to be personally picked up and he’s instructing them—which we just loved—to lock them in their desk on the floor of the state Senate.

Walker: …I’ve got layoff notices ready…

Koch: Beautiful; beautiful. Gotta crush that union.

Walker: [bragging about how he doesn’t budge]…I would be willing to sit down and talk to him, the assembly Democrat leader, plus the other two Republican leaders—talk, not negotiate and listen to what they have to say if they will in turn—but I’ll only do it if all 14 of them will come back and sit down in the state assembly…legally, we believe, once they’ve gone into session, they don’t physically have to be there. If they’re actually in session for that day, and they take a recess, the 19 Senate Republicans could then go into action and they’d have quorum…so we’re double checking that. If you heard I was going to talk to them that’s the only reason why. We’d only do it if they came back to the capital with all 14 of them…

Koch: Bring a baseball bat. That’s what I’d do.

Walker: I have one in my office; you’d be happy with that. I have a slugger with my name on it.

Walker: [blah about his press conferences, attacking Obama, and all the great press he’s getting.] Brian [Sadoval], the new Governor of Nevada, called me the last night he said—he was out in the Lincoln Day Circuit in the last two weekends and he was kidding me, he said, “Scott, don’t come to Nevada because I’d be afraid you beat me running for governor.” That’s all they want to talk about is what are you doing to help the governor of Wisconsin. I talk to Kasich every day—John’s gotta stand firm in Ohio. I think we could do the same thing with Vic Scott in Florida. I think, uh, Snyder—if he got a little more support—probably could do that in Michigan. You start going down the list there’s a lot of us new governors that got elected to do something big.

Koch: You’re the first domino.

Walker: Yep. This is our moment.

Koch: Now what else could we do for you down there?

Walker: Well the biggest thing would be—and your guy on the ground [Americans For Prosperity president Tim Phillips] is probably seeing this [stuff about all the people protesting, and some of them flip him off].

The Beast is right.  This is clear evidence that government is controlled by the moneyed interests, who have access and a “good time” with their partners in government. Shame on Walker.

75 Responses to “Buffalo Beast Poses as David Koch, Calls WI Gov. Walker”

  1. Eric Saldanha February 23, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    See, Breitbart? THIS is how you do it.

  2. Eric Saldanha February 23, 2011 at 10:36 am #

    “Gov. Walker? There’s a ‘Bob Abooey’ on the line….he wants to know why you’re obsessed with Howard Stern’s penis…”

  3. Jesse February 23, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    ROFL.

    Wait, rich guys have access to other rich guys, some of whom are elected by “the people”? This is news?

    You guys and your Kochtopus boogeyman crack me up.

    • Alan Bedenko February 23, 2011 at 11:01 am #

      When Mr. Sachs plugs billions into a national pro-health-care-union, pro-Medicaid movement, we’ll have some parity in this argument. In the meantime, no.

  4. Jim Smith February 23, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    This is supposed to make Walker look bad? He said the exact same things in this conversation that he says publicly. Nice try!

  5. TDS February 23, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    Uh-huh… somehow I have a hard time believing a knowledgeable secretary would have let that call go through. Or that the Beast would have a private number to circumvent the secretary AND spoof caller ID. This sounds like an elaborate hoax.

  6. Derek J. Punaro February 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

    Ok, so the guy got prank called, but he didn’t say anything remotely controversial (unless you disagree with his position). It’s a big deal because a rich guy is able to make a phone call to a governor? Please.

    I haven’t been following this story closely, but 95% of what he said sounds like something he’d say to the media. Every time “Koch” proposed something “evil” Walker deflects it (like the suggestion to plant troublemakers in the crowd). Frankly, I found the whole thing boring.

  7. Ship of Fools February 23, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

    Boring, yes — maybe a little. But vindicating? Oh, yeah. Always suspected, now we know. There is nothing that will surprise me from here on out (unless I get enough resources together to get the *&%# out of my beloved country …)

  8. Ethan February 23, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    Walker is just another Koch-sucker.

  9. Malk February 23, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

    I can’t seem to find the smoking gun in this??

    Just seems like allot of nothing!!!

    • Alan Bedenko February 23, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

      Ezra Klein put it succinctly:

      But if the transcript of the conversation is unexceptional, the fact of it is lethal. The state’s Democratic senators can’t get Walker on the phone, but someone can call the governor’s front desk, identify themselves as David Koch, and then speak with both the governor and his chief of staff? That’s where you see the access and power that major corporations and wealthy contributors will have in a Walker administration, and why so many in Wisconsin are reluctant to see the only major interest group representing workers taken out of the game.

      The critique many conservatives have made of public-sector unions is that they both negotiate with and fund politicians. It’s a conflict of interest. Well, so too do corporations, and wealthy individuals. That’s why Murphy — posing as Koch — was able to get through to Walker so quickly. And it shows what Walker is really interested in here: He is not opposed, in principle, to powerful interest groups having the ear of the politicians they depend on, and who depend on them. He just wants those interest groups to be the conservative interest groups that fund him, and that he depends on.

  10. Firefighter February 23, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    Listen you dumb fuck&$, YOU NEED TO JUST STEP DOWN AND LET SOMEONE ELSE DO YOUR JOB!!!!!!!!  I will pay for the FAB 14 to stay out of state out of my own UNION hard earned money…..  This guy just wants Scott to suck his KOCH…!!!!!!!!!  Scott come to my job and tell me that I do not deserve to bargin!!!!!!!!  And the 5million that you claim that are on your side?  I am not one of them………  Scott you can KISS MY ASS!!!!!!  Go ahead and plant some trouble makers…..  I will kick their ass along with your’s…..

  11. Firefighter February 23, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    Listen….  I am from this state… And I do not support you…..OH  and by the way the 19000 E-Mails that you say you read?  you are a liar..  it would take you 27 day’s to do so and only spending 30 sec on each…  and also I sent you a E-Mail and I am one of the 19000……  By the way who pay’s for all of the concessions that YOU enjoy……  The people in this good state pay for all of this….  What about the 140 million that you spent before you dropped the bomb shell on the WORKING CLASS….  You are a true Puppet……

  12. Firefighter February 23, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

    Here is the bottom line…  If you call the Capital (608-266-1212) it is alway’s busy!!!!!  Not a single person can get in touch with the Capital on this state….  So you tell me why he does not want to talk to the WORKING CLASS!!!!!!

  13. Mike In WNY February 23, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    The Koch Brothers are not Hayekist Moneybags, they are out and out corporatists.

  14. Firefighter February 23, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    I hope that scott walker is reading this and watching this transcript….  then he can see what people really think of him

  15. Rebecca February 23, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    Shame on you for posting the excerpts in the way you did. The comments didn’t even remotely sound like the way Scott Walker talks so I decided to sit and listen to the entire call, and yes indeed, you edited the call so that it looks bad, but really it wasn’t bad at all! I encourage all of you to listen to the entire call and see how these clips are misrepresented. It infuriates me, and yet is rather amusing that people would choose to display information like this in a way that is completely skewed and yet would post the source information that could take them down on the same page! How stupid can you be!?!
    I am married to a public teacher and I also have a teaching certification, but cannot find a job because of all the cutbacks. I fail to understand how people can say it is better to make a thousand people lose their jobs, when ten thousand could take a cut and business could continue as usual. It is just the sort of selfish attitude that will cause more people to be out of work, and I hope that everyone is prepared to take responsibility for that.

    • Alan Bedenko February 23, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

      Yeah, the call isn’t edited in those two clips. It is reproduced in its entirety.

      It also shows that Gov. Walker, who can’t be reached on the phone by Democratic opponents, is ready, willing, & able to talk with his financial backers the Kochs any time.

  16. Bbill February 23, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    The Koch brothers personally benefit if American labor costs (and by extension the middle class) can be crushed. Most of us don’t. Some of us that don’t still support them because right-wing media will say “unions!” or “gummit!” followed by “ooga booga!” and obedient wingers will fall right in line. Directly contrary to their own financial interests. Small wonder Republicans hate education.

    PS LOFL

  17. irishrovr February 23, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    OK so Walker likened his actions to Reagan’s – what’s the big deal? So he talked to one of his biggest supporters – so what? So he has some political strategies up his sleeve – what politician doesn’t? Certainly the coward Dems hiding in Illinois have some (rather childish and costly to the taxpayer). Taking power away from the unions and giving it back to the workers and the people of Wisconsin is a good thing. It has been many, many years since unions have done anything for the working person. They suck the dues out of members so they can amass political power at their expense. Unions are pushing to kill this bill so their profit base doesn’t disappear. Once public workers understand that the union doesn’t give them any more than they already have in civil service rights they will, no doubt, refuse to continue to pay dues. That’s a scary, scary thing for union bosses, isn’t it?

    • Alan Bedenko February 23, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

      Seems to me as if it’s a good thing to have an organized labor force that’s permitted to engage in collective bargaining when the governor of the state is bought & paid for by billionaire investors in union-busting like David Koch.

      And BTW, you know who else busted the unions in the 80s, like Reagan did? Wojciech Jaruzelski.

  18. Tim in Wisconsin February 23, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    I think it is outstanding that you nailed Walker like you did.  It certainly displays his cynicism and bankrupt ethical standing.  The fact that he is willing to essentially create a crisis that doesn’t exist and get the republican members of the state assembly and state senate to agree to this hoax shows the extent of corruption in the Wisconsin statehouse.  I salute the Wisconsin 14 who fled Wisconsin to stop this bill being ramrodded through.  I hope that they can continue to resist.  It’s time for all public employees in Wisconsin to strike.  SOLIDARITY!!

  19. T February 23, 2011 at 2:52 pm #

    This is total liberal propiganda LOL. ROTFL. He didnt say anything un ethical haha! You guys are sitting here trying to turn whatever you can into spinning lies, well I guess thats what I would expect. Desparity…. sad…. truly sad…

    • Alan Bedenko February 23, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

      @T your spelling would indicate that you could use all the teachers you can get.

  20. LewZer February 23, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    There is really nothing incriminating about this call at all. He never took the pranksters bait at all and basically just parrotted what he has been saying publicly for weeks and in his campaign. He is making a great stand and these, and every other public sector union need to be eliminated.

    God Bless the Governor!

    • Alan Bedenko February 23, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

      And God Bless Wojciech Jaruzelski and Leonid Brezhnev, along with Ronald Reagan, the most influential union busters of the 1980s!

  21. Sean C. February 23, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

    I love the way this is being spun by conservatives… the point of the protests aren’t cuts. It’s the right to BARGAN COLLECTIVELY that is being fought for… why am I explaining this, it’s like talking to a wall. Actually, I’d rather explain it to a wall. If this really makes Roll On The Floor Laughing (see Alan I’m learning), that’s sad. You probably think Leno is funny too, don’t you?

  22. Gabe February 23, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

    What a moron, too wrapped up in his own ego and power ambitions to prevent himself for falling for a prank call.

    Also, this clearly answers the age-old question, “Who does #2 work for?”

  23. Chris February 23, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

    Am I missing something? Did the governor say something to “Koch” in private that he didn’t say in public?
    “The state’s Democratic senators can’t get Walker on the phone” That’s the scandal? The D’s all flee the state, but it’s a sin that the gov won’t talk to them on the phone?

    The governor is so tight with the Kochs that he can’t even tell that he’s not actually talking to them on the phone?

  24. PeteRyan6360 February 23, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

    Funny how this is supposed to be a “gotcha” moment, but Walker does not reveal anything he hasn’t said publicly. In fact, he mentions several times that he believes he’s making a historical stand because it’s the right thing to do. When offered help, he asks for the grassroots to support the Republican senators to stand firm. He doesn’t ask for money or PR or TV or radio advertising or anything other than phone calls.

    Walker rejects “Koch’s” suggestion of underhanded tactics, and deflects when “Koch” repeats messages about “busting the union”. It’s not about that, he says, and that’s why he’s keeping out of private sector unions – it’s about the budget and “taxpayer money being used to lobby for more taxpayer money.”

    Listen up, lefties: You only THINK you know how a principled conservative thinks. They are not ginning up some backroom deal to deny union votes or keep minorities from the polls. Those are the tactics of radical lefties (and just because lefties may think the ends justify the means, the conservatives don’t). The conservatives really are looking down the road and realize that without this budget repair, thousands of Wisconsin public workers will be laid off soon and thousands more laid off this summer. It’s about preserving jobs and families and keeping the ship of state afloat.

    “Because it’s the right thing to do.”

  25. Eric Saldanha February 23, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    Hmmm….two successive posts asserting that Gov. Walker didn’t say anything to the Fake David Koch that he hasn’t said in public. Let’s go to the transcript!

    FakeKoch: We’ll back you any way we can. What we were thinking about the crowd was, uh, was planting some troublemakers.
    Walker: You know, well, the only problem with that —because we thought about that. The problem—the, my only gut reaction to that is right now the lawmakers I’ve talked to have just completely had it with them, the public is not really fond of this … My only fear would be if there’s a ruckus caused is that maybe the governor has to settle to solve all these problems … Let ‘em protest all they want…Sooner or later the media stops finding it interesting.

    So, Gov. Walker said, in public, that he was considering mixing in a few agitators among the protesters?

    Walker: An interesting idea that was brought up to me by my chief of staff, we won’t do it until tomorrow, is putting out an appeal to the Democratic leader. I would be willing to sit down and talk to him, the assembly Democrat leader, plus the other two Republican leaders—talk, not negotiate and listen to what they have to say if they will in turn—but I’ll only do it if all 14 of them will come back and sit down in the state assembly. They can recess it… the reason for that, we’re verifying it this afternoon, legally, we believe, once they’ve gone into session, they don’t physically have to be there. If they’re actually in session for that day, and they take a recess, the 19 Senate Republicans could then go into action and they’d have quorum because it’s turned out that way. So we’re double checking that. If you heard I was going to talk to them that’s the only reason why. We’d only do it if they came back to the capitol with all 14 of them. My sense is, hell. I’ll talk. If they want to yell at me for an hour, I’m used to that. I can deal with that. But I’m not negotiating.

    I’ve not heard, publicly, of Gov. Walker’s ingenious plan to trick the 14 Democrats back to Wisconsin before now. Guess he’ll have to go back to the brainstorm session for another keen manuever.

    Koch: Well, I tell you what, Scott: once you crush these bastards I’ll fly you out to Cali and really show you a good time.
    Walker: All right, that would be outstanding. Thanks for all the support…it’s all about getting our freedoms back…

    and, apparently, it’s about getting some action out in “Cali” thanks to the not-so-invisible hand of the Koch Monster. I bet Chris Lee is kicking himself that he was trolling for ass on Craigslist and not dialing up the Koch Brothers to be set up like Caligula out in LaLaLand.

  26. Bbill February 23, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    It’s fun to watch the wingers’ heads explode. Sunlight truly is a good disinfectant.
    And speaking of “spinning lies” get a load of this:

    http://thinkprogress.org/2011/02/23/fox-reverses-poll-union/

    Some people, incredibly, insist on taking Fox “News” at face value when, in fact, they demonstrably lie brazenly and repeatedly to support their narrative. No wonder the GOP hates education.

  27. Chris Sasiadek February 23, 2011 at 4:31 pm #

    Cognitive Dissonance alert: Walker dismisses the protesters as being mostly from out of state, while speaking to a New Yorker.

  28. Max February 23, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

    Preserving jobs and families? The unions have already consented to the benefit cuts which speaks to the immediacy of Wisconsin’s budget problem. That’s not enough for Governor Walker who wants to yank collective bargaining which is the age-old GOP dream that effectively diffuses the union’s power and leaves those jobs and familes at the whim of the corporatists.It also should be noted much of the ‘budget crisis’ was created when in January, Walker and the GOP legislature pushed through tax cuts to a budget already strained by a slow economy.

  29. Steve February 23, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

    >So he has some political strategies up his sleeve – what politician doesn’t? Certainly the coward Dems hiding in Illinois have some (rather childish and costly to the taxpayer).

    So it’s alright for Walker to bait the Democrats to act as if he wanted to come to the table with vague promises of actually bargaining, but the Democrats are childish scum to leave the state when they point out that they feel like the voting majority is going to even bother listening to them?

    I don’t even care about anything else that the Democrats or Republicans have done or you think they’ve done. If the proposition that a governor is going to lie to the other side about coming to the table in the legislature doesn’t make you bat an eyelash while 14 senators go off quorum busting makes you go into fits, you basically just proved to me that you only care about seeing the Democrats fail in a system that is supposed to give VOICE to EVERY REPRESENTATIVE. If you were anywhere near objective, you would be denouncing both. Equally. What the governor has suggested doing, delivered via a phone call no less, constitutes a tyranny of the majority to the point of not even allowing anyone from the other side to talk in the state legislature, while Democrats have locked down the state government. And you chose to not even suggest thinking about checking the veracity of the first statement. The man said it himself in an uncut, 20 minute phone call! What in the hell else do you need to bother checking?!

    Come back when you’re done with your Republicans are holier than thou attitude.

  30. JL February 23, 2011 at 4:54 pm #

    It is so astounding to read the thoughts of people who believe only what they wish to see without concern for actual facts, both historical and present. Denial is a great place to visit, but these days, too many people are living in it. It seems that well-reasoned arguments are lost on many of those who support the Walker approach to destruction of unions, which makes this stand-off even more dangerous to our democracy. The success of any democracy depends on the willingness of an educated public to identify crackpots, self-interested manipulators, and those who would use government for their own private gain and enrichment, such as the corporations which can now legally buy elections and ensure their continued profitability while betraying their own countrymen. It also depends on the honesty and integrity of those elected to office to do what is right for the state or country as a whole, and not to simply cater to those who foot the bill, i.e., that they would not take calls only from out-of-state billionaire financiers of campaigns, but also from the citizens who elected them. I have heard from numbers of people who confess to voting for Walker, and who now say he “lied” to them about his true intent once in office. I think next to dishonesty in the dictionary should be a picture of the face of the Wisconsin governor — a governor whose thinking is so rigid that he can’t comprehend the cracks in his own schemes — schemes which serve only a small portion of the citizens vs. the vast majority, contrary to his repeated, if disingenuous, protestations. What is being fought for is the common good, something that is anathema to those propped up by corporations, and that is as foreign to the corporate mindset as personal monetary profit was to Mother Teresa. The founders pledged their fortunes and their lives to free future generations from tyranny by any sort of government that lacks checks and balances, whether it be an oligarchy, monarchy, or corporatocracy. Now we find Wisconsin without any checks or balances facing corporate-funded tyranny of the most banal sort in the form of a governor and others in his party who refuse to govern democratically, but only by fiat. Either they never studied history, or they are arrogant enough to think it can’t inform the present because THEY are in charge. It is indeed a sad, sad day. And that some of you people can’t even see the danger you are enabling is extremely disheartening.

  31. Michael J. Wilson February 23, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

    Well, he probably won’t be embarrassed, but he should be. He has given away his tactics, proven he was not willing to engage in meaningful conversation, and made clear that he thinks he is king and will eventually get his way. He is a pitiful excuse for a supposedly democratically-elected public official.

  32. Robert February 23, 2011 at 5:16 pm #

    5 states have laws calling illegal collective bargaining for public employees and 11 states have limited bargaining for public employees. Wisconsin is looking to join one of those 11 states. We are not outlawing collective bargaining for private or public employees. The reason we are limiting the public employee sector on collective bargaining is to give tax relief to local municipalities and the state. If the republicans just granted the fiscals cuts agreed by the unions at the state level the local municipalities would not be able to negotiate with the unions over the large spending cuts coming in state subsides to those municipalities. We are trying to get our spending under control in this state and “tax the rich” is not the answer. Tell me when is there has been enough spending on government or education. If these municipalities cannot shift some of the health care costs to the public employees and teachers they will be forced to layoff these teachers and public employees. He is giving each municipality the choice to raise local property taxes or another tool to cut costs. Please let us not have our states rights trampled by outside interests. I don’t tell California or Mass. how to spend or collect thier tax dollars do not tell us how to collect and spend ours.

  33. Valerie February 23, 2011 at 5:20 pm #

    Has anyone taken credit for the impersonation of Koch?? I’d love to know.

  34. Drew February 23, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

    I listened to both audios and found nothing that would implicate that Walker said anything disparaging. The prank caller swore and made a few nasty comments but Walker didn’t respond in any negative way. Walker did agree that a few people were idiots, but other than that I think the Liberals made a mistake by posting this prank call. Walker stuck to his guns, stated Privately what he has said Publicly and other than that, no insight was gained. If anything, I was surprised that Walker didn’t make any negative remarks. Walker also stated he didn’t want Koch to send any thugs to the rallys. The Liberals “think” they have something here, but as ususal they will stick with rhetoric and hyperbole about this prank call. Why stick to the FACTS? I’m an Independent, can’t stand all Politicians, but this Walker guy seems like he’s moving forward based upon what’s best for Wisconsin. I am a former Teamster (10 years), Local #710 out of Chicago. I watched the Union destroy a company I used to work for (CW Transport, Wisconsin Rapids). I couldn’t believe the work rules the company had to abide by, unbelievable. Many employees literally carried a Union work rule booklet in their back pocket and would use it against the company any chance they got. It’s no wonder the company went Bankrupt back in 1987. If Walker backs down to these cowards he can go to He!! What choice did O’Bama give the Taxpayers when he passed O’Bama care down our throats? He rammed it down our throats, no 5 day notice, no one read the bill, etc… Can’t wait till 2012 to rid the US of the chose one. His day of reckoning is coming!

  35. Eric Saldanha February 23, 2011 at 7:19 pm #

    @Drew – if you’re an “independent,” then Gov. Walker has a framed picture of Eugene Debs hanging in his office

  36. Jackson Smiles February 23, 2011 at 7:29 pm #

    Really? Their big plan is to withhold paychecks? Not to negotiate or say we’ll hold off on the vote for a week. It’s f*** you it’s our way or nothing? It’s not about unions or workers rights, it’s about weakening the Dems power in government by weakening the unions who support them. Nothing like taking away the rights of American’s to play dirty politics. All of these guys are d-bags.

  37. Jenny February 23, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    He should’ve ended the call with “bababooey! bababooey! Howard Stern’s penis!” hahahahahahah

  38. Bill February 23, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    When I heard about this phone call on the news (NPR), I thought, “Oh no; don’t tell me this Walker guy is a thoughful conservative in public but behind the scenes is hanging out in smoke filled rooms with back alley scum bags.” But, instead of listening to hours and hours of tit-for-tat liberal and conservative banter, I thought I’d just find the 20 minute segment and listen for myself. In short… I don’t get it. Is this a story? As much as the prank caller tried to put words into Walker’s mouth, Walker didn’t take the bait. He kept talking about “doing the right thing” and seizing the moment to “change the course of history.” Yes, he talked about his strategy in engaging the situation. Duh! If he didn’t have a strategy, he wouldn’t be a governor– or for that matter, much of any businessman, leader, father, etc. But he never once even called his oponents a bad name! I thought it was remarkably respectful even of democratic oponents and news media personnel with whom he disagrees. Whew! That was a close one. I know the guys not perfect, because nobody is, but if this is so-called “dirt” they have on him, I’d say the man lives in a pretty clean house. Thank you, Mr. Walker. I never heard of you before last week, but you’re impressing the heck out of me.

  39. Sarah Jo in Wisconsin February 23, 2011 at 8:26 pm #

    What is happening in our state is frightening and the precedence that is trying to be set is even more disturbing. Gov. Walker seems to forget he won with 52% of the votes, not quite a landslide. Watch session #4 on Feb. 18th of the WI State Assembly (CSPAN) if you really want to see the unethical business practices going on. Some other scary things I wish would get more discussion are the National Guard have been training in our prisons, guess what area of jobs is going to be cut within the full budget whenever Walker lays it out….correctional officers and now you must show photo-ID to vote…not a bad thing, right? Only acceptable forms WI drivers license and WI state issued ID, No Tribal IDs, student IDs or even passports will be accepted. (do you know the demographics of age and ethnic voting trends??) scary, scary times I fear.

  40. Sarah Jo in Wisconsin February 23, 2011 at 8:35 pm #

    Bill- the problem isn’t that he has a strategy it’s that the strategy is contradictory to how we do governmental business in the United States. The policy of collective bargaining has been part of our state employee contracts for 52 years. it may need to be changed but it was something that was voted in and should be fairly discussed and voted on again. If this is such a great thing for our state why short change us from being part of the process??

  41. Sarah Jo in Wisconsin February 23, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

    one more note: another job area not effected by Bill 11 is the State Patrol.
    Guess who was appointed by Governor Walker to head up the State Patrol?? Steve Fitzgerald (Jeff and Scott Fitzgerald’s father) small world isn’t it??

  42. irishrovr February 24, 2011 at 12:32 am #

    I’ve been a member of two unions in my lifetime and I was not-so-subtly pressured to join by a small group of union organizers and reps in both shops. One of the “unwritten rules” in one shop was that technicians could only perform 3 service calls per day. “It might make the other brothers look bad and we know you wouldn’t want that to happen.” I spent many afternoons sitting around and drinking coffee until my shift was over so I wouldn’t get the shit beat out of me. My union was forcing us to steal from our employer – whether we wanted to or not. I’ve seen picketers that were not union members paid to picket and I knew a guy from Chicago (not a union man) who was part of a group who were paid by the UAW to go to Detroit and other cities to stir up trouble. He was proud to be a paid agitator. Unions continue to do that today. Walker was only “thinking” about it – Thinking about it is not a crime nor is it unethical or illegal.

    Walker dodged and deflected the bogus caller’s bait all through the call. Yes, he had some political plans under his hat – I don’t know of a politician who doesn’t consider all the angles. Certainly the Democrats who fled the state had some plans of their own so they could get their way, eh?

    We, the people of Wisconsin, spoke during the election. No loud mouthed, bull horn carrying, obnoxious union agitators from other states have the right to tell the people of Wisconsin that our vote doesn’t matter. The majority of us voted in people whom we felt would have the guts to do what they promised when they ran for office. They promised to take whatever steps necessary to fix our financial troubles. Walker is not backing down and I applaud him. He is following what the people want – not the other way around.

    I’ve seen the dark side of union activity up close. We’ve all seen what union greed has done to Detroit. Without much help from the bad guys on Wall Street, the unions almost single-handedly ruined the auto industry. I also blame outsourcing on the unions. People will not buy outrageously priced goods and companies can’t stay in business (and keep people hired) if the cost of labor (with all the heavy benefits thrown in) if good are too expensive for ordinary people to purchase. Walker is trying to keep those costs reasonable for the people of Wisconsin so we can afford to live here. Public employees should not have the right to bargain over and above the civil service rights they already have so they are better off than the people who pay taxes to support their wages.

    Unions force workers to support their political agenda through union dues – whether they believe in that agenda or not. It’s time that all workers were free to decide who to support. Workers should put aside the amount of dues they would pay to unions who do nothing for them and contribute to whatever cause, political party or charity as they see fit. It’s been way too many years since unions actually did anything to benefit workers – they are in it for themselves. They skim off whatever feeds their greeds and needs and then shovel the rest into the Democratic party where they get their power.

    Unions cost this country so much more than people will ever know. Time to get them out of power.

    Walker get my support – I hope he stands firm!

  43. big-x February 24, 2011 at 12:32 am #

    once this becomes law, it will be used as a precedence to strip the private sector of their bargaining rights. this is why the koch brother want this legislation to pass so they can remove the unions from their mills and business interests in wisconsin.

  44. Angel February 24, 2011 at 1:06 am #

    @irishrovr, it sounds as though you worked for union thugs. perhaps you should have had the guts to report such nonsense rather then harbour resentment forever. (When and where was that… sounds like a Draconian Union)

    So you know some public service workers who are better off then yourself. Imagine that. But if workers hadn’t dissolved Unions to such an extent, perhaps there would be more fair wages. Is it really that important to you that your employer get filthy rich on the backs of employees? Because if you really do feel that way, I bet there is a managerial job with higher pay just waiting for you…

    I am not a Union member, but I once was. I saw some bad as well, but rather then just whine, I became a local President and helped change the way it functioned.

    Unions are the reason you have weekends off, decent salaries, benefits and vacation. That you would support this egotistical narcissist who feels he is channeling Reagan in his quest to bust Unions is sad. That he seems to be doing it “at all costs” is contrary to his budget emergency statements. Please take a moment to read about Walker and his Union busting past.and what an economist from WI has to say about his policies.

    http://www.examiner.com/political-buzz-in-national/rachel-maddow-reveals-governor-walker-s-r-wi-past-with-unions-video

    http://origin-minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/02/23/wisconsin-unions-pin/

    ROBERT RUSSELL, STATE ECONOMIST, AS PUBLISHED ON THE WEBSITE OF MINNESOTA PUBLIC RADIO ON FEBRUARY 23, STATED:

    As a state economist and policy analyst, I was surprised that no one asked me about this proposal. I analyzed it for its economic impact. If public employee salaries are cut (through increased withholdings as proposed) by enough to fill the $137 million budget gap, the resulting drop in consumer spending will lead to:

    1) a loss of over 1,200 non-government jobs;

    2) a loss of about $100 million in business sales statewide;

    3) a loss of nearly $35 million in personal incomes of nongovernment employee households;

    4) ironically, a loss of nearly $10 million in state tax revenues.

    – Robert Russell, economist and analyst, Madison. “

  45. bill b February 24, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    why is this question not being asked was it legal for this person to record the phone conversation without walkers knowledge

    • Alan Bedenko February 24, 2011 at 2:49 pm #

      Yes, it was legal under NY and WI law.

      Answered.

  46. Blase Iaconelli February 24, 2011 at 3:36 pm #

    Ya know what. All u dopes who think its OK for a State Governor to have the position he expresses to a supposed “rich dick” supporter really should have all your constitutional rights taken away. You don’t have the brains to use those rights properly. Apparently, you think its OK to allow your government to take away somebody else’s rights but God forbid if the want to take yours away.
    Guess what, after they take away your neighbors rights their coming after yours. You AHoles!

  47. Firecrackin February 24, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

    Wow. Some of you put forth such impressive arguments on both sides that I found myself wavering all the way through the posts. But, no. Unions are not perfect, some take advantage and make the rest of us look bad, but whether the unions Walker busts are public or private, they actually help you nonunion employees too, and hell, you don’t even have to pay dues. . Unions set the standards for fair employment practices and wages, ensuring that nonunion private sector businesses have no choice but to offer decent conditions as well in order to ‘compete’ for quality employees. That is if they want to hire and keep good, long term employees. I don’t know about y’all, but I sure don’t want to roll out of bed Monday morning after this bill passes and have my employer threaten that if I don’t work a double shift that evening at straight pay, there’s someone right outside the door waiting to take my job! Is that what people really want? For employers to have the power to do whatever they want to to us? Yeah, really makes me wanna go take out a car loan, let alone a mortgage with any degree of confidence. Thus, buying power and consumer confidence will tank, causing small businesses to close and more people to lose their jobs. After Walker balances Wisconsin’s budget at ALL costs, I hope it’ll be ok for your employer to do the same for his budget, cutting your salary or benefits to do so? Why should you suffer for their fiscal mismanagement? Why should any of us? These deficits weren’t amassed overnight, so why is a governor in office for 6 weeks so arrogant as to think that he can fix it all in a day? Do you truly think our budget deficits got so big just because of public workers? What about the prison system? The insane cost of healthcare and insurance? We are working for our benefits, and that’s far from taking a handout. When the bill passes and all you private sector employees lose your jobs, it’ll be us working to pay your unemployment, insurance and the income taxes you WOULD have paid. Are we supposed to stick up for you then like you’re sticking up for us now? Have any of you read or even heard of how bad working conditions ARE in China? They’re just now where we were 100 years ago! Do we really want to go back there?
    Has everyone heard the joke about the Hedge Fund manager and the NYC teachers? It goes like this… Mr. Hedge’s annual salary alone was MORE than the salaries of ALL NYC teachers put together. Looks like the joke’s on us! That one man, who owns 11 jets, 15 yachts, and several mansions could pay off our state budget deficit without batting an eye. While we are all oh so conveniently distracted by attacking and pointing fingers at one another, ‘the man’ is quietly buying our freedom out from under us! You might love ’em, you might hate ’em, but Unions MADE America prosper. It is the greed of selfish men that is slowly, but surely destroying us. Not only are they taking all our money, they’re taking our homes, our livelihoods, our civil liberties, and everything that those who came before us worked so hard to EARN! We need to take it back! My fellow citizens please, don’t just accept what you are spoon fed. Educate yourselves!

  48. Dusty Pence February 25, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    Before you make a judgment, please do as Rebecca suggested. Listen to the call in its entirety. Yeah, Walker panders to the guy he thinks has big bucks. I don’t think you can fInd a politician who doesn’t. Even Paul Wellstone, who was about as pure in his political principles as anyone, pandered a little bit (not much, to his credit) to big buck Hollywood contributors. I couldn’t find a smoking gun when I LISTENED to the Walker recording. The excerpts are accurate but out of context and the tone of voice is important. 

  49. paul jon westergren February 26, 2011 at 12:25 am #

    THANK YOU! You exposrd that the repulican tea party are facious.Thats scary because thay are delusional too thay think most of our country behind them.

  50. Robert Smith February 26, 2011 at 6:42 am #

    The big picture, is that the republican dream is for a lower wage and worse life for you and your children. Corporations first abolished tariffs, then started sending American’s work overseas, so slaves could make the products in sweat shops, with no environmental law, no worker safety rules either, then send the products here to sell. The rich corporations have profited grossly from this. But the Koch fossils, they have plants that have to stay local due to their nature. So they have to destroy the unions. I’ll guarantee you tea bagging fascists this, when you destroy the unions, your pay will suffer too. Union pay hikes have always boosted non union wages. To destroy your own country’s economy and standard of living is an act of treason, and it’s God’s work if you’re a republican. The last failure will be our very ability to defend our country. At that time you’ll see the same corporations kissing ass with our enemies. Just like Grandpa Prescotte Bush did with Nazi Germany. What a dumb ass country we are, electing a president with 3 generations of war profiteers and outright treason as their resume.

  51. Bbill February 26, 2011 at 10:57 am #

    ^Mr. Smith^ is absolutely 100 per cent correct in his observation and assessment.

  52. Jeff a/k/a admin of my blog The Connection February 27, 2011 at 6:44 am #

    Could not resist an ‘open letter/note’ to the Gov.:
    2/24/11 Special note of thanks to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.  Apologies from the left for believing you to be an evil conservative, eviscerator of rights and subsistence of the middle class and the poor for your own crass political gain. This blog’s author has long pined for the true patriotic politician, willing to martyr his political future by speaking truth to the people. While most zilly folk seem to believe you were punked by The Beast, I am confident you are too savvy to be fooled that easily. What remains logically, is to understand that you were simply shining light on how politics works. Our leaders are selling us out to  monied interest while misrepresenting their intent as beneficent. ( Power station deal for Billionaires ).  Of course a willingness to solicit disruption of peaceful assembly is quite an effective, if dirty, trick not usually disclosed as a tool of reform either; but, thanks to you Gov., we are now on alert.

  53. Mary February 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    Shame on the prank caller!!

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