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Archive for Thursday, February 24, 2011

On prank call, Wisconsin governor discusses strategy

February 24, 2011

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On a prank call that quickly spread across the Internet, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was duped into discussing his strategy to cripple public employee unions, promising never to give in and joking that he would use a baseball bat in his office to go after political opponents.

Walker believed the caller was a conservative billionaire named David Koch, but it was actually the editor of a liberal online newspaper. The two talked for at least 20 minutes — a conversation in which the governor described several potential ways to pressure Democrats to return to the Statehouse and revealed that his supporters had considered secretly planting people in pro-union protest crowds to stir up trouble.

The call, which surfaced Wednesday, also showed Walker’s cozy relationship with two billionaire brothers who have poured millions of dollars into conservative political causes, including Walker’s campaign last year.

Walker compared his stand to that taken by President Ronald Reagan when he fired the nation’s air-traffic controllers during a labor dispute in 1981.

“That was the first crack in the Berlin Wall and led to the fall of the Soviets,” Walker said on the recording.

The audio was posted by the Buffalo Beast, a left-leaning website based in Buffalo, N.Y., and quickly went viral.

Ian Murphy told The Associated Press he carried out the prank to show how candidly Walker would speak with Koch even though, according to Democrats, he refuses to return their calls.

Murphy said he arranged the call Tuesday after speaking with two Walker aides, including the governor’s chief of staff. He placed the call using Skype and recorded it.

Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie confirmed that it was Walker’s voice on the call. At a news conference, Walker acknowledged being deceived but stuck to his message that the union changes were needed to balance Wisconsin’s budget.

“I’m not going to let one prank phone call be a distraction from the job we have to do,” Walker said. “The things I said are the things I’ve said publicly all the time.”

On the call, the governor said he was ratcheting up the pressure on Senate Democrats to return to the Capitol a week after they fled to block the legislation. He said he supported a move to require them to come to the Capitol to pick up their paychecks rather than have the money deposited directly.

He also floated an idea to lure Democratic senators back to the Capitol for negotiations and then have the Senate quickly pass the bill while they are in talks.

Walker said aides were reviewing whether the GOP could hold a vote if Democrats were not physically in the Senate chamber but elsewhere in the building. At the news conference, he insisted that idea was not a trick but an effort to get Democrats back to work.

Democrats seized on Walker’s recorded comments as evidence that the governor plans to go beyond budget cuts to crushing unions.

“This isn’t about balancing the budget. This is about a political war,“ Rep. Jon Richards of Milwaukee yelled Wednesday on the floor of the state Assembly.

Comments

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

Wanna know why the Koch brothers (who own major power-generation interests in Wisconsin) really needed to buy a controlling interest in the governor there? The union-busting budget bill also includes the following--

"For example, the bill includes language that would allow officials appointed by the governor to make sweeping cuts in health coverage for low-income families without having to go through the normal legislative process.

And then there’s this: “Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), the department may sell any state-owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state. Notwithstanding ss. 196.49 and 196.80, no approval or certification of the public service commission is necessary for a public utility to purchase, or contract for the operation of, such a plant, and any such purchase is considered to be in the public interest and to comply with the criteria for certification of a project under s. 196.49 (3) (b).”

What’s that about? The state of Wisconsin owns a number of plants supplying heating, cooling, and electricity to state-run facilities (like the University of Wisconsin). The language in the budget bill would, in effect, let the governor privatize any or all of these facilities at whim. Not only that, he could sell them, without taking bids, to anyone he chooses. And note that any such sale would, by definition, be “considered to be in the public interest.”

If this sounds to you like a perfect setup for cronyism and profiteering — remember those missing billions in Iraq? — you’re not alone. Indeed, there are enough suspicious minds out there that Koch Industries, owned by the billionaire brothers who are playing such a large role in Mr. Walker’s anti-union push, felt compelled to issue a denial that it’s interested in purchasing any of those power plants. Are you reassured?"

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/25/opinion/25krugman.html?_r=1

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bobberboy 3 years, 1 month ago

damn idol worshipping koch brothers.

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ophiuchus 3 years, 1 month ago

Hey, telemarketers! This goose lays golden eggs!

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Cait McKnelly 3 years, 1 month ago

I read about this long before LJW printed it. I wanted to find it funny but there was too much of a part of me that found it too sad. Up the proletariat!

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KUrolls 3 years, 1 month ago

This prank sounds like something the Tea party would do. Muammar al-Obama needs to counter with a call for gay marriage.

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Agnostick 3 years, 1 month ago

Quote:

"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."

Source:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2011/02/what_a_prank_call_proves_about.html

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gr 3 years, 1 month ago

Shouldn't Ian Murphy be prosecuted for a crime?

I mean, if someone irritates someone over the internet and the "victim" could choose to read or not read, how much worse is it for someone pretending to be someone else over the phone?

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voevoda 3 years, 1 month ago

The views Gov. Walker voiced on this tape (whether prompted by the interviewer or not) are profoundly troubling. He wants to destroy unions and stick it to public employees. He intends to use whatever dirty tricks he can in order to ram through the legislation he wants, without revising it to incorporate the legitimate interests of others. I know that some posters on this forum applaud this, but recall that it is the unions that raised American workers from deep poverty to the middle class, leading to a society that was prosperous for the majority, instead of solely for a small, wealthy elite. Remember that Europeans in countries with strong unions have a higher standard of living, less poverty, better benefits, shorter working hours, and longer vacations--things that all Americans want. And their economies are (mostly) recovering faster than ours. I know that some posters on this forum despise public employees. Remember that they do their necessary jobs honestly for modest pay, even though they have many opportunities to enrich themselves through corruption. I know that some posters on this forum despise teachers. They do the hardest and most important work in our society--preparing children to be productive, responsible citizens. They deserve higher salaries than they get, and more respect. When irresponsible people deride them, they undercut their authority with the children and their ability to teach them. Don't do it!

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usnsnp 3 years, 1 month ago

Best way to settle this problem is to either get all the money out of political campains or have every politician show in real time where and who his momey is comming from. Also all organizations should be required to show in real time from where and who their money is comming from. The public should have the right to have this information so they can look at who is supplying the money and what agenda they are pushing.

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blindrabbit 3 years, 1 month ago

Regardless of the politics; this proves the Governor's bulb is pretty dim!

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 1 month ago

Aggie, old buddy, you definitely are a much better LJW on-line neighbor since you came out of the closet and now have established yourself solidly in the ranks of the far-left. I applaud you for this and dropping the whole "centrist" facade.

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bobberboy 3 years, 1 month ago

I wonder where all libertyones dribble is now ?

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scott3460 3 years, 1 month ago

Step One: Citizen's United. Political corruption is just free speech and besides the unions and corporations can both fund whoever they want.

(leave aside for the moment the huge disparity in corporate vs. union funding)

Step Two: Crush the unions and destroy their ability to fund campaigns

Step Three: One party rule

Will Americans allow it?

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Agnostick 3 years, 1 month ago

I suppose similarities can be drawn between Ian Murphy and James O'Keefe.

Both deceived their targets.

Both were tenacious in their pursuit, trying multiple times until they got what they wanted.

Both Walker and the ACORN folks had no idea what was going on.

I would say, though, that there's a big difference between a rather low-level office worker... and a high-ranking elected official, the leader of a state... who is surrounded by aides, staff members, receptionists, handlers, maybe even a bodyguard or two.

"Oh, this is David Koch? Hi David! Listen, I'm in the middle of a meeting right now--as you know, things have been kinda hectic lately, right? How about you give me your number, and I'll call you back in about 30 minutes? No? Well, then how about you call me back in 30? Okay, thanks... bye."

[click]

"Marsha, I need you to round up three or four of the best researchers on our staff! I just got a call from some guy who said he was David Koch. Put whoever is available on this right now.. Call the Koch company and see if somebody can ferret out if that call was legit. He's calling back in about half an hour, so we need to move on this..."

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Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 1 month ago

Nixon-style? I guess Cal Thomas was wrong yesterday when he compared Walker to Cal Coolidge.

He meant to compare him to Richard Nixon.

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xclusive85 3 years, 1 month ago

How many of you listened to the prank call? Below is a link to a transcript. The reporter stirred everything up. The reporter suggested the thugs in the crowd. The reporter suggested the trip to Cali. The reporter suggested the baseball bat. Nothing that Walker said in the prank call was that bad. It seems like a liberal tried to trick him into saying something that would derail his lesislative agenda, but couldn't. The whole tricking Democrat senators back to the capital wouldn't even have come up if they didn't run out on their jobs!

http://host.madison.com/wsj/article_531276b6-3f6a-11e0-b288-001cc4c002e0.html

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 3 years, 1 month ago

Regardless of left leanings or right leanings, only a scumbag says these things. Especially the part about the protesters. That's Nixon-style dishonesty.

I don't like unions and I disagree with the moral agendas of the left, but this governor needs to seriously apologize at the LEAST. I'd even say that it wouldn't be inappropriate for the populace to ask for his resignation.

And this is coming from someone who agrees with a major part of his political stance.

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Agnostick 3 years, 1 month ago

right_thinker whines:

"Once again, the looney left displays they have no boundaries...."


Quote:

In testimony, Kline wouldn’t concede SRS had been deceived, but added that he viewed SRS as a potential witness. He said courts regularly allow law enforcement officials to withhold information from witnesses — and even actively deceive them and suspects — to protect an investigation. Misleading SRS, he said, “would not have been a problem.”

“That is reasonable. That is normal conduct,” he testified, his voice rising. “It was appropriate.”

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

I really like the part where he said he considered sending in some thugs to the demonstration to stir up a riot, but decided not to because it might backfire on them, not because it would have been wrong and likely illegal.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

I guess it isn't permitted to provide an accurate one-word descriptor of this governor. But we all know what he is.

At any rate, this clearly demonstrates that what Walker wants to do to the public employees' unions has absolutely nothing to do with repairing Wisconsin's fiscal problems. His intent is purely to bust unions, and he very blatantly stated as much.

Republicans are overreaching, and this phone call where he thought he was toadying up to David Koch shows that their agenda is to shift as much power to the oligarchy he represents as possible. He believes that if he's successful, they'll take very good care of him-- and he'll get way more than a trip to Cali out of it.

A real celebration of corruption.

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werekoala 3 years, 1 month ago

So the talking points are: 1) this is just some unethical guy who tricked poor Walker (pay no attention to the Breitbart behind the curtain) 2) its totally okay for a state governor to rearrange his schedule and act like an out of state billionaire's syncophant, just as long as he doesn't recognize the guys voice.

Got it, thanks. Did I miss any?

I guess generating spin & talking points is what the guys who were too unethical to make it as trial lawyers end up doing...

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Fossick 3 years, 1 month ago

"The call, which surfaced Wednesday, also showed Walker’s cozy relationship with two billionaire brothers who have poured millions of dollars into conservative political causes, including Walker’s campaign last year."

What Mr. Foley seems to be missing here is that if the governor could be fooled into thinking his interlocutor was really David Koch, then he does not have a "cozy relationship" with the brothers; he has likely never even spoken to them on the phone before.

After all, how likely are you to be fooled by someone calling you up and claiming to be one of your closest friends?

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 1 month ago

Once again, the looney left displays they have no boundaries....yet they get madder than a hornet about a reporter posing as a pimp revealing KlanParenthood's unethical and illegal activities.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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