Scott Walker tricked into spilling his guts to fake Koch brother

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110 Responses to “Scott Walker tricked into spilling his guts to fake Koch brother”

  1. double_tilly says:

    I don’t find anything all that damning in the transcript. The most damning thing is that he would take a call from Koch period.

    With all the other states who are jumping on the union-busting bandwagon, it is becoming more obvious that Walker and all have been relying on outside input for intellectual and moral support as they have been planning these maneuvers for god knows how long.

    That will be a good story for the progressives to break in order to counter the right’s talking point about out-of-state interference (which will probably be made in other states as well).

    Maybe there is already a story out there on where these policy ideas are coming from? What kind of intellectual help was Walker getting even as he was strategizing during his campaign?

  2. wingedearth says:

    The Democrats have no right to accuse anyone involved in this matter of dirty tricks after the stunt the Democrat Senators pulled by fleeing the State to block the vote.

    The fact is, Gov. Walker and the Republican State Senators ran for office on a platform of reforming public unions, and they won. They won because people are fed up with the unions colluding with public officials to extort money from taxpayers, and enough of the Democrat enablers got voted out.

    And now the unions are protesting against the public and demanding the continuation of overly inflated compensation and benefits from a bankrupt state.

    • Anonymous says:

      They won because people are fed up with the unions colluding with public officials to extort money from taxpayers…

      Note unlike accusations against Walker, accusations against unions don’t need a smoking gun, because everyone knows they are pure evil created to plague the otherwise benevolent free market system.

    • EvilSpirit says:

      First, don’t say “reform” when you mean “destroy.” A union that cannot represent its members in collective bargaining is no union at all.

      Second, the part about “demanding the continuation of overly inflated compensation” is no more than a lie. The unions have already agreed to all of the give-backs that Walker has proposed, despite what he keeps saying. This is now purely about his attempt to remove their collective bargaining rights.

      • wingedearth says:

        “A union that cannot represent its members in collective bargaining is no union at all.”

        And why do we need public unions at all? Public servants uniting against the public? That makes no sense. The public is broke and should be able to say no to the use of their funds. In fact, the public HAS said no by electing Gov. Walker and the new legislators ready to pass this bill.

        “Second, the part about ‘demanding the continuation of overly inflated compensation’ is no more than a lie. The unions have already agreed to all of the give-backs that Walker has proposed, despite what he keeps saying. This is now purely about his attempt to remove their collective bargaining rights.”

        No, collective bargaining rights have not been removed. The bill that would have already passed in the State legislature had their been a vote specifically still allows public unions to negotiate wages up to the level of inflation. The entire battle against this bill is simply to go beyond the level of inflation to demand the continuation of overly inflated compensation, as I stated earlier. The bill just prevents the public unions from holding the public hostage.

        • Crashproof says:

          The public is not broke because teachers and garbage men are overpaid or getting too many benefits.

          The public is broke because dickbags like Walker keep cutting taxes in order to please their wealthy benefactors — and then they turn around and say “oh, look at all this profligate spending, it’s time to cut back!”

          • wingedearth says:

            Yes, cutting taxes is a great idea. Or do you think attracting businesses back to Wisconsin is not in the public’s interest?

          • Ugly Canuck says:

            How does that process work, by magick?

            The Bush tax cuts led directly to the worst recession for eighty years – which ain’t over yet, btw, boyos.

            So let’s keep on cutting benefits for the poor and sick: I’m certain that will help the business climate too.

          • Mister44 says:

            re: “The Bush tax cuts led directly to the worst recession for eighty years”

            On what planet? The credit crunch, weak dollar, and most importantly the housing bubble are the main causes of the recession.

          • Anonymous says:

            the bush tax cuts in 2001 – to the top 2% of society were intended to stimulate the economy, (as well as appease george’s base ‘the have mores’ ) after the dot com bubble. They did nothing of the sort, because if you give a tax cut to the middle or working class they will spend it and there is a boost to the economy, but the rich just hang on to the money.

            And because the tax cuts did not stimulate the economy, the only option Greenspan had was to lower interest rates to stimulate the housing industry.. -> which led to the housing bubble ->

            the housing bubble, & deregulation of derivatives, credit default swaps (thanks to Phil (America is a nation of whiners) Gramm) and repeal of financial regulations & checks that had been put in place after the depression led to the financial meltdown. despite warnings – by respected economists like Stiglitz, Niall Ferguson.

            and ironically turned ‘w’ (one of the most conservative administrations) in recent history into a communist when he bailed out AIG, and Bear Stearns earlier and a whole host of other wall street bailouts that would have had Hayek turning in his grave.

            the funny thing is that instead of the public anger focusing on wall street and the rich who just received extended tax cuts- the elites have misdirected the public anger against the public sector unions – a divide and conquer strategy.

          • Mister44 says:

            re: “but the rich just hang on to the money. ”

            Hang on to it where? Unless it is under their mattress, it is in banks, who use it for loans and the like. All the rich hate is annoying. They ARE the ones who fund new industries, start new companies, hire more people, etc. What is going to have the best LONG term effect on the economy: A guy going out and buying a product, or a guy creating a company to make a product.

            I’m not saying the tax cut was good or bad or needed or not. But it had little to do with our current SNAFU.

            re: “the funny thing is that instead of the public anger focusing on wall street and the rich who just received extended tax cuts- the elites have misdirected the public anger against the public sector unions – a divide and conquer strategy. ”

            There is a ton of anger there, but people have no way to act on that anger. I don’t think there is misdirection. I think this guy is looking at the bottom line and is trying to cut away and reduce it. Is it the best way to go about? I dunno.

          • Ugly Canuck says:

            Oh I get it now, “taxes” is what some people call “wages”….so you really mean that cutting wages will attract businesses, right? Only you say it using a Republican political code.

    • Calton says:

      The fact is, Gov. Walker and the Republican State Senators ran for office on a platform of reforming public unions…

      Wrong. Politifact Wisconsin has already looked at that piece of spin and labeled it “False”. Even more to the point, Walker himself admits as much in the phone call:

      Talked about what we were gonna do, how we were gonna do it. We’d already kinda built plans up, but it was kind of the last hurrah before we dropped the bomb.

      Better spin doctors, please.

  3. Mister44 says:

    Like most things in life – there are no absolutes. Some unions are good, and some are bad. In some industries they are useful and productive, and others are dragging their industry down by preventing incompentcy from being punished and/or hurting their employer’s competitiveness.

    • Anonymous says:

      Even saying “some unions are good, some unions are bad” is dealing in absolutes, as you are stating that some organizations — made of many people — are wholly on one end or the other of an ethical scale.

      There are these absurdly distorted images of what unions are, what they’ve done, the depth of corruption within them, etc. that simply don’t line up with actual history.

      Of course, Americans are incredibly bad at remembering and understanding history, even (or especially) their own.

    • Ugly Canuck says:

      like any human organization or endeavour, they can be well or ill run, effective or ineffective, or pursue wise or unwise policies and practices: and like everything in human life, there is always a risk that they or their industry may be blind-sided by unforeseen events, even if they do everything wisely and by-the-book.

      One size simply does not fit all.

    • travtastic says:

      There are assholes running unions, and good people running unions. It doesn’t have anything to do with a particular industry. They’re the same as businesses and individuals.

  4. noen says:

    Tools just gots ta be tools.

    Walker is so stupid he actually thinks David Koch considers him “one of us”. There is a really big surprise in store for Walker.

  5. moab says:

    It is important to note that the unions have given in to all of Walkers demands except their right to collection bargaining (their existence). This is about destroying the unions, not balancing the budget. Keep in mind also that this years WI budget was projected to have a $130 million surplus until Walker cut taxes and other revenue to the order of $140 million.

    Then on this call he talks about using dirty tricks, inciting the crowd with agitators and tricking the Dems into coming back. Then when Koch tells him he will fly Walker to California and show him a great time after this is done Walker responds that that sounds great.

  6. double_tilly says:

    The phone call suggests that Walker is open to out-of-state influence just as much as the left.

    Strategically, I think it would be a good idea for the left (in all the states where this is becoming an issue) to point out that this is an interstate effort by the right.

    It seems likely the union-busting and other provisions were planned at meetings like this one back in November:

    http://www.nbc15.com/state/headlines/Scott_Walker_Attending_Republican_Governors_Meeting_108183434.html

    It seems likely the intellectual and moral support behind the bill has been developed by thinkers from several states.

    The right will continue to try to keep the citizens separated by claiming that out-of-state citizens are mucking things up, but the citizens have a right to demonstrate solidarity across state lines, because this is a national issue.

  7. Boba Fett Diop says:

    They also show that Walker is not in deep, dark cahoots or collusion with Koch. If he were, he would have caught on quickly

    Or he’s just dumb as a bag of hammers. That’s some convoluted logic there, Michelle. Or, as @MayorEmanuel put it on Twitter last night: “Just so we’re perfectly fucking clear here: You’re a crazy fucking shitwad. Enjoy your night.”

  8. Anonymous says:

    How is destroying collective bargaining going to “cut away and reduce”? The unions in WI have already said they would contribute a higher percentage for all of their benefits but Walker says that’s not enough, he wants collective bargaining gone and won’t budge.

    According to the Pew Center for the States, “Wisconsin had about $77 billion in total pension liabilities in 2008. But according to that same Pew study, those liabilities were 99.67 percent “funded,” giving Wisconsin one of the four-highest of such ratios in the nation. Other states had funding ratios as low as 54 percent.”

    So how does Walker’s plan save the state money when the pension fund is intact? There is no fiscal emergency which warrants the actions he is proposing.

    Additionally, WI’s own annual report included the following:

    The system had $69.1 billion in total assets at June 30, 2010, while paying out $3.7 billion in benefits over the course of the previous year. The value of those assets has since risen. According to Dave Stella, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds, the retirement system’s assets were worth $79.8 billion at the end of last month. The most recent solvency test for the fund was conducted for the fund’s operations at Dec. 31, 2009.

    This entire event is political theater. They just want you to look at the little birdie over there while they strip rights from workers while breaking down public services.

    How much more does the working class have to pay. We already gave 700 billion and we got nothing in return except the mantra “You have to sacrifice.” I don’t see too many politicians sacrificing their paychecks or giving up their free, full healthcare coverage or paying more into their pensions funds but why should they, we pay for that for them.

    I do see every teacher getting pink slipped in Providence RI, community colleges closing all over the country, corporate charter school companies squeezing out neighborhood schools, entire police forces and fire departments being laid off and/or fired, low-cost affordable health care losing all federal funding.

    But yeah, let’s cut the unions hard earned collective bargaining, that will save money.

    We need collective bargaining now more than ever before if we want to save our public works and services from complete privatized corporate takeover because they did such a good job when they owned the deregulated electricity in California (Enron).

  9. Anonymous says:

    The truth is out, union busting, not caring about the working class. Recall can’t happen soon enough. AND he’s stupid to top it off!

  10. Anonymous says:

    I thought Matt Taibbi and Bill Maher nailed it on Real Time last Friday:

    MATT TAIBBI: Look, the Fed plays an enormous role. Alan Greenspan played a huge role in the bubbles that went on – the tech bubble in the 90s, the mortgage bubble that we just went through. Basically every time Wall Street screws up, they get to go back to the Fed and borrow a whole bunch of money for free and start the game all over again. These guys get to go to the Fed and borrow money at zero, and then they lend it out to us at five, ten – I mean how much are you paying for your credit card, twenty percent? And that’s free money. It’s essentially a giant subsidy system.

    MAHER: And then, you know, they blame the teachers unions.

    TAIBBI: Exactly.

    MAHER: You know, it’s always a math teacher in Kenosha who’s making thirty-five grand a year. Why can’t people see through this? I know people are dumb, but there’s gotta be something more to it than that. I mean, it’s —

    TAIBBI: In that particular instance, it’s unbelievable that people can’t connect the dots. You know, these pension funds that these state workers have – these were the people who were the victims of this mortgage-backed securities scheme. These were the places where the banks were selling these toxic sub-prime mortgages that eventually blew up. The pension funds lost all their money. Now the states have to pay these pensions and they’re broke, and they’re blaming the teachers, they’re blaming the firemen, they’re blaming the policemen, when in fact they were all defrauded by these banks on Wall Street. It’s an incredible situation.

  11. Nivalsj says:

    For everybody harping on the fact that Walker was *considering* sending in fake protesters, that suggests pretty strongly that he didn’t actually do it. Which means all of those crazy signs calling Walker Hitler or Mubarek or whatever else were made and are being held by union protesters. For those that loved jumping up and down and pointing out the crazies in the tea party for their signs, what do you make of that?

    The two highlights Cory suggests are that Walker considered doing something wrong (fake protesters), but didn’t do it, and a procedural trick to get the Democrats back to work so the legislature can vote on the bill. Doesn’t seem bad to me at all. I assume he doesn’t need their votes, just their presence to pass the bill, which to me suggests that it’s actually the Democrats who are using a dirty trick in rejecting the democratic process.

    I think that was a very positive video for Walker. “Koch” keeps trying to egg him on and sounds like a real asshole, but Walker continuously ignores his over-the-top remarks and brings the conversation back down to a rational level.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Nivalsj,

    It’s a bad thing when the reasons are not: it’s unethical and illegal. His reasons are: it wouldn’t be constructive toward their goal. Can you not understand the difference? It’s not criminal, but it’s very informative of how his people are thinking. They’re willing to do illegal and unethical things if it will further their agenda.

    I’m sorry, “once you crush these bastards I’ll fly you out to Cali and really show you a good time” doesn’t sound grifty and corrupt when it’s an exchange between an extremely rich donator and a member of the government. That’s just the faux-koch provoking, though. Oh wait, Walker’s response is,”All right, that would be outstanding”. Not unexpected, but again, I’m not yet so cynical that I’m A-OK with this close a link between a special interest and a governor.

    Proeconomytip, Mister44, creating a business isn’t inherently good. Also, your argument about banks? Where do poor people keep their money? Oh wait, poor people have bank accounts too. I guess ‘poor’ people can’t invest money either. Oh wait, they can. You don’t really support your claim that giving money to wealthy ‘people’ is good. Other than that they have the monopoly on investing in business. Oh, that’s because we give them money. Fair enough. Kick-ass how that works.

    Don’t misrepresent this. The unions are willing to negotiate. He’s not. His agenda is to remove their bargaining power. What happens then? They have no [legal] recourse to prevent the future budgets from completely removing health insurance, pensions, etc.. This is not about the budget. How many times does it need to be said? The unions are willing to negotiate. Walker is not. This confrontation is about union-busting.

    Let’s review the facts once more: 1) Unions willing to negotiate. 2) Walker not. 3) Walker introduces bill that would remove almost all of the unions negotiating powers. 4) Unions protest 5) Faux News and the GOP try to represent the issue as budgetary.

    OK? Can we understand this? The same exact thing is going on in several other states as well. It’s not a budgetary issue. The point is most probably the busting of unions, specifically those that tend toward the left.

    Be a frikkin’ miracle if an anon post this long gets greenlighted.

  13. ill lich says:

    It’s interesting that at the beginning he says most of the protesters today “are from other states”, and also that the unions are paying some protesters to be there, perhaps to show that they are illegitimate, yet later he admits (when prodded by fake Koch’s “first domino” comment) this is just the beginning of ending all unions nationwide– so clearly union members and supporters from everywhere have an obvious stake in this fight, and so have a vested interest in the protest.

  14. juepucta says:

    “They ARE the ones who fund new industries, start new companies, hire more people, etc. What is going to have the best LONG term effect on the economy: A guy going out and buying a product, or a guy creating a company to make a product.”

    Workers getting paid fairly so they can go out and NOT shop at Walmart. Because when they are paid shit, they have to go buy cheap W-mart crap. And then they get downsized, because their boss can make the same stuff cheaper outsourced – to satisfy Walmart. That’s why giving a tax break to the BOTTOM of the pyramids works – as opposed to the filthy rich top 5%.

    But yeah, you keep believing in trickle down economics.

    Can’t remember which comedian illustrated it thusly: “rich guy buys a 2nd house, realtor buys new subzero, homeless person has new cardboard box to sleep in” – that’s trickle down economics at work.

    -G.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Actually, this phone call could mobilize his base. There is noting illegal. This is hardball politics.
    Buffalo Beast may be served tonight medium raw.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I don’t understand. It’s perfectly fine to be cynical to the point that you expect such things. It’s completely not all right to be cynical to the point where you’re completely all right with them. You should be ashamed if you think that it’s all right that collusion with corporate special interests is the norm.

    Wingedearth, you blatantly misrepresent facts and reasonable conclusions from them. All collective bargaining rights with the exception of wages (which have never followed inflation, fyi, in any sector or industry) are on the chopping block. This is not about the budget. I don’t know how anyone could think that it is. It’s a ploy to castrate unions and it’s happening across all of the mid-west.

    Nivalsj, I guess agreeing to accept bribes is a pretty positive thing. I guess even considering to use ‘troublemakers’ to start riots is OK. He throws it out, because it wouldn’t have the desired affect, not because it would be unethical. Crazy mind games up in here.

    • Nivalsj says:

      Anon: I never heard him accept a bribe. Talking to a big donor and continuing with what he had planned already is not accepting a bribe.

      That whole conversation is in the context of a private back and forth with a billionaire tea partier that gives major contributions, so one can assume Walker (as a politician does and should) presented himself in a way that was truthful but appealing to a major supporter. “Koch” threw the fake protester idea out there and Walker said, “Yeah, we considered it but didn’t do it for all of the following reasons.” HOW IS THAT SUCH A BAD THING?

  17. Brett Myers says:

    Ezra Klein has a spot-on analysis of this.

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

    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.

  18. Griefer says:

    Um, ya. The actual “dirty trick” here was impersonating David Koch, not Scott Walker’s political maneuverings.

    @Ugly Canuck Bush’s tax cuts killed the global economy? lol no.

  19. moab says:

    Cutting taxes will bring jobs back to the state? Taxes have been almost continually cut since 1982. Federal revenues are 9% of GDP, the lowest since 1950. Yet jobs continue to disappear and corporate profits are at all time highs. Why?

    China and NAFTA free trade agreements were a gift to business to move jobs overseas, where they can pay 10-20% of US wages, which decimated private sector unions and US manufacturing. Now big business is going after public unions. Unions are the only way for the middle class to organize to defend itself against the rich. Unions were instrumental in passing child labor laws, 5 day workweek, 8 hour workday and workplace safety regulations one hundred years ago. Without the right to unionize you would still be working six or seven days a week, 12 hours a day. For less money.

    Unions played a large role in defeating Egypt’s Mubarak and a huge role in ending Communism, starting in Poland. Solidarity was a Polish labor movement that could not be defeated by the Soviets.

    • double_tilly says:

      @ moab

      Good points. International trade agreements and even the interstate trade agreements of the 19th century should be included in any analysis of this issue.

      @ pecoto

      Perhaps you WISH this fiasco is about ending mandatory union membership. But it doesn’t seem that way.

      • lyd says:

        “Perhaps you WISH this fiasco is about ending mandatory union membership. But it doesn’t seem that way.”

        Well, it sort of is. Part of the bill prohibits public employers from deducting dues from paychecks and ends members of collective bargaining units being required to pay dues.

        • Ugly Canuck says:

          Well d’uh…they are relying on the same general apathy and ignorance, which allows them and their ilk to remain in office after decades of mis-management, to destroy the Unions for them. From within, so to speak.

          Make voting itself mandatory, just like union dues, if you want better lives for your children – and yourselves.

        • double_tilly says:

          @ lyd

          drat

  20. Cowicide says:

    I’m just here to laugh at all the apologists in this thread who are bending over backwards to deflect blame or even lamely attempt to justify this idiot, this moron, this evil shithead… Scott Walker (corporatist lackey).

    You’re pitiful and you know who you are. Go ahead, keep it up.. I’d like some more laughs at your expense.

  21. pecoto says:

    What this fiasco is also about is ending MANDATORY union membership. I am in a profession that requires me to be in a union BY LAW (thanks Democraps). I cannot opt out, even though my union requires exhorbitant fees and backs ridiculous legislative action that is not only against my personal politics, but has nothing to do with my profession. My union throws away my dues on big paychecks for union bosses and backing political candidates and causes that I do not support. Yet, if I want to work in my chosen profession I literally do not have a choice but to send huge chunks of my paychecks to union goons and thugs to use on whatever flavor-of-the-week reprehensible legislation or candidate my union overlords are supporting. I would appreciate the freedom to choose not to support the actions of my out-of-control union, and hopefully Wisconsin is the start of the end of forced union membership.

    • lyd says:

      What profession?

    • travtastic says:

      Rofl, dude.

      I mean that. I am rofling with rofls.

    • Johnny Coelacanth says:

      “Democraps” “big paychecks for union bosses” “union goons and thugs” “union overlords” “out-of-control union”

      You hit all the talking points there, Pecoto. Do you get paid by the word? You sound like a plant from HBGary Federal’s sock-puppet corps. If you’re a union member I’m Samuel Fuckin Gompers.

      • Ugly Canuck says:

        Funnily enough, nether I nor any members of my family have ever belonged to any union whatsoever.

        That doesn’t mean that I think that people oughtn’t be able to band together to protect their interests, though, if they share enough in common, like an employer.

  22. Anonymous says:

    major PWNage..

  23. Anonymous says:

    wingedearth: What industrialized country with lower taxes than the US are you looking to as a role model to prove that your wet tax cut dreams are the right way. The minimal taxation ideal on the right is a pure ideological construct, there is no empirical support that is good for the citizens of the society. More equal societies do better in all regards. To build equality we need taxation and universal, high quality public goods: health care, public transportation, education and so on. Read the Spirit Level for details.

  24. Winski says:

    What a COMPLETE DUMB A** !! And for his next act, he’s doing puppet shows at Larry Craig gatherings at local airports….

    This guy has PROVEN, beyond any reasonable doubt, that he has a single mission – it’s EXACTLY 180 degrees from what he says in public – and will spill his guts to anyone that he THINKS is important to HIM – not his state.

    Walker needs to be and rejected RECALLED – TODAY.

  25. Daddyology says:

    “And why do we need public unions at all? Public servants uniting against the public? That makes no sense.”

    And yet elected GOP leaders will rail against the very government for which they work, and no one on the right sees the issue with that.

    Oh, and last I checked, government employees are still part of the “public.”

    “The public is broke …”

    Thanks to tax cuts for the wealthiest individuals and deregulation of the financial markets that caused the greatest economic collapse in nearly 80 years.

    It’s also deeply ironic (and abhorrent) that those whining loudest about government spending and debt are the EXACT SAME PEOPLE who were silent about, excused, or voted for $6 TRILLION in debt when their guy was in charge.

    I wonder what changed around Jan. 20, 2009, that would make them suddenly give a damn …

    “No, collective bargaining rights have not been removed.”

    Yes, they have. Just saying they haven’t won’t magically make it true, no matter how many times you try.

    “The entire battle against this bill is simply to go beyond the level of inflation to demand the continuation of overly inflated compensation, as I stated earlier.”

    And, as others have stated earlier, you’re either clueless or lying. Salaries for public employees in Wisconsin are actually right in line, if not lower, than the private sector, as a recent study showed. Of course, claiming that teachers making $40-50K a year receive “overly inflated compensation” is so absurd I’m not even sure what to type.

    “The bill just prevents the public unions from holding the public hostage.”

    Meanwhile, conservatives will hold an entire economy hostage until they bust every union, give even more tax breaks for the rich, and increase military spending.

    And all while whining about how broke our nation is, and how poor women and children, college kids, senior citizens, our education system, the EPA, the SEC, PBS, and CPB all must pay the price for the GOP’s fiscal malfeasance.

    Our nation truly is stoopit.

  26. Anonymous says:

    It’s on YouTube folks going viral. I say Ian Murphy deserves a Special Oscar! This is not the smoking gun, but it reveals the unethical nature of Walker, the accepted influence peddling of the fake-Koch, and insinuates a connection between these two men ENOUGH to warrant an investigation. I think Walker’s career is over.

  27. Mister44 says:

    re:”Proeconomytip, Mister44, creating a business isn’t inherently good.”

    How is that, exactly? Well, unless it is something like “Ted’s Random Testicle Removal Inc”. I can agree about something like that.

    re: ” Also, your argument about banks? Where do poor people keep their money? Oh wait, poor people have bank accounts too. I guess ‘poor’ people can’t invest money either. Oh wait, they can.”

    Yeah – and? Didn’t you get the memo? The rich have a lot more money to save and invest than the poor (who are notorious for not saving nor investing. Well… a Meth lab could be considered and investment.)

    re:” You don’t really support your claim that giving money to wealthy ‘people’ is good. Other than that they have the monopoly on investing in business.”

    If by ‘give’ you mean ‘allowing to keep’ the money they have. No one is asking for anyone to give them anything. And there is no monopoly on investing.

    • travtastic says:

      The rich have a lot more money to save and invest than the poor (who are notorious for not saving nor investing. Well… a Meth lab could be considered and investment.)

      Dude. Seriously. You’re on the bleeding edge of being MisterObviousTroll. You might want to dial that hate back a few notches.

      • Mister44 says:

        What hate? The only hate around here are the evil rich people.

        The poor (the richest poor in the world, I might add) aren’t all poor because ‘the man’ is keeping them down. So often their financial situation is from messed up priorities.

        Last Christmas a friend overheard a lady say “She didn’t have any money for Christmas presents for her kids.” But she was paying $50 to get her hair done and her nails did. I’ve delivered turkey dinners on thanksgiving to the poorest areas of the metro. Most of them had newer cars than mine, and some of them had nicer TVs and furniture than me. Most of them had satellite dishes on the side of their house. Of course this is all anecdotal, but it illustrates a point.

        I’m not sitting in some Ivory Tower. I grew up with gov. cheese sandwiches and powdered milk with some Quick in it.

        The meth lab was dark humor.

        • travtastic says:

          So you follow it up with a single piece of anecdotal evidence that you gleaned second-hand from a friend?

          • Mister44 says:

            Only half of it is 2nd hand, but yeah. Maybe you don’t know many poor people. I grew up with lots of ‘poor white trash’.

            At any rate, the statement I made that the poor rarely save or invest isn’t incorrect. Nor is it something I say out of animosity.

          • travtastic says:

            And you then imply that I occupy a privileged position? I know plenty of poor people. They don’t save because they’re poor.

    • Brainspore says:

      re:”Proeconomytip, Mister44, creating a business isn’t inherently good.” How is that, exactly? Well, unless it is something like “Ted’s Random Testicle Removal Inc”. I can agree about something like that.

      How about Enron? The multi-billion dollar company provided no tangible benefit to society, used their influence to get bad energy legislation passed, orchestrated artificial energy shortages and contributed to a major financial meltdown.

      • Mister44 says:

        That is from a business being miss managed. Had it been run right, it would still be here employing tens of thousands of people.

        OF course one can’t preemptively figure out which businesses will practice shady tactics.

        • Brainspore says:

          That is from a business being miss managed. Had it been run right, it would still be here employing tens of thousands of people.

          Enron didn’t produce a damn thing for society. It’s “products” were nothing but financial smoke and mirrors built on lies and enabled by legalized bribes to public officials. The fact that they employed thousands of people (who were later hung out to dry anyway) means nothing if those salaries came at a cost to millions of people. Speculating what might have been if Enron had been “run right” is like speculating what would happen if Apple Computers was a tire dealership.

          OF course one can’t preemptively figure out which businesses will practice shady tactics.

          Which is exactly why (as Anon stated earlier) “creating a business is not inherently good.”

  28. Anonymous says:

    mister44 – ‘re- the rich hang onto their money’ yes yes I know the classic macroeconomics tax reductions lead to more disposable income and consumer spending -> leads to economic growth.
    In the old days it was the easiest way to kickstart a sluggish economy. Except nothing happened after the first round of Bush tax cuts, because the rich didn’t spend it. And the extra capital in the bank accounts of the rich had ZERO effect back in 2001.

    And after 9/11 the government mantra was – go out and buy stuff.. Have another martini ’cause otherwise the terrorists win.
    Another tool to get the economy going is govt. spending -> and sometimes it really makes a difference such as Eisenhower’s interstate highway system – great infrastructure good for trade etc..

    Another tool to kickstart the economy is to keep interest rates low. When the cost of money is cheap people borrow and build houses etc. And that is what Greenspan and the Fed. did except that it created the housing bubble and we know what that led to. The other problem is under Bush the US borrowed trillions in Chinese money (by selling treasury bills) remember when Cheney said ‘Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter’ (* they only seem to matter now under a democratic white house – nobody seemed to care when Bush added more to the national debt than all the past presidents combined)

    Compare the US and business investment in the 50s – there was huge economic growth and the rich were taxed at a much higher rate. In addition company CEO’s while making far more than the average worker only made something like 30times as much rather than now when they make 600x as much.

    The argument that tax cuts for the rich leads to further investment falls flat on its face.

    (btw I’ve been running a medium size business for 25 years, employing several people and
    don’t make six figures)

  29. Anonymous says:

    The bill does not eliminate collective bargaining outright, as many seem to be implying. It just limits it to the issue of wages:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/18/us-wisconsin-proposal-idUSTRE71H6I020110218

    There is an unhealthy feedback loop between public sector unions and the politicians that determine their benefits. Politicians are ostensibly at the table as representatives of ALL of the voters, but unions have figured out how to push the system in their favor through political contributions and endorsements. This works out well for the politicians as well, but who is looking out for the voters’ long term interests?

    What about the option of allowing more collective bargaining, but banning public sector unions from having any involvement in politics? That would include no political donations and no endorsements of candidates.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m for it, if corporations get the same deal. The negative feedback loop with them actually seems to cause real problems.

  30. Mister44 says:

    Huh – this is interesting: http://www2.hernandotoday.com/content/2010/oct/17/ha-fdrs-warning-public-employee-unions-a-no-no/

    And stop blaming the Bush tax cuts for the recession. Come on. There are several legit reasons, I don’t even see how one can connect the dots other than “Bush BAD!! AARRGGHHH”, you might as well blame him for that as well.

    • lyd says:

      I’m not certain that FDR could have imagined the extent to which government has been annexed by corporations today. Whatever else you can say about them, strong public unions help enable effective and impartial government. If you’ll allow me a copypasta of a letter to the editor originated by a relative:

      Dear Editor,

      I am a professional hydrologist and private environmental consultant in support of collective bargaining rights for public employees. Collective bargaining is a fundamental worker’s right; a human right. And more than that, government cannot effectively function without strong unions. How would I know that? From 1976 to 2006 I proudly worked as a water resources specialist for the Department of Natural Resources. For 25 years of my 30 year DNR career, I was a dues paying union member represented by the Wisconsin Science Professionals and American Federation of Teachers. My job included enforcing environmental regulations. At times, wealthy polluters with strong connections at high levels of elected government took exception to enforcement. And at times I and other DNR colleagues were put under strong pressure to back off of enforcing laws that were designed to protect the public health, environment, and fish and wildlife habitat. And a few times when I didn’t back off, the pressure focused solely me. At that point, the only thing that protected my career and execution of laws to protect natural resources was the union.

      Many people are aware that the loss of the Natural Resources Board appointed Secretary compromised the DNR, turning it more political. Now eliminate or weaken unions and the political influence will permeate the agency at far deeper levels. Corporate, moneyed interests will crush the rights of citizens and destroy natural resources. Clean progressive government that had been a trademark of Wisconsin will become a distant memory.

      Sincerely,

      Dave Marshall
      Underwater Habitat Investigations LLC

      also:

      Dear Senator Miller and Erpenbach, over the last several days I had attended the rallies in support of “killing the bill” and plan to attend more. I wanted to testify against the bill but didn’t get a chance. I’m sending you this email to thank you and your Democratic colleagues for your courage and strong message why this is terrible legislation. Thousands are very grateful for your stand!

      Below is testimony that I was prepared to deliver.

      Dave Marshall, Licensed Professional Hydrologist
      Underwater Habitat Investigations LLC
      8951 Clay Hill Road
      Barneveld, WI 53507-9777

      I am a licensed professional hydrologist and private environmental consultant here to support the collective bargaining rights of public employees. But it is more than just preserving fundamental workers rights and fairness; it is also about maintaining good government. Without strong unions, workers will be intimidated and told to play along with politics of the day – even when that may include violating the law and public trust. How do I know this? I worked for DNR from 1976 to 2006 and many of us from time to time had been threatened; specifically told not to enforce the law. And the only entity that protected our jobs and execution of our legal responsibilities was the union*. Without strong unions, effective government will be a memory of the past.

      * For background, here is just one example: I was threatened with termination in 1985 after I initiated enforcement action against a factory farm in Jefferson County. The large-scale farm had clearly violated anti-pollution laws (including Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 29.29) with the discharge of untreated wastewater into a tributary of Rock Lake. However, even though the fine (that presented in the form of a Warden’s ticket) amounted to only $325.00, the CEO decided to punish the lead investigator (me) by demanding my termination. He was very upset that a citizen group opposing the factory farm expansion was using the enforcement action as part of their argument before the Jefferson County Board. The CEO was also a significant contributor to Tommy Thompson at the time. So a meeting was held between the DNR Southern District Director Doug Morrisette, Thompson Administration and CEO attorney. While my supervisor defended my actions that were clearly within the law and indeed required of my position, my union (American Federation of Teachers) was ultimately the only thing that saved me from that political witch hunt.

      It is extremely stressful working for DNR and my former colleagues deserve much more as do all public employees. I have to admit that private consulting work has been much less stressful with greater compensation. Something has to change with the way public workers are treated.

  31. Anonymous says:

    If one more person blames unions for bankrupting the economy I think I might run amok. It has got to be the dumbest and most illogical talking point ever.

    Cops, firefighters, teachers, civil servants, yeah they make such HUGE salaries. The national average for a patrolman is 50k, a teacher 40k, a firefighter 30 to 50k.

    Yes, they have decent pensions, you know why? because they aren’t going to get social security because they have pensions but they still have to pay into social security so really they are paying twice, once for their own pension and once for yours. And they don’t even get their full salary upon retirement, they get a percentage of their highest paid year.

    Unions are the reason we have 40 hour work weeks, legally required vacations, minimum wage, workplace safety laws and child labor laws. Unions have fought for you even when you aren’t a member.

    Unions are not bankrupting this country, greedy financial organizations and corporations who destroyed our pension funds, destroyed the banking system with their shady practices and then stole 700 billion in bailout money are to blame.

    This entire manipulation is part of a larger agenda to destroy political funding and privatize large segments of public services like education. Don’t believe the PR that this has anything to do with fiscal emergencies.

    Personally, I have absolutely no problem having my tax money go toward paying teachers, firefighters, cops, garbage men, public hospitals and librarians. They deserve more than they will ever receive and should be honored and supported for the incredible jobs they do in the face of being constantly blamed for the ills of society.

    Public workers work for you in better and truer ways than any politician ever has or ever will.

    • sdmikev says:

      You have to remember, most people are idiot. They consistently vote against their own best interests and fret over teh gay.
      As was quoted above from Matt Taibbi:

      “it’s unbelievable that people can’t connect the dots. You know, these pension funds that these state workers have – these were the people who were the victims of this mortgage-backed securities scheme. These were the places where the banks were selling these toxic sub-prime mortgages that eventually blew up. The pension funds lost all their money. Now the states have to pay these pensions and they’re broke, and they’re blaming the teachers, they’re blaming the firemen, they’re blaming the policemen, when in fact they were all defrauded by these banks on Wall Street. It’s an incredible situation.”

      Indeed. But since most people are idiots, they cannot connect the dots.
      You typical dummy will happily attack their fellow working person while they happily grin at the genius of their corporate overlords who blew up the planet. “It’s an incredible situation”.

  32. Mister44 says:

    I imply nothing, and thank you for concurring they don’t save.

    • travtastic says:

      Maybe you don’t know many poor people.

      Your history-altering device seems to be malfunctioning.

      (Cue an explanation of what imply really means.)

  33. Anonymous says:

    One of my persistent fantasies involves most of the world becoming like the fictional economic crises we keep hearing about — recently it’s been Zimbabwe and Greece.

    Since no sane person would work for a wage that would depreciate as fast as these ‘news’ stories claim, the alternative lifestyle is obvious: the people make their own, and barter for the rest. Inconvenient? Of course, but preferable to selling one’s soul to a financier.

    Money is a contract that requires two willing participants. Behavior like this stretches ‘willing’ so far it may break. Then what?

    No public schools or highway maintenance, for example? Yay?

  34. Bass says:

    How do we know that this is the real Gov. Scott Walker?

    • RyanH says:

      According to Salon, the governor’s office has confirmed that it is real. They are understandably trying to downplay it but have apparently decided that this is a case where a cover-up would be worse PR than the original leak.

    • Dave Faris says:

      Walker’s Office Confirms Governor Fell For ‘Koch’ Prank Call

      Conservative Michelle Malkin spins it as “The tapes show a strong executive focused on his job. They also show that Walker is not in deep, dark cahoots or collusion with Koch. If he were, he would have caught on quickly. But the progs will see and hear what they want to hear.”

      • Anonymous says:

        So, wait. Their defense of the situation is “it’s okay, he’s not corrupt, just slow”?

      • bklynchris says:

        What is WRONG with Michelle Malkin? I have never seen such a self hating POC tool in my life. She makes Thomas Howell look like the head of the NAACP.

        I swear, I have never wanted to spit on the ground someone walks on as much as the ground she does.

        • travtastic says:

          Michelle Malkin reads my mind daily, finds the most absurd and obviously sarcastic responses to a given situation, and then passes them off as her personal opinion.

          I often wonder why her pieces are in the editorial section, instead of in the comics with all the other hackneyed shit that’s not funny.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s been confirmed by a number of local news outlets here in Madison. The Governor’s office has released a statement confirming it.

  35. joeyjoseph says:

    Out of curiosity, is it legal to fake identity like this?

    • mdh says:

      Do you mean the guy pretending to be a Koch brother? or the guy pretending a Koch brother was his boss?

    • OrcOnTheEndOfMyFork says:

      Out of curiosity, is it legal to fake identity like this?

      “Have a seat. Right over there.”

      I’d say journalists have a certain leeway in getting the truth behind a story…

      • joeyjoseph says:

        Yeah, Walker may be taking his seat shortly.

        Is the journalistic leeway derived from the context? In this case, because he was lying about his identity to a public official? If so, I could understand if the official or their office had no legal recourse, but does Koch? I’m not a journalism student, so I really don’t know the lines. I see the difference when a radio host does a prank call or w/e. But this went on, and as far as the clip on BB goes, the guy on the phone never says “GOTCHA” or admits to not being Koch.

        From everything I’ve read about Koch, he seems like the sort who could slam a lawsuit on someone quickly, so I assume the journalist wouldn’t have done it if he didn’t think he was in the clear. Still, curious to know historically how things like this have gone down.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’d wager to say that any evidence from this phone call wouldn’t be usable in a court case, but in a game of politics and public opinion, I don’t think it really matters.

  36. Anonymous says:

    i like to examine source data.

    Walker knows that Koch “knows” the principle behind what’s going on there, so there’s nothing really charged in the exchange. Walker wouldn’t expect to have to explain WHY this issue is an issue.

    The phone call to prank would be Koch talking to Koch about what they’re going to do AFTER the unions are busted. Grousing about the things that ‘have’ to do because of the unions today.

    Walker’s just a foil and so ‘here’s how we’re going to the achieve the mutually agreed upon goal, sir.’

  37. sdmikev says:

    Nice to know (or have confirmation) when a “public servant” is taking marching orders from a corporate master. Bow down, dill weed.

  38. Dr. Pasolini says:

    It’s predictable that the Republican talking points parroted above all boil down to “unions are filled with greedy people, therefore very wealthy people should not have to pay as much in taxes.” Unfortunately for the Republicans, none of that makes sense. Public employees in unions have already wound up shouldering a huge burden of give-backs to the wealthiest Americans. What’s more, the idea that killing middle-class jobs in order to pay off the wealthy has been voodoo economics right from the start. Wealthy people don’t put their money back into the economy the way middle class people do. In fact, they tend to put it offshore as much as possible, where it distorts other economies even more than it does our own.

    It’s also telling that Republican anti-union types have so little to say about the other two main provisions of the 144 page bill at issue in Wisconsin: The one that gives the governor sole authority over Medicaid dollars in Wisconsin, and the one that allows the governor to fast-track privatization of public utilities. This whole bill was written by far-right corporate interests, and it will be a disaster for everyone in Wisconsin, not just union members.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Koch (murphy): [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.

    That sounds an awful lot like Walker is accepting a bribe. Whoops.

    Walker: If you heard I was going to talk to them that’s the only reason why.

    That’s sounds eerily like leader of the red shirt army begging to not be dropped into the piranha tank. “No, I’ll get them. Just give me one more channnnncccccceeeee…”

    Nice to have some evidence that those in power are considering using agent provocateurs, as well. I’ll be damned if this doesn’t annihilate the non-tea party support for him.

    Unfortunately, Mr. Murphy’s tactic was definitely unethical, if not straight-up illegal. Hopefully he doesn’t get busted.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Out-of-control unions and big paychecks for their bosses are like welfare queens: everyone knows they are massive problems, even though for some reason nobody is able to give any supporting statistics or evidence.

    • mdh says:

      you mean “everyone knows they are made up straw-men; never actually identified individually by the conservatives who claim we all know about them”

      thanks!

  41. double_tilly says:

    Video is not working. Buffalo Beast appears to be down. Hopefully somebody can post the video elsewhere.

  42. SamSam says:

    I wasn’t able to find the part about sending provocateurs, in my quick listen-though. I feel like that’s the more important thing to be hammering on, more than the fact that “Koch” managed to get through to Walker (which is what Slate seems to find evil, but really seems normal to me, of course you talk to your major backers), and more than the legislative tricks, which most people don’t understand anyway.

    Exposing the legislative tricks will have been useful for the Democrats — who probably wouldn’t have fallen for “hey, just open the assembly and then come to my office…” but who knows — while focussing on him considering sending provocateurs would, I think, resonate more strongly with most people.

  43. wigg1es says:

    So umm… Did anyone else see the Stand with Scott Walker ad that was just running in the sidebar next to this story?

    The page refreshed on me and its now replaced with a Sprint ad (and I didn’t get a screencap because I’m at school, damn it!). It was rather ironic.

  44. lyd says:

    I’m in Madison and I was just complaining to friends that little attention was being given to Walker’s cavalier admission that they considered sending in “troublemakers” to discredit the pro-union protesters and the only reason they decided against it was that it might interfere with the “it’s only a few cranks and most of them are from out of state” spin he’s been trying to put on the demonstrations.

    Then I load up boingboing and find them not only on the story but zeroed in on that point. Hooray!

  45. sally599 says:

    I think that the number of voters is likely to increase in Wisconsin next round. We had similar recurrent fiasco’s after electing a pro wrestler in Minnesota, that was the year I became a voter in every election no matter how much of a lock I thought it was. Keep in mind that the damage can actually be undone in most cases—so worst case scenario no unions for 4 years, you can bet they will come back with extreme force after that. Of course in Illinois, it’s just a matter of waiting for the gov to do something so scandalous that you can remove him from office. Maybe Walker will try to sell a senate seat or something, you can only hope.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Koch gave the Republican Governors Association one million dollars last year. He donated $43,000 to Walkers Campaign. In the bill it states “sell any state-owned heating, cooling and power plant or may contract with any private entity for the operation of such plant” Koch is a billionaire, has this type of business, already employee’s people in the state of Wisconsin and could get these businesses very cheap without any competitive bidding. The Governors office has already admitted that this is Scott Walker on the phone. I just thought I would make you aware of this.

  47. God45 says:

    People like Walker are the scum of the earth.

    • Eark_the_Bunny says:

      Yes, he is indeed an evil man like so many we have had in recent times. Although a few of those evil ones have lost their jobs recently. Maybe come next January gov. walker will lose his too.

  48. juepucta says:

    Walker’s a KOCHsucker! (best if said in Swearengen style voice)

    -G.

  49. hewler says:

    The part about sending provocateurs;
    @4:25 in part 2 the Fake Koch brings up planting ‘troublemakers’ and Walker is dismissive of it, but does mention ‘we thought about it’.

    • SamSam says:

      Wow, yeah. So no, he wasn’t really considering sending in “trouble-makers” or provocateurs.

      Seems like a great trick, but unfortunately basically nothing came of it then. No real dirt. No smoking gun.

      - Koch gets to call governor: so what else is new, big-money backers get to call politicians all the time.

      - Legislative tricks: so what else is new, that’s considered being smart when Democrats do it. If it’s playing by what’s in the rule book, it’s not particularly unethical. The Democrats are playing by the same rulebook when they’re out of state and preventing quorum.

      - Agent provocateurs: Walker says that “they” considered it, but he was against it.

      Though I wanted to, — I was hoping it would be the smoking gun that would take the bastid down — I failed to see any real dirt brought up by the call.

  50. Mister44 says:

    Confused – what is so damning about this?

    • Anonymous says:

      Really? Using agent provocateurs, which is basically misrepresenting the public to the people he represents? The idea of using cheap loopholes to prevent other elected representatives from getting a say? Does the mandate to govern everyone keeps talkin about extend to taking away everyone else’s?

  51. Dave Faris says:

    David Corn (Mother Jones Magazine) tweets : Walker aide says, “just a couple of minutes and he’ll be out….He’s on the phone talking to Beyonce right now.”

  52. millrick says:

    christ, what an asshole and/or idiot

  53. Anonymous says:

    Mister44 is right. The Bush deregulations are responsible for the economic collapse. The Bush tax cuts are not, they are responsible for the massive increase in debt. They are related but different things.

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