This is priceless. Ian Murphy of Buffalo Beast (the site appears to be down at the moment, but twolf1 has posted both videos on MyFDL) called up Gov. Scott Walker, posing as wealthy industrialist and campaign donor David Koch. They had a 20-minute chat. Here’s an excerpt:
Koch: 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 […]
Walker: [...] I went on “Morning Joe” this morning. I like it because I just like being combative with those guys, but, uh. You know they’re off the deep end.
Koch: Joe—Joe’s a good guy. He’s one of us.
Walker: Yeah, he’s all right. He was fair to me…[bashes NY Senator Chuck Schumer, who was also on the program.]
Koch: Beautiful; beautiful. You gotta love that Mika Brzezinski; she’s a real piece of ass.
Walker: Oh yeah.
Throughout the call, Walker boasts about his media appearances and strategizes with Koch. Some may say that there’s nothing damning in the call. The idea of the Governor of Wisconsin admitting that he thought about planting bad actors inside the protest crowds doesn’t look too good.
And I would argue that its existence is damning enough. There are tens of thousands of Wisconsin citizens outside in Madison, inside the Capitol Rotunda, who cannot get an audience with Scott Walker. “David Koch” can call and talk to him for 20 minutes. This power imbalance is at the heart of our corporate-captured government. Without a strong citizen’s movement, people like the Koch Brothers would have all the access, all the influence, and all the power. And they would get legislation written their way, protecting and furthering their interests.
And best of all, Murphy didn’t have to pretend to be a pimp or a prostitute in order to do it. Or, depending on your opinion of Mr. Koch, he did.
So yes, Scott Walker was Breitbarted here, but I think the larger point about access is very important for people to understand.
UPDATE: More from Adam Weinstein.
UPDATE II: Walker office has now confirmed that the call is real:
“The Governor takes many calls everyday. Throughout this call the Governor maintained his appreciation for and commitment to civil discourse. He continued to say that the budget repair bill is about the budget. The phone call shows that the Governor says the same thing in private as he does in public and the lengths that others will go to disrupt the civil debate Wisconsin is having.”
The Center for Media and Democracy has asked for a list of all phone calls made by Walker over the past couple weeks.
UPDATE III: Should have also mentioned Walker’s devious plan to get the Wisconsin 14 back in the Capitol:
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.