After threatening to file ethics charges against Wisconsin Democrats, it appears Gov. Walker may be in some ethics trouble himself. Taking a phone call from a big campaign donor? That's a no-no:
“If you didn’t believe it before, you have to now—this fight isn’t about the budget, it’s about favors for corporate special interests,” continued Donnelly. “If Wisconsin law forbids coordination with political donors similar to federal law, Gov. Scott Walker is not just in political trouble, but in legal hot water.”
Public Campaign Action Fund is currently in discussions with election experts on whether Gov. Walker may have broken state election law and whether a complaint should be filed.
Walker's office confirms the call is for real. Oy vey. Scott Walker just made a colossally stupid mistake, bragging in true fan boy fashion to a man he thought was oil billionaire David Koch. Wisconsin, this just tells you so much about the guy you elected governor, where his allegiance lies and how he thinks. He won’t talk to Senate Democrats (unless it’s a trick to get them back into the state capitol so Republicans can declare a quorum), but he eagerly takes “David Koch’s” phone call and dishes all his secrets.
Schadenfreude. It's what's for breakfast.
Did a crank caller really convince Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker that he was talking to David Koch? And did Walker really spill the beans on his strategy to hold Wisconsin Senate Democrats’ pay and file ethics charges if any took help from union supporters? And did the prankster really tape the whole thing and post it on the internet?
We still don’t know if This is for real but the tapes sound pretty convincing. and it's not the first time a prominent conservative got punk'd, either.
(Note: I accidentally left off the second recording in my original post. I've corrected that mistake now ...)
Here are some juicy bits. For one thing, if this IS for real, it seems Walker is trying to set a trap:
GOV. WALKER: An interesting idea brought up to me this morning by my chief of staff, we won’t do it until tomorrow, is putting out an appeal to the Democrat leader that 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 -- I’ll only do it if all 14 of ‘em come back and sit down in the state Assembly. They can recess it to come back over and talk to me but they’ll have to come back there.
The reason for that is, we’re verifying it this afternoon but 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, this 19 senate Republicans could then go into action and they’d have a quorum because they started out that way. Um ... so we’re double checking that.
If you heard that we’re gonna talk to ‘em that would be the only reason why, is we would only do it if they came back to the capital with all 14 of ‘em. 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.
What. An. Asshole.
I just finished listening to the second part of the recording. I'm struck by three things: Walker has a tremendous ego and is incredibly arrogant. This is not a humble man.
Two: he realizes this is not about Wisconsin, this is about crushing organized labor nationally. He knows what killing collective bargaining in Wisconsin means. This was the plan. This was never about Wisconsin.
And three: Walker's obviously seeking David Koch's approval, which speaks volumes about Koch's role in all of this. Walker might as well be saying, "I did good, didn't I, huh huh, didn't I?" He reminds me of my dog when we're playing fetch, the way she's just so eager for approval when she drops the ball at my feet. Walker is practically doing somersaults and handstands to show Fake Koch what a star politician he is, what a big player he is, how in control and manly. If he were a peacock he'd be spreading his tail feathers. He is, in short, showing off. Which, knowing this was Fake Koch not a real Koch, is sorta pathetic.
Anyway, it's clear David Koch is the Republican Party's new king maker. That's just obvious from the conversation, from Walker's conversation. Fake Koch barely says two words and Walker is tripping over himself doing the "how do you like me now!" song and dance.
And here's my question: Who the hell is David Koch's "guy on the ground" in Madison? Hello? Hello news media, the fact that Koch Industries has "a guy on the ground" should sorta tell you everything you need to know about the Tea Party!
Anyway, here's some more transcript:
FAKE KOCH: Goddamn right! We sent Andrew Breitbart down there.
FAKE KOCH: Yeah!
WALKER: Good stuff!
FAKE KOCH: He’s our man, y’know.
WALKER: Well it has been amazing to me the massive amount of attention .. I’ve done all, you know -- every day I do a 5 o’clock press conference, tonight I’m actually doing a fireside chat which the state TV stations are gonna tape but I guess a bunch of the national ones are too, and um in the last couple of days when I do the TV shows I’ve been going after Obama, ‘cuz he stuck his -- although he’s backed off now -- but he stuck his nose in here and I said -- they asked me what I thought and I said, “Y’know, last time I checked, this guy’s got a much bigger budget deficit than we do, maybe he should worry about that!
FAKE KOCH: (laughs)
WALKER: ... and not stick his nose in Wisconsin business, right?. We’ve had all the national shows, we were on Hannity last night, I did Good Morning America, The Today Show and all that sort of stuff, was on Morning Joe this morning, we’ve done Greta, we’re going to keep getting our message out, Mark Levine last night. And I gotta tell ya, the response from around the country has been phenomenal. I had Brian the new governor over in Nevada call me last night, said he was out on the Lincoln Day circuit in the last two weekends and he was kidding me -- he’s new as well as me -- he said, “Scott don’t come to Nevada, cuz I’d be afraid you’d beat me running for the governor.”
FAKE KOCH: (Laughs)
WALKER: That’s all they want to talk about is, what are you doing to help the governor of Wisconsin? The next question is, I talk to Kasich every day, and John’s gonna stand firm in Ohio, I think we do the same thing with Rick Scott in Florida. I think Snyder if he got a little more support probably could do that in Michigan, when you start going down the list, there’s a lot of us new governors that got elected to do something big.
FAKE KOCH: You’re the first domino!
WALKER: Yup! This is our moment.
FAKE KOCH: Now what else can we do for you down there?
Walker: Well the biggest thing would be, and your guy on the ground is probably seeing this, is the, well two things: one, our members, originally kinda got freaked out by all the bodies down here, although I told them an interesting story about when I was first elected county executive in Milwaukee of all places....
Actually, the story was really boring about how when he was a county executive and pissed off the unions, everyone totally loved him at a Veteran's Day parade except one guy who gave him the finger. It was another piece of arrogance and ego on display, showing off to the guy who is clearly Very Important. Later in the conversation Walker compares what he's doing to Ronald Reagan firing the air traffic controllers, and how he sees that as the first chink in the Berlin Wall because the Communists were put on notice that Reagan "wouldn't be pushed around."
So this is all very interesting ... very interesting indeed.