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Thursday, February 24, 2011

No, It's Not a 'Prank'

Walker awash in Koch cash
It's been called a "prank call," but a phone call to Scott Walker by a guerrilla journalist posing as billionaire GOP donor David Koch would be better described as an "interview by subterfuge." Clearly, Buffalo Beast's Ian Murphy remembers the journalist's motto; to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable. And Scott Walker is most definitely feeling afflicted today.

For his part, the governor is trying desperately to put the call behind him, telling reporters at a press conference that he hadn't said anything in the call that he hadn't said in public, when clearly this was BS. When had Walker told the public that he needed to bust the unions to be like Ronald Reagan, who Walker laughably claims brought down the USSR by breaking the air traffic controllers' union? When has Walker told everyone he'd thought of planting agent provocateurs in with the protesters, but ruled it out because it would probably backfire? When did he tell the public he was planning to trick Democrats into coming back to Wisconsin, in order to end his standoff with them?

And there's a lot in this call that almost no one is talking about. For instance, it's an example of either Walker's dishonesty and/or denial. He told Murphy that most of the protesters are from out of state -- a claim that PolitiFact immediately called false. Is Walker so out of touch with what's happening out his window that this is what he really believes? Or is this evidence that Walker would lie even to David Koch, if he thought it would serve his purposes? And how can Walker decry out-of-state agitators on a phone call with a Texas billionaire running ads supporting him without pegging everyone's hypocrisy meter?



But Walker's biggest problem here is legal.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

The leader of a state government watchdog group on Wednesday called for an investigation into Gov. Scott Walker's comments with a prank caller purporting to be a major donor.

Jay Heck, executive director of Wisconsin Common Cause, said Walker's remarks seeking support for Republicans from swing districts from a caller posing as an energy industry executive should be reviewed by the state Government Accountability Board.

Coordinating campaign strategy with a group that conducts independent campaign expenditures would be a law or ethics violations, Heck said.


And what about that consideration of planting "troublemakers" in the crowds of protesters? This also points to Walker's dishonesty. And the fact that it was rejected, not because it was obviously just plain wrong, but because it was seen as a possible strategic blunder, should strike anyone with a conscience as shocking.

Finally, although he's denied the fact all along, Walker admits that his "budget crisis" is really just an excuse for union busting. When he brings up Reagan and the ATC union, he's clearly talking about emulating his hero. He wants to break public unions, not because it's necessary, but because he believes it's a political winner. In fact, independent analysis shows that Walker's bill would only make economic and budgetary problems in Wisconsin worse. The loss of personal revenue would result in decreased wages, decreased consumer demand, increased unemployment, and decreased tax revenues. This is the GOP's bass-ackward, we've-never-heard-of-supply-and-demand economics in action. In fact, he admits that his layoff threat is just a way to pressure Democrats and workers.

The phone call should expose Walker as a dishonest, delusional, manipulative ideologue and egotist who fancies himself the next Ronald Reagan. Instead, it's being called a "prank."

-Wisco


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