It’s been said that Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to crush the unions was more of a political move than a budget move. Now, a prank call by Buffalo Beast editor Ian Murphy has exposed Walker’s cozy relationship with David Koch. In addition, in the prank call, Walker elaborates on his hope to crush the Wisconsin labor unions. Will Walker’s exposed conversation be detrimental to his budget plan?
Bloggers and commentators have jumped all over this prank call. Jesse Berney of the Huffington Post says the phone call reveals Walker’s ability to lie, threaten and conspire. In general, the conversation shows “Walker is corrupt.” One place where Berney makes a good point is that Walker shows no moral objection to placing “fake protesters to cause trouble among the real protesters.” This reveals that Walker is all about strategy and doesn’t care what is right or wrong.
Another point brought up by some commentators is how easily and quickly “David Koch” was able to talk to Walker. Democrats and others have been complaining that Walker won’t return their calls. However, Murphy says he was “shocked” at how easily he was able to talk to Walker. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that Koch is a billionaire.
However, conservatives like Rush Limbaugh are saying that the prank didn’t reveal anything. In fact, Limbaugh states “There’s nothing new here. There’s no news.” He also echoes the idea that in the conversation Walker doesn’t say anything that he hasn’t already said publicly. A blogger from the American Spectator declares the call simply shows Walker really believes in his cause.
In a 20-minute press conference, Walker also tried to diffuse the public spectacle and media scrutiny of the prank call. He stated that the things he said during the conversation were already known. Walker said, “The bottom line is, the things I said are things I said publicly all along.” Walker, like his supporters, won’t be admitting any wrongdoing. I’m sure he simply wants to sweep this under the rug.
It’s hard to believe that someone is trying to simply balance the budget when they joke about going after dissidents with a “slugger.” Yet Murphy was the one who said “bring a baseball bat.” And, in reality, Walker was simply going along with the conversation. He acted, well, like most politicians probably would when talking with a big financial backer.
In the end, I don’t think a prank call is going to change people’s ideas. Those who are anti-union will still be supporting Walker and those who are pro-union will be looking for any bit of evidence that shows corruption. In the end, Walker really didn’t say anything outrageous. By no means is this a Watergate scandal. The coming days will tell if this prank had any real affect in discrediting Walker and his legislation.
Read the entire transcript of the prank call here.
Ryan J. Foley On prank call, Wis. governor discusses strategy Associated Press
Jesse Berney Top Six Revelations in the Call Between Fake David Koch and Governor Scott Walker Huffington Post
Sarah Rasmussen Gov. Walker Pranked During Phone Call wjfw.com
Jon Bershad Rush Limbaugh On Gov. Scott Walker Prank Call: “There’s No News Here” Mediaite.com
Philip Klein Prank Call Reveals That Scott Walker Is Standing Up For WhatHeBelieves is Right spectator.org
Arthur Delany Scott Walker Responds To Prank Call Huffington Post
Ian Murphy as ‘David Koch’ Talk with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker International Business TImes