It was pretty clear to most people that extremist Republican Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin was trying to bust the public sector unions by trying to take away their collective bargaining rights by creating a financial emergency, but he confirmed his goal was union busting on Tuesday after he was phone pranked by a liberal blogger.
Besides proving he wasn’t very smart and easily duped, the call proves this is just a union busting ploy because unions tend to support Democrats in elections. Walker thought he was talking to David Koch, one of the Koch brothers who has bankrolled teabaggers and is financing the current union-busting movement.
The transcript of the call is just hilarious and reveling, and Walker never knew he was being pranked. It did prove that this is not about balancing the budget but killing the unions. Walker tries to make the claim that the huge crowds that have jammed the capitol in Wisconsin in support of collective bargaining rights are paid, saying, “…they’re probably putting hobos in suits.”
Then they joked about trying to trick the Democratic Senators who left Madison so the Legislature does not have a quorum by tricking them into returning by thinking that Walker was actually going to negotiate in good faith, and Koch/blogger Ian Murphy joked Walker should bring a baseball bat to the meeting.
“I have one in my office; you’d be happy with that,” Walker said. “I got a Slugger with my name on it.”
Walker is obviously enjoying all the attention he is getting, and his ego is growing along with his infamy. He even compared himself to GOP saint Ronald Reagan, and he tried to equate union-busting with the fall of Communism. Someone should tell him about the Solidarity union movement and Lech Wałęsa.
"I pulled out a picture of Ronald Reagan, and I said, you know, this may seem a little melodramatic, but 30 years ago, Ronald Reagan, whose 100th birthday we just celebrated the day before, had one of the most defining moments of his political career, not just his presidency, when he fired the air-traffic controllers,” Walker said. “And, uh, I said, to me that moment was more important than just for labor relations or even the federal budget, that was the first crack in the Berlin Wall and the fall of Communism because from that point forward, the Soviets and the Communists knew that Ronald Reagan wasn’t a pushover"
Walker also made it clear that Wisconsin is ground zero for busting public sector unions, and he wants to import the union-busting to other states, including Michigan.
“I talk to Kasich every day; John’s gotta stand firm in Ohio,” he said. “I think we could do the same thing with Vic Scott in Florida. I think, uh, [Rick] Snyder-if he got a little more support-probably could do that in Michigan.”
The good news is that Snyder is saying, at least publicly, that he is not interested in union busting. But the Republican-controlled Legislature is another story, and they are doing nothing but union busting. I have no idea how this creates jobs.
Veteran Capitol correspondent Tim Skubick is reporting that Snyder went so far as to meet with Legislative Republicans on Tuesday to talk about their union-busting agenda over his agenda of reforming the tax system and the budget. Apparently, the Speaker of the House told him they were more interested in union busting than jobs.