Even though the story broke just a few hours before they went on air, the Daily Show was able to use the prank call from Ian Murphy, pretending to be David Koch, on Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R). Jon lays out pretty clearly how Walker is talking out of both sides of his mouth.
Video and transcript below the fold.
Our top story tonight, once again, the unrest in the Midwest with our continuing coverage of...
After eight days of protests over Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's proposal to strip state employee unions of much of their collective bargaining rights, Walker has offered, finally, a counter-proposal.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI (2/23/2011): Scott Walker warned he would lay off 1,500 public employees if his proposal does not pass by Friday.
OK! By Saturday, 5,000 employees. By Sunday, he declares prima nocte, the right of the governor to have sex with any union member's wife on their wedding night, saying, "Elections have consequences."
Who is this guy, Walker? What kind of fat cat union-busting Attila the Hun, I mean... ooh, that man looks nice. Yes, that unthreatening Sy Syms advertisement, or wherever it is gentiles buy their suits, is the same Governor Walker who threatened that if he doesn't get what he wants by Friday, the streets of Madison will run pink with slips!
Last night Walker addressed Wisconsinites, with, I'm sure, the hard-line rhetoric that will belie his mild, let's say, cheddar-like appearance.
SCOTT WALKER (2/22/2011): I have great respect for those who have chosen a career in government. I really do.
OK, I'm going to make a point here. "I really do" is a dead giveaway, you really don't. That's what's known in the business as the convincing clause. "I love you. I really do. That's why breaking up with you right now is so difficult." But go on.
WALKER (2/22/2011): In 1985, when I was a high school junior in the small town of Delavan, I was inspired to pursue public service after I attended the American Legion's Badger Boys State program.
You were a Badger Boy? I was a Badger Boy!
Dig, you Badgers, towards the light,
Always doing what is right.
WALKER (2/22/2011): Some have questioned why we have to reform collective bargaining to balance the budget.
See, now that is a good question. Why do you have to reform collective bargaining, because apparently the unions have made the financial concessions that you've asked of them, so long as their right to collective bargaining remains intact.
WALKER (2/22/2011): The answer is simple. The system is broken. ... I tried to use modest changes in pension and health insurance contributions as a means of balancing our budget without massive layoffs or furloughs. On nearly every occasion, the local union, empowered by collective bargaining agreements, told me to go ahead and lay off workers. That's just not acceptable.
Yeah, but now, they're saying they will make changes to pension and health insurance contributions, and you're the one threatening to lay people off. And suddenly, that's not acceptable to them. Wisconsin, you're freaking me out!
Besides, unions, even if you're stripped of some of your collective bargaining rights, you're still wearing the same pants.
WALKER (2/22/2011): It's important to remember that many of the rights we're talking about don't come directly from collective bargaining. They come from the civil service system here in Wisconsin. That law was passed in 1905, long before collective bargaining, and it will continue long after our plan is approved.
I mean, to change that law, you'd need a state legislature willing to go along with it, and an anti-union governor. I mean, where are you going to find...
Still, Walker seems straightforward, direct, and genuine in his address on television last night. Less so, when explaining his plans to a reporter for an alt weekly, The Buffalo Beast, who called him up this morning pretending to be one of the Koch brothers, or as you may refer to them, the right-wing brothers Soros, the billionaire duo, who financially backed many Republican causes and candidates, including Walker. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
WALKER: An interesting idea that was 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 ... but I'll only do it if all 14 of them come back and sit down in the state assembly.
Well, actually, you know what, that sounds pretty reasonable. I mean, even when he thinks no one's listening, he's talking compromise. I'm sure there's no more to that tape.
WALKER: 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 they started out that way.... If you heard I was going to talk to them, that would be the only reason why.
What?!?!? The only reason you would talk to your Democratic counterparts in the state senate is to trick them? Eh, it's getting sleazier, but still in the realm of acceptable political strategy.
"DAVID KOCH": What we were thinking about the crowds was, uh, was planting some troublemakers.
WALKER: You know the... well... the only problem was that... 'cause we thought about that.
Plant troublemakers?? You were a Badger Boy! We have sworn to defend Wisconsin from troublemakers and all of Wisconsin's enemies!
No to Communists, Islamists,
And the Lactose-Intolerant.
All right, well, look. I bet if we listen to what he says to the fake David Koch, "no we can't bring in troublemakers, that would be wrong morally, that's a reprehensible strategy used by fringe elements, and beneath the dignity of the Chief Executive of Wisconsin, Go Badgers," let's listen in.
WALKER: My only fear would be is if there was a ruckus caused, is that that would scare the public into thinking maybe the governor has got to settle to avoid all these problems.
(in Wisconsin accent) See, I want the protesters to look bad, but not so bad that they become a problem that needs solving.
Now, but for those of you that have seen Glenn Beck's take on how these Wisconsin protests play into a much bigger Islamo-socialist conspiracy, bent on nothing less than the dawning of a new world order, take comfort in the fact that there is an equally vast and plausible operation moving the world in the other direction. To the Beckinator!
GLENN BECK (with Jason Jones dubbing certain parts): But who is moving the chess pieces in Wisconsin? We know that [the Americans for Prosperity] organization [backed by the Koch brothers] has now been closely involved [in the anti-union protests]. ... After spending [$5 million] dollars, almost [what I make in an hour], to get [Scott Walker] elected, [the Koch brothers-backed RGA is] now warning him, that unless [unions get busted], they might not have as much money to send his way in 20.
Beck's not wrong. And if he was, you're not allowed to go on his show and tell him, anyway.