This is one for the annals of political pranks: On Wednesday, divisive Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said a lot of things he no doubt wishes he hadn’t while on what turned out to be a prank call with the editor of The Buffalo Beast, posing as conservative billionaire David Koch. Needless to say, this development didn’t improve Walker’s position vis-á-vis his opposition. —KA
Jump past the excerpt below to listen to the call.
AP via The Houston Chronicle
Editor Ian Murphy told The Associated Press he carried out the prank to show how candidly Koch would speak with Walker even though, according to Democrats, he refuses to return their calls.
Murphy said he arranged the call Tuesday after speaking with two Walker aides, including his chief of staff. He made the call using Skype and recorded it. Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie confirmed that it Walker’s voice on the call.
The governor said he was ratcheting up the pressure on Senate Democrats to return to the Capitol a week after they fled to block the legislation. He said he supported a move to require them to come to the Capitol to pick up their paychecks rather than have them deposited directly.
He also floated an idea to lure Democratic senators back to the Capitol for negotiations and then have the Senate quickly pass the bill while they are in talks.
Walker said aides were reviewing whether the GOP could hold a vote if Democrats were not physically in the Senate chamber but elsewhere in the building.
Democrats seized on Walker’s recorded comments as evidence that the governor plans to go beyond budget cuts to crushing unions.