A Governor We Can Trust…

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…would be nice, but if the transcripts of his recent conversation with blogger Ian Murphy (impersonating billionaire conservative David Koch) is any indication, Scott Walker isn’t that governor. It’s hard to see how even the most ardent Republicans can feel anything but embarrassed by – or even ashamed of – remarks like these (as transcribed by the Wisconsin State Journal). The first is about Walker’s plan to deceive the 14 Democratic senators who are currently denying him a quorum; the second is about deceiving the people of Wisconsin into thinking that the protesters are violent by planting troublemakers, a plan he rejects only because it might backfire on him, not because it could endanger citizens-

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, the assembly Democrat leader, plus the other two Republican leaders — talk, not negotiate — and listen to what they have to say if they will in turn — but I’ll only do it if all 14 of them come back and sit down in the state Assembly. They can recess it, to come back if we’re talking, but they all have to be back there. The reason for that is, we’re verifying it this afternoon, but legally, we believe, 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 a quorum because they started out that way. Um, so we’re double checking that. But that would be the only, if you heard that I was going to talk to them, that would be the only reason why. We’d only do it if they came back to the capital with all 14 of them. And my sense is, hell, I’ll talk to them. If they want to yell at me for an hour, you know, I’m used to that, I can deal with that. But I’m not negotiating.

Murphy: Right, right. Well, we’ll back you any way we can. But, uh, what we were thinking about the crowds was, uh, was planting some troublemakers.

Walker: You know, the, well, the only problem with that — because we thought about that. The problem — the, my only gut reaction to that is right now the lawmakers I’ve talked to have just completely had it with them, the public is not really fond of this. The teachers union did some polling of focus groups, I think, and found out that the public turned on ’em the minute they closed school down for a couple days. The guys we’ve got left are largely from out of state, and I keep dismissing it in all my press conferences saying, ‘Eh, they’re mostly from out of state.’ 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 gotta settle to avoid all these problems. You know, whereas, I’ve said, ‘Hey, you know, we can handle this, people can protest. This is Madison, you know, full of the ’60s liberals. Let ’em protest.’ It’s not gonna affect us. And as long as we go back to our homes and the majority of the people are telling us we’re doing the right thing, let ’em protest all they want. Um, so that’s my gut reaction, is that I think it’s actually good if they’re constant, they’re noisy, but they’re quiet, nothing happens, ’cause sooner or later the media stops finding ’em interesting.

Draw your own conclusions.

2 thoughts on “A Governor We Can Trust…

  1. Larry: The Governor’s failure to reject “planting some troublemakers…” was truly breathtaking. It seems he’s getting a pass from the MSM for saying something so outrageous and irresponsible…an elected official!!! I hear that the “bill” has a lot of other features that represent a naked power grab!!

  2. Hi Jim. I totally agree with you that this is the most troubling comment Walker made. Cynics will no doubt suggest that every political party pulls dirty tricks on its opponents, but a governor is not supposed to be a political hack; he or she is supposed to be ultimately responsible for law enforcement. It’s also clear that Walker seeks to centralize power in his office, given other provisions in the bill (like giving him the power to appoint the attorneys in each agency, instead of keeping those positions sheltered from the political winds).

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