I think the Washington Post's Ezra Klein gets the significance of the call right:
Gonzo journalist Ian Murphy noticed one of Wisconsin's Senate Democrats complaining that Gov. Scott Walker was impossible to reach on the phone. So Murphy came up with a prank call: He posed as right-wing financier David Koch and called Walker's receptionist. Shortly thereafter, he was on the phone with the governor himself. You can listen to the conversation here -- though the site seems overloaded by the traffic -- or read Adam Weinstein's summary here. Walker's office has confirmed the call was real.
if the transcript of the conversation is unexceptional, the fact of it is lethal. The state's Democratic senators can't get Walker on the phone, but someone can call the governor's front desk, identify themselves as David Koch, and then speak with both the governor and his chief of staff? That's where you see the access and power that major corporations and wealthy contributors will have in a Walker administration, and why so many in Wisconsin are reluctant to see the only major interest group representing workers taken out of the game.
The critique many conservatives have made of public-sector unions is that they both negotiate with and fund politicians. It's a conflict of interest. Well, so too do corporations, and wealthy individuals. That's why Murphy -- posing as Koch -- was able to get through to Walker so quickly. And it shows what Walker is really interested in here: He is not opposed, in principle, to powerful interest groups having the ear of the politicians they depend on, and who depend on them. He just wants those interest groups to be the conservative interest groups that fund him, and that he depends on.
Ostensibly billionaire David Koch is on the phone calling for Governor Walker?
Walker's on the line in seconds saying "Yes, master, what do you need me to do?"
It's like some twisted cartoon supervillain thing - only it's real and the supervillains - Koch and Walker - are real too.
Seriously, here is some of the transcript:
Thanks for suggesting crowd plants, Dave, but we've already thought of that and decided against because if we get caught, the public is going to go apeshit.
Koch: We’ll back you any way we can. What we were thinking about the crowd was, uh, was planting some troublemakers.
Walker: You know, 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 […]
Walker: [...] I went on “Morning Joe” this morning. I like it because I just like being combative with those guys, but, uh. You know they’re off the deep end.
Koch: Joe—Joe’s a good guy. He’s one of us.
Walker: Yeah, he’s all right. He was fair to me…[bashes NY Senator Chuck Schumer, who was also on the program.]
Koch: Beautiful; beautiful. You gotta love that Mika Brzezinski; she’s a real piece of ass.
Walker: Oh yeah.
Ah, yes, the old dirty tricks - beautiful...just beautiful!
Gee, listening to this transcript sort of reminds of some of these transcripts.
And then how about Walker getting all teary-eyed and emotional about Reagan firing the air traffic controllers?
The most beautiful moment in Reagan's presidency.
Not that we didn't know this wasn't about the budget at all, that it was just about ideology and busting the unions, but the transcript and tape of the Walker phone call bares that for all to see.
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