Friday, May 11, 2012

"Divide and Conquer" -- the Walker plan for Wisconsin

Governor wanted to pit citizens of Wisconsin against each other to destroy union presence

Newly released footage from a documentary film shows Gov. Scott Walker (way back in his first month of office) making small talk with one of his billionaire donors over how to deal with unions, weeks before introducing his budget repair bill that removed bargaining rights for state workers.

Walker makes his strategy clear:
"We're going to start in a couple weeks with our budget adjustment bill," Walker said when a campaign donor asked him how he would turn the state red. "The first step is, we're going to deal with collective bargaining for all public employee unions [and] use divide and conquer."
Emphasis added.

It's clear now that compromise was never a policy of the Walker administration. The governor had planned to remove public workers' rights for some time, even though he had never campaigned on it, and make Wisconsin a "right to work (for less)" state afterwards.

Openness and cooperation are not the strong-suits of this man. We knew this already when, while ignoring Democratic senators calling his office to work out a compromise on collective bargaining, Walker instead took a 45 minute phone call from a person be believed to be another billionaire donor, David Koch.

It was revealed during that same conversation that Walker had considered placing "troublemakers" in the crowds of peaceful protesters to make the movement seem less credible.
Koch impersonator: What we were thinking about the crowd was planting some troublemakers.
Walker: We thought about that...
Emphasis added.

To review: we have two instances of Walker talking strategy to billionaire donors (or at least who he thinks are billionaires). That's nothing new: politicians talk with donors all the time like this. What is puzzling, however, is the strategy itself. In both cases, Walker's plan was to pit Wisconsinites against Wisconsinites, to take advantage of the resulting mess that came about, scoop up the pieces, and form them into a corporatist vision for the state afterwards.

That's not the way to manage a state. That's malfeasance, deception of the people in order to push an ideological mission of his own making.

Gov. Walker needs to be removed from office. June 5th can't come soon enough.

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