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A liberal blogger from the Buffalo Beast called up Scott Walker yesterday posing as wealthy businessman and Republican donor David Koch, a bogeyman who occupies the space in the left's imagination that is held by George Soros in the right's imagination. Walker's spokesman Cullen Werwie confirms that the call is legitimate:
The Governor takes many calls everyday. Throughout this call the Governor maintained his appreciation for and commitment to civil discourse. He continued to say that the budget repair bill is about the budget. The phone call shows that the Governor says the same thing in private as he does in public and the lengths that others will go to disrupt the civil debate Wisconsin is having.
It's obviously embarrassing when a high-level official gets pranked, but Walker does basically say the same thing in private that he does in public. The one big exception, as Dave Weigel notes, is that Walker reveals during the call a possible ploy to get the Senate Democrats to come back to Madison and then pass the bill without them being physically present in the Senate chamber. Walker says:
An interesting idea that was brought up to me by my chief of staff, we won't do it until tomorrow, is putting out an appeal to the Democratic leader. 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 will come back and sit down in the state assembly. They can recess it... the reason for that, we're verifying it this afternoon, 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 quorum because it's turned out that way. So we’re double checking that. If you heard I was going to talk to them that’s the only reason why. We’d only do it if they came back to the capitol with all 14 of them. My sense is, hell. I'll talk. If they want to yell at me for an hour, I'm used to that. I can deal with that. But I'm not negotiating.