TPM 2012

Newly-Released Video Shows Walker's 'Divide And Conquer' Strategy Against Labor


The Barrett campaign has posted this video excerpt, which also includes Barrett's campaign appeal to "bring Wisconsin together again."

A month after that video was shot, of course, Walker introduced his legislation to curtail public employee unions, as part of a budget adjustment bill -- setting off a wave of massive protests at the state Capitol and all across Wisconsin, followed by last year's state legislative recalls, and finally the ongoing recall of Walker himself, his lieutenant governor, and four state senators.

Walker has denied allegations that he would make Wisconsin a right-to-work state -- for example, this past January his office reiterated to the Journal Sentinel that Walker would not be introducing such legislation.

In response to the new video, Walker campaign spokeswoman Ciara Matthews again told the paper: "Governor Walker has made clear repeatedly that he does not have an interest in pushing right-to-work legislation."

The video does summon up an obvious comparison to another Walker moment from 2011: His 20-minute phone call in late February, at the height of the protests against his anti-public employee union legislation, with a blogger posing as conservative financier David Koch.

During the call, Walker boasted of the surprising nature of the legislation he was set to introduce -- contradicting Republican assertions that Walker had campaigned on a platform of making the anti-union changes:

"Yeah, well, thanks. This is an exciting time. This is -- you know, I told my cabinet, I had a dinner the Sunday, or excuse me, the Monday right after the 6th. Came home from the Super Bowl where the Packers won, and that Monday night I had all of my cabinet over to the residence for dinner. Talked about what we were gonna do, how we were gonna do it. We'd already kinda built plans up, but it was kind of the last hurrah before we dropped the bomb."