MADISON, WI -- Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) held a tense press conference Wednesday afternoon, following the revelation that he had a 20-minute phone conversation with a prank caller pretending to be Republican financier David Koch, a call in which Walker and "Koch" discussed possible ways to disrupt the protests against his budget bill, and to bring the Democrats back to the Capitol.
The presser took place in the governor's press room, with the thick, wooden double doors closed in order to block out the ever-present sounds of the protesters inside the Capitol.
Walker started off by taking shots at the 14 state Senate Democrats who have left the state, in order to block the three-fifths majority needed for a budget quorum. "I'm here today working. I appreciated the fact that the state Assembly is here today debating the budget repair bill, and I appreciate that Senate Republicans are in the Capitol preparing to debate a number of measures...And I hope that by the end of the day we might receive some updates from the state Senate Democrats who are not here in the Capitol, not doing their job, that we might get an update as to when they might come back and start doing their jobs."
Walker also touted the savings he says would come to local governments from his budget repair bill's various cost-saving measures. He also touted the savings for workers themselves -- from not joining a union. "It also give them an option of whether they want to participate in a union, and no longer mandates that their union dues will be deducted from their paycheck," said Walker, explaining that this would save employees $1,000 a year, or $2,000 for a married couple who are both government employees: "That's real money that helps the bottom line, and we're giving those employes the right to choose whether to have that money taken out of their paycheck, and to choose whether to be part of the union."
Then came the Q&A --Â which was very brief, with only four questions, but which featured a notably loud ending.
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