IN THE MIDST of Gov. Scott Walker’s heist of public employee rights in Wisconsin last year, news broke that he had been the victim of a prank phone call. The caller, a journalist, posed as billionaire David Koch.
Walker sounded almost giddy during the conversation with the person he thought was the executive vice president of the Wichita, Kan.-based Koch Industries, the second-largest privately held company in the United States, with more than $100 billion in sales, according to Forbes magazine.
During the 20-minute phone call, Walker dominated the conversation, telling the Koch imposter things from “I’ve got layoff notices ready” to “We’re not compromising” to “This is ground zero” in the assault against public employees and their unions.
He also disclosed that he was talking daily with Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who also was in the process of undermining public employee union rights, pensions and healthcare. “John’s gotta stand firm in Ohio,” Walker said. “I think we could do the same thing with [Gov.] Rick Scott in Florida. I think [Gov. Rick] Snyder—if he got a little more support—probably could do that in Michigan.”
The conversation ended with Walker thanking Koch “for all the support and helping us move the cause forward.”
The prank would have been funny if it weren’t so emblematic of what’s happening: Deep-pocketed individuals and corporations are donating obscene amounts of money to think tanks and politicians in pursuit of monopolizing public discourse and enacting public policies that will reshape the United States in their likeness. Read the rest of the story here.