**UPDATED – BUMPED**
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s office confirms that the recording of a call between the governor and an alt-weekly writer posing as David Koch, one of the billionaire GOP financier brothers, is real and that it is actually Walker on the recording. The governor’s office has released a statement:
The Governor takes many calls everyday,” Walkers spokesman, Cullen Werwie said in a statement. “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.
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You can’t serve two masters.
Gov. Walker’s big contributors are forcing a choice. Either Mr. Walker will have to choose what’s best for middle class workers, like Mitch Daniels and Gov. Rick Scott have done, or he’ll go down with the Koch Bros., who after giving him money may cost his state plenty.
Republican governors have serious choices and it remains to be seen if they’re up to making practical decisions.
Budget referees and transportation officials in Wisconsin have informed Gov. Scott Walker (R) that if he were to pass his controversial anti-union legislation into law, he could be forfeiting tens of millions of dollars in federal funds for transportation.
Under an obscure provision of federal labor law, states risk losing federal funds should they eliminate “collective bargaining rights” that existed at the time when federal assistance was first granted. The provision, known as “protective arrangements” or “Section 13C arrangements,” is meant as a means of cushioning union (and even some non-union) members who, while working on local projects, are affected by federal grants.
It also could potentially hamstring governors like Walker who want dramatic changes to labor laws in their states…
If Republicans think breaking unions is a winner they’re wrong. Short-term gain won’t save them in a country that believes fairness should be the guide.
But the real problem for Gov. Walker is that for the unions, after giving in on medical and pension benefits, collective bargain is the whole ballgame. That means they won’t give in, something that Gov. Walker may find is a lot more painful for him.
This post was bumped from 9:11 a.m. today.