Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Did Wisconsin Gov. Walker commit ethics violations or break the law in prank call, and why not hire “Dog” to hunt Democrats??
by Larry Geller
News from Wisconsin, where Democratic legislators remain scarce while big money is still well represented.
The first item is a sting or prank, the second a satire. Governor Walker has been pranked by a phone caller impersonating billionaire David Koch. The call was posted on the Web (see below).
Was it a foul move? It seems only fair. After all, our federal government doesn’t hesitate to entrap Muslims (see, for example: FBI’s Entrapment Method Cause Tension and Distrust with Muslims). If that can be legit, what’s wrong with entrapping a governor?.Walker appears to have said some things that may be illegal, assuming the recording was not doctored.
Listen to the call below. In plotting along with the caller whom he believed to be right-wing billionaire David Koch, was Walker guilty of breaking laws that forbid political coordination with donors? This remains to be sorted out.
Walker believed he was speaking to Koch who—along with his brother, Charles Koch—is among the richest men in the US and major funders of dozens of right-wing groups. The political action committee of Koch Industries, the brothers' business empire, was a top donor to Walker's 2010 gubernatorial campaign. In reality, though, Walker was actually speaking with Ian Murphy, a self-described gonzo journalist and editor of the Buffalo Beast.
[Mother Jones, Did Gov. Scott Walker Break the Law During Prank Call?, 2/23/2011]
The Mother Jones article describes the controversy quite well. Of course, much depends on whether the released audio of the conversation is accurate. We should learn to be skeptical after altered videos managed to convince Congress to defund ACORN.
If you’d like to hear the prank call as posted on the web, it’s at the bottom of this article in two parts.
The other oddity is this satire from Unconfirmed Sources:
Not bad (click to view).
Ok, now to the prank recordings. The call was posted in two parts. Since the website permits embedding, here they are.