Wisconsin Phone Hoax Shows Rich Guys' Access

One defender: It also proves Scott Walker isn't best pals with Kochs
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2011 6:15 PM CST
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker talks to the media at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

(Newser) – The phone call to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker from a gonzo journalist pretending to be GOP donor David Koch (click for the story and audio) continues to reverberate on the left and right:

  • Michelle Malkin: "The tapes show a strong executive focused on his job. They also show that Walker is not in deep, dark cahoots or collusion with Koch. If he were, he would have caught on quickly."
  • David Dayen, Firedog Lake: Ordinary citizens can't get an audience with the governor, but a big donor can. "This power imbalance is at the heart of our corporate-captured government. Without a strong citizen’s movement, people like the Koch Brothers would have all the access, all the influence, and all the power. And they would get legislation written their way, protecting and furthering their interests."

  • Gov. Scott Walker's office: "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.”
  • Ben Smith, Politico: The hoaxer "actually didn't get much from Walker, other than his assent to bizarre 'Koch' statements." But it's "typical in that it reflects politicians' willingness to give large amounts of time to rich guys whose obvious weirdness and terrible ideas are to be tolerated for the cash they put up."
Click for one take on the call's best revelations.

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