Divide and Conquer: Scott Walker’s Agenda Revealed

May 10, 2012

To: Interested Reporters
Date: Friday, May 11, 2012
From: Melissa Baldauff, WisDems Research Director
Re: Memo to Reporters: Divide and Conquer: Scott Walker’s Agenda Revealed

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is out with a breaking video, obtained by a documentary filmmaker in January 2011, which shows Scott Walker’s “bomb” was just the beginning of his “Right-to-Work-For-Less” agenda.  

In the damning video, Walker talks about his plan to employ a secret “divide and conquer” strategy against unions, despite publicly stating that he would not push so-called “right-to-work” legislation.

Even more damaging for what remains of Scott Walker’s credibility with Wisconsinites, his confession came in response to a request from Diane Hendricks, a billionaire Koch Brothers strategist with a long history of supporting “right-to-work-for-less” legislation and financing ultra-conservative Wisconsin Republicans, who is Walker’s top campaign donor with $510,000 in contributions.

Scott Walker tells his corporate benefactor, “The first step is we’re going to deal with collective bargaining for all public employee unions, because you use divide and conquer.”

The bargaining bill, Walker said, would “open the door” for “Right-to-Work-For-Less” legislation.

This video exchange, like Scott Walker’s call with whom he believed to be David Koch, highlights Scott Walker’s propensity for saying one thing in public and doing another in private. Walker’s call with the phony Koch brother revealed that after he dropped “the bomb” on Wisconsin with his elimination of collective bargaining for public employees, he even considered inciting acts of violence in a peaceful crowd, all to divide the people and advance his special interest agenda.

Despite pursuing “Right-to-Work-For-Less” legislation while serving in the state legislature, and his history of opposing prevailing wage laws, Walker has repeatedly denied in public his present intent to turn Wisconsin into a low-wage, low-benefit state.

  • Speaking to Wisconsin Public Radio in April 2012, Walker said, “I have no interest in a Right to Work law in the state. We’re not going to pursue that in the remainder of our term and we’re not going to pursue it in the future.” [“Walker denies wanting to make Wisconsin a right to work state,” Wisconsin Public Radio, April 26, 2012]
  • As reported in February 2012, by The Atlantic, “In our case, we’ve opted to address [unions] on the public sector level,” Walker said. “You look at private sector unions by and large have been our partner in economic development. They haven’t been an obstacle to that. So that’s not anything we’re pursuing.” I asked if that meant he would oppose a right-to-work law for Wisconsin. “Not oppose it, it’s just not something we’re pursuing right now,” he said. “When I was in the legislature, I supported it. It’s not something I’m pursuing right now, nor have any plan of pursuing. Again, private-sector unions have been our partner in the economic revival we’ve had in this state. A bigger issue is the impact the public-sector unions have had on the taxpayers. And that’s essentially what we have in Wisconsin — right-to-work in the public sector.” [“Wisconsin, One Year Later,” The Atlantic, February 24, 2012]
  • As reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in January 2012, “Cullen Werwie, Walker’s spokesman, said the governor would not be introducing any right-to-work legislation in Wisconsin.” [“Walker won’t push right-to-work legislation,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, January 25, 2012]
  • As reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in March 2011, “The bill does not apply to unions in the private sector. Walker called those unions partners in improving the state’s economy and indicated he was not seeking “right-to-work” legislation that would let private-sector employees opt not to join unions and pay dues. Asked Friday if that meant he would veto such legislation, he said no, without elaborating.” [“Walker signs budget bill, legal challenges mount – Democrats immediately file suit to halt changes,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, March 11, 2011]
  • As reported by the Sawyer County Record in February 2011, “Gov. Walker was asked specifically about charges by some labor leaders that he wants to turn Wisconsin into a right to work state, where no one could be required to join a union as a condition of employment. When asked by a reporter if the ultimate goal is to turn Wisconsin into a right to work state, Walker said it wasn’t.” [“Wausau labor leaders believe governor is targeting all labor unions,” Sawyer County Record, February 18, 2011]