Gov. Scott Walker: “we thought about” planting troublemakers at rallies supporting public employees

During his telephone call with a blogger impersonating billionaire David Koch, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker explained how he considered planting provocateurs within the tens of thousands of Wisconsinites who came to the Capitol to rally in support of Wisconsin’s public employees to cause trouble (emphasis mine):

Murphy: Right, right. We’ll back you any way we can. But what we were thinking about the crowd was, uh, was planting some troublemakers.

Walker: You know, well, the only problem with that — because we thought about that.

Not surprisingly, Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz was more than a little critical of Gov. Walker’s admission, saying, “That’s a very upsetting comment coming from the governor.” Cieslewicz added, “I’d like to hear him explain why he said that. On its face, it appears that he seriously entertained the option of actually creating a more tense situation, and that would be very significant if that were the case.”

So the next time someone on the right caterwauls about “union thugs,” just remember that it was Republican Governor Scott Walker, a hero to so many on the right, who actually considered planting provocateurs into the crowds of protesters in order to cause trouble at what have been by all accounts very peaceful rallies.

20 comments to Gov. Scott Walker: “we thought about” planting troublemakers at rallies supporting public employees

  • I want to know who “We” is that he speaks of.

    Walker and the fitzgeralds? walker and his staff? walker and charlie sykes?

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  • You can’t overstate how disturbing this is. I think Walker owes the people of Wisconsin a full explanation of this remark.

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  • This lays things out pretty well.

    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/02/24-6

    Only six weeks in office and Scott Walker is laying waste to 100 years of Wisconsins proud tradition of clean government. Sad. Sad. Sad.

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  • http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_40c3dfbe-402c-11e0-8c68-001cc4c002e0.html

    Madison Police chief Noble Wray agrees with you Steve:

    ” I spent a good deal of time overnight thinking about Governor Walker’s response, during his news conference yesterday (Wednesday), to the suggestion that his administration ‘thought about’ planting troublemakers among those who are peacefully protesting his bill,” Wray said in a statement issued this morning. “I would like to hear more of an explanation from Governor Walker as to what exactly was being considered, and to what degree it was discussed by his cabinet members.

    ” I find it very unsettling and troubling that anyone would consider creating safety risks for our citizens and law enforcement officers. Our department works hard dialoging with those who are exercising their First Amendment right, those from both sides of the issue, to make sure we are doing everything we can to ensure they can demonstrate safely.

    “I am concerned that anyone would try to undermine these relationships. I have a responsibility to the community, and to the men and women of this department — who are working long hours protecting and serving this community — to find out more about what was being considered by state leaders.”

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  • Super Id

    “I would like to hear more of an explanation from Governor Walker as to what exactly was being considered, and to what degree it was discussed by his cabinet members.”

    I agree. I think that’s what needs to happen before judgment is passed.

    I think we all realize that dumb ideas get raised in meetings and conversations all the time. Putting myself in Walker’s situation, I probably would have said something similar to appease the fake Koch. e.g. “Yea we also thought of that but we decided that wouldn’t work because of …” I personally have been in analagous situations many times where clients tell me that we should do x. y or z. So you humor them acknowledge their idea and then gentley tell them why you are not going to do what they suggest.

    I would suggest that most of you have also been in similar situations. For example, your kid thinks he has a good [really bad] idea, you listen to him tell that you also thought of it but here’s why it won’t work.

    On the other hand, if it went beyond that sort of things, and actually went to the planning stage. It would be highly inappropriate for an elected offical to engage in that sort of thing. I have heard suggestions that its analagous to individuals on the left joining tea party protests with racist signs. But I disagree with that comparision. We should expect a much higher standard from our elected officials.

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    • I’m curious about who suggested it, in what context, and then the response… You’d think his circle would be professional. It wasn’t a professional suggestion. It was a dirty-tricks suggestion, and it sounds like it was made openly. Unfortunately, I think we’re dreaming if we think we’ll get a straight answer. Walker’s already giving Reagan-esque responses when interviewed by Greta. He claims to know nothing.

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      • Super Id

        “You’d think his circle would be professional.” With all due respect, I don’t believe that any political circle is professional. I think we would all be embarssed to hear some of the discussions from the political circles across the political spectrum. Rahm Emanuel anyone?

        That being said, I too am curious about who brought it up, what context, and how far it went. If it came up in a brain storming strategy session, I don’t have a problem with it as long as it is quickly dismissed (my impression is that is what it sounded like). If, however, it proceeded to the point where they were actually discussing or planning on how to do it then it went past the tipping point in my view.

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    • T.

      This is personally what I’m wondering too: If it was in the planning stages and they decided against it – I want to personally know who the ‘we’ are. Is it ‘we’ as in the Republicans, ‘we’ as in the people he gave positions to, or someone else entirely? Was it just humoring them like I’ve done to clients at times when I told people it was a bad idea but wanted to put them down softly?

      Keep in mind, this is the portion that shocked me, more than the slugger with his name on it — and the way he said at the end with saying “all right” to seeing them in California.

      However considering Walker’s history in Marquette University and Milwaukee County Executive, that is what makes me suspicious more than not. However, I want to reserve my judgment. I have my own issues with the bill outside of the union busting and I would make a post in details about translating what it exactly means with the possibilities but that would take a while. My reasons for protesting against this bill is just the union busting is a small portion of it to me. The biggest one that bothers me is the selling of state assets without question, which California has historically shown us does not work out well at all. In fact, that created the Enron fiasco.

      I personally think though like you said that few politicians are ‘professionals’ which is why we are in the condition we are now as a country.

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      • Anon

        Walker not only say “we thought about that” he explained why they decided against it. Sounds to me they (Walker and his circle) not only “thought about it” but also discussed the pros and cons, and then decided against it.

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        • back in the (not so distant) older days they would throw a staffer to the wolves and make him/her resign and blame everything on that person. Now the ruling class has become so elite that they just dont care anymore what they say or what they do. They know they will get the same amount of $$$ and have the republican party back them no matter what.

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    • You and I both know we’ll never get a straight answer from Walker or anyone associated with him about this phone call. Senate Majority Leader Fitzgerald was on the Ed Schultz show tonight and tried to spin it as Walker referring to the AFL-CIO bussing in agitators to start violence among the protesters.

      It’s all a bunch of crap.

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  • The correct response from Walker should have been along the lines of

    ” Mr. Koch, I’m afraid this converstation has come to an end. I am deeply disturbed at the notion of planting provocateurs in a crowd of peaceful protesters to discredit them, and my administration would never consider such an option, in fact, we condemn such tactics. Now if you’ll excuse me I have work to do.”

    If this response occurs to me why didn’t it occur to Scott Walker?

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  • Anon

    I’ve been trying to call Walker the Weasel all morning…with no luck. The line has been busy. I did send an email off to him though…regarding this issue. I wasn’t very polite. I do hope the cops get involved and complaints are filed. Hell…I’ll file one myself if it will help.

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  • Donny

    I have listen to the audio and don’t hear where walker says he thought of planting people. I don’t like walker but he was lead to that and just because someone with him thought of it doesn’t mean anything. We need walker to do something himself. I did check with an uncle of mine that is a detetitive and he told me that state to state phone laws make this illegal so the recorded statements wilol never make it to court.

    I don’t think walker is corrupt, I just don’t think he has the right ideas for Wisconsin. He is taking Wisconsin in a direction I don’t think is right.

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  • Fake Koch: ” we thought of planting troublemakers ”

    Real Walker ” we thought of that ”

    This is not hard to understand Donny.

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  • Donny

    Yeah, but who is we. walker doesn’t say yeah I thought of that. Maybe I just don’t get it. Is it now a crime to think of something? What was that Tom Cruse movie. We need walker to say or do something that represents himself. I don’t like the guy, but if you want to get him out it has to be real.

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  • You’re right, Donny.

    The “we” is very important. It suggests there may have been a conspiracy, beyond just Governor Walker, to commit a crime. Inciting to riot.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Frog_in_a_pot/wisconsin-assembly-deal-vote_n_827530_78554847.html

    Hope this helps.

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  • bofcudahy

    This really doesn’t surprise me, nor does his contempt for anyone that disagrees with him. I hear this kind of rhetoric (and worse) from many Republicans I know.

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  • Donny

    Steve, my uncle said we will not stand up in court unless it is know to impliy I directly and not just others of common interest. Maybe it is because my age and I haven’t been an adult that long that I just don’t get it. Guess that one just need more time and experance. thxs 4 the help.

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