We were awfully curious about rumors swirling over the last week of a "smoking gun" video featuring Gov. Scott Walker. We raced to our computers, wondering if the aforementioned scandal tape also included David Koch, drugs, or some racy late night yacht party.
That would be a no.
Instead the November 2010 video shows Walker sitting at a microphone speaking with the editorial board of the Oshkosh Northwestern. An off-camera voice can be heard saying, "Before, we were talking about state employees contributing to their plan, paying their share of the pension plan. Collective bargaining come into that?"
Walker: "Yep (nodding yes). Mmhm."
Walker's campaign spokeswoman Ciara Matthews said that "yep" and nod meant that he was saying "I'm listening," and was not some sort of a campaign pledge about collective bargaining.
The questioner continues: "How do you get that negotiated and accepted by the state employee unions?"
And Walker answers, "You still have to negotiate it." He went on to talk about how he handled negotiations as Milwaukee County executive, and the use of furloughs as a backup plan, adding that he's "not locked in" to one strategy.
Said Matthews: "What he does in the video is acknowledge that under the current law the governor has the right to negotiate with unions."
Honestly, we were a bit underwhelmed by the snippet, which Walker critics said was proof that he was being dishonest with voters about his plans for public workers. That said, OTC followed Walker on the trail and have no memory of him campaigning specifically on a platform of all but ending collective bargaining for most public workers.
Eric Hovde sure sounds a lot like the second coming of Republican U.S. Sen Ron Johnson. The conservative millionaire wants to be a citizen legislator. He warns that the United States has developed a European socialist economy. Most Wisconsinites don't know too much about him. But he's rich.
Whether he's able to pull a RoJo and upset the Senate race remains to be seen. Unlike the Oshkosh-based Johnson, Hovde will have to overcome the fact that he recently moved back to Wisconsin after 24 years in Washington, D.C., a fact that his Republican competitors were quick to point out.
"We don't know much about Eric Hovde since he just moved here, but Gov. Thompson has never campaigned looking over his shoulder," said Darrin Schmitz from the Tommy Thompson campaign.
Typo (we hope)
A press release sent out by State Rep. Joel Kleefisch this week contained an odd typo that those of us familiar with the Oconomowoc Republican couldn't help but find funny.
The release praised the state Senate for passing a bill co-authored by Kleefisch that made hunting wolves legal. But while discussing the reasonable control of the population, the representative accidently wrote "marinating" the "viable and sustainable pack."
Now, we often poke fun at the representative for the number of bills he has authored dealing with hunting. And Kleefisch has discussed with us many times his love of the sport — and the fact that he eats what he kills.
But in this case, we think he meant to say "maintaining." We think.