The ‘punking’ of Governor Scott Walker played a part in Assembly floor debate Wednesday. Debate over a provision in Walker’s budget repair bill, which would allow for sales of state owned power plants through a no bid process, was spurred on by a Tuesday prank phone call to Walker from a liberal blogger posing as millionaire campaign donor David Koch. Democrats seized on that, and the fact that David Koch and his brother Charles contributed $43,000 to the Walker campaign, the maximum amount allowed under state law, to suggest that Koch Industries was the likely buyer.
“Something certainly doesn’t smell right, when we’ve got this connection between this rich set of brothers who’ve put over forty thousand into the governor’s campaign, all kinds of money into campaigns in Wisconsin, and suddenly they’re trying to potentially be bidding,” said Madison Democrat Mark Pocan. Koch Industries released a statement this week that it has no interest in purchasing the state owned plants. “I know they said that they’re not interested, but we all know how that works in the business world,” Pocan said.
“We’ve got to be really careful. Some are calling it the Walker tapes, some are calling it Walkergate, but whatever it is, it smells,” said Fort Atkinson Democrat Andy Jorgenson. “I guess we can just keep saying something that’s not true over and over and over again, and make ourselves feel better for saying it the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth time, but it doesn’t become true,” said Burlington Republican Robin Vos. “In the finance process, we put in the ability to have oversight on the sale of these power plants.” Vos added that there was “no data whatsoever” to indicate that the Koch’s plan to buy the plants.