A new video has surfaced in which Governor Scott Walker promises a wealthy Koch brothers ally that he will use a “divide and conquer” strategy to turn Wisconsin into a “right to work” state. The video, which was filmed by Brad Lichtenstein on January 18, 2011, directly contradicts Walker’s repeated claims that he has no interest in pushing anti-Union legislation.
In the video, Diane Hendricks — a billionaire roofing-supply magnate who has close ties to the Koch brothers — asks Walker whether he could “work on these unions” and make Wisconsin a “right-to-work state.”
“Oh yeah,” Walker responds. “We’re going to start in a couple weeks with our budget adjustment bill. The first step is, we’re going to deal with collective bargaining for all public employee unions, because you use divide and conquer.”
As the Democratic Party of Wisconsin points out, Walker’s plan to divide labor against itself directly contradicts his repeated claims that he is not interested in “right to work.”
Governor Walker was handsomely rewarded for his promise; since the video was filmed, Hendricks has given Walker’s campaign $510,000. According to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, this makes her Walker’s biggest supporter, and the largest known donor to any candidate in Wisconsin history.
Tom Barrett — Walker’s Democratic opponent in the upcoming June 5 recall election — has been accusing Walker of trying to “divide and conquer” labor for weeks. He told the Journal Sentinel that, until Thursday, he was unaware that Walker had actually used the phrase himself.
“This is another colossal bait and switch that goes directly to his honesty,” Barrett added. “What he claims he is not in favor of publicly, to the person who has made the largest contribution in state history, he says exactly the opposite. You can’t trust him.”