The governor of Wisconsin, where thousands of people continue protesting a proposed law to curb labor union powers, says he discussed alternative plans with a number of people, but has dismissed them.
Scott Walker’s comments were made after the Republican governor was duped by a liberal blogger. Ian Murphy, a blogger fromThe Buffalo Beast website, called the governor posing as conservative billionaire David Koch.
During a press conference Wednesday, Walker called on Democrat State Senators to return to the state. He said a prank call would not distract him from doing the job at hand, and that the lawmakers need to be present at the capitol to hold a productive debate. He has previously said there would be no compromise, because his state is “broke” and needs a long-term solution.
The Democrats left last week in order to block a vote on the bill. They say they will only return when the governor and Republicans in the state senate agree to negotiate on the controversial proposal that would curb union bargaining rights for state government workers and raise their contribution for certain benefits.
In the recorded telephone conversation with the blogger, Walker discussed his strategy for dealing with the massive protests in his state and the missing state senators. The governor said he had considered luring Democrats back for a meeting with him, which would allow Republican state senators to pass the measure while the Democrats were in talks.
At least one Democratic Senator needs to be present at the Capitol for the body to have enough members to do business.
The governor’s office confirmed Walker had participated in the 20-minute phone call, but said it showed the governor says the same things privately as he does in public.
Proposals to curb union powers have also been under debate — and sparked widespread protests — in the nearby states of Ohio and Indiana.