From NBC's Michael Isikoff: Thinking he was talking to one of his major campaign backers, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker yesterday compared his stand against Wisconsin public employee unions to Ronald Reagan’s 1981 firing of the air traffic controllers, saying that it was a moment that changed the course of history and led to the fall of communism.
“This is our moment, this is our time to change the course of history,” Walker says, talking about his fight with the unions in a phone call that was secretly taped by a Buffalo man posing as billionaire oilman David Koch.
Walker’s office today confirmed that it was indeed the governor’s voice on the taped phone call.
In the conversation, the man posing as Koch — Buffalo Gonzo journalist Ian Murphy — says he’s got a “vested interest" in the success of the governor’s efforts and, when its all over, offers to fly Walker out to California and “show you a good time.”
“All right, that would be outstanding,” Walker says in response. “Thanks for all your support.”
Here are some excerpts from the closing portions of their 20 minute conversation, as transcribed by NBC News:
Walker recounts to Koch/Murphy a dramatic talk he gave to his Cabinet over dinner on the evening of Feb. 6, the Monday night after the Green Pay Packers victory over the Super Bowl. It was, Walker, says, the “last hurrah before we were going to drop the bomb.”
Walker notes that 30 years ago, Ronald Reagan — “whose hundredth birthday we just celebrated the day before — had one of the most defining moments of his political career when he fired the air traffic controllers. …That was the first crack in the Berlin Wall and the fall of communism because from that moment forward the Soviets and the Communists knew that Ronald Reagain wasn’t a pushover.”
“And I said, ‘this may not have as broad world implications, but in Wisconsin’s history, little did I know how big it would be nationally. This is our moment , this is our time to change the course of history.’”
Walker continues: “I had a cabinet meeting this morning. I reminded them of that – for those who thought I was being melodramatic."
At that point, Murphy posing as Koch says: “I tell you what Scott. Once you crush these bastards, I’ll fly you out to Cali and really show you a good time.”
“Allright, that would be outstanding," Walker replies. "Thanks for all the support and help ... moving the ball forward and we appreciate it. … We’re doing the just and right thing for the right reasons. Its all about getting our freedom back."
Murphy/Koch: “Absolutely, and you know, we have a little bit of vested interest as well” (he then laughs).
Walker: “That’s just it. The bottom line is were going to get the world moving here because it’s the right thing to do…Thanks a million.”