(Update) Video shows Walker wanted "divide and conquer" strategy against unionsWisconsin News
-- A month before he introduced his public union bargaining limits, Governor Scott Walker told a Beloit businesswoman he would use a “divide and conquer” strategy against those unions.
MADISON - A month before he introduced his public union bargaining limits, Governor Scott Walker told a Beloit businesswoman he would use a “divide and conquer” strategy against those unions.
Documentary producer Brad Lichtenstein released video yesterday that he filmed in January of 2011 at a meeting in Janesville on how to create jobs in the wake of the General Motors’ plant closing in that city. The video showed the Republican Walker talking to ABC Supply owner Diane Hendricks. She’s asking the governor whether he could make Wisconsin quote, “a completely red state, and work on these unions, and become a right-to-work state.”
Walker said his first step would be quote, “to divide and conquer” with the bill he introduced a month later that virtually ended collective bargaining for most state-and-local public employee unions. It drew massive protests, and led to the June 5 recall election against Walker.
Ciara Matthews of the Walker campaign said the governor has never intended to push for a right-to-work law in Wisconsin – which would ban a private sector union from charging dues to those in the same company who choose not to be in the union. Walker’s recall election opponent, Democrat Tom Barrett, has said that Walker wants a right-to-work law. And Barrett said the video shows that the governor says one thing in public and another to his biggest donors.
Hendricks gave a half-million-dollars to Walker earlier this year – the largest known donor to a candidate in state history. Lichtenstein’s documentary is called “As Goes Janesville.” It will be shown this summer at film festivals and on PBS stations this fall. Part of the video is on the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Web site this morning. The Barrett campaign also released it.
Governor Scott Walker said today he could not remember all the particulars about why he would use the term “divide and conquer” as a strategy to end most public union bargaining. Documentary producer Brad Lichtenstein released part of a video yesterday from a business meeting on Janesville’s struggling economy in January of 2011, a month before the governor introduced his controversial union bill. Beloit businesswoman Diane Hendricks asked the Republican Walker about the prospects of right-to-work legislation. And Walker said the first thing he needed to do is “divide and conquer” on the elimination of public union bargaining. Today in Burlington, Walker told reporters he recalled the two saying that somebody needed to stand up for taxpayers. And Walker said it’s interesting that his critics keep bringing up the past, when most Wisconsinites want to move forward. But Tom Barrett, Walker’s Democratic opponent in next month’s recall election, said it’s important to bring up the comment now because it revealed Walker’s thought process. Barrett said he was “flabbergasted” that the governor would say such a thing. But Barrett said he didn’t know about the video until it came out last night. The filmmaker, Lichtenstein, admits working on Democratic campaigns in the past and giving $100 to Barrett in 2010. But he said the video, which is “As Goes Janesville,” was meant to be a fair portrayal of the city after General Motors closed, and what leaders were doing about it.