In the video, Hendricks told Walker she wanted to discuss “controversial” subjects away from reporters, asking him:
“Any chance we’ll ever get to be a completely red state and work on these unions -”
“Oh, yeah,” Walker broke in.
“- and become a right-to-work?” Hendricks continued. “What can we do to help you?”
“Well, we’re going to start in a couple weeks with our budget adjustment bill,” Walker said. “The first step is we’re going to deal with collective bargaining for all public employee unions, because you use divide and conquer.”
The entire conversation was not released Thursday with a video trailer of the documentary, but Journal Sentinel reporters were allowed to view the raw footage.
“So for us,” the governor continues, “the base we get for that is the fact that we’ve got – budgetarily we can’t afford not to. If we have collective bargaining agreements in place, there’s no way not only the state but local governments can balance things out. . . . That opens the door once we do that. That’s your bigger problem right there.”
Walker co-sponsored right-to-work legislation in 1993 as a freshman in the state Assembly, but as governor has consistently downplayed seeking any restrictions on private unions in public statements.
“From our standpoint, it’s never going to get to me,” Walker said of right-to-work legislation in an interview with the Journal Sentinel on April 27. “Private sector unions are my partner in economic development.”
Walker, however, has repeatedly declined to say whether he would sign or veto a right-to-work bill if passed by the Legislature.
In response to the documentary trailer, Walker spokeswoman Ciara Matthews said Thursday that the governor’s position on right to work was clear.
“Governor Walker has made clear repeatedly that he does not have an interest in pushing right-to-work legislation,” Matthews said.
Except when he talks out of range of reporters. Divide and conquer, open the door.
This will be surprising only to the celebrity cast of Morning Joe and the members of the austerity fan club who work in the national opinion industry. Walker lied about his plans to destroy all unions in Wisconsin, sure, but Mitch Daniels also lied about his plans to destroy all unions in Indiana, and Mitch Daniels (of course, as planned) went through with it. John Kasich was, thankfully, stopped.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said today that while he favors right-to-work legislation on a state level, he will not push for a federal right-to-work law.
“If there were to be a federal right-to-work law that reached my desk, I would support it,” Romney said. “But the right approach is a state by state approach at this stage.”
Pressed by John Kalb, executive director of New England Citizens for Right to Work, about whether he would actively advocate for a federal law, Romney responded, “I’m a Tenth Amendment guy. I’d like the states to be the place we carry out this path.”
So Romney’s position is that a federal anti-union law is the wrong approach. But he would sign it into law. Even though he thinks the law runs counter to the 10th Amendment. Or something.
Anyone who believed that stripping collective bargaining rights from public sector union members had anything to do with budgets or “job creation” despite all the evidence to the contrary is either not very bright or hostile to the continued existence of any union, anywhere, and not telling us that.