House Democrats calls for Gov. Walker to clarify testimony in light of new video

By Eric W. Dolan
Monday, May 21, 2012 19:31 EDT
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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R). Photo: Megan McCormick.
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Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform have asked Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) to obtain a clarification from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R).

During a congressional testimony last year, Walker had denied that his actions in Wisconsin were used to punish members of the Democratic Party and their donor base, namely unions. But recently released video of the governor appears to contradict his testimony.

“This new video raises serious questions about the veracity of Governor Walker’s testimony before our Committee, in which he repeatedly described his decision to strip public sector union workers of collective bargaining rights in purely economic terms,” Reps. Elijah Cummings, Gerald Connolly and Chris Murphy wrote in a letter. “Instead, this video suggests that his motivation was to ‘divide and conquer’ public sector unions in order to turn Wisconsin into a ‘completely red state.’”

Before he introduced legislation to strip public employees of collective bargaining rights, he promised a billionaire donor that he would use a “divide and conquer” strategy to bust unions, a newly released video revealed.

In the video shot by documentary filmmaker Brad Lichtenstein on Jan. 18, 2011, billionaire Diane Hendricks asks Walker if he would make Wisconsin a “completely red state, and work on these unions, and become a right-to-work?”

“Oh, yeah,” Walker replied. “Well, 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 employees, use divide and conquer.”

Hendricks went on to give the governor’s campaign $510,000. That makes makes her not only Walker’s biggest donor, but the biggest donor to any candidate in Wisconsin’s history, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

“Congress relies on the accuracy of official testimony to make effective policy determinations, and you have written letters in the past asking witnesses to clarify testimony before our Committee when new information arises,” the Democratic lawmakers wrote. “We ask that you write to Governor Walker on behalf of the Committee and request an explanation for why his statements captured on this videotape appear to contradict his testimony before the Committee.”

With prior reporting by David Edwards

[Image via Megan McCormick]

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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