"Totally coup, yo."

Koch Whore, a year later

Feb

23

by

Reflections, ruminations, and several lengthy digressions

So it’s been a year since I pranked Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker posing as tea party sugar daddy David Koch. At the time, Koch told the New York Times, “I didn’t even know [Walker's] name before this brouhaha erupted.” That seemed improbable. Recently, Koch told the Palm Beach Post, “What Scott Walker is doing with the public unions in Wisconsin is critically important. He’s an impressive guy and he’s very courageous.” He also told the reporter, “We’ve spent a lot of money in Wisconsin. We’re going to spend more.” That’s more like it.

When the story broke, Walker’s tact was to say that he said nothing on the call he wasn’t saying in public. You no doubt remember that speech he gave in Madison where he talked about planting agents provocateur into the peaceful protest full of women and children. Yeah? Back in December, however, the embattled Walker finally admitted that taking the call and yapping for 20 minutes was “stupid.” I agree.

Anyway, since then, mostly on my subsequent visits to the great state of Wisconsin, I’ve told the story a thousand times. And that’s not an exaggeration. I also talked to the media quite a bit about the call last February. But it occurs to me now that I never really wrote about that day — or couple of days, to be more accurate — for The BEAST.  So before getting my wonk on about what’s currently happening in Wisconsin, and what’s going to happen in the near future, I’m going to do that now.

***

I posted the call, got into my bathrobe, smoked a joint and started with the scotch. A pretty decent single malt. It was something like 2 am. I’d already been awake for 26 hours, but I was way too excited to sleep, and I wanted to watch the thing grow legs. To my absolute horror, the early Twitter reaction was that the call was fake. People had a hard time believing that a sitting US Governor would be so stupid, I think. By 3:30 am, I was emailing with Adam Weinstein at Mother Jones. He wanted to know why anyone should believe me! Was it possible that this thing might somehow get spun as a hoax — or worse, be ignored altogether?!

I pondered the state of the American media. It was possible, I thought, incredibly nervous. Scotch. More scotch. Sure, there it all was on tape, but facts just don’t matter anymore — if they ever did. I was stunned at the prospect. Shocked. Scotch. More scotch. I contemplated what life would be like if this — I tried wrapping my head around what kind of world we live in where people could basically deny what their own ears were telling them. I mean, what the hell would I do? I’d been banging my head against a quasi-journalistic wall for seven years. I’d had some modest successes, some fun, too, but nothing caught fire like I’d wanted. The second I got off the phone with Walker, I knew this was going to be huge. But sitting on my living room couch in the dark, fairly stoned, quickly approaching drunk, and watching people dismiss this bombshell as fraudulent on Twitter…I just didn’t know. Anything. Could it — would it — is that — Jesus H. Biscuits! Up is down! 2 + 2 = Bullshit!

Maybe I was mental, mad, insane, and I didn’t even talk to Walker at all. Maybe I was the one who got punked. Somehow. Was I crazy? No. Not crazy. Scotch. This happened. Right? Single malt. 28 hours without sleep. Did it really happen? Was it a dream? I should start at the beginning.

***

It was another cold and dark Buffalo winter. I was depressed. Again. I was quickly approaching middle age, and I’d done almost nothing with my life. And the very little I was doing with my life required focusing on American politics. It takes a hardy creature to stare our national derangement in the face every day and not feel generally suicidal. Some do it. But I frankly don’t know how. And, of course, my personal and political experiences were — and still are — set to the backdrop of civilization’s twilight. I don’t know if you’re aware, but we’re basically killing ourselves with carbon dioxide. And we’re not really doing anything about it. I’d say we’re like lemmings jumping off a cliff…but lemmings don’t actually do that. Like Jesus or that we only use 10% of our brains, it’s a total myth. In reality, a Disney documentary crew herded a bunch of lemmings off a cliff and filmed it — the sadistic bastards. But it’s a fascinating story, so people believe it, but, of course, lemmings don’t commit mass suicide. There’d be no goddamn lemmings left if they did! And they’re just not as dumb as we are.

Anyway, ever since my days as The BEAST’s print layout monkey — yes, we used to be a bona fide newspaper — my sleep schedule’s been fried. I blame former editor Al Uthman. The man doesn’t have a thyroid gland. He’s also a massive slacker. So we had a print deadline every two weeks, which meant we were on a vicious cycle of recovery, slacking, and then staying awake for days at a time getting the paper done. Recovery, slacking, repeat process for a few years, and to this day my sleep schedule is still proper fucked. And so it was on February 22, 2011.

I woke up at midnight. I wanted to keep on sleeping until morning, but after some 20 hours escaping life in dreams, it was time to get up and do something. Or just eat. But what the hell could I do? Write some stupid satire piece that almost no one would read? Sure, I guess. Slit my goddamn wrists? Sure, maybe. What the hell does it matter, I thought. I told you I was depressed. At the very least, thoughts of suicide bring a modicum of relief. Strangely, this doesn’t work on a larger scale. Thinking about humanity’s suicide just bums me out more. Because it’s not some quick and painless shot through the back of our collective skulls. It’s going to be gradual, full of pain, drought, disease, and famine. And the most twisted thing about it is that there’s an entire industry of handsomely paid liars dedicated to ensuring this bleak — and fast approaching — future. They’re the ultimate pranksters.

A week earlier, The BEAST ran a report about a couple of them. My buddy, and sometimes coauthor, Mike Roddy went to Rancho Mirage, California to protest one of the Koch brother’s closed-door strategy sessions. Andrew Breitbart was there — on rollerblades. We’d also “honored” the brothers with a spot on our list of “Climate Villains,” which originally ran on Alternet.org. During the period of 2005 and 2008 alone, the Kochs dumped $25 million into creating doubt about the very settled science of climate change. Koch Industries clears about $98 billion a year in dirty business. They’re just protecting their bottom line, and to hell with the planet. At the same time, they’re making a killing trading carbon credits in Europe. It’s kind of like how they rail against “big government,” yet they’ve never met a federal subsidy they wouldn’t pocket.

I gave the Kochs the number two slot on our annual 50 Most Loathsome Americans, for 2010. I’d been paying attention to their abhorrent behavior for a few years at that point. It was good to see Jane Mayer’s profile on them in The New Yorker, but I’d known about them from the excellent reporting of Lee Fang from Think Progress, the Center for American Progress’s journalism arm, and Mark Ames and Yasha Levine from the eXile — er, um, the eXiled. They added the d after being run out of Russia by government thugs. It’s not a safe place for reporters.

Ames is a big reason I got into “journalism.” He’s a real journalist; I don’t mean to imply otherwise. I just don’t count myself as one of those people. But Ames is wild. And that’s what I liked. His appetite for appetites. If that makes any sense. The eXiled isn’t as crazy as it once was. But you can’t keep up that level of madness and speed consumption forever. They’ve more settled into the role of investigative reporting — more or less. Taibbi, too. They always did solid reporting, but it was mixed with satire, vulgarity, and pure not-giving-a-fuck.

For those not in the know here, Matt Taibbi, now of Rolling Stone and kicking Goldman Sachs’ ass fame, founded The BEAST after his years working with Ames in Moscow at the eXile. Lore has it that while on a business trip to Moscow, BEAST publisher Paul Fallon told Taibbi that Buffalo was just like Moscow — full of corruption and colder than Inuit jizz. Those exact word may not have been used. But he came back to the states, anyway. Granted, he abandoned the project and left Buffalo pretty quickly (smart guy), and by the time I showed up at The BEAST office, he was long gone. He brought Uthman donuts once, and I missed him by a few minutes. I told you there’d be several lengthy digressions.

Long story short–er, after discovering The BEAST when I moved back to Buffalo from Seattle’s “Heroin Hotel,” I went back and read everything Taibbi and Ames ever wrote. And, yeah, people really called it The Heroin Hotel. I got lice there. And this one time…there are already too many lengthy digressions here. They have a rather impressive CV of pranks — the old eXile crew. Kind of hilarious to think that these highly respected journalists were once operating almost entirely on the desire to fuck with people. And, as mentioned, copious amounts of speed. I was inspired. This is a living?! At the old and tender age of 26, I finally knew what I wanted to do when I grew up!

OK, in the interest of getting this piece finished in the next hour, so it’s a proper anniversary number, I’ll tell you only two more things about the eXile. One, if you’ve not read The Exile: Sex, Drugs, and Libel in the New Russia, you should. It’s an unflinching and brutal masterpiece. It’s the Guernica of Gonzo, imho. And, two, Matt Taibbi once threw a pie full of horse sperm into the face of New York Times Moscow bureau chief Michael Wine’s face. This is the kind of outrageous shit that made me want to be a professional weirdo.

***

So, I made a pot of coffee, and stepped outside for a joint. Actually it was a makeshift aluminium foil pipe, which makes it look like I’m smoking crack, but that’s not important now. And the one time I did smoke crack is a totally different, yet incredibly funny story involving a homeless gentleman and his desire that I wash his dick, “just to see what happens.” And you’ll never know. I really don’t have the budget for proper speed. And although Ames derides the loathsome pothead, you’ve just gotta make your own way in this awful, sober world we’re born into. Intellectual heroes be damned! I like pot. It helps me with depression. Or maybe it helps make me depressed. Whatever. There’s no time to quibble now! It was 1 am. And I had to do…something to justify my existence on this dying planet, in this crumbling country.

Aside from Taibbi, Ames, and few others, I got into this game to fight the motherfuckers who were destroying the world, killing people, and robbing everyone blind. It was the dark days of Bush, and the press was subservient and generally terrible. Instead of asking the tough questions about Iraq, or reporting the facts, they beat the drums for war. And I figured, with zero journalistic training, I could do better. Digression #5?

Money pollutes everything. Greed starts wars, at home and abroad. The war du jour  was being waged in Wisconsin. The sinister son of a preacher had recently conned his way into the governorship. And, boy, what an utter piece of shit, this guy. He didn’t campaign on the platform of crushing unions, but that’s what he was doing. Unions gave us the 5 day/40 hour work week. They gave us the workplace dignity a whole generation of people now take for granted. But when Walker put forth his Budget “Repair” bill, that would functionally end collective bargaining rights for public employees, Wisconsinites stood up and said, “Hell no.” The “Fab 14″ had already fled to Illinois, and they were taking a beating in the press. I was immediately with them in spirit, and I desperately wanted to join the fight. Somehow.

As you may have read in some press reports from the time, my first idea was to call Walker’s office posing as Arab Spring casualty, ousted Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak. Funny, the first bit of video I saw of the state-sanctioned violence going down in Tahrir Square — you remember, with the horses and the chains and whatnot — was on a TV set in a Florida diner. By way of a heads up from my BEAST comrade Josh Bunting, and a healthy dose of dumb luck, I was eating lunch with famed magician and skeptic James “The Amazing” Randi. He ordered the meatloaf, and made a salt shaker disappear. It was pretty awesome. Digression #6.

Anyway, sitting there in the darkness watching every YouTube clip of Mubarak I could find… the idea was to call Walker and express my support for his agenda, one dictator to another. I had vague designs to pretend to call from the Egypt exhibit at Epcot Center, express my sincere support, get a little weepy/homesick, and talk about what an awesome Anti-Semite Walt Disney was. It was, admittedly, a very silly idea — which probably had zero chance of working, and even less so because, for the life of me, I cannot do a convincing Egyptian accent. So, really, my total lack of talent is the reason I ultimately succeeded. Go figure. The sun was coming up.

So suicide seemed like something I could do. But, I thought, I should read a bit more first. I’d hate to die without knowing the latest news. Eventually, I happened upon a piece by Amanda Terkel at the Huffington Post called “Wisconsin Democratic Senators: We’re Staying In Illinois Until Gov. Walker Agrees To Negotiate“. She’s excellent. A real reporter. They actually pay her, too. I imagine she’s the inexplicably Asian offspring of Studs Terkel, but I have no facts to back that up. She quoted one of the Fab 14, Democratic State Senator Tim Carpenter: “He’s just hard-lined—will not talk, will not communicate, will not return phone calls.” On my latest trip to Wisconsin, I actually got to meet Carpenter. I shouldn’t say that, however, because every Democrat I stood next to was thoroughly, though incompetently, smeared by human sewage, like Andrew Breitbart, for merely being in my presence.

It was about 9 am, February 22, 2011 AD. I was on my second pot of coffee, and the Carpenter quote had given me a glimmer of an idea: If Walker wouldn’t pick up the phone for the Democratic opposition, who would he answer to?

To be honest, I know a hell of a lot more about the financial and ideological history between Walker and Koch now than I did when I made the call. All I really knew was that the Kochs had contributed the maximum amount to the Walker campaign, they’re the kind of anti-union assholes that’d love for the Budget “Repair” bill to pass, and that David Koch’s Americans for Prosperity had just put together a “Stand With Walker” website. Maybe I’ll get into some more of the connections later on in this already tl;dr article. Or you can go read The Nation or something. John Nichols is all over that shit, per usual. I have some pretty funny stories about that guy, too, that involve The Dark Lord Satan. But that’ll have to wait for the book — wait, how did I not get a book deal? Oh, btw, Jack, you’re fired (my terrible agent).

But I knew enough to come up with a decent guess for the above question: Walker would answer the phone for David Koch.

Now, if you want some congruity here, go ahead and (re)read the original Koch Whore post. I’ll wait here…

OK! Carrying on. Skipping ahead. Or going in reverse. Or Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy (good, albeit quaintly sexist/racist, book). Did I mention I have a sleep problem? I get loopy. OK! Phone call accomplished. Possibly the greatest political prank of all time, I’m told. But my mom doesn’t really know what she’s talking about; she says I’m “handsome.” Delusion’s not just a river in Egypt. Poor woman. Onward!

And, yes, as you may have read elsewhere, I was “wildly unprepared.” I mean, I had a hunch that David Koch had a better chance of getting through to Governor Walker, but I didn’t actually think I could pull it off! In this line of work (lol!), I’ve failed so many times. One dumb idea after another. I used to prepare for every potential jape like it was a sure thing, but after thoroughly failing more times than I care to admit, I’ve learned to not waste so much time studying up for pie-in-the-sky projects. The only preparation I made was to write the phonetic pronunciation “Coke” on a piece of paper. For years, I’d been calling these guy “Kotch,” like former NYC mayor Ed Koch. And it would be a pretty big mistake to mispronounce my own name.

My very first gonzo adventure for The BEAST was to infiltrate the local chapter of the College Republicans. I first met up with the outfit’s alpha-douche, and gave him my silly alias, Chad Steal. I even made business cards. A few days later, I went to one of their shindigs, some guy introduced himself, and I just blurted out, “Nice to meet you, my name’s Ian!” Alpha-douche shot me a death glare and I basically ran the fuck away. Digression #513. I think.

***

Did the Governor of Wisconsin just say “Thanks a million”? He did! Holy shit! That just worked…oh my atheist god! 20 minutes of him babbling on tape. THE TAPE! Please, please, please, tell me the call recorded! I once interviewed the Times Dot Earth (kind of horrible) climate blogger, and Pete Seeger backup musician, Andrew Revkin but I’d only recorded half of the conversation — not in duration, but just me, saying, “OK, yeah,” every couple of minutes. I was having heart palpitations. Suicide?! It worked! The thing recorded. This happened. Wow. I was beside myself — or rather, for the first time in my life, I fully understood that phrase. At a few points during the call, I felt like I was sitting next to myself, merely observing the weird goings on. And maybe that’s how I didn’t burst into uncontrollable laughter. It wasn’t really happening; it was just an odd film of sorts.

It was about 12 noon, EST. Only awake for 12 hours. And very excited. Downright giddy. I hopped back on the Skype, or the “Snype” as “Koch” called it, and put in a nearly incoherent call to BEAST publisher Paul Fallon. “I just did the it — the thing, man!” I screamed at him. “The motherfucking thing is done — I — I — Scott Walker is a fucking retard!”

“Whoa, hello?” he said. “Murphy?”

“Yeah!” I yelled. “Koch Whore! That’s what I’ll call it! What do you think?”

“Oh, hey, I didn’t recognize the number. What’s –”

“Neither did they! I’m calling with Skype!” I didn’t have a phone at the time.

“Dude, slow down!” he barked. “What the hell are you trying to tell me?”

“I — I — I –”

“OK, I need you to breathe, slow down, and tell me what the hell is going on.”

“I just talked to the Governor of Wisconsin for like 20 minutes! And he’s a total retard!”

“What?! How?”

“I called posing as David Koch, and it was fucking glorious — this is HUGE. I’m gonna be on the goddamn news, man! Should I get a haircut — can you give me some money to get a haircut? I’m broke!” Still broke, for the record.

“Maybe,” he mumbled. He mumbles a lot. He’s my lawyer. And it’s sort of scary. “We’ll see.” Fallon’s seen me get excited about all manor of nonsense, so he’s learned to take all my “SUPER-IMPORTANT NEWS” with a grain of malt.

“‘We’ll see’?!” I balked. “No, man, you don’t get it!”

I gave him the quick rundown of the call, shot him an excerpt mp3 via email, hung up, and just stared at the wall. I guess I was in a state resembling shock. I waited. And called him back. “Holy shit!” he yelped. “Who can we sell this to?”

This seemed like a preposterous idea to me. There was no way we were going to sit on this, so why would anyone pay for this thing when they could simply wait until it was on YouTube, and report on it for free? Not to mention that no legitimate news organization would want to own the rights of a prank phone call done by a maniac who interrupts Easter Mass by wearing a clown costume, and has written possibly THE MOST unforgivable editorial in modern history entitled “Fuck the Troops“! And just then, I realized that that article would soon be talked about on Fox News. Within the next 24 hours, that realization came to pass.

But, you know, I couldn’t blame the guy for wanting to get paid. It’s the American way! And The BEAST has never made money; Fallon does his lawyer thing and keeps the BEAST rolling out of pure spite for this fucked up world. It may not be monetary, but his investment was about to pay off. I uploaded the whole call to him, and just started chain smoking and pacing my front porch. I was still plenty stunned.

***

It was about 6pm. Between my nervous intoxication, my real intoxication, my inability to transcribe audio in a timely fashion (ask your doctor about Chronic Toe Fingers), and fretting way too much about the language of the lede and the ending, I’d given up on posting the thing for the day’s news cycle. The world would have to wait until tomorrow to find out what I already knew — that, among other things, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker thought about planting trouble makers in a peaceful crowd full of women, and children in strollers. And, this point can’t be hammered enough, he only decided against it because he didn’t think it would work! And not because he though it was morally unacceptable.

Both that Sunday on “Meet the Press” and in an interview with Fox News’s resident Scientologist Greta Van Susteren, Walker said that “lawmakers” came to him with the suggestion. If David Gregory were worth one fat turd as a journalist, and not just a Dr. Zaius doppelgänger, he would have asked a follow-up there: Who? Al Uthman briefly left the cozy world of retirement to pose that same question. If I know anything about Wisconsin politics, the lawmakers in question most likely included walking shit-bag Senator Glenn Grothman. But I digress, again. And I’m getting way ahead of myself here.

10 pm — Needing a break, I headed over to Fallon’s place for a little powwow. When I arrived he was on the land-line with a producer from “The Ed Show.” They’d been covering the Wisconsin uprising, but he still wasn’t getting it: No one would ever pay for the rights to this call. I tried to explain it, but Fallon had already gotten into the box of wine, and he can’t be reasoned with when that happens.

His cell phone rings, and he passes it to me. It was ace reporter Lee Fang. I imagine he’s an Asian werewolf, but, again, I have no facts to back that up. Apparently, Fallon had sent him an excerpt of the call. “They’re going to sue you,” he said. “They’re very litigious.” I explained to him that both Wisconsin and New York are one-party consent states, meaning you can record a phone call without telling the other party. And, you know, I didn’t break any laws or anything. He didn’t seem to think that mattered. I was less worried by the prospect than pleased. It would be great press, and there’s no way they’d win. They had nothing. Nothing.

That’s one of the typical things people ask me: So, did they sue you or anything? Have you ever talked to the Kochs or their lawyers about what happened? And the answer is no. They were smart enough not to Streisand this thing.

We chatted for a few minutes; he congratulated me on my scoop, and I apologized for Fallon’s mumbly sales pitch.

***

2 am, February 23rd, 2011 AD. Finally back at home, I gave the post one final read (with the grammar eagle-eye of the girlfriend), then hit the publish button, smoked the aforementioned doob, and went about the strenuous business of losing my goddamn mind with worry. By about 4 or 5 am, I’d gotten down to answering the Mother Jones questions.

Weinstein: Okay, why should we believe you?

Me: Why wouldn’t you? I’d send you the recordings, but they’re already online. I guess you’d have to consult an audio engineer or mp4 expert or whatever the forensic audio analysis autopsy seance kind of person. It sounds like him to me. Maybe they punked me! Maybe it was Koch who actually answered the phone. Maybe I am living a double life in my sleep as Scott Walker! It’s for real. I would have made the dialogue better and the audio worse. What, I am DARPA or some shit over here?

I was starting to feel…tired. But with 29 hours already awake, and the wired disposition of a man who knows the most interesting day of his life is coming up, I just couldn’t sleep. There’s no way this story didn’t have giant legs. Around 8 am, I went to bed, and pretended like I was going to sleep. I may have actually gotten about 20 minutes in before Fallon was banging on my front door, and shoving his phone in my face. I truly don’t remember who it was — Salon, HuffPo, Something-Something.org?

The girlfriend left me her iPhone, so I could field calls while Fallon ran out to buy me a prepaid cell phone. When he got back, it was already ringing. And at one point, no lie, I was simultaneously talking to Something-Something.org on the iPhone, and Something-Something.com on the burner — like something out of a slapstick All the President’s Men. But not as important. And with fewer Hoffmans. Robert Redford was there for a second; he as all like, “Hey, wassup?”  – then I concluded that I’d been awake far too long already, and there’d be no naps that day.

***

I told everyone I was 33; I’d plain forgotten how old I was. Incredible. And not one journalist confirmed my age via Wikipedia. But, hey, a guy tells you he’s 33…he should know, right? Herp-a-Derp. Hectic fails to describe that day. I got the chance to talk to a bunch of reporters I genuinely respect, so that was cool. I also had the opportunity to be terrible and ugly on national television. While I was waiting to go on MSNBC’s “Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell,” I was talking to Thom Hartman on the phone. I could barely hear what he was saying.

After the O’Donnell interview ended, a lady-voice popped into my earpiece to ask if I wanted to do a quick thing for “The Today Show.” I’d been awake for roughly 45 hours, and I had it in my head the O’Donnell spot was the end of the road, so something must have snapped in my brain. “Um, sure,” I answered the NBC lady-voice. “OK, Ian,” said the lady-voice. “Can you tell us why you decided to call Governor Walker?”

“WHY?!” I said, nonplussed. “Because he’s a huge fucking asshole!”

“Um…OK, Ian, you’re going have to rephrase that. Obviously, you can’t swear like that on ‘The Today Show’.”

“Oh, sure. Of course. Sorry. Hmm, let’s see, um, I decided to call Governor Walker because he’s a monumental scumbag who –”

“I’m going to have to stop you right there, Ian,” thus spake the lady-voice. “You’re stating your opinion as fact, you can’t do that.”

“Are you fucking kidding me?”

This went on for a few minutes. I thought I eventually said something acceptably non-vulgar about Walker being a “demonstrable liar.” But it never made it to air. Fuck ‘em. Truth doesn’t play on the networks.

Ten days later I was at a wild hippy pool party in downtown Madison. It was just the start of a crazy year. I ran for Congress, for some damn reason, but that’s less a digression and more of another story entirely (I lost, in case you were wondering).

***

So here we are, a year later. And I’ve learned some pretty interesting things along the way. During my latest trip to Wisconsin I met State Senators Robert Jauch and Tim Cullen. You may remember Cullen from the phone call. Walker said he was the only reasonable guy on the other side of the aisle. But I digress. What I learned from them is that my call was a sort of tipping point. Not only did it give them the moral high ground to stay in exile, but it changed the public conversation. They weren’t obstructing the legislative process, or flaking out on their duties, they were doing the right thing to fight the Koch Whore. Hey, they said it, not me.

I also learned that cheese curds are meant to be very squeaky.

Over one million signatures were collected in Wisconsin, forcing a recall election, as you well know. The Kochs are dumping tons of money into statewide advertisements. The Democrats, some worry, don’t yet have that special candidate they need to actually win. I previously speculated that — short of Russ Feingold — Tim Cullen had a good shot of being the “reasonable” guy to beat Walker. But he’s dropped out citing a lack of financial support. It looks like we’re down to two Kathleens — former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, and former dairy farmer Senator Kathleen Vinehout. Tom Barrett, the Mayor of Milwaukee, and some rumblings for Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca to jump into the race — at least on my Facebook wall, but it doesn’t seem likely. Or wise.

Barrett v. Walker would be a gubernatorial rematch of 2010. Walker won that one 52% to 47%. Barrett’s a known quantity. Replaying the 2010 election with Walker’s current dive in the polls, due in part to the John Doe investigation threatening to sink his entire administration, would probably result in a Barrett victory. But it seems to be Falk who’s scoring all the major union support, mainly for her firm pledge to veto any budget that comes across her desk which doesn’t reinstate collective bargaining. But that’s why there’s a primary, so the peeps can decide.

My prediction is that the eventual nominee is going to soundly spank Walker back to his beloved private sector. Wisconsin’s my favorite state — and not just because it’s the only state in the union where women actually consider having sex with me. I mean, they still won’t, but they consider it. It’s my favorite state, and excuse me for cheer-leading here, because it’s where the revolution began. The Kochs have used the state as a sort of test tube for their pernicious libertarian experiments, and the impending election has huge national implications. It’s the line drawn in the proverbial cheese. On one side: neofeudalism; on the other: human decency.

I personally hope human decency prevails, and that I had some small part in making that happen because, you know, it would really help me land a book deal. Just kidding. But seriously. I kid. No, for real. Kidding. Absolutely true. Joking — Robert Redford! OK, I have to go to sleep now.

_________________________________


  • Blayne Sapelli

    This is utterly brilliant.

    May I say that I too, love pranks, love activism, can’t stop reading the eXiled or Taibbiblog, and look to this piece as a key inspiration.

    Here’s to hoping I can follow in your footsteps, and like Hunter Thompson and Mark Ames before us, kick neofeudalist ass.

  • Not From Wisconsin

    I thought about sleeping with you Ian Murphy. I won’t, but I thought about it.

    (Good work).

  • matt

    “One, if you’ve not read The Exile: Sex, Drugs, and Libel in the New Russia, you should. It’s an unflinching and brutal masterpiece. It’s the Guernica of Gonzo, imho.”

    Agreed! And now the eXiled is one of the few sources of journalism you know you can trust. (Along with the beast obviously).

  • http://youtu.be/f5S5LpLhqpg Joe Dixon

    I liked this well enough but I wish you hadn’t left out the part where Walker locks you in his basement and is about to cut you open when the girl with the dragon tattoo comes to your rescue.

  • Frank Dederich

    Ian,
    Holy Fuck, you can write, you write great, I loved it…digress away.
    Can’t thank you enough for what you did for our movement…Kock.
    My lil sis Amos sent me the link for this article.
    Please take care of yourself, we need you.
    We have big plans for you, come back soon.
    Frank Dederich, proud denizen of Madison, Wisconsin
    PS…Top 50 was over the top.

  • Christopher Hanks

    Self-indulgent tripe.

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    Fatal error: require_once() [function.require]: Failed opening required 'all_images/config.php' (include_path='.:/usr/local/php-5.3.29/share/pear') in /nfs/c09/h03/mnt/134940/domains/buffalobeast.com/html/wp-content/themes/Beast/footer.php on line 28