The Corner

Cops Question Walker, Search for Dem Sens

Madison, Wis. – For more than a week, the protests here in this college town have been peaceful. Now, police are actively searching for Democratic state senators and questioning Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, about comments made in a prank phone conversation.

Earlier today, state police were sent to the homes of 14 upper-chamber Democrats. The dispatch was prompted by a state senate motion this morning to issue a “call of the house,” which enables law enforcement to search for missing members. The Democrats, who have been on the run for days, are said to be in northern Illinois and Chicago as they work to avoid a vote on Walker’s budget-repair bill, which would limit collective bargaining for most state employees. According to the Associated Press, officers cannot arrest members if they are home, but state Republicans hope that the increased police presence will stir lawmakers to return to Madison.

Meanwhile, Governor Walker now faces questions from local police about what he told a blogger, who was posing as industrialist David Koch, on a phone call earlier this week. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Madison Police Chief Noble Wray has asked Walker to explain his “troubling” and “unsettling” statements, specifically Walker saying on the call that he “thought about” planting troublemakers at the capitol as labor supporters rallied.

“I spent a good deal of time overnight thinking about Governor Walker’s response, during his news conference yesterday, to the suggestion that his administration ‘thought about’ planting troublemakers among those who are peacefully protesting his bill,” Wray said in a statement. “I would like to hear more of an explanation from Governor Walker as to what exactly was being considered, and to what degree it was discussed by his cabinet members.”

At a Wednesday press conference, Walker pushed back on the notion that he looked into causing unrest. “People have brought up all sorts of different options,” he said. “As you saw if you’ve listened to the tape, we shot that down.”

UPDATE: On the morning search:

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said no Senate Democrats have been found by State Troopers Thursday morning.

Troopers were dispatched to the homes of all 14 Senate Democrats after Fitzgerald said he heard of reports that a few of them were going home nights and driving across the state line to Illinois.

Senate Democrats said they left the state to slow-down Gov. Scott Walker’s budget-repair bill.

Robert Costa — Robert Costa is National Review's Washington editor and a CNBC political analyst. He manages NR's Capitol Hill bureau and covers the White House, Congress, and national campaigns. ...

Most Popular


My American Dream

This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I became an American. I first applied for a visa in early 2011, and since then I have slowly worked my way through the system — first as a visa-holder, then as a permanent resident (green card), and, finally, as a ... Read More

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More

Billy Graham: Neither Prophet nor Theologian

Asked in 1972 if he believed in miracles, Billy Graham answered: Yes, Jesus performed some and there are many "miracles around us today, including television and airplanes." Graham was no theologian. Neither was he a prophet. Jesus said "a prophet hath no honor in his own country." Prophets take adversarial ... Read More
Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More