Committee Democrats Press Governor Walker for Explanation of Videotape that Conflicts with His Testimony
Washington, DC—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Committee Members Gerald Connolly and Chris Murphy sent a letter to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker seeking answers to three simple questions about his 2011 testimony before the Committee in light of a new videotape that appears to contradict his statements.
Despite testifying under oath that he never “had a conversation with respect to [his] actions in Wisconsin and using them to punish members of the opposition party and their donor base,” a newly uncovered video taken three months earlier shows Walker explaining to one of his biggest financial donors that he plans to use a “divide and conquer” strategy against public sector workers in order to turn Wisconsin into a “completely red state.”
Today’s letter follows a previous letter the Members sent to Chairman Issa requesting that he ask Walker to explain his testimony before the Committee.
The full letter follows:
May 25, 2012
The Honorable Scott Walker
Office of the Governor
115 East State Capitol
Madison, WI 53702
Dear Governor Walker:
On May 21, 2012, we wrote to Rep. Darrell Issa, the Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, requesting that he send a letter asking you to explain your testimony before our Committee on April 14, 2011, particularly in light of a new videotape taken of you three months before the hearing and an article published by The Nation entitled, “Did Scott Walker Lie Under Oath to Congress?”
On May 22, you were asked about our letter by your local Fox affiliate, but rather than addressing the substance of our request, you accused us of acting politically because we did not send a letter directly to you.
To address your concerns, it may be helpful to explain why we wrote to Chairman Issa instead of to you. Pursuant to our Committee’s protocols, the Chairman typically writes letters on behalf of the entire Committee to seek clarification of previous testimony, to forward questions for the record from Committee Members, and for other purposes relating to witness testimony at Committee hearings. Chairman Issa has written several letters to witnesses this Congress when he believed they were not being truthful or when new information came to light suggesting that their testimony was not accurate.
Since you appear willing to entertain our inquiries directly, we ask that you submit to the Committee written answers to the following three simple questions no later than June 1, 2012:
- Do you dispute that you met with Diane Hendricks, one of your top donors, on January 18, 2011?
- Do you dispute that, in response to a question from Ms. Hendricks about whether Wisconsin could become “a completely red state,” you responded “Oh, yeah,” and that your “first step” as Governor would be to “deal with collective bargaining for all public employee unions” in order to “divide and conquer”?
- In light of your answers to these questions, do you now wish to withdraw your sworn testimony before the Committee in which you asserted that you never “had a conversation with respect to your actions in Wisconsin and using them to punish members of the opposition party and their donor base”?
In the interview with your local Fox affiliate, you stated that “the facts are the facts.” We agree, and in this instance, the facts were captured on videotape.
It is critical for Congress to obtain accurate information from witnesses who testify before the Committee in order to help inform our policy decisions. Your videotaped conversation with Ms. Hendricks not only raises serious concerns about the accuracy of your testimony before the Committee, but it undermines the entire rationale put forward for your unprecedented campaign against public sector workers.
We look forward to receiving your responses to our questions.
Elijah E. Cummings Gerald E. Connolly Christopher S. Murphy
Ranking Member Committee Member Committee Member