Reality Check: Rep. Hulsey Runs Ad Against Walker

Typically WISC-TV uses its “Reality Check” series to examine ads that people may have seen running repeatedly on TV. But this “Reality Check” is examining an ad that was the most-shared video in Madison and will be running this week on Madison stations.

A freshman state representative has taken it upon himself to go after Gov. Scott Walker, not advocating to sign a recall petition or even vote against the governor but bringing up an infamous phone call.

“I’m state Rep. Brett Hulsey,” the ad begins. “You remember when Scott Walker thought he was talking to a big corporate donor about bringing troublemakers into the Capitol?”

Then the ad plays a selected portion of a call made by the Buffalo Beast, a liberal New York website, to Walker by a caller pretending to be wealthy businessman David Koch.

“What we were thinking about the crowd was planting some troublemakers,” the caller says in the ad.

“Well we thought about that,” Walker responds in the ad, followed by laughing from the caller.

WISC-TV found this is misleading. The clip of phone call played in the ad is selectively edited. Here’s a transcript of what actually happened.

Caller: “What we were thinking about the crowds, was planting some troublemakers.”

Walker: “You know, well the … the only problem ? cause we thought about that, the problem or my gut reaction would be right now, the lawmakers I’ve talked to, the public is not really fond of this.”

On the call, Walker continues talking to the “fake” David Koch and explains himself.

Walker: “My only fear would be that if there was a ruckus caused is that would scare the public into thinking the governor’s got to settle to avoid all these problems.”

The ad continues with Hulsey saying, “I stood up to Gov. Walker. I went to his press conference and said, ‘What you have just heard is unadultered [sic] complete nonsense.'”

WISC-TV found this needs clarification. The governor did hold a news conference that day, but Hulsey never directly confronted him. What actually happened was that Hulsey waited until the governor had left the room, took over the podium and directed his comments to reporters.

But the question remains, what exactly is Hulsey running the ad for?

“I want to get Wisconsin working again, to create jobs, better schools and affordable health care, and I need your help,” says Hulsey in the ad.

Hulsey said he was first trying to “remind” voters of the call and is running for re-election to the state Assembly. But when asked if he is considering running for governor, he told WISC-TV “you never can tell.”