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August 15, 2012 at 5:45 PM
After some behind-the-scenes blowback over its endorsement of Republican Rob McKenna in the governor’s race, an influential aerospace group decided Wednesday to also endorse Democrat Jay Inslee.
The Aerospace Futures Alliance board met with Inslee for more than an hour Wednesday to discuss his record on aerospace issues and his plans as governor. The group decided to endorse him, and a formal announcement will be made Thursday, according to Sterling Clifford, Inslee’s communications director. (The AFA’s executive director, Linda Lanham, also confirmed the endorsement flipflop this afternoon to the Everett Herald.)
The move effectively neutralizes the group’s earlier, sole endorsement of McKenna.
As we reported Tuesday, the move comes after allies of Inslee made their displeasure known to AFA for its sole endorsement last month of McKenna, despite the favors that powerful Demoratic politicians have done for Boeing and the aviation industry in recent years. It was the AFA’s first ever political endorsement in a gubernatorial race.
The Inslee camp said he had not been invited to speak with the AFA board prior to the McKenna endorsement, even though sources said some board members were led to believe he had turned down a chance to speak to the group. Lanham did not respond to calls for comment.
August 2, 2012 at 6:00 AM
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee is outspending Republican rival Rob McKenna on TV ads in the run-up to Tuesday’s deadline for mailing in primary-election ballots.
Inslee has spent more than $1 million on TV spots already, according to reports filed with the state Public Disclosure Commission. That compares with about $800,000 for McKenna.
Both candidates have used their first ads to introduce themselves in a positive light.
McKenna’s first spot showed him rapid-fire chatting with his family about his plans for the state. Inslee’s first two ads prominently feature him sitting atop a bulldozer, referencing a job he had in college, as he talks up his job-creation goals.
McKenna, the two-term Attorney General, leads in fundraising, having pulled in more than $7.4 million. Inslee, the former Congressman, has raised about $7.1 million (including about $1 million from the state Democratic Party.)
McKenna is in a good spot to add to his fundraising edge this week, as he traveled to Colorado Wednesday for a big-time GOP gathering where he can hobnob with some of the party’s top national donors.
The Republican Governors Association (RGA) event at a luxury Aspen resort is drawing presidential candidate Mitt Romney in addition to Republican governors and top prospects like McKenna.
According to POLITICO, the guest list for the RGA retreat ”reads like a who’s who of the most influential players in GOP politics,” including Karl Rove and Kevin Gentry, a top aide to billionaire businessmen Charles and David Koch. The events, POLITICO notes, typically feature panel talks on policy mixed with dinners that allow top donors to mingle with the GOP governors.
Charles McCray, a McKenna campaign spokesman, confirmed McKenna was at the event in part to attend a fundraiser organized for him by Colorado Attorney General John Suthers. He said McKenna will return Friday.
July 18, 2012 at 12:13 PM
The latest state financial disclosure reports show Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna has raised a total of about $6.87 million in cash and in kind contributions so far, compared to roughly $6.8 million for his Democratic challenger, Jay Inslee.
McKenna raised a little over $1 million between June 1 and July 16, compared to $826,000 for Inslee. McKenna, who as a state elected official was under a fundraising freeze while the Legislature was in session earlier this year, had been behind.
Inslee’s total includes $179,000 from the state Democratic Party during that time period, bringing the party’s total contributions to his campaign to more than $1.1 million. Under state law, the state party can contribute a maximum of about $3.3 million to the campaign.
Inslee has about $2.8 million in cash on hand, compared to $3.7 million for McKenna, according to the latest reports. However, Inslee will have the help of Our Washington, a union-funded PAC opposing McKenna.
The group has raised more than $2 million and has reserved large chunks of ad time statewide for the final month of the election.
July 6, 2012 at 12:25 PM
A judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna over his participation in the 26-state challenge to the constitutionality of the national health-care law.
The lawsuit had been filed on behalf of dozens of women by Democratic activist attorney Knoll Lowney, who argued McKenna had breached his ethical duties by saying publicly he only wanted to overturn pieces of the law – chiefly its individual insurance mandate – while signing legal briefs that asked for the whole law to be thrown out.
Lowney had asked the court to force McKenna to file amended briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court. But he didn’t file the lawsuit until last month - after the Supreme Court had already heard all the arguments in the case. Republicans called the lawsuit a political stunt, noting Lowney’s habit of suing prominent GOP candidates during election years.
King County Superior Court Judge Sharon Armstrong ruled the lawsuit’s claims “have been rendered moot” by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last week upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.
Despite the defeat, the plaintiffs said in a news release they were not giving up and were considering filing a complaint against McKenna with the Washington State Bar Association.
July 6, 2012 at 9:59 AM
National money is starting to pour in to Washington’s closely watched governor’s race between Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna.
The Republican Governors Association (RGA) this week reserved an estimated $1.9 million in TV ad time across the state, according to advertising trackers working for the Inslee campaign. The purchase was also independently confirmed by Jim Rose, director of sales for KING TV. The ads are scheduled to start in late September and run until election day.
The RGA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The organization says it has raised more than $73 million for the 2012 election cycle so far. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the RGA’s biggest donor — at more than $2 million — is Koch Industries, the privately held company founded by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch.
The GOP buy comes a month after a union-backed Democratic political committee, Our Washington, reserved about $3 million in governor’s race ad time for the fall.
With Washington’s gubernatorial race rated the hottest in the country, this is just the start of an economic stimulus package worth of negative ad buys for local broadcasters.
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