Topic: Scott Walker
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September 3, 2013 at 4:43 PM
A Seattle event featuring Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will be open to reporters after all, organizers informed The Seattle Times over the weekend.
A spokeswoman for the Washington Policy Center said ”things have changed” and the conservative think tank’s annual dinner Thursday will allow in the media. The spokeswoman, Lisa Shin, had previously said that Walker and the event’s other headliner, prominent Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Ben Carson, had requested that no journalists attend.
It would have been the only such press prohibition in recent memory, Shin had said.
Shin also reiterated that the only organization raising money at the dinner will be the Washington Policy Center. Walker’s office had called it a “campaign event” for the governor, who is up for re-election in 2014 and is also considered a candidate for president in 2016.
The dinner starts at 7 p.m.
August 28, 2013 at 10:00 AM
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will be in Seattle next week for a campaign event that reporters will not be allowed to attend, according to his staff.
About 2,000 people are expected to see the Republican governor and prominent Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Ben Carson headline a Washington Policy Center dinner next Thursday. Both speakers have asked that journalists be barred — the first such prohibition for the annual event in recent memory, said Lisa Shin, communications director for the conservative-leaning think tank.
Although reporters will be kept out, attendees at the sold-out event — about 1,400 at the Seattle Sheraton and some 600 watching via projector from Spokane — will likely be allowed to post to social media, Shin said.
A Walker spokeswoman deferred comment to his campaign team. Campaign spokesman Jonathan Wetzel confirmed the event will be closed to media.
“Campaign” refers to Walker’s 2014 re-election bid, although it is unclear how many Wisconsin voters will be in Seattle next week.
Walker is also considered a possible candidate for president in 2016.
Staffers did not return messages asking about the Seattle event’s connection to Walker’s campaign or why media will be not let in.
The 45-year-old Walker gained prominence in 2011 when, weeks after entering office, he proposed a bill to curtail state workers’ collective bargaining rights. The bill set off weeks of protests and prompted Democratic state senators to leave the capital, but it eventually won approval.
Democrats and labor groups tried unsuccessfully to recall Walker in 2012.
On Thursday, Washington state unions plan a protest outside Walker’s speech. The King County Labor Council has received a permit for a protest of up to 1,000 people and is expecting several hundred, said Executive Secretary David Freiboth.
“Our message is ‘not in our state,’” Freiboth said. “We don’t like Gov. Walker’s form of divisive political discourse, and we are finding that there are a lot of folks from diverse groups that agree with us.”
The Washington Policy Center has been capitalizing on the controversy, sending out news releases highlighting the union outrage.
The think tank’s annual dinner has featured several big names in its 16 years, from former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in 2002 to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in 2007 and former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and former Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton.
Last year, pollster Scott Rasmussen spoke in Seattle, while Republican campaign consultant Ed Rollins talked in Spokane.
February 13, 2013 at 10:56 AM
OLYMPIA — State Senate Republicans, who have already proposed repealing the state’s never-implemented family-leave requirement, are now targeting Seattle’s sick-leave law.
The law, which took effect in September, requires businesses with at least five employees operating in Seattle to provide paid sick leave to workers. Seattle is one of three major cities in the United States to have the law.
Senate Bill 5728 would take Seattle’s law off the books by declaring that the Legislature has the sole responsibility for sick-leave requirements. Senate Bill 5726 would scale back Seattle’s law by prohibiting cities from requiring sick leave for employers based outside the city.
Both bills were introduced Tuesday by Centralia Republican John Braun and are supported by Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom, D-Medina.
No Seattle senators have signed on.
Braun said his main problem with Seattle’s law is that it is affecting businesses that are based outside of Seattle, but do some business there. In addition, he said, “if this is a good idea, it’s a good idea on the state level, and this is a statewide program, and that’s the Legislature’s purview.”
“These are all nice ideas,” he added. “But we can’t afford every nice idea. We have to be realistic.”
The move would be similar to one made is Wisconsin in 2011, when Republicans repealed a Milwaukee sick-leave law.
Officials in Seattle and Olympia blasted Braun’s proposals.
Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata, who sponsored the city law, called the proposed bills “a violation of trust in the democratic process.”
Democratic State Sen. Karen Keiser, ranking member of the Health Care Committee, went further, calling the proposals “an in-your-face kind of assault on workers’ rights.”
“I don’t know what’s going on here. I guess they just like to beat up on poor people,” she said, adding, “I’m surprised, I’m shocked, I’m upset, and I’ll fight it.”
A related proposal in the House, 1781 (which says a city can’t impose sick-leave requirements on businesses based elsewhere) will get a hearing next week, said Democratic Rep. Mike Sells, who chairs the House Labor & Workforce Development Committee. But Sells said his committee and the House in general is focused on expanding sick leave — not restricting it.
August 28, 2012 at 1:14 PM
But the head of the Republican Governors Association told Washington’s delegates to the Republican National Convention that McKenna would be a leader similar to Walker.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, chairman of the RGA, spoke at a breakfast for the Washington and Montana delegations, touting Republican gubernatorial candidate McKenna, along with Montana contender Rick Hill, as top-tier contenders in 2012.
McDonnell lavishly praised Walker as a model of leadership.
“He represents what governing is all about. You look people in the eye, you have the courage to tell them the truth about what you can and can’t afford, about what policies you have to put in place… and then you get elected and you actually do it,” McDonnell said.
“And then when people resist because they have a left-wing view of the world, you say we’re going to stay they course, I promise you we do this we’ll get results,” he said, noting Walker’s victory in a recall election.
“They balanced the budget without raising taxes, jobs are coming back to Wisconsin, they had their first property tax cut in 30 years, Wisconsin’s back open for business,” McDonnell said.
“That’s what Scott Walked did in Wisconsin, and that’s what Rick Hill and Rob McKenna are going to do in their states as well,” he said.
Comparisons with Walker are not something McKenna has welcomed. He has criticized Walker for an overly aggressive stance in attacking collective bargaining rights of state workers. McKenna has said he would not do the same in Washington, but would try to drive a harder bargain with unions if elected.
Walker himself was supposed to be a speaker at the breakfast but cancelled at the last minute due to scheduling conflicts.
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