According to Jim Brunner in the Seattle Times, Attorney General Rob McKenna isn't a Scott Walker wannabe after all....
But in an interview before the King County GOP's Lincoln Day dinner in Bellevue Wednesday night, McKenna said he would not replicate Walker's attempt to undo collective bargaining rights.
"Collective bargaining is a right. It's not the problem. The problem is politicians who give away too much at the bargaining table," McKenna said.
If he does get elected governor, McKenna said he'd work with unions, rather than "terrorizing them."
Uh-huh. That's what McKenna says now, to the press, after 100,000 protesters stormed the Capitol in Wisconsin, and poll after poll shows Walker's public-employee-union-busting to be widely unpopular. But as I've previously reported, that's not what McKenna told a roomful of Republicans back in October, when he didn't know his words were being recorded. Speaking before the Snohomish Republican Women's Club, McKenna made perfectly clear his attitude toward public employee unions going so far as to call them "dangerous."
FDR, by the way, among other little known facts, was strongly opposed to the unionization of public employees. He understood why you don't need the unionization of public employees. And why it would be dangerous for it to happen.
A few moments later, in this same speech, McKenna lauds a column from conservative pundit David Brooks, explaining to the audience that...
States are going bankrupt, not because we are over investing in our bridges and our roads or in our education systems or school building, but we have made too many commitments to our employees.
Yeah, that sounds like a governor who would work with the public employee unions rather than "terrorizing them." McKenna even goes on to make a distinction between public employee unions and private sector ones, the latter of which he categorizes as "legitimate," clearly implying that the former are not.
Over at PubliCola, Josh appears completely credulous of McKenna's proclaimed pro-collective-bargaining stance, even going so far as to mentor me: "You work for a newspaper now (not your Democratic party blog), you’re supposed to talk to the subjects of your stories. Sorta like Brunner did." (Which is kinda funny, considering that all Josh did was reprint a quote from Brunner, rather than taking the measure of the man by talking to McKenna himself.) But just like Brunner, Josh misses the real story here.
No, the story here is not that McKenna now says he's pro-union, it's that once again, McKenna has blatantly contradicted himself!
This is what McKenna does: he says whatever he needs to say to get elected, to whomever he thinks he needs to say it. He repeatedly and publicly insists that that he supports most of last year's Affordable Care Act, and that his lawsuit won't threaten reforms like eliminating pre-existing conditions, while at the same time arguing in court that the entire act should be tossed out as unconstitutional. Likewise, McKenna has no compunction pushing one legal interpretation to KUOW listeners, while his own attorneys are in court arguing the opposite.
McKenna has a long, established history of telling reporters what they want to hear. And if the rest of our media remains so unskeptical then I'm not the one who needs mentoring.