As Labor Day 2019 disappears into the rearview mirror, General Election Day 2019 draws ever closer. Summer is ending and autumn is approaching. While the weather becomes cooler, though, state politics is heating up. With the November 2019 general election only a few weeks away, it’s fundraising season.
The Washington State Republican Party and the constellation of right wing organizations based around these parts have long used fall dinners with out of state guests to score cash for their operations. This year, the opposition is bringing a truly terrible trio to town to please their base: Failed Governor Scott Walker and bigoted Fox personalities Laura Ingraham and Jeanine Pirro.
Walker will appear in Bellevue tomorrow night at the Washington State Republican Party’s Annual Dinner (which doesn’t have a name, other than “Annual Dinner”), which will be emceed by right wing radio personality Jason Rantz.
The dinner will be held at the Hyatt Regency, which is part of right wing donor Kemper Freeman Jr.’s “Bellevue Collection”. A VIP reception, replete with a photo line, will be held concurrently with a general reception from 6 to 7 PM.
The dinner and program will run from 7 to 9 PM.
Walker inflicted tremendous damage on the State of Wisconsin during the eight years that he was in power. He rammed through legislation aimed at breaking up the state’s public sector employee unions and rewarded his friends with sweetheart deals. Before leaving office, he also struck an economic development deal with Foxconn that turned out to be a complete sham.
“In his nearly twenty-five years in politics, Scott Walker has proven he will say anything and do anything to move up the political ladder,” the nonprofit OneWisconsinNow explains, assessing Walker’s modus operandi.
“The Walker Doctrine is simple: (1) Reward my donors, (2) Increase my power, and (3) Punish my enemies. This causes Scott Walker time and time again to misrepresent the facts, deflect responsibility and flat out lie about his record, his policies and the damage he has inflicted upon Wisconsin. There is only one place which ignores Scott Walker’s cronyism, corruption and incompetence, a magical alternate universe he has concocted called ‘Walker’s World.'”
In 2011, Walker was pranked by Ian Murphy, a New York blogger who was pretending to be the late billionaire David Koch. Murphy got through to Walker and fooled him into believing that he was Koch. Walker’s responses during the nearly ten minute phone conversation are revealing and worth hearing.
Ingraham will appear at a different “Annual Dinner” — this one to benefit the so-called “Freedom Foundation”, a right wing group that is primarily dedicated to the destruction of the Pacific Northwest’s trade unions.
Like the WSRP’s dinner, this event will be held at the Hyatt Regency.
It will take place Friday, September 21st. A VIP reception is planned for 5:30 PM, followed by a general reception at 6 PM. Dinner will be at 7 PM.
Individual tickets cost $200. VIP tickets cost twice that… $400.
“Laura Ingraham is a former ABC News political contributor who hosts The Ingraham Angle on Fox News,” explains the watchdog group Media Matters. “She has used her Fox platform, her former radio show, and her podcast to smear refugees, immigrants, and LGBTQ Americans, as well as to demean school shooting survivors and mock deceased individuals.”
“We’re delighted and flattered to have someone of her stature share this special evening with us,” said “Freedom Foundation” head honcho Tom McCabe, an unapologetic militant who used to run the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW). McCabe and his cronies were in charge of the BIAW during the days when it was a political powerhouse thanks to the funds it was stealing from its members out of Washington State’s retro rebate program.
“Laura Ingraham has the ear of millions of Americans every day, and you earn that level of trust with an unrelenting commitment to honesty and credibility, combined with an infectious sense of humor,” McCabe added.
Honesty and credibility are sadly virtues that neither Ingraham nor McCabe know anything about. Ingraham has been savagely (and appropriately) parodied by Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon for her white supremacist views.
Washington’s labor movement plans to picket Ingraham’s appearance.
Pirro, one of Ingraham’s compadres at the Fox Noise Channel, will be the guest of honor of the King County Republicans on October 25th.
The venue for this dinner (which actually has a name — the “Liberty Dinner”) is… you guessed it… the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue.
Tickets start at $150 for general admission. The VIP rate costs $300 and facilitates access to a “special meet and greet” with Pirro.
“Jeanine Pirro served as a county judge for three years in the early 1990s and now hosts a weekly Fox show called Justice with Judge Jeanine,” explains Media Matters. “She has been a personal friend of Donald Trump for decades and acts as a sycophant for him on her Fox show, which premiered in 2011. In 2019, Pirro faced widespread backlash for bigoted remarks on her Fox show about United States Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota).”
Pirro, who is a white supremacist like Ingraham, has been brilliantly parodied on Saturday Night Live by repertory player Cecily Strong.
“Congratulations on your suspension from Fox,” one caller began.
“You were suspended — you should share that with the audience — and before you attack the left about us and what we do to you conservatives, he gets negative coverage because he lies and distorts. Every single morning, every single day we have to tune in to a level of idiocy and instability that this nation has never seen on the left or on the right. Now, you, ma’am, and your network, you keep this alive. Recently, just last week, you said they are, the Democrats are trying to replace you. Now you’re saying this to a predominantly older, white audience — 1% of your audience is Black, probably less than that for your show.”
When Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat learned the King County Republicans had invited Pirro to headline their dinner, he was naturally incredulous. What was left of the Republican establishment was mostly gutted during last year’s midterms; there are no longer any Republicans representing King County in the Legislature or in Congress who reside in King County.
How does bringing Pirro to Bellevue rebuild the Republican brand in King County?
“Why, why, why, local Republicans, are you aligning yourselves with noxious stuff like this? Just the continued use of the word ‘illegals’ is low down, as it turns an adjective into a noun solely to dehumanize,” Westneat wrote.
What Pirro peddles isn’t red meat to fill seats — it’s rancid, Westneat added.
He concluded his column by opining: “It seems to me Republicans will struggle in elections around here until they can tell the difference.”