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‘McKenna for Rent’ events Tuesday in King Co.

The following article by Nathan Jackson is crossposted from


When big corporations, trade associations and the 1% ply our politicians with fundraisers they aren’t doing it out of a sense of civic duty. They give money, they expect a big return on their investment — policies that give more money and more power to the people who are already plenty rich and powerful.

Photo illustration by The Stand

Photo illustration by The Stand

This time the Washington Restaurant Association (WRA) and the Washington Apartment Association (WAA) are hoping that Republican Rob McKenna is for rent. In a single day — Tuesday, Sept. 25 —  they are raising tens of thousands of dollars for his campaign because they believe he will support his 1% agenda:  tax loopholes, budget cuts, and low-wage jobs.

We’re going to crash the party.

“99% SuperPACS” are organizing all over King County and we’ll be right there protesting these fundraisers because we think candidates and elected officials should answer to the people, not big moneyed interests.

So we’re going to meet McKenna and the interests who support him, and tell them right to their faces that we won’t let them just buy their way into new legislation to increase their profits on the backs of restaurant workers, renters, or the rest of the 99%.

Join us in Southcenter to protest McKenna for Rent:
Tuesday, Sept. 25 at noon
Protest Washington Apartment Association fundraiser
Doubletree Southcenter, 16500 Southcenter Parkway, Tukwila

Then join us in Bellevue to protest McKenna for McJobs:
Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 3:30 pm
Protest Washington Restaurant Association fundraiser
El Gaucho Bellevue, 450 108th Avenue NE,  Bellevue

The Washington Apartment Association is the state’s biggest landlord lobby group, and they actively work to lobby for more power and profits for themselves at the expense of the people who rent homes from them. They fight for rules that make it easier to evict people. They oppose limits on screening fees. And they’re even opposed to rudimentary inspection of apartment buildings.

And in Rob McKenna they have a candidate for governor they can rent out, too. The price: at least $10,000 to be raised at this one fundraiser.

The Washington Restaurant Association is hoping to raise even more money for McKenna. It makes sense: they have a lot in common. Both are notorious for fighting against minimum wage increases, and both have suggested that the minimum wage is too high for certain workers. And both have fought against a fairer workplace environment by opposing paid sick leave for restaurant workers.

In fact, McKenna giving advice to the WRA at a dinner earlier this year told them that he worked in a restaurant when he was young, and he didn’t need sick leave.

“When one of us was sick we just traded out shifts.” So a teenage McKenna would just swap out shifts when he was sick. Or maybe he’d be squeezed for comic book money.

But the folks who work in today’s food service aren’t teenagers. They are mothers and fathers and working people trying to make the rent. Low wages and poor jobs have real consequences. And we’re going to make sure McKenna knows that his support for McJobs has consequences, too.

That’s why we’re crashing the party on Tuesday. It’s about standing up for policies that put the needs of the 99% before that of the richest 1%, and telling the 1% and their favored candidates that we won’t sit passively as they try to buy our elections and our legislators.

We will go to these fundraisers and make them listen to us. If they think we won’t fight against policies that hurt the 99% they are sorely mistaken. They probably don’t want to hear from us, but we are inviting ourselves anyway.

If we’re going to take this country back for the 99%, we can’t have political candidates out for rent to 1% interests, and we can’t just let them support McJobs instead of good jobs.

After all our legislators and politicians should be working for us, not against us.


CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!