“We need to have a good strong relationship between labor and management in this state,” McKenna said at the April 11 meeting, according to the audio that was secretly recorded. “Now unfortunately because of a couple of governors — particularly Scott Walker — everyone thinks that someone who’s going to be a Republican governor, they’re going to be Scott Walker. I’m not Scott Walker. This is not Wisconsin. This is Washington state.”
The comments represent the private political discomfort some Republicans campaigning in blue states harbor over Walker’s strident anti-labor policies, particularly his aggressive rollback of collective bargaining for public-sector unions.
While McKenna is in a somewhat unique position running in a deep blue state, his decision to distance himself from Walker is notable, especially as national Republicans rally to Walker’s aid ahead of the June 8 recall.