BoeingWorker980
A union member filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, saying the union is not providing members a reasonable opportunity to vote because some will still be on vacation when the Jan. 3 vote occurs. (AP Photo/File)

Boeing to throw party to thank lawmakers for $8.7B

SEATTLE (AP) - Boeing lobbyists are throwing a "thank you" party for Washington state lawmakers who helped provide the company with billions in tax breaks.

An invitation obtained by The Associated Press shows Boeing executives will host a reception for lawmakers Wednesday evening at a house across the street from the Capitol campus in Olympia. The invitation to lawmakers says the event will "thank you for your efforts to land the 777X in Washington state."

Last year, the Legislature approved an extension of Boeing tax breaks in a deal worth an estimated $8.7 billion. Lawmakers swiftly approved the idea in a special session, which put pressure on union workers to accept a contract that transitioned them away from pension plans.

Democratic Rep. Reuven Carlyle, who helped guide the tax package through the Legislature, said he declined to attend Boeing events late last year _ such as a dinner with company officials _ when lawmakers were considering the deal. He said those early events didn't feel appropriate, but he had no objections to lawmakers attending Boeing's reception this week now that time has passed.

"I don't see anything wrong with a casual get-together," Carlyle said. He noted that both large and small organizations in the state host events for lawmakers and that Boeing hosts receptions every year, regardless of whether the company is pursuing a large agenda.

Boeing spokesman Doug Alder said the Olympia reception is an opportunity to celebrate the future of aerospace and keeping the 777X in the state.

"Every member of the Washington state Legislature is invited to participate, and the event is within the guidelines that govern interaction with elected officials," Alder said.

Boeing has said the tax breaks and the worker concessions were enough to secure the 777X production for Washington state and the thousands of jobs that come with it. The company had been exploring offers from other states.

Political leaders had feared that losing the 777X would lead to an exodus of aerospace jobs for the region.


(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Top Stories

  • Bless This House
    If you're worried about selling your home, say a prayer & turn to the 'Big Agent in the sky'

  • Moving Sawant
    A fundraiser is born to move Councilmember Kshama Sawant to a Socialist country
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know a student who stands out in the classroom, school and community?
Help make their dreams come true by nominating them for a $1,000 scholarship and a chance to earn a $10,000 Grand Prize. Brought to you by KIRO Radio and Comprehensive Wealth Management.

Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.