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Former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker on how Washington politics could turn purple

Scott Walker in 2015. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

Former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker says Washington state could gradually change from leaning blue to purple.

“Wisconsin and Washington, not that many years ago, were not that unalike,” Walker told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “I remember in the 2000 election when then Governor George W. Bush was running, Wisconsin and Washington were both considered to be battleground states or at least potentially battleground states.”

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“A decade later in 2010 (Wisconsin) went from all blue — meaning governor, lieutenant governor, both U.S. senators, both houses of the Legislature, five of the eight seats in Congress — went from all blue and we flipped that to Republican,” he said. “And even though we’re still a very purple if not blue state, we were able to make changes not just to elect Republicans but then to do the things we said we were going to do.”

For his upcoming speech, Walker plans to discuss the grassroots efforts to make such changes possible, and wants to make the case that it could occur in Washington state as well. Walker says one of the key issues relates to union influence, as he was an integral part of the effort in Wisconsin to ensure that unions don’t have an unbalanced influence in state elections.

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“We gave workers the freedom to choose, and so not only was it was a pro-taxpayer approach, it was a pro-worker approach saying — public and private alike eventually — that people could choose whether they want to be in the union or not,” he said. “A lot of particularly public sector employees, good public servants said, ‘I don’t want to give that $1,500 away to my unions that oftentimes support candidates who don’t align with my beliefs and my principles.'”

“That completely changed things. We saw a dramatic drop off in union membership. And that wasn’t the reason we did it, we did it because we needed to do that from a taxpayer standpoint, not only to balance our budgets but to put the taxpayers back in charge again.”

Walker says that when you give people that choice, many people choose not to be a part of unions, “because many public employees — despite what you might think — actually are much more open minded than unions give them credit for.”

On Jay Inslee’s campaign for president

Beyond that, he’ll likely have a word or two on the yet-to-catch-on campaign of Governor Jay Inslee.

“I know your current governor, I don’t align with him in any way whatsoever. I actually tweeted when he got in the presidential election that it was kind of funny for a guy claiming his whole campaign was about climate change and lowering his carbon footprint, his first picture I think was on a private jet flying around the nation kicking off his campaign,” Walker joked.

“But that’s the Left for you. They don’t look at what they do, just look at what they say.”

Walker will be in Seattle at the Washington State Republican Party annual dinner on September 13 at an event being emceed by Jason. Tickets can be found here.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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