Patrick B. McGuigan
From an editor’s notebook, guess who’s coming to dinner(s)?
Governors Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana will visit Oklahoma – Walker tomorrow night (April 11) and Jindal next month – while state Democrats plan to honor a quartet of elected officials at the Friday (April 13) Carl Albert Dinner.
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Scott Walker, chief executive of Wisconsin, may at the moment be America’s most controversial governor. His push for shifts in labor policy, especially in terms of government sector unions, made him the target of a high-powered (and funded from across America) recall petition drive.
Walker -- narrowly losing the recall in a recent statewide survey -- will be in Oklahoma City Wednesday night for the annual Citizenship Dinner at the National Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma City, sponsored by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA).
Walker’s push to balance the Wisconsin state budget and curb the dominance of public sector unions led to a high stakes battle between fiscal conservatives and government sector unions. The Wall Street Journal has said the battle over union power has become “a national multimillion-dollar war that will reverberate through the presidential and congressional races this fall."
Despite trailing by a few percentage points in the polling, analysts have not counted out the first-term governor, noting he has time to make up ground before the recall vote in two months.
In a Rasmussen Poll anticipating the June 5 recall election, the overwhelming majority of Wisconsin Democrats supported ousting Walker from office, while the vast majority of the state’s Republicans supported him.
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A quartet of lifelong Democrats will be honored at the annual Carl Albert dinner this Friday, sponsored by the state Democratic Party.
U.S. Rep. Dan Boren of Muskogee and state Senator Judy Eason-McIntyre will share the Carl Albert Award, named for the late Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Currently the only Democrat in the Oklahoma congressional delegation, Boren announced last year he would not seek reelection. He is the son of University of Oklahoma President David Boren, and grandson of the late U.S. Rep. Lyle Boren.
Eason-McIntyre, chairwoman of the Tulsa County Democratic Party, will leave the Legislature this year.
Receiving the Opio Toure Award Friday night will be state Sen. Jim Wilson of Tahlequah and Sen. Connie Johnson of Oklahoma City.
Party officials this week said, in an email to CapitolBeatOK, that Alice Germond, secretary of Democratic National Committee, will also be at the Carl Albert Dinner.
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When the Oklahoma Republican party has its state convention May 11 and 12 -- with the theme “Red State Ready” -- the keynote speaker will be Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, the first American governor in history whose ancestors came from India.
Concerning the popular chief executive of the Cajun State, Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Matt Pinnell said Jindal “is a young, dynamic leader that will play a role on the national stage for years to come."
Col. Michael Steele (U.S.A., ret.), a veteran of the Somalia operation immortalized in the film, “Black Hawk Down,” will be breakfast speaker for the state GOP, Pinnell said. Anita MonCrief, who gained national attention as the “whistle-blower” on ACORN voter fraud in 2008, will be the convention luncheon speaker.