AG Rob McKenna tours Leader International Corporation, hosts fundraiser at Cedar Cove Inn
By KAITLIN STROHSCHEIN
Port Orchard Independent Reporter
July 21, 2011 · Updated 3:27 PM
“I learned a lot about three features of Kitsap County: the military, the environment and the economy,” he said.
“The economy” seemed to be the focus of his Port Orchard tour.
He spent some time at Leader International Corporation, a local manufacturer of:
- indoor and outdoor site furniture
- decorative castings, like trench and tree grates
- LED accent lights, like lighted bollards and pathway lights, and
- retail fixtures and displays.
“I like to visit companies,” McKenna said, “because I want to learn how the state can encourage them to grow and hire more people.”
Some politicians might just say something like that, but, for McKenna, it seemed to be true, said Richard Flaherty, Leader International’s president.
“When Rob came through, he was attentative, he listened and looked you in the eye when you were talking,” said Flaherty. “When he spoke to our employees, he absolutely had their keen interest.
I think he was inviting,” said Flaherty, “very inviting, and I think that’s unusual.”
And McKenna spent time with other local business leaders.
In the morning, he went to a meeting with local commercial real estate brokers, and in the afternoon he visited with Eric Anderson at Art Anderson Associates in Bremerton.
He heard similar themes from local companies that he’s heard from businesses throughout the state, he said.
“Governments impose so many regulations on these companies that it makes doing business in the state expensive, and reduces the number of employees they can hire,” he said.
Besides the business visits, McKenna made a brief campaign stop at the Clear Creek Trail in Silverdale, where he was “impressed with the community effort,” since he has “been involved in open space and trails issues for years,” he said.
He also toured the submarine USS Alabama as well as the dry dock.
McKenna also stopped by the explosives handling wharf at Bangor for an “excellent set of meetings with the trident sub commanders,” related to his current work as attorney general.
He ended the day with a fundraiser at the Cedar Cove Inn, attended by about 50 local business and political leaders.
“I think Rob has done a great job as Attorney General,” said Port Orchard’s Mayor, Lary Coppola, at the fundraiser.