Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is scheduled to attend a private dinner Wednesday with longtime advocates of supply-side economics.
The gathering, set for the upscale “21” Club in Manhattan, is the latest effort by the potential Republican presidential contender to bolster his relationships with the GOP’s anti-tax wing. It also reflects the interest business-friendly conservatives have in his possible candidacy, in spite of the recent ascent of former Florida governor Jeb Bush.
Economists Larry Kudlow, Arthur Laffer, and Stephen Moore will host Walker, according to several people with knowledge of the event.
For decades, that trio of friends — all associated with President Ronald Reagan’s economic policies — have been high-profile proponents of using tax cuts to boost economic growth.
Laffer is best known for authoring the “Laffer curve,” an argument for increasing federal revenue by lowering taxes. Moore, a former Wall Street Journal editorial writer and founder of the Club for Growth, now works at the Heritage Foundation. Kudlow, a fixture on cable television, was one of Reagan’s advisers on fiscal and economic matters.
John Catsimatidis, the billionaire supermarket owner and former Republican mayoral candidate in New York, is sponsoring the occasion, which will feature a roundtable discussion among Walker, the hosts, and a mix of wealthy financiers and political personalities.
Among those planning to appear: investment banker Lewis Lehrman, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, and philanthropist Jimmy Kemp, the son of Jack Kemp, the late New York congressman who ushered Reagan’s tax reforms through Congress.
For Walker, who had a breakout speech at a conservative summit in Iowa last month, the dinner is not a fundraiser but a reintroduction and opportunity for him to impress influential conservatives and potential mega-donors.
Walker has been courting this particular bloc of the conservative movement for more than a year as he has moved closer to running, casting himself as a devotee of Reagan’s economic philosophy in phone calls and meetings.
Last May, Walker appeared at the Four Seasons restaurant in New York for another Catsimatidis-sponsored dinner celebrating Kudlow’s tenure at CNBC, according to the New York Post.
Walker, however, has competition. In January, former Texas governor Rick Perry was a guest of the same group of conservative economists at the same restaurant.