Tuesday, March 25, 2008

KS media catching up with LBK

If you're a regular LBK reader, you already know about Laissez Unfaire, that is, Sen. John McCain's active efforts to enable foreign companies to obtain military contracts and Sens. Pat Roberts and Sam Brownback's complacency in that endeavor. You've known for quite some time in fact (see here, here and here) Well, I have good news, the media has finally caught on.

A nationally syndicated story hit Kansas papers yesterday outlining how the actions and/or inactions of these men led directly to the devastating decision to award AirBus a contract won based on the merits of a hypothetical plane.

From Rob Hotakainen of McClatchy. (Kansas City Star, Wichita Eagle, Lawrence Journal-World)

McCain's opponents said he laid the groundwork for Airbus in 2003, when Congress approved his amendment that allowed the Pentagon to buy American military equipment from foreign companies. In 2006, McCain wrote letters to the Defense Department regarding the tanker project. Opponents said the senator was lobbying on Airbus' behalf, but McCain said he was merely calling for an open process that would not exclude Airbus from bidding.

The Star included a longer version of the story.

Others have noted that 2004 was about the time EADS North America tripled its contributions on Capitol Hill. In this election cycle, the Center for Responsive Politics called McCain the top individual recipient (about $14,000) from the company’s employees and PAC. Most Boeing-sourced donations went elsewhere.

Some look to his campaign staff as well.

McCain finance chairman Thomas G. Loeffler and Susan E. Nelson, his finance director, both were lobbying for EADS in the past. Former Navy secretary and current McCain adviser William L. Ball III and John Green, McCain’s legislative liaison, did as well. All say they are not working for Airbus now

.Moreover, the Star story includes specifics about Brownback and Roberts' support of the amendment, authored by John McCain, which paved the way for this decision.

But in 2003, when Congress approved his amendment that allowed the Pentagon to buy American military equipment from foreign companies. Sens. Pat Roberts and Sam Brownback, both Kansas Republicans, voted for the amendment along a largely party line.

And in 2006, McCain wrote letters to the Defense Department suggesting the criteria be broadened and the issue of European subsidies to Airbus not be a deal breaker. Opponents said the senator was lobbying on Airbus’ behalf, but McCain said he was merely calling for an open bidding process.

All the anger in the world out of Sens. Brownback and Roberts, as well as US Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Goddard) is a day late and a dollar short. Kansans need leaders who can be proactive and visionary, not leaders who's anger is reactionary and full of hindsight. Roberts, Tiahrt and Brownback should have been out in front of this from the very beginning.

It's as simple as this, John McCain's actions cost the people of Wichita thousands of jobs, and Sam Brownback, Pat Roberts and Todd Tiahrt did nothing about it. Kansans should make them pay at the polls.


Anonymous said...

In a free market, these are the breaks. Boeing should have made a better plane.

Anonymous said...

Boeing's 'FrankenTanker' is the paper plane in this case. The Airbus A330 MRTT on which the KC-45 is based is flying already. Senator McCain did not help airbus; the original contract he cancelled was a single bidder affair, which he helped expose as a sweetheart deal between Boeing and the Air Force. Like the poster above said, this is a free market. Deal with it..

Anonymous said...

And what of the 2003 amendment? Does it not concern you to have a foreign government-owned company controlling something so important to our military?

Anonymous said...

the mccain amendment has cost us jobs- and outsourced our national defense.

it's embarrassing he's the republican nominee

Anonymous said...

I'm curious to know what your reaction would be, if all the partner nations in the JSF programme pull out citing they cannot trust their respective nations' securities in the hands of the USA. Its a free market, and if i remember right the USA was quite vociferous about promoting it. Of course, now that free market realities are biting back.. The very same nations in Europe that build the KC-30 are buying billions worth of defence equipment from America.

The Left Brain said...

Anon #5:

That's actually the point, Roberts, Brownback and Tiahrt espoused the free market and now that they're seeing the underbelly of free market capitalism, they want to be isolationists. Hence the tag "Laissez Unfaire" They either need to say "Hey, maybe totally free markets aren't such a good idea after all" or defend the decision. They're choosing to pretend like they never supported it. Thus the hypocrisy.