Sunday, April 20, 2008

US Military Contractors lost 35 Billion Tanker Bill to France After McCain & Co.'s Lobbying for France's Airbus Corp.

Would John McCain help a French corporation get a 35 Billion dollar Defense Contract just because his top campaign aides were working for the French corporation? The Washington Post provides information supporting that conclusion:

McCain finance chairman Thomas G. Loeffler and Susan E. Nelson, who left Loeffler's lobbying firm to be McCain's finance director, both began lobbying for Airbus's parent company in 2007, Senate records show. William L. Ball III, a former secretary of the Navy and frequent McCain surrogate on the trail, also lobbied for Airbus, as did John Green, who recently took a leave from Ogilvy Public Relations to serve as McCain's legislative liaison.

"Airbus, I have to give them credit," said R. Thomas Buffenbarger, the president of the International Association of Machinists, which represents Boeing employees. "They know they need that kind of lobbying help. And they went after people who could deliver."

It is not clear what specifically the McCain campaign advisers did for Airbus. Lobbying registration documents list only "initiatives and interests regarding the KC-30 Aerial Refueling Tanker Program." Loeffler did not respond to e-mail requests for an interview. WaPost

McCain himself got involved before the contract was taken from Boeing and give to a the French:
McCain has confirmed sending two letters to Defense Department officials urging them to level the playing field for a deal that would provide a fleet of in-air refueling planes for military aircraft. In one 2006 letter, McCain urged officials to change their criteria for evaluating bidders for the tanker contract.

( . . . )

Airbus parent EADS North America more than tripled its contributions to U.S. lawmakers after 2004, as it pursued the Air Force contract, according to an analysis done by the Center for Responsive Politics. McCain was the top individual recipient of contributions from company employees and the company's political action committee in the 2008 election cycle. WaPost

3 comments:

AgentX said...

Well well well, the "Stray Talk Express" is not an opponent of "special interests" after all. Big surprise.

Francis L. Holland Blog said...

Right!

Francis L. Holland Blog said...

But don't expect this issue to come up in questioning of McCain during the debates. I can remember them questioning Cheney about Halliburton, in the V.P. debate (and John Edwards failed to bring up the issue), but look how fundamental that turned out to be! Obviously, if you elect a candidate who's from a war contractor, he's going to see a compelling need for MORE WARS!