Wichita (KS) politicians continue to grouse about the decision by Boeing to close the defense operations there and move jobs to Oklahoma City, San Antonio and Puget Sound (Seattle).
The Seattle Times has this article, quoting the Wichita mayor and other officials. The portion of the article that caught our eye is this:
“We thought we had a marriage,” said Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer, who until his 2007 election was a business manager at Spirit AeroSystems, the airplane-manufacturing operation sold off by Boeing two years earlier.
“It’s taken a lot of work for us to control our outrage,” he said. “So don’t ask me… are you outraged, because the answer will be yes, with probably another four-letter word attached to it.”
Kansas politicians feel particularly “angry and disappointed and dismayed,” as one county commissioner put it, because they led the Republican flank of the decadelong congressional push to secure the $35 billion Air Force tanker contract for Boeing.
In return they were told the company and its suppliers would generate 7,500 direct and indirect jobs after Boeing clinched the contract last February.
“We as a community demonstrated our loyalty to the Boeing Company when they asked us to stand behind them and to go fight for them,” Brewer said.
Now he’s singing a different tune. “Don’t think for one second that we are not exploring our opportunities to go out and recruit Airbus… We are making those phone calls.”
Well, that’s going to be a tough sell. During the tanker competition, Kansas politicians, notably then-Sen. Sam Brownback (now governor) and ex-Congressman Todd Tiahrt (a former Boeing employee as well) couldn’t say enough bad things about Airbus is their campaign for Boeing’s tanker. Tiahrt was particularly vitriolic, though Brownback was no shrinking violet, either.