I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Curt Weldon - GOP Jobs for Votes?

This may wind up being a painful story. Last year, people in my neck of the woods were very happy to see that a local Lockheed Martin plant had secured the contract to build the new fleet of Presidential helicopters. They were in competition with United Technologies and their partners, among others. One of the questions raised about the Lockheed Martin bid was that several large components of the choppers would be built in Europe or by European owned subsidiary companies, but the work was brought home to our area anyway.

Well, it turns out that our neighbors to the South in Pennsylvania may have had a hand in it.
Representative Curt Weldon (R., Penn.), a powerful member of the House Armed Services Committee, has been a good friend to the Italian firm Finmeccanica, and it appears that his good deeds on its behalf have been rewarded. Last year, Weldon was a key supporter of a long-shot bid by AgustaWestland, Finmeccanica’s helicopter unit, to land a $1.6-billion contract to build the new presidential helicopter. With Weldon’s help, an AgustaWestland partnership with LockheedMartin beat out a bid from United Technologies Corp., which had been favored. On November 29, 2005, AgustaWestland broke ground on an addition to its Philadelphia-area plant. The project, said Weldon, who was on hand that day, “provides a direct and sustained stimulus to the regional economy by way of increased investment and job creation.”
So far, this looks like good news all the way around, right? Jobs for Upstate New York, jobs for Pennylvania. It's a win win.

Well, apparently some were busy winning a little more than others. Christ on a crutch, can we not get a SINGLE good thing to happen with some Republican Congressmen involved that doesn't turn into a scandal??!!??

One job at AgustaWestland has been filled by Weldon's daughter, Kim. Weldon’s office declined to comment, but a source who declined to be identified but who is close to the Congressman said that Kim has worked in the firm's public relations office since the fall of 2005. “She got the job in the normal way,” he said. “The company [advertised the position] and she was among the tens or twenties or hundreds who applied. She went through a long process and was picked.”

My source said that Kim has a formal agreement with the company prohibiting her from lobbying Congress or making any contact with her father or his office on the company's behalf. “The company,” he explained, “apparently believes that they have done everything conceivable to ensure that this hire was consistent with their own employment regulations and that it did not hinge in any way upon her father's position in the House.”

Yeah. Pull the other one. It's got bells on it. Man, if we lose that contract and all of these potential jobs just so this clown could land his daughter a cushy gig, I'm going to blow a gasket.

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