Archive for Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Brownback ‘deeply saddened’ about Boeing decision

January 4, 2012


— Gov. Sam Brownback says he's disappointed in Boeing Co.'s decision to close its Wichita plant despite efforts by what he calls "Team Kansas" to help the company in recent years.

Brownback said Wednesday that Kansas officials fought hard to help Boeing land a $35 billion Air Force refueling tanker contract.

Kansas officials were told by Boeing that winning the contract would create some 7,500 direct and indirect jobs in the Wichita area, with an economic impact of more than $300 million. Brownback said he spoke recently with Boeing about staying in Kansas.

Boeing's decision to close its Wichita plant will cost the area more than more than 2,160 jobs.

The governor said growth opportunities in commercial aviation work at other Kansas companies might offset the Boeing job losses.

Brownback's full statement:

“No one worked harder for the success of the Boeing Company than Team Kansas -whose membership included the outstanding workforce, city and county officials, state legislators, governors, and the congressional delegation - and I have been pleased to do my part as a U.S. Senator for 14 years and as Governor during the last year. We have been there with the company through every battle, whether it was the 10 year tanker battle or securing funding for other key Boeing Defense programs vital to national security. Our team never wavered, always keeping its commitment to the success of the Boeing Company for the good of the state and of the nation.

“Today’s announcement on the phase out of Boeing’s presence in Wichita is very disappointing to all of us. We are deeply saddened Boeing Defense at the end of this transition period will no longer have operations in Kansas. Wichita has been at the company’s operations core since 1929 with the production of Kaydet Trainers and B-29 Bombers during WWII, B-47 & B-52 Bombers during the 1950’s & 60’s, modification of various airframes during the following years from tankers to Air Force One. The dedication and hard work of generations of Kansans built the success the Boeing Company enjoys today.

“The bottom line for Kansas is jobs. During this time of transition, my Administration will work with Team Kansas to aggressively pursue the booming commercial opportunities that exist with both Boeing and Airbus. Wichita still has world-class facilities and best trained workforce in the aviation industry which makes us the best place in the world to build airplanes. The city is strategically positioned to capture additional work packages from Boeing, Airbus and other groups in the rapidly expanding commercial side of the aviation business which is in a growth pattern.

“My Administration and the delegation will work with all of those impacted by this transition from a defense focus to the growing commercial market to make it as smooth as possible. With any change, there comes uncertainty and issues and questions that can’t be answered at the beginning of the process, but we are committed to working together as Kansans have always done to address these issues going forward.”


hyperinflate 6 years, 4 months ago

Outside of Richard Gere, no one keeps a whore around once the deed has been done.

Boeing doesn't need its Kansas lap dogs in Congress anymore.

Orwell 6 years, 4 months ago

Two likely causes:

  1. Not enough corporate welfare
  2. Reduced prospects for a sufficiently educated Kansas workforce

But at least we get a golden opportunity to witness the "free market" in all its glory.

rhd99 6 years, 4 months ago

All talk and no action. Great job, Brownie. Wipe those stupid crocodile tears and grow up!!!

hyperinflate 6 years, 4 months ago

Methinks this will foster another round of Koch Industries threats to move to Houston if their new set of demands aren't made

beatrice 6 years, 4 months ago

Nice of him to e-mail that in from Iowa.

beatrice 6 years, 4 months ago

Nice of him to e-mail that in from Iowa.

Bob Forer 6 years, 4 months ago

Another Brownback epic fail. The next election can't come soon enough.

Shelley Bock 6 years, 4 months ago

Regardless of which party controls the statehouse and members of Congress, this is a disaster for the State. If Brownback and the Congressional Republicans can find businesses to replace Boeing loss, congratulations. All power to them. I hope they can because the wind will be sucking the life out of Wichita for a log time if they don't. Mind you, I've never voted for a Republican in Kansas, except Sandy Praeger and I did like Bob Dole. But, this issue transcends politics. It involves Kansans who are our neighbors. I honestly wish them luck.

However, I think all Republicans have campaigned on promoting job creation because they've kept the mid-air refueling tanker contract in the US with Boeing. Seems like their efforts and "special qualities" which they used to promote their elections have been hollow promises. Had there been a Democrat or two in the Congressional delegation, could there have been more pressure applied by Department of Defense to keep Wichita opened? I don't know, but right now, Kansas has a very impotent and ineffective group of state and federal politicians.

They went to bat for Boeing and now Boeing bites them and Kansas. Good job Republicans. (not) Time for a change!

hyperinflate 6 years, 4 months ago

Agreed this is a very sad day for Wichita. One of the things that made Wichita great for semi-skilled assembly was that it was rather distant from other cities - so skilled workers stayed put. Now that distance will likely crush the futures of many families.

But hey, they need to get a job and quit being so damned lazy.

LHS56 6 years, 4 months ago

Dont forget Roberts!! He should have been able to hold Boeing to their word. Brownie? Did anyone think he would/could do anything? Ohh....forgot...I'm sure he is praying for Boeing to change their mind. Perhaps Perry will help. And "they" wonder why there is only a nine percent approval rating.

LeRoyMercer 6 years, 4 months ago

Don't forget to pass some blame to Obama and his admin. I know, it isn't popular in Lawrence to ever blame the Demonrats. Just recently the current admin blocked Boeing from bidding on a light attack aircraft, also from the Wichita plant. That bid currently sits with Embraer, or a Brazillian company of George Soros. Hard to believe isn't it.

blindrabbit 6 years, 4 months ago

Brownie must figure all is not lost, Kansas looses Boeing, but builds a coal burner in Holcomb and get it's share of the Canada pipeline. Long ride back from Iowee, up there comiserating and praying with Perry.

blindrabbit 6 years, 4 months ago

Brownie must figure all is not lost, Kansas looses Boeing, but builds a coal burner in Holcomb and get it's share of the Canada pipeline. Long ride back from Iowee, up there comiserating and praying with Perry.

jaywalker 6 years, 4 months ago

Excellent info. That's the kind of info all the knee-jerk Brownback haters are gonna find rather inconvenient.

Shelley Bock 6 years, 4 months ago

That would have been good information in the hands of the Democratic members of the Kansas Congressional delegation, had there been any. Might have had some influence and benefited Kansas.

Hal Larsen 6 years, 4 months ago

You conveniently forgot the part where Boeing was going to illegally move a 1,000 union jobs from the Washington plant to the non-union SC plant.

gudpoynt 6 years, 4 months ago

Right. The law protects union members right to strike. Boeing publicly stated they were moving away from Seattle to S.C. In an effort to avoid unions. That amounts to a punitive measure, taken by a private firm, on unionized workers for engaging in a protected union activity. Boeing shouldn't have relied on their status as a big job creator to attempt to circumvent the law.

woodscolt 6 years, 4 months ago

Great, pman, thanks for coming up with a a fairy tale to hang this on obama. I knew you could do it.

4chewnut 6 years, 4 months ago

The block of the SC plant was due to Boeing and union issues. NLRB in December lifted that block. The closing of Boeing in Wichita is actually more likely due to budget cuts with Defense.

gccs14r 6 years, 4 months ago

Given the hostility toward the environment, education, and culture displayed by the current government, if I had a choice of places in which to do business, Kansas would be very far down the list.

kernal 6 years, 4 months ago

Allegedly the USAF awarded the new contract to Northrup-EADS because their aircraft was larger than Boeing's. Once again, it's all about size.

frank mcguinness 6 years, 4 months ago

I can't imagine that Boeing see's a (future) highly educated labor force in Kansas.

gccs14r 6 years, 4 months ago

He killed education, healthcare, the arts, and alternative energy, for starters.

hyperinflate 6 years, 4 months ago


The political reality is that Savior Sam likes to preach the sanctity of the invisible hand and the corporation can do no wrong. Therefore, when you live by the sword then you die by the sword also. And when it costs Kansas this number of jobs then the right question to ask is "what did Brownback fail to do to keep Boeing here?". That's the breaks of being the governor and the one in charge. This event falls at his doorstep.

hawksfanatic 6 years, 4 months ago

+1000. He failed. Let him cry in his Coors.

Getaroom 6 years, 4 months ago

Guess the Koch bros weren't willing to share the limelight anymore and decided not to pump more $$'s into the efforts to keep them around in the Air Capital of The World - used to be. Coleman, Pizza Hut, Rent a Center, and the Corporatocracy grinds on down the road to Capital Hill along "C" and "K" streets. All is well high up on the Tippy Top. Now Boeing can lobby elsewhere to get what they want out of Congress. Keep checking the seating charts on the Hill to see which one of them is calling the shots of BIG GOV. Might be that if Ron Paul keeps harping on about not making war the way the Repubs like it, that he too maybe hauled away in Zip Ties for Occupying a Podium.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 4 months ago

Brownbackwards, Moron, and Robber are the Republican shills that make Kansas look like the Kansas shown in the Wizard of Oz. Clueless voters who are flummoxed by the Republican "conservative", anti-abortian wingnuts voted for these three and now we know what sort of representation and image that they have helped foster here. The decision of the two idiots, Moron and Robber to not support the nomination of a very fine judge to the Fedral Bench nominated by President Obama solely on the basis of hateful and vicious political agenda is only one example of how this triumvrate of facists had wrecked a lot of the future progress of the State of Kansas. A pox on all them and all the dummies who voted them in.

LeRoyMercer 6 years, 4 months ago

And this relates to Boeing closing how again. Spew all you want, but giving Soro's the upper hand with contracts to Embraer in Brazil is what is killing the military wing of Boeing.

Sunny Parker 6 years, 4 months ago

Face it! Anything bad that happens in Ks the libtards will blame Brownback. Anything bad that happens to the U.S. the libtards refuse to blame Barrack Hussein Obama!

jonas_opines 6 years, 4 months ago

I don't really have a non-conspiratorial, causational understanding of this issue, so I think I'll just blame the people that I always blame for everything.

jaywalker 6 years, 4 months ago

Now that's a +1 if I ever saw one! Love it, jonas!

guess_again 6 years, 4 months ago

A list of recent tax give-aways to Boeing from the state legislature. This included allowing Boeing to keep the state taxes paid by all of its employees:

jonas_opines 6 years, 4 months ago

My grandpa, an astronaut, says that Obama wants all engineers to take the Space Arc to Mars.

pace 6 years, 4 months ago

Probably a combination of factors, one being, they might see Brownback's radical conservative as inevitably bad for business. Brownback's approach to government and infrastructure is not normal. Boeing is a conservative company but even a conservative business can see Kansas is suffering under Brownback's experimental social and economic engineering. Kansas, soon to be known as Kochland, is growing volatile. Kochland is not a stable base to invest in. Where even moderate republicans are not welcome, Kansas is turning into a feudal state. Populations raised in a democracy, raised to respect democracy will reject a feudal state.

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