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Archive for Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Kansas officials outraged, saddened by announced Boeing departure

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, right, answers questions from reporters about Boeing's decision to close its Wichita defense plant by the end of 2013, as state Commerce Secretary Pat George, left, watches, during a news conference, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, right, answers questions from reporters about Boeing's decision to close its Wichita defense plant by the end of 2013, as state Commerce Secretary Pat George, left, watches, during a news conference, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan.

January 4, 2012

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— Kansas political leaders Wednesday expressed outrage and disappointment over Boeing Co.’s announcement that it was closing its Wichita defense plant, sending more than 2,160 jobs to three other states.

“No one has worked harder for the success of Boeing than Team Kansas,” Gov. Sam Brownback said.

Boeing plans to shut down the Wichita plant by the end of 2013 to cut costs. “In this time of defense budget reductions, as well as shifting customer priorities, Boeing has decided to close its operations in Wichita to reduce costs, increase efficiencies, and drive competitiveness,” said Mark Bass, vice president and general manager for the Boeing Defense, Space & Security facility in Wichita.

But less than a year ago, Kansas officials were applauding after helping Boeing secure a $35 billion contract from the U.S. Air Force to replace its refueling tankers. The contract had originally been awarded to Boeing arch rival EADS but Boeing protested the decision and under pressure from Kansas officials the Pentagon reopened the bidding process. Boeing had promised Kansas 7,500 jobs with an overall economic impact of $390 million.

On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., remembered that fight.

“Boeing’s chairman sat in my office 22 months ago during that battle and promised me, then-Senator Brownback and Congressman (Todd) Tiahrt that if we won the fight to get the tanker contract back, Boeing would stay in Wichita,” Roberts said.

“The chairman again promised the entire delegation the work would remain in Wichita just last February, when the tanker contract was settled in Boeing’s favor,” he said.

In addition to fighting for Boeing in the halls of Washington, D.C., Kansas political leaders have helped the company in Topeka and Wichita, providing Boeing and other aircraft manufacturers with numerous incentives in the form of tax breaks, research dollars, workforce training and lobbying might.

Boeing’s departure should teach state officials a lesson, said Kansas Democratic Chairwoman Joan Wagnon.

“We should all learn that throwing money at wealthy corporations to attract or retain jobs doesn’t guarantee loyalty or longevity,” Wagnon said.

“We need a new approach to economic development that invests first in our schools, our people, our roads and communities,” she said.

State Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, described Boeing as the “poster child of corporate tax incentives” getting tax breaks at every level of government.

“It is outrageous we will not be getting the 7,500 jobs promised by Boeing when they got the Tanker contract,” he said. He said Kansas will be less trusting of corporate promises in the future.

Boeing said it was moving future aircraft maintenance, modification and support to its plant in San Antonio, Texas, and engineering work to Oklahoma City. Work on the Air Force refueling tanker will be performed in Puget Sound, Wash. The company said the 24 Kansas suppliers on that program will continue to provide parts as originally planned.

But Charles Krider, business professor at Kansas University, said it will be difficult for suppliers and related companies to stay in Kansas, far away from the tanker work.

Krider called the loss of Boeing a “big blow, particularly since the state worked so hard to work with Boeing to get the tanker contract.”

He said that the federal defense budget is under a great deal of pressure, and that defense-related plant closures will probably happen in other parts of the country too.

He disagreed with the notion of ending economic incentives for businesses to come to Kansas. “It’s hard to have one state or one city disarm in that battle as long as surrounding states are doing it,” he said.

Kansas has long been fighting other states to maintain its aircraft manufacturing sector.

Last year, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, whom Brownback supports for president, signed into law a bill that gave Boeing a big tax break on aircraft temporarily located in Texas for manufacturing or assembly.

At that time, Perry said, “HB 3727 makes it easier for companies like Boeing to have cost certainty when it comes to their tax bill, helping them commit to doing more business in this community and our state.”

Boeing Defense, Space and Security President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Mullenberg said, “Our partnership with the state of Texas enables us to offer enhanced capabilities to our military and commercial customers, and supports Boeing’s goals to grow and become more competitive.”

Brownback and other Kansas officials on Wednesday said they would continue to work to expand aircraft manufacturing in the state, focusing on commercial aircraft production. Kansas Department of Commerce Secretary Pat George said Kansas was well-positioned to grow in this area.

House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, said the decision by Boeing was “beyond disappointing.”

Davis added, “This is why I call upon Governor Brownback and legislators from both political parties to commit to make the creation of jobs our first priority this legislative session, invest heavily in job training so Boeing workers can receive the training they need to find new jobs and to promise these workers and the other Kansans without jobs that we will not reduce unemployment benefits by one penny.”

Comments

blindrabbit 2 years, 3 months ago

beau: Don't think your higher wages story makes sense if you are talking about jobs moving from Kansas to Washington state. This is apples and oranges, but Washington state just passed the highest minimum wage in the U.S., while Kansas grovels at the bottom. Granted the Boeing jobs are not minimum wage, but might speak to some other reason. Kosmo513: the seeds of this Boeing move were started many years ago when Boeing moved it's headquarters from Seattle to Chicago; much prior to any attempted blame on Obama. I would look closer to home, including influence (or lack of) from the Koch owned Kansas republicans. Where was Pat Roberts in this whole thing; as chairman of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, why did he let this ball drop. Also William Gates, a native of Wichita, and Secretary of Defense. Looks like all of this republican groveling did us little good!

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uglyrumor 2 years, 3 months ago

Boeing did to Kansas what republicans have been doing to Kansas, screwed Kansas over. Good paying jobs are leaving Kansas and never coming back. There are billboards in Wichita for one of boeing's competitors advertising high paying jobs in other states. The rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer. You have been had.

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Charlie Bannister 2 years, 3 months ago

I have a friend who has been a tool and die maker for Boeing in Wichita for over 30 years. The talk there in Wichita is going something like this. Obama's NLRB has given Boeing a ton of grief for trying to be competitive in a world marketplace and building a plant in a right to work state in South Carolina. NLRB has pretty much insinuated to Boeing that they will tone it down on the South Carolina plant if Boeing will relocate some jobs to a "closed shop" state such as Washington. This is union thuggery and Chicago politics at work yet again. Never ends with this outlaw regime.

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beaujackson 2 years, 3 months ago

I suspect high union wages in Wichita had lots to do with the Boeing move.

And, it's still a "cow town".

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blindrabbit 2 years, 3 months ago

The lines of stress are starting to show on Smilin Sams face as evidenced by the story photo! Why:

Early red-eye return from praying trip to Iowa with tanking Herr Hair! Having to fire/replace his group of Phonies from Florida! How to rein in his racist Speaker of the House! Figuring out how to offset Boeing job losses with McDonalds, Burger King etc.! How to regain soime emphasis on the "Arts"! Missing his "C" Street buddies and their cloistered lifestyle! Dealing with major issues such as Education, Medical without killing his support! All this without offending the Koch-a-Kolas!

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Stain 2 years, 3 months ago

Are we supposed to be impressed with Brownback? This is a complete failure on his part.

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dinglesmith 2 years, 3 months ago

This is really simple folks. The labor rate for Boeing in Kansas is tied to the union labor rate in Washington even though Kansas is a right to work state. I have no idea why this is the case. Although it is technically illegal, Boeing is moving its work to places where they don't have labor unions or this tie back to Washington unions, and thus do not have to pay their workers as much. This has nothing to do with taxation, social services, or anything else. (Please don't interpret my comment as either pro- or anti-union. I don't intend either)

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Getaroom 2 years, 3 months ago

Uh, did anyone notice that Pat George and Brownbackward seem like they were hungover or something? Maybe they didn't get their regular Koch fix for the day. The only detrimental Occupying that seems to be threatening Liberty and Justice across America is all the Occupying of Lawmakers seats by Republicans across this country. Talk about false hope and no change!

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lucky_guy 2 years, 3 months ago

Here's something else. Boeing Wichita was Westar's second largest customer. So the cost of distribution of utilities will be spread across the rest of their customers. This just gets better and better. Our congressional delegation seems totally out of their league on this. Where were Yoder and Jenkins? Oh yea they don't take calls from people not in their districts. Roberts was outraged once he sobered up.
Boeing wanted out of Wichita for years that is why they sold out Spirit. They kept the military side of Boeing till they got the tanker contract then goodbye, suckers. Pompeo should call a rape crisis hotline.

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jackbinkelman 2 years, 3 months ago

I hope he won't take out his "sadness" of loss of taxes on the states elderly, disabled, poor and children again..

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 3 months ago

Republicans scream and flaunch about "cutting costs....reduce the deficit. Boeing finds a way to comply, to cut costs in their company. Closing one of their many factories. It is in Kansas, you know, the land of Oz. Who cares? So now that costs have been reduced, they scream and flaunch about "lost jobs". Hey, Brownie, Moron and Robber!! What goes aound comes around. You and your cohorts have been screaming about reducing the deficit without any sort of suggestions outside of taking away retiring American's Social Security and Medicare benefits (which we have paid for for many, many years.)

So what is the deal? Hypocracy reigns supreme with these clowns.

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autie 2 years, 3 months ago

I have to think to myself now, why? Boeing has all the stuff, the land, the buildings, the access..all the infrastructure of 80 years accumulation right there in Wichita. So why leave? Could it be that Wichita has denigrated over the years? It is full of murderous drive by thugs and little culture? The company excuse is just that, an excuse. The real reason? I don't know.

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Brandon Devlin 2 years, 3 months ago

I feel bad for the employees in Wichita, but I have to laugh at Brownback and Roberts for their ignorance. They entwined themselves in the Defense Procurement procedure, which they had no business doing. They screamed bloody murder when the Air Force awarded the contract the second time to Northrop Grumman/EADS, because the contract "shouldn't go to a foreign-based company." (EADS was the European-owned sub to Northrop Grumman, a company based in Falls Church, VA.) Oh, and Kansas would lose jobs if it went to Northrop Grumman, because Boeing already has an operation in Kansas. (So does Northrop Grumman.)

Guess what? Northrop Grumman is still operating in Kansas.

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olddognewtrix 2 years, 3 months ago

This is proof of the impotence and incompetence of our Kansas Tea Party Congresional delegation and Governor

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blueinkansas 2 years, 3 months ago

Welcome to life in Brownbackistan! Since his main goal the past two years has been to eliminate everything that makes a state worth while to live in, maybe he out to eliminate stupidy by our leaders. This state has become so regressive no company with an educated leadership (moderates) want to operate businesses here. I am sick of the Koch Brothers imposing their outdated ideas on the citizens of this country. Unfortunately, my total hatred for the Koch brothers' politics does little to ease my remorse for what has had happened to this state, I can't imagine what Kansas will look like once the "evangelical conservatives" take complete control over the government in 2012.Good Luck, Kansans, I'm out of here!!!!

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SnakeFist 2 years, 3 months ago

I don't understand, I thought if we elected a large republican majority, eliminated the arts, cut education spending, and didn't raise taxes then businesses would flock to Kansas (because workers don't benefit from the arts, don't have children, and don't want any tax-funded services). What went wrong with that simpleminded strategy?

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Tracy Rogers 2 years, 3 months ago

What kind of a moron goes out and campaigns for a presidential candidate who signed a tax break bill to lure Boeing from Kansas to Texas?

Our illustrious leader Sammy. Yeah, he really cares about what happens here doesn't he?

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Alceste 2 years, 3 months ago

Alceste suspects we shall see a spike in applications for food stamps and such in the Wichita area. Alceste also suspects Brownback and Company will inhibit the processing of said applications. Perhaps the Wichita SRS office will be on the chopping block this go around?

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preebo 2 years, 3 months ago

I noticed the adverb "surprised" is not among the emotions or expressions displayed by this administration. Outraged? of course, especially when your Governor emphatically promises one of the states largest employers isn't going anywhere. Saddened, well absolutely, as a result, the Governors job plan seems to be floundering.

Simply put, this was bound to happen. Kansas has already given Boeing all it can in tax relief, but without any further incentive Boeing was going to pull up stakes eventually. This is the name of the game now. Corps. hold cities/states hostage, states capitulate and throw away millions in tax revenue and when the deal is no longer beneficial for said corp. they go off to the next watering hole. Thus continues to race to the bottom for state and municipal government to lure business into their area.

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mloburgio 2 years, 3 months ago

maybe sammy should spend a little more time in kansas then in iowa following perry around.

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globehead 2 years, 3 months ago

In July, Mr. Brownback held a press conference wherein he stood before a chart taking credit for the creation of 3162 jobs in Kansas since having taken office the preceding January. Now, we lose over 2000 Boeing jobs in one swoop. I look forward to his next press conference where he will again stand before a chart taking credit for his fine achievements. If you did in fact have anything to do with the creation of those 3163 jobs you paraded before us in July Mr. Brownback, then you equally deserve the credit for the loss of the 2000+ jobs at Boeing.

Thanks for a job well done, and moreover, thank you for the integrity for taking credit too!

http://cjonline.com/news/2011-07-06/brownback-evaluates-first-6-months-office#.TwWWQzW0y8A

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SeaFox 2 years, 3 months ago

Politicians outraged they were lied to? I wonder if the irony is lost on them.

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mlowe 2 years, 3 months ago

I am assuming that Gov. Brownback will take responsibility for the loss of all these jobs since he is so quick to take credit for all the "phantom" jobs he has supposedly created in the first two nightmare years of his administration.

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Bob Forer 2 years, 3 months ago

I am upset about the move like most Kansas. But i do find it rather amusing that a politician is calling Boeing to task for not keeping their word.

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Number_1_Grandma 2 years, 3 months ago

This is some good republican leadership!

Where's all the jobs you were going to create for Kansans Brownback? I'm just hoping you don't lose anymore before you get out of office!

Brownback and republicans...The kind of change we don't need!

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nugget 2 years, 3 months ago

Brownback failure. Subtract from that big false sign he had a few months back claiming job growth. Had this happened under Sibelius you Republican chicken-sitters, oops, spelling error... would be out here cleaning up the floor with her. Where are ya know? Spin this one. I can hardly wait.

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years, 3 months ago

Big Daddy cut the defense budget for the next 10 years to pay for people that can't pay for their own doctor. His double counting medicare cuts wasn't enough to fool the CBO. . Boeing saw what was happening with the defense budget. Besides, eliminating 2100 jobs means they won't have to pay for outrageously expensive Obamacair.

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Ken Lewis 2 years, 3 months ago

Merrill, you might be right. Perhaps Boeing management did not want to live in a regressive State.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 3 months ago

Brownback politics scared BOEING not only out of town also out of the state!

Voter ID, Marriage policy,cutting off cultural connections from the rest of the world and perhaps sees Brownback as the key to completely destroying the state's economy.

After all what did Brownback learn from his RINO pals in the beltway? How to screw people out of jobs and wreck the economy.

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Ken Lewis 2 years, 3 months ago

Citing defense budget cuts after winning a $35B military contract doesn't really make sense. They really urinated in the faces of KS politicians, but hey who is crying for them? They will continue to urinate on us today, tomorrow, and days after.

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toe 2 years, 3 months ago

Funny how everyone screams about the wars we enter, but never about the massive spending on war machines.

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fearthetaliban 2 years, 3 months ago

Sam worked on Perry's campaign while for the past year Rick has had his team stealing Boeing. Poor Sam got schooled

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BABBOY 2 years, 3 months ago

Man, this is not a conservative or liberal issue.

This is a this is an F'd up situation that needs to be corrected by working togather and solving problems.

But, no, the conservatives want to dog the liberals and liberals do not want to fight back (except me of course) and the stupid people just get dumber.

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Ray Parker 2 years, 3 months ago

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve secretly bailed out many of the world’s banks, corporations, and governments, giving away $16 Trillion of our money (USA GDP is only $14.12 Trillion). The Federal Reserve likes to refer to these secret bailouts as an all-inclusive loan program, but virtually none of the money has been returned and it was loaned out at 0% interest. But you will never get your tax money back, nor most of your lost jobs, folks.

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guess_again 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm wondering if the crowd will be a little larger the next time an "Occupy Wichita" protest happens.

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blindrabbit 2 years, 3 months ago

Didn't fit in with the Koch's business plan for Kansas.

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Mike Ford 2 years, 3 months ago

maybe if the kansas dumblican delegation would've bribed Boeing the way the dumblicans like Governor Shelby and Senator Sessions of Alabama did with Mercedes Benz and Hyundai in Alabama and Governor Southern Drawl Barbour did with Nissan and Toyota with promises of tax abatements and plantation wages for workers in Mississippi Boeing might've stayed in Wichita. Having witnessed how these dumblicans do back room bribery deals with companies in the south I'm surprised our quasi southern republican politicians with their political hires from Florida didn't follow suit here in Kansas.

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guess_again 2 years, 3 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:

http://t.co/Q4rSoRzh

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Slowponder 2 years, 3 months ago

"Lost a planet, Master Obi-Wan has. How embarrassing… how embarrassing." - Yoda

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patkindle 2 years, 3 months ago

lawrence citizens dont care

these boeing slots are alot of blue collar jobs, plus wichita isnt lawrence

plus it is easier for the lawrence liberals to live off the dole and let the rest of us pay for their funables

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George Lippencott 2 years, 3 months ago

I love it. Many in this space want less defense spending. This is the consequence of less defense spending. You should be happy!

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yourworstnightmare 2 years, 3 months ago

Don't worry. The government does not create jobs, so how could this $35 billion contract to Boeing from the government matter at all?

Roberts, Moran, Brownback, Tiahrt, and "Team Kansas" must feel awfully betrayed. After letting their boyfriend Boeing do everything, he dumps them for a new girl.

If tax cuts and government concessions can't keep a company like Boeing in Kansas, then what can?

Oh yes, education and culture. An educated workforce and the culture to attract and retain it.

I don't see "Team Kansas" making any moves except hostile ones in this regard.

The Taliban is bad for business.

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buffalo63 2 years, 3 months ago

Tea Party wants to cut spending and get government out of our lives. Here is the example of that happening. Don't be surprised. Still more of the same to come. "If Boeing gets the tanker contract they will stay in Wichita." But they didn't say for how long or they had their fingers crossed. I only would like honesty when it comes from elected officials or the management of companies. The 99% screwed again.

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hyperinflate 2 years, 3 months ago

Uh? Exactly how many " is Saddened by Boeing" stories is the LJW going to release today? Starting to seem like the Baldwin Signal.

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Enlightenment 2 years, 3 months ago

It's too bad that KS will lose so many jobs. However, now Brownback knows how it feels to get screwed by folks that say one thing and do another.

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4getabouit 2 years, 3 months ago

Never fear Team Brownback is on this one. Well, at least he will be when he gets back from campaigning for Team Perry of Texas.

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Ken Lewis 2 years, 3 months ago

This stinks. I dont see how they are going to save that much by moving. Moving is expensive. This is probably a mirage for a larger picture.....like outsourcing it all to Mexico.

Aviation is really a goner of an industry for America. Aviation is so restrictive it is crazy. My brother is an airline pilot and he says, as a profession, there are far too many "gotchas". The FAA has gone nuts with regulations and medical standards and that is why the number of private pilots in American is down 75% since 1980.

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sunny 2 years, 3 months ago

“We need a new approach to economic development that invests first in our schools, our people, our roads and communities,” she said.

Huh?

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