August 19, 2004

If you believe in the Easter Bunny ...

You won't have any trouble believing the rationalizations that Boeing officials are using to explain away what's essentially a US $1 million donation to Dubya's re-election campaign. Boeing is, of course, one of the largest military contractors in the US.

Boeing gave its 4500 workers a paid day off when Dubya came calling on its plant near Philadelphia earlier this week, saying that it would be impossible for Secret Service agents to secure the plant for the president's visit if all the workers were eir jobs. Workers were offered tickets to Dubya's speech — many accepted — but were paid whether they attended the speech or not.

The Washington Post's Dan Froomkin continues the story:

[Boeing spokesman Jack Satterfield] said the $1 million cost is being absorbed by Boeing -- not by the U.S. government, which of course is paying for pretty much everything Boeing is doing there.

So how does that work?

"We have provisions for special charging which will be absorbed into what we call our overhead, and the federal government will not be charged," he said.

Traditionally, that only happens when there's a massive snowstorm, or some other act of God, Satterfield said. "I'm not drawing any parallels, but I'm saying the circumstances were literally beyond our control."

Satterfield said Boeing was told up front that the president was coming on a campaign stop, not an official visit. And he said Boeing considered the legal and ethical issues before deciding that it was appropriate to proceed.

He said the $1 million should not be considered a gift to the campaign.

"It wasn't [a gift] and it has nothing to do with the political campaign," he said. "This was an instance where the president of the United States, who happens also to be a candidate running for office, came to thank us for doing an excellent job for the national defense. This was an opportunity for our employees to see the president of the United States -- the commander in chief -- thank them for building an excellent helicopter and doing excellent work in support of our armed forces."

Satterfield said he could not imagine any company -- particularly one providing services for the armed forces -- doing any differently.

The only part of that the we can agree with is that a visit from Dubya is right up there with a natural disaster.

Via Washington Post.

Posted by Magpie at August 19, 2004 10:23 AM | Elections | Technorati links |
Comments

I wonder if those who got tickets had to sign one of those Vow sheets like many others have across the country? "I Pledge Loyalty to Bush/Cheney 04 and pledge to cast my vote in their favor."

If not, this would have been a prime spot for a little dissent.

Posted by: John F at August 19, 2004 01:17 PM

Think about this...Clinton doing anything, even remotely, like this. Yes, taxpayers do end up paying for an awful lot of an incumbant President's campaign bill, but we all know that the Right, and then, of course, the press would have been all over this if it was Clinton, or any Dem.
When will the up-is-downism stop! This is the single biggest reason to vote for Kerry. He was not my first choice. But I knew he'd win the nomination because Rove would do exactly what he is doing. Attacking one more Viet Nam Vet is the last thing they should have done. While "attack" ads work, these things are like anything else. They only work to a point, and no further. They've 'hit the wall' as far as attack ads go. What do they have after this? I don't know, but the next couple of months are going to be bumpy.

Posted by: Babba at August 19, 2004 05:49 PM

"It wasn't [a gift] and it has nothing to do with the political campaign," he said. "This was an instance where the president of the United States, who happens also to be a candidate running for office, came to thank us for doing an excellent job for the national defense. This was an opportunity for our employees to see the president of the United States -- the commander in chief -- thank them for building an excellent helicopter and doing excellent work in support of our armed forces."

Satterfield first admits that Boeing was explicitly told that this would be a campaign visit rather than an official visit and then has the gall to make the quoted assertion?

LOL exactly how stupid does he think Americans are?

Anyone who couldn't readily see thru Satterfield's spin probably couldn't think their way out of a wet paper bag.

Posted by: Kevin at August 19, 2004 08:52 PM

Being a westerner, I have shopped Cabela's from time to time. No more, after they hosted Cheney last week. May not have been a campaign donation, but it will cost them my patronage.

Posted by: silk at August 19, 2004 10:14 PM