Sen. Shelby Alarmed French Company Not Awarded KC-46 Contract


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Sen. Shelby Alarmed French Company Not Awarded KC-46 Contract

Mike Mitchell

February 27, 2011 - Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) a tea party favorite admitted he had put a "blanket hold" on President Obama’s presidential nominations. This was an effort to force the federal government to push through the awarding of the U.S. Air Force KC-46 tanker contract worth $35 billion.

On Thursday Air Force and Defense Department officials announced the awarding of the KC-46A aerial refueler contract to the Boeing Company. Senator Shelby has since come out against the awarding of the contract to this American company even though American companies are hurting and need to develop jobs in the United States.

“The plane proposed by European Aeronautic Defense and Space (EADS) “clearly offers the more capable aircraft. If this decision stands, our war-fighters will not get the superior equipment they deserve,’’ said Shelby.

Senator Richard Shelby’s motives appear to be related to political campaign contributions made by EADS's PAC. European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company is a large European aerospace and defense corporation and a leading defense and military contractor worldwide.

Senator Richard Craig Shelby Since 1986  A Tea Party Favorite

The group includes Airbus, Airbus Military, Eurocopter, Astrium and Cassidian. Although Northrop Grumman announced in March 2010 it was withdrawing from the competition of the KC tanker contract it had partnered with EADS. U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) said he would demand a “full accounting” of why EADS, the parent company of Airbus, lost the tanker contract.  

According to a review of campaign finance records, Senator Shelby's political action committees have received more than $115,000.00 between EADS PAC and Northrop Grumman. Airbus Chairman T. Allan McArtor, donated $1,500 to Shelby’s campaign,  Samuel Adcock, EADS Senior Vice President of Government Relations, donated $1,000 to Shelby, a lobbyist and top executive at EADS, Ralph Crosby, donated the same amount and one other EADS employee, Bacon Douglas, donated $1,500.  

U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, a Democrat from Washington State stated, “the EADS tanker was a much bigger aircraft and burns about 24 percent more fuel than Boeing’s. The difference in fuel costs over 40 years “was billions of dollars.”


The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) hailed the Department of Defense’s decision to award the Boeing Company with a contract to build a new fleet of air-to-air refueling tankers for the U.S. Air Force. “The Pentagon’s decision will result in an American aircraft, built by American workers for America’s warriors,” said IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger. “With more than 40,000 U.S. jobs at stake, this decision also significantly strengthens the core of the U.S. aerospace manufacturing industry.” 

Supported by a nationwide coalition of union members, businesses and communities, the IAM has been fully engaged in the decade-long effort to secure a U.S.-built replacement for the Air Force’s aging fleet of KC-135 tankers. “The importance of this decision cannot be overstated,” said Buffenbarger. “Our legacy as providers of the best-built military aircraft in the world was on the line, challenged by a foreign competitor who hoped to establish a high-tech beachhead in this country that could have permanently altered our ability to provide for our own defense.”

In February 2009, a local Alabama newspaper reported that at a town hall meeting Senator Richard Shelby was asked if there was any truth to the rumors that Obama was not a natural-born citizen. According to the paper, Shelby responded that, "Well his father was Kenyan and they said he was born in Hawaii, but I haven’t seen any birth certificate." A Shelby spokesperson denied the story but the newspaper stood by the story. Its ironic that the senator is more interested in misleading Americans than helping the unemployed gain jobs and helping American companies.


Back in 2003, the French wanted to hold off from the invasion of Iraq until UN inspectors could finish their inspections of alleged weapons of mass destruction by Saddam Hussein. As a result Shelby led a fight to have the word French Fries removed from the menu of the Senate Dining Room and replacing it with "Freedom Fries". This led to Anti-French sentiment in the U.S. created by the Bush administration and congress. Now Shelby wants to take $35 billion tax payer dollars and American jobs and export them to France.

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