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2005-01-30—Lieberman—presidential helicopter

Harrison Weblog

2005 blog


Keeping up with Jewish officeholders

Sen. Lieberman decries decision to award
Lockheed presidential helicopter contract 

Sen. Schumer, in contrast, calls it 'great news'
,  Jan. 30, 2005

U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) has reacted angrily to a decision by the U.S. Navy to award the contract to build the fleet of presidential helicopters to Lockheed Martin  instead of to Sikorsky Aircraft, which is headquartered in Stratford, Conn.

“The Navy’s decision today on the Marine One contract is not just disappointing – it is outrageously wrong," Lieberman said in a Jan. 28 statement  "It insults Sikorsky’s workers and management, who earned the right to build the President’s helicopter. As I said from day one, our Commander-in-Chief should fly in the very best helicopter made in America – and the only one that meets that standard was Sikorsky’s. 

“The Navy’s decision to go with second best raises real questions about the fairness of the decision-making process – questions I will raise and pursue until they are answered in full," Lieberman said. "Today’s setback does not mean our delegation is giving up the fight. I am committed to do everything in my power to right this wrong.” 

Lockheed Martin also had political support, especially from Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y). (See previous story) The New York senator greeted news of the $1.6 billion award for the Owego, N.Y.-based company with elation, saying it would generate 700 new jobs in the area.

"This is great news - not just for the Southern Tier, but for all of New York State,”
Schumer said. “This decision is a testament to the business leadership at Lockheed Martin, but more importantly to the great labor force we have in upstate New York. I hope this is the first of many contract victories for New York.”
    —Donald H. Harrison