Was Lockheed loss a political decision?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 8, 2006

To the Editor:

The company line is that politics is the reason Selma did not get the contract through Lockheed for the In Flight Training Program.

Please consider that objectively. If this were a political decision, why would a Republican Administration give this contract to a State represented by a Democrat Senator (Ken Salazar) and to a city represented by a Democrat Congressman (John Salazar)?

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Both the Presidency and the Congress are controlled by Republicans.

Alabama has two Republican Senators.

Colorado has one Republican Senator and one Democrat senator.

Advantage Selma because our senators have a combined 30 years in the Senate while Colorado’s senators have 12 years in the Senate.

Alabama has five Republican congressmen and two Democrats.

Colorado has four Republican congressman and three Democrat congressmen. Advantage Selma because we have more Republican Representatives.

Selma has a Democrat congressman.

Pueblo is also represented by a Democrat Congressman.

Selma has a Democrat mayor with 19,300 people and a $17 million budget.

Pueblo has 110,000 people, a non-partisan city manager, no mayor, and a $61 million budget.

When budget is compared to population, Selma, which has a much lower per capita income than Pueblo, has a much larger city budget.

When one looks objectively at Selma, Ala., and at Pueblo, Colo., and who the elected officials are in Alabama and Colorado, it is difficult to make a case that this decision was political.

However, this does not mean that someone did not compromised so that the Airbus facility went to Mobile while the Training Program went to Colorado.

Despite a Herculean effort by our economic development officials, we lost to a team that most of us did not know was even on the field.

Our team captains need to assess why.

They might consider quality of life issues in that assessment.

Ultimately, EDA Director Wayne Vardaman has it right.

There was much prayer for this project to come to Selma.

God answered our prayers this time with a

no .

It was not meant to be; however, when God closes one door, He generally opens another for those who trust in Him.

Perhaps, God has something even better than Lockheed to locate at Craig.

Cecil Williamson

Councilman Ward 1