Apparently the lobbyists and attorneys for General Electric (GE) are very busy these days. Between the recent judgment of corruption in the Iraqi Oil for Food program and the long-running behind the scene efforts to receive Congressional approval for aircraft engines that are redundant. General Electric is throwing money around Washington to buy Congressional votes.
On May 15, 2010 I wrote a piece titled “Do You Know How Your Congressman Voted?” and raised questions as to why my local Congressman would support the expenditure $485 million for an alternative jet engine (manufactured by GE) for the new Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Those aircraft are contracted to be manufactured by Pratt & Whitney with Rolls-Royce engines.
In my May 15th commentary I reported my telephone conversation with a gentleman in Congressman Joe Donnelly’s (D-IN) Washington office. At that time I was told Donnelly wanted to support the project because it was beneficial to have a back-up engine if the Rolls-Royce products resulted in defects. Additionally, I was told that the GE product would result in jobs. I was certain I got Washington double-talk and his support was totally inappropriate.
Personally I think this is another clear example of Washington waste that is leading to our massive debt burden. I suspect, but I do not have the ability to prove it, that Donnelly is receiving GE contributions to his re-election campaign and thus is participating in Play for Pay. Why do we need two different sets of engines for one airplane?
Now the Associated Press reports today that GE has agreed to pay a fine of $23.4 million to settle claims it paid kickbacks to Iraqi officials. This dates back to the Iraqi Oil for Food program that was run by the equally corrupt United Nations.
The point I am making is that the ruling by the Security and Exchange Commission regarding GE’s illegal conduct should be a sufficient reason to stop any further consideration to buy the redundant GE engines. If logic prevailed, Donnelly should withdraw his support to buy the GE engines, but I suspect he will dive for the campaign contributions.
With GE Chairman/CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, being a big pal of President Obama, I bet the deal for the engines goes through and we will be left holding another bag of corrupt debt. Obama’s CHANGE stinks and the smell is getting stronger by each passing day. Soon we will all be wearing face masks just as they do in China.