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Nikki Haley, Vincent Sheheen Do Battle Over Boeing




A day before its South Carolina facility faces a fresh round of negative publicity, aircraft manufacturer Boeing was plunged squarely in the middle of the Palmetto State’s gubernatorial race by incumbent “Republican” Nikki Haley.

According to a new Haley television advertisement – entitled “Crickets” – Democratic gubernatorial nominee Vincent Sheheen was nowhere to be found when the administration of Barack Obama shook down the Chicago-based company in a successful effort to prevent additional job losses at its unionized facility in Everett, Washington.

“What did state Sen. Vince Sheheen do?” Haley’s ad asks … cutting to the sound of crickets chirping.

The Haley advertisement is similar to a recent Sheheen spot that challenged the “Republican” incumbent for her lack of leadership at the scandal-scarred S.C. Department of Social Services (SCDSS).  In that ad, Sheheen mocked Haley for her self-promotion.

In this spot, Haley is attempting to portray Sheheen as insufficiently loyal to the state’s largest recipient of taxpayer-funded largesse.

“When union bosses and Washington bureaucrats threatened South Carolina jobs, Governor Haley stood up for our workers, fought back and won,” Haley’s spokeswoman Chaney Adams said in a statement accompanying the ad.

Here’s the spot …

(Click to play)

Actually Haley didn’t “win” anything … Boeing used South Carolina’s facility as leverage to cut a deal with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), which is why the troubled facility has been passed over multiple times for new projects.

Sheheen’s campaign countered that Haley was absent for the legislative vote that delivered Boeing its first round of government subsidies.

“Once again, Nikki Haley proves she is unable to be honest with the public,” Sheheen’s spokesman Andrew Whalen said in a statement. “Nikki Haley skipped out on the vote that brought Boeing to South Carolina, and only showed up when she could advance her personal ambition and political agenda.”

Sheesh …

Basically this debate boils down as follows …

Nikki Haley: “I love Boeing the most.”

Vincent Sheheen: “No, I love Boeing the most.”

Pathetic … of course don’t expect the state’s mainstream media to focus on that part of the story in its coverage.   When Boeing says “jump,” they say “how high?”  Then our politicians ask “how much?”  And take it from your pocket … to the tune of more than $1 billion the last time we checked.

In addition to its state money, Boeing also gets subsidies courtesy of the U.S. Export-Import Bank not to mention billions of dollars annually in federal defense contracts.

In contrast to the political and media subservience, FITS was the first news outlet in the country to report on production issues at Boeing’s North Charleston facility.  Two months later, reporter Phil LeBeau – who covers automotive and aerospace issues for CNBC – confirmed much of our reporting.  More recently, The Seattle Times  and The Wall Street Journal  have referenced South Carolina’s production problems – while Reuters has exclusively reported on how those issues are affecting the company’s global supply chain.

Another bombshell on the South Carolina facility drops tomorrow …