BAE Systems

I have four things to say about this story, concerning Sealy-based SAE Systems and the $2.6 billion contract with the Defense Department to build Army trucks that it’s on the verge of losing after 17 years. We first heard about this in September; BAE Systems has been appealing the decision since then.

Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry and the 34-member Senate-House delegation are rallying to salvage a deal for BAE Systems that could be worth $2.6 billion and sustain 10,000 direct and indirect jobs around the sprawling truck manufacturing plant in Sealy.


The setback for Texas illustrates just how far the state’s political leverage has plummeted since Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, D-Houston, helped BAE’s predecessor win the initial contract in 1991 under President George H.W. Bush, and Sens. Phil Gramm, R-College Station, and Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Dallas, helped the company retain the contract in 2001 under President George W. Bush.

“We never saw this coming — we were completely blindsided,” says a top aide to Sen. John Cornyn, R-San Antonio, a former member of the Senate Armed Services Committee panel with jurisdiction over military vehicles.

Lawmakers and BAE officials alike felt “sucker punched,” added David Davis, a top Hutchison aide. “ ‘Shocked’ doesn’t begin to describe it.”

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, whose Austin-to-Houston district includes the plant, learned of the Army’s decision while driving to an appearance in his district in late August.

1. Funny, isn’t it, how the federal government is evil and fascistic and doesn’t create any jobs by spending money, except for stuff like this.

2. Am I the only one who thinks that Rick Perry, John Cornyn, and Kay Bailey Hutchison maybe aren’t the best possible representatives to intercede with the Obama administration on BAE’s behalf? I mean, call me crazy, but I don’t think there’s a whole lot of goodwill built up to call on. If I were them, I’d beg Chet Edwards to take the point on this.

3. The story touches on Texas’ loss of clout, but fails to explore the reason for it: the 2003 Tom DeLay-engineered re-redistricting, one result of which was the cashiering of 80+ years of Democratic Congressional seniority. It sure would be nice to have someone like Martin Frost at Rep. Edwards’ side working on this, wouldn’t it?

4. How exactly is it that none of McCaul, Cornyn, and Hutchison had any idea this was coming? I have a hard time believing these processes are so leakproof that there was no advance warning of it. Were there really no little birdies whispering anything into these guys’ ears that something bad was about to happen to their district or state?

I feel like there’s more to this than what’s been reported so far. What do you think? PDiddie has more.

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7 Responses to BAE Systems

  1. Baby Snooks says:

    Everyone wants to return to “competitive bidding” and yet as soon as someone is underbid, they start screaming “politics as usual.”

    No comment on Chris Bell’s “expert opinion” except that it further reflects why he was bounced out of Congress after only one term – the number one priority is protecting the interests of the taxpayers both in terms of what comes in and what goes out.

    The Democratic delegation from Texas could have just as easily been on top of this and weren’t so blaming the Republicans isn’t going to hold much credibility when people start blaming the Republicans.

  2. Murphy says:

    “I mean, call me crazy, but I don’t think there’s a whole lot of goodwill built up to call on.”
    I don’t think this is retaliation but even if it were, it is clear that the GOP cannot think their way through this. They are so committed to actin’ tough that they can’t keep a truck factory in Texas-We lost a TRUCK FACTORY to WISCONSIN and they admit they were blindsided?? It is hard to underestimate the intellegence and abilityof this delegation.

  3. Baby Snooks says:

    It is hard to underestimate the intellegence and ability of this delegation.

    I don’t think anyone ever accused Kay Bailey Hutchison of being a rocket scientist. As for Cornyn, well, he apparently thinks the Republicans still control Congress and Bush is in the White House.

  4. Kylie Minogue Fan says:

    KBH is 100% to blame here. Too much campaigning, not enough actual working.

  5. Pingback: More on BAE Systems – Off the Kuff

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