Boeing & the Washington Senate Seat

In this anti-Washington midterm election year the "Mom in tennis shoes" is playing up her influence and power on Capitol Hill.

Patty Murray won her Senate seat in 1992 casting herself as what was then called a soccer mom. She played up being average and of the people.

What a differences three terms can make.

Now Murray is the senior senator from Washington, and #4 in the Democratic leadership. She even chairs the Appropriations Subcommittee responsible for hundreds of billions in federal transportation spending. At the Everett, Washington Boeing plant she cast her experience and connections in D.C. as precisely what her state and Boeing need to ensure they win a huge Pentagon contract for a new state of the art refueling jet.

European based Airbus is competing for the Pentagon contract as well but it has received billions in European Government subsidies to enhance its contract bid.

Boeing has received no such help from the U.S. government. Murray calls it an unfair advantage and along with other members of Congress in both parties has tried to level the playing field in hopes of keeping some 11,000 jobs in her state.

We spoke with Murray after the rally. Here's a sampling :

Murray's also running a Boeing related ad against her Republican rival Dino Rossi. He was recently asked if special subsidies should be considered in the refueling tanker contract. The ad Murray's campaign is airing makes Rossi appear opposed to leveling the playing field so Boeing has a fair shot at the contract.

Rossi calls the ad a gross distortion and out of context insisting he meant any subsidies Boeing has received should not be counted against it but any subsidies overseas competitors have gotten should be accounted for.

Here's his response video on the web: