By John Mitchel
Last week I was invited to participate in a Mike Turner virtual town hall meeting. It was a truly enlightening experience. Except for one call questioning $24,000 in contributions to Turner by the American Bankers’ Association, the calls could be characterized as a “love in” between the caller and Mr. Turner. One call in particular reinforced this, not to mention suggesting that some questions were planted before the virtual hook-up. That question was on the C-27, a joint Army-Air Force small cargo aircraft program cancelled by the Pentagon, a move Turner opposes.
Although the Pentagon does not want the C-27, as they have stated the need no longer exists with the U.S. phasing out of Afghanistan, Turner wants to keep it to retain jobs. The trouble is; the Pentagon could face up to $600 billion more in cuts if Congress fails to reach a deal on how to trim the national debt by the end of 2012. So the bottom line; Turner wants to keep spending on a program the Secretary of Defense does not need or want at the expense of programs the Pentagon views as essential to our national security.
Contrast that to John Anderson, Turner’s GOP opponent in the March 6th primary. Anderson has over 30 years’ experience in defense acquisition and fully understands that we cannot cater to Mike Turner or any other Congressional member who wants budget-busting pork for his or her district. Sadly, if Turner gets his way over the objection of Secretary of Defense Panetta, the malfeasant investment of limited resources now could cause the loss of lives later, but apparently that would be fine with Turner as long as he goes back to Washington next January.