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GOP Drags Chicago Into Boeing Fight

By Prescott Carlson in News on May 20, 2011 9:05PM

Photo from Boeing website.
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) decided to take a swipe at Chicago during his criticism of President Obama and the National Labor Relations Board's lawsuit against aerospace company Boeing.

The NLRB complaint says that a production plant for the 787 Dreamliner that Boeing opened in South Carolina instead of its long time factory home in Everett, Washington, was due to the company's ongoing feud with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in Washington, which have gone on several strikes against the company. The NLRB is trying to force Boeing via court order to bring production back to Washington. The South Carolina workers currently are not unionized.

Given the ramping up of anti-union sentiment by the GOP lately, Republicans have blasted the lawsuit, and during an interview with conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt Thursday night, McConnell said he wasn't surprised given the current occupant of the Oval Office and where he came from:

"This is the same administration who has now tried to introduce politics into the procurement process by making people who do business with the government reveal their political support for candidates. This is a Chicago-style thuggish administration. In other words, 'Agree with us, or we'll find a way to punish you.'"

McConnell failed to mention that the NLRB is an independent agency and not part of the White House administration, although President Obama did make two recess appointments to the NLRB board in 2010.

Earlier on Thursday, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) took some time off from his Tea Party duties to pull White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley into the matter, noting that Daley sat on Boeing's board of directors when the company decided to build the South Carolina plant, and because of that fact Daley should inexplicably "take a leave of absence" during the court proceedings.