Daily Archives: Sept. 10, 2010

Goyle assails Pompeo over aviation jobs, outsourcing at Old Town labor rally

Goyle

Goyle

In front of a friendly crowd at a labor rally today, state Rep. and 4th District congressional candidate Raj Goyle blasted his Republican opponent, Mike Pompeo, on issues of jobs and outsourcing.

“You’ve got a real simple choice, you can vote for somebody that’s going to go to Congress and fight to repeal the tax breaks that reward companies for shipping your jobs overseas,” Goyle said, to raucous applause. “Or you can vote for somebody who created jobs in Mexico and beyond.”

As chief executive officer of Thayer Aerospace, Pompeo started a small factory in Mexicali. He has said the plant was a client requirement to win a contract that also created several dozen jobs in Kansas.

“For him, being a pro-job candidate comes naturally,” Pompeo spokesman Josh Wells said. “He’s been creating jobs for years. He’s created hundreds of jobs in south-central Kansas.”

Goyle spoke to a crowd of about 300 at the rally, where union aircraft workers gathered in Old Town to show solidarity in tense negotiations with Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft.

Pompeo has been endorsed by several of the city’s most prominent aircraft company executives, including Cessna CEO Jack Pelton and Bill Boisture, CEO of Hawker Beechcraft.

Pompeo

Pompeo

Goyle highlighted his support for $27 million in state bond financing to help Bombardier Learjet build a new composite aircraft in Wichita, a move the state says will protect 300 jobs and add an additional 300 to the workforce.

Goyle said Pompeo opposes public-private partnerships “because he doesn’t want the government getting involved in the private sector. Well guess what? He took our taxpayer money to subsidize his own company.”

The Eagle reported in July that Thayer Aerospace and a plating company owned by Thayer applied for and received at least $85,000 in business development support from the Kansas Department of Commerce, while Pompeo was the company’s chief executive. Pompeo also was an investor in and served on the board of a Hutchinson wind-turbine company that benefited from a complex business development transaction involving $1.5 million in public money.

Pompeo has said he would rather have forgone government support and competed in a free market, but his responsibilities as a CEO forced him to seek the grants so his business would not be at a competitive disadvantage.

Goyle repeated one of his campaign’s primary themes, that as a state legislator, he never accepted any meals, trips or gifts from lobbyists. “Or you can vote for somebody who stands with the Club for Growth and Americans for Prosperity and the Wall Street-backed shadowy groups that are trying to take your jobs,” Goyle said.

Kansas Chamber endorses Brownback

The Kansas Chamber of Commerce PAC made it official Friday morning, issuing a strong endorsement of retiring Republican U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback  in the race for Kansas governor.

In these tough times, Kansas needs a governor and lieutenant governor who understand the solution to the state’s financial difficulties is to grow the Kansas economy,” said Chamber President and CEO Kent Beisner in a statement released after the Wichita announcement. “Sam Brownback and (runningmate) Jeff Colyer have pledged to freeze state general fund spending and take the steps necessary to balance the state budget in a responsible manner, just like Kansas businesses and families.”

Brownback’s Democratic opponent, state Sen. Tom Holland, said earlier in the race that he wouldn’t even seek the chamber’s nod.

The chamber has come under fire from Democrats — and even some former members — for its aggressive opposition to any type of tax increase amid the state’s budget crisis.

Nineteen local chambers of commerce broke with the state chamber over the question of the recent sales tax increase passed by the Legislature. And J.E. Dunn Construction — one of the chamber’s largest members — split earlier this year after executives at the company decided the chamber’s agenda was too narrow.

Wichita City Hall among those hit by e-mail virus

binary codeWichita City Hall’s e-mail system was among scores of major e-mail systems infected Thursday by a worm that fanned out messages to people’s contacts.

The messages usually had the subject line “here you have.” It includes a link to a PDF document that, if opened, led to a site where the message recipient could also be infected with the worm.

The first message out of city hall happened around 1 p.m. Thursday, according to Kevin Norman, the city’s IT operations manager. The worm ground the city’s system to a halt, and IT officials shut the system down entirely around 2:30 p.m. The worm circumvented the city’s anti-virus programs — as it did at major corporations across the nation.

Norman said officials worked through the evening installing updated anti-virus programs and hunting down malicious e-mails. The city’s server went back online around 3 a.m., Norman said.

At least one e-mail account at Derby City Hall was also infected.

Learn more about the worm from McAfee.

Elevated railroad corridor among nation’s top 10 transportation projects

rail corridor projectElevating railroad traffic above downtown city streets has saved drivers countless hours and cut down on pollution. Now it has earned Wichita some recognition from the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials.

The $105 million corridor project was named one of the top 10 projects nationwide. A panel of judges will decide whether it deserves the grand prize; it could also win the people’s choice award, which is decided by an online vote. Learn about other projects or cast your vote here.