Friday, February 18, 2011
Here is a PR and lobbying war that has been going on for five years between two determined parties, neither of whom will concede defeat. One only needs to read the Washington Post to see full-page advertisements from Pratt & Whitney and General Electric, condemning waste or calling for a fair bid between two different jet engines for the Joint Strike Fighter. This battle has raged through the halls of Washington, in local offices of Congressional districts and on campaign trails. There have been so many claims and counter-claims that it is hard to parse a right or wrong position. The House has now made a decision to cancel the second engine, but that doesn't mean the end of the battle. General Electric will almost certainly escalate to the Senate to continue the fight and will try to find a way to get funds into final appropriations legislation. And, if GE is defeated this year, there is always next year. A lobbyist can make a career out of battles like this.