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Spin Control

Wed., June 18, 2008, 4:42 p.m.

Tanker contract could be a political football

Look for the report nixing the Air Force contract on a new tanker to pop up in the presidential campaign in the coming days.

The Government Accountability Office says the Air Force didn't follow its own rules when awarding a $35 billion contract for the next generation of tankers to Northrop Grumman. The Boeing Co., and its bid to build the new tanker on its 767 line in Washington state, were put at a disadvantage in the process, the GAO says.

In other words, the GAO is strongly recommending a "do-over" on the new tanker.

"They threw the whole thing out," Sen. Patty Murray said.

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The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.