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Spin Control

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3, 2009, 12:58 P.M.

Coming Thursday: Murray grills AF?

Sen. Patty Murray will be asking questions of Air Force honchos about that pesky tanker replacement contract they have thus far been unable to run to ground.

Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Chief of Staff Gen. Norman Schwartz will appear before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee that controls their budget, and the Washington Democrat will take that opportunity to ask some of her favorite questions about replacement tankers, staff said.

Among them: Shouldn't U.S. money for U.S. war planes go to U.S. companies when the U.S. is in the middle of a recession? And, where exactly are you going to put the first new planes that roll off the assembly line...a base that starts with "F" and ends with "-airchild"?

Whether she'll get definitive answers from Donley, Schwarts and company remains to be seen. Hearing starts at 7:30 a.m. Pacific, but is watchable on the subcommittee's Web site.

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