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Election 2012: More of the Same

After nearly $6 billion spent, the most expensive election in American history is now over and it’s clear what all that money bought us: more of the same.

ARSA’s legislative team is still combing through the election results, but we can state with certainty that President Obama was reelected handily, the Senate will remain Democratic, and the GOP retains control of the House. Here are a couple of notes from election night of interest to ARSA members:

  • ARSA PAC was 100 percent. Every lawmaker supported by ARSA PAC during the election cycle was reelected to another term.
  • Lost opportunities. Republicans failed to capitalize in a year that many predicted would be fruitful for the GOP. There is no better example than in Missouri, where Sen. Claire McCaskill (D), arguably the most vulnerable Democrat this cycle and a perennial supporter of anti-contract maintenance proposals, easily won reelection against a weak opponent in a state that Mitt Romney carried by nearly ten points.
  • Minnesota’s 8th goes blue. Two years ago, Chip Cravaack (R) ousted former Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar (D) in the biggest upset of the 2010 election. Cravaack, a former commercial pilot, was immediately named vice chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee upon arriving on Capitol Hill and established himself as an expert on aviation issues. On Election Day, he lost by nearly ten points to Democrat Rick Nolan.
  • Another one bites the dust. During the last FAA reauthorization battle, ARSA and our industry allies relied on the support of several moderate Democrats (a dying breed on Capitol Hill) to fight off harmful amendments to the industry, such as mandating drug and alcohol testing of foreign repair stations and biannual inspections of all maintenance facilities regardless of risk. One of those Democrats, Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa), was defeated on Tuesday evening.
  • While another survives. Conventional wisdom had Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.) losing his reelection bid in a newly drawn, conservative leaning district. However, Barrow, well known to repair stations for leading efforts among Democrats against proposals that would have resulted in a collapse of the E.U.-U.S. BASA, survived his challenge.

Stay tuned to ARSA for further analysis as the dust settles on Election 2012. In the meantime, what are your thoughts about the 2012 election and its impact on the industry? Email Daniel Fisher, ARSA’s vice president of legislative affairs, with your comments.

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