It seems that former Florida Congressman Dave Weldon – who represented Florida’s Space Coast for 14 years – has a new gig: as a director of the Alaska Aerospace Development Corp., the state agency thatÂ runs the Kodiak Launch Complex. And it’s got a few people in the Sunshine State feeling a bit betrayed.
The editorial staff at Florida Today notes that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin cited Weldon’s experience on the House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics as the reason for the appointment.
“What she didnâ€™t say undoubtedly played a part in the decision: His insider knowledge of Floridaâ€™s plans to utilize Cape Canaveral Air Force Station â€” which also was in his district â€” to lure private rocket and satellite companies.
“That â€” coupled with Weldonâ€™s Washington know-how in steering space projects to states â€” could cost Brevard County more jobs in the fierce competition among Florida and other states to attract launch business at a time when the shuttleâ€™s retirement next year will result in about 3,500 job cuts at KSC,” the editors wrote.
“Weldon, whoâ€™s also a physician, is free to work for whomever he wants. But to say the move is disappointing is putting it mildly.”
Read the full editorial.