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Apr 16, 2013 8:29 AM by AP

Leahy's role questioned in bringing F-35 to Vt.

A spokesman for Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy says the senator has made no attempt to influence the process of locating the U.S. Air Force's next-generation fighter jet at a Vermont National Guard base.
David Carle spoke with the Burlington Free Press following a weekend Boston Globe report suggesting Leahy wielded his political influence to "fudge" the base-selection process and win preference for the new F-35 warplane in South Burlington.
Carle said Leahy has joined the Congressional delegation in letters asking the Air Force to adhere to the process and listen to all Vermonters.
In a statement Monday, Leahy said the Air Force selected the Vermont Guard as its preferred choice for the F-35s on the merits, based on the Guard's unsurpassed record, top-flight personnel and facilities, and strategic location.

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