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State Legislators Clam Up On Merger Fight

If ever there were a time for Dallas-Fort Worth politicians to rally in defense of local jobs, it’s now, in the wake of the Eric Holder/Greg Abbott effort to squelch the American Airlines/US Airways merger. So far, though, few have done so, with a couple of notable exceptions: GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Pauken of Dallas, and U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth. Both moved quickly to criticize the Abbott/Holder move, Pauken saying it would jeopardize “tens of thousands of jobs,” Veasey contending the airline merger would be good for the DFW economy.

But what about state Rep. Dan Branch, the University Park Republican who’s running for Abbott’s job? Golly, Branch told the Dallas Morning News, he really can’t offer an opinion right now, because he simply doesn’t have “all the facts” in hand. (No word whether Branch was laughing as he said this.) Also weaseling out, apparently: possible gubernatorial hopeful state Sen. Wendy Davis, Democrat of Fort Worthā€”home to, guess what, the American Airlines headquarters! After multiple phone calls and email exchanges with Davis’ officeā€”and many, many hours since the story brokeā€”we have to conclude the senator is not that eager to take a stand.

UPDATE: Saturday morning Sen. Davis sent us the following statement, which discloses her opposition to the Holder/Abbott move: “I urge the Department of Justice to reconsider its opposition to American Airlines’ merger with US Airways. This is about protecting Texas jobs and ensuring competition through the viability of a major player in the industry. The merger is the last, critical piece to returning American Airlines as a strong competitor in the commercial airline marketplace. Allowing the merger plan to proceed would help preserve nearly 60,000 jobs worldwide, including those of thousands of hardworking Texans.ā€¯

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