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Byline: Katherine Pfleger
Sep. 9--WASHINGTON--The Air Force's tanker deal -- once thought to be a slam dunk -- took knocks last week that have advocates scrambling to repair the political and economic case for the controversial $22 billion leasing arrangement.
In the next few weeks, behind-the-scenes negotiating and lobbying may be crucial in determining whether the Air Force gets a new fleet of 100 airborne-refueling aircraft, made from Boeing's Everett-assembled 767. Thousands of jobs in Washington state and elsewhere might be at stake.
Advocates, including the Air Force, are assembling reports to answer the questions of skeptics in the Senate, where …