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Op-Ed: No Surprises Here On Murtha's Corruption

By Mark L Harvey     Feb 19, 2008 in Politics
As John Murtha prepares to redeploy to the elevator in the Rayburn House Office Building, supporters of replacing him with a conservative representative are rallying their sources. Time will tell if the effort is successful.
In a recent article in the The York Times, it has been inevitable that The King of Pork Spending would finally be called to the carpet of wasteful and corrupting policies and procedures. All in the name of "his people", naturally. Or not.
The article is entitled The Pork King Keeps His Crown and is all too appropriate. In light of the rule passed some time ago, one should be asking why the PAYGO issue has just now come to the attention of the New York Times. One would think that this issue of wanton and wasteful spending to "secure one's ranking" and keeping their seats in congress would have been made public soon after the rules were passed.
Nevertheless, Rep John Murtha has been had...again.
On Feb 27, 2008, there is going to be an "appreciation party" for military and other contractors with Rep John Murtha. It will be held not at a Red Roof Inn or The Ramada Inn but at the Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City. Naturally, it is a closed party and the general public for which Murtha allegedly stands are not invited.
Murtha's Beneficiaries
The annual payback dinner by defense contractors who benefit from earmarks by Democratic Rep. John Murtha, chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, will be held Feb. 27 at the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City in Virginia, across the Potomac from Washington.
Murtha, a close adviser of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is one of the leading earmarkers in Congress. The earmark recipients will be paying the $1,500 a person admission to "An Evening with Jack and Joyce Murtha."
Although the dinner is timed to coincide with the anniversary of Murtha's first special election to Congress in 1974, invitations for it were mailed just before the annual deadline for earmark applications.
Curious. Coincidence? Perhaps. Who pays for such gala events?
From the Taxpayers for Common Sense, on the front page we read:
Congress inserted 12,881 earmarks worth $18.3 billion into this year’s spending bills, $14.8 billion of which were disclosed by lawmakers. This represents a 23 percent cut in total earmarks from the high water mark of 2005, but a smaller cut than the 50 percent reduction House leadership initially set as its goal.
So, is PAYGO a "go" or is it not? Seeing that Congress has failed, once again, to fulfill its promises to the American People, should they not unilaterally withdraw? Did they not set for themselves a Benchmark of which they failed to meet? And they dare criticize any government anywhere at all? And, last I knew, there were no bombs falling or car bombs exploding or kidnapping of politicians anywhere in the vicinity of DC. What are the excuses this time?
For a very informative and interesting read - to say the least - it will behoove the inquiring mind to download and read the Earmark database for FY2008. Therein, one may find how their particular fraud, waste and abuse representatives are doing and why.
On top of the list of pork spending is none other than John Murtha. Someone has to be at the top of the list and I am happy to see that the man that single-handedly mis-characterized my brothers-in-arms - the Haditha Marines - is on the top of the list and the torpedoes are away.
Mr. Murtha led all House members this year, securing $162 million in district favors, according to the watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense. In all, eager members in both houses enacted 11,144 earmarks, worth $15 billion. Taxpayers may be inured to $113,000 for rodent control in Alaska or a million for Idaho’s weed management. Mr. Murtha’s universe is a far more complicated and costly creation of interlocking contractors who continue to feed at the public trough despite reviews questioning their performance.
And the beat goes on...
There’s been no report of Mr. Murtha’s profiting personally. “This is about jobs,” the congressman insists. But the Murtha operation — which has become a model for other entrepreneurial lawmakers — is a gross example of quid pro quo Washington. Every one of the 26 beneficiaries of Mr. Murtha’s earmarks in last year’s defense budget made contributions to his campaign kitty, a total of $413,250, according to the newspaper Roll Call. The Pentagon, seeking its own goodies before Mr. Murtha’s committee, is noticeably hesitant to challenge his projects. And we’re not hearing a lot of objections from his colleagues — not after members have ladled out a fresh $15 billion for their own special interests, just in time for the coming elections.
Murtha buys their votes. I wonder what the constitutionality of Pork or Earmark Spending is and what chapter and verse can be allocated to the practice thereof.
According to the database, John Murtha "owns" in "Solo Earmarks", $159,973,200.
As I said at the beginning, there are constituents and others not happy at all with John Murtha and they are having a party of their own.
More about Master, Pork spending, Murtha