Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Murtha Be Not Proud...

Back in February, 2010, I stated that with Congressman John Murtha's death, the mission of this blog had ended.

Well, what I saw today just about made me gag:
A life-size likeness of the late U.S. Rep. John Murtha will be unveiled Monday morning at the Veteran’s Park in Johnstown.

In a press conference at the Frank J. Pasquerilla Conference Center on Tuesday, the congressman’s wife, Joyce Murtha, said a public dedication ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. Retired U.S. Gen. James Jones, former commander of all NATO forces, will give the keynote speech.

“(My husband) had a lot of admiration for Gen. Jones and spoke of him quite often,” Joyce Murtha said. “I’m delighted he’s taking the time to come in and be with us.”

More than $180,000 in private donations have already been raised to bring a statue of Murtha to the Veteran’s Park, with 65 percent of contributions coming from individuals who gave $100 or less. According to Joyce Murtha, fundraising efforts will continue.

“We are still accepting contributions because we need a maintenance fund for the years ahead,” she said.

“We don’t want to see the statue fall into disrepair,” she added.
The part of the article that made me gag the most was thus:
Wayne Hyde of Manns Choice was selected as sculptor for the statue, which is in place at the park but covered by a canvass. He said he was honored to help with the project.

“I hope the statue will stand there to always remind people of a good public servant,” he said.
And with that quote, dear readers, I stand here... speechless.

I invite anyone to peruse the contents of this blog, which for a span of nearly four years served to chronicle the misdeeds and malfeasance that pock-marked the long, ingnominious tenure of Jihad Jack Murtha. The same Jack Murtha who from his early days as a congressman was a shining example of a self-serving, corrupt politician in the tradition of Huey Long. Murtha, remember, was proclaimed an "unindicted co-conspirator" in the Abscam scandal in the early 80s. Like a pharaoh with a god complex, he erected countless monuments to himself in PA-12, including a barely utilized, multi-, multi-million dollar airport complete with state of the art equipment that no one knew how to run. Murtha was also known as the "King of Pork" and was no stranger to seedy earmarks to political cronies who, in turn, would keep his campaign war chest well stocked.

If John Murtha's only crimes were reckless malfeasance with taxpayer monies, despite the fact he was unmatched in that dubious category, it would be one thing.

But John Murtha, though an ex-Marine, was a ruthless man who would let nothing stand in the way of his political ambitions, nor would he leave any perceived stepping stone un-stepped on to meet his nefarious ends, no matter whose lives he ruined in the process.

Enter the Haditha Marines.

Though a corpulent man, Mr. Murtha was quick to make a bee line to any microphone he could to condemn what he said was a massacre against innocent civilians in the town of Haditha in Iraq. According to Murtha, the Marines in Haditha just 'lost it' and went on to massacre innocent civilians in 'cold blood', supposedly without a firefight, supposedly without any kind of resistance at all. Without a shred of evidence to back up a single assertion in his story, Jihad Jack Murtha doubled down on his traitorous tirade, going on every news show he could to spread his lies.

Murtha, of course, bet his political future on this story. Up until that point (though history would prove the contrary) Jack Murtha was considered a "hawkish" democrat, and was persona non grata to the leftist power structure of the democrat party. He had to find a way to endear himself to the far left and to then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, in particular. He had his sights set as being the House Majority Leader, and betted (correctly) that if he could turn public sentiment against the Iraqi war, the democrats would win Congress in 2006, and Murtha surmised (wrongly) that he would then collect his ultimate 'chit' for getting the ball rolling--his much-coveted leadership seat of the Majority party in the United States Congress.

In the process, Jack Murtha was more than ready to absolutely ruin the lives of innocent Marines whose only crime was to follow the rules of engagement. One of the parents of the wrongfully accused Marines, Darryl Sharratt, writes on this very blog of the hell that his son and his entire family went through in the ordeal.

Time passed. "Jihad Jack" Murtha, in first coming out against the war in 2005, and then doubling down with his false accusations against the Haditha marines in May of 2006, allowed the democrats to come out from under their collective rocks to turn the tide of public opinion against the war in Iraq. The democrats handily took over congress in the November, 2006 elections, and Jack Murtha was ready to call in his 'chits' and assume his 'rightful' place as House Majority Leader.

And that's where Murtha's fortunes changed.

Despite calling in his markers and getting support from the then-newly elected Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Murtha went so far as to ensure that one of his earmarks was specifically targeted toward one of Nancy Pelosi's nephews), the far left wing rank and file of the United States congress threw out Jack Murtha like last week's garbage. Once thought to be the darling of the left after selling out the Haditha Marines, Murtha had outlived his usefulness after the democrat congressional victories of 2006. His bid for the leadership for the Democrats in the U.S. House was summarily ignored, and instead Steny Hoyer was elected to the post, and Murtha was once again relegated to the smoke-filled rooms, making back room deals and continuing his legacy of corruption.

As time went on, of course, all of the Haditha Marines (save for one, to save face) were acquitted/exonerated of all charges with respect to he incident. Turns out there was an IED. Turns out that there was a firefight. Turns out that the Haditha Marines were, in fact, correctly following the rules of engagement.

As the real facts of the Haditha case began coming out, numerous calls for Murtha to apologize for his remarks were coming to the fore. Murtha continued to use the tired excuse that he was unable to comment since the investigation was 'ongoing.' Haditha Marines, one by one (including Darryl Sharratt's son, Justin) were being acquitted of charges, followed by more calls on Murtha to recant his story and to apologize to the Haditha Marines.

Each call to do so fell on deaf ears.

Murtha never apologized.

Murtha's patently false accusations against the Haditha Marines led to incredible pressure to create a show trial, and to deny the assumption of innocence, both in the military courts as well as in the courts of public opinion. The Haditha Marines were treated as base criminals, held in small cells, and were denied the basic creature comforts that were otherwise showered on Guantanamo Bay detainees. These valiant heroes literally went through hell, their shackled backs ridden on by a corrupt politician who was hellbent on a sardonic, sadistic quest to utilize their situation as a twisted, albeit unsuccessful means of catapulting him to a coveted political future.

And Murtha, so full of himself as he was, couldn't bring himself to apologize.

Murtha took his misdeeds with him to his grave. Only he and the Lord will know if he died with a contrite heart. But the Haditha Marines and their families, scarred as they were from their experiences, will never know the satisfaction of an apology.

So forgive me if I don't share in the sentiments of Joyce Murtha and the others who will be dedicating a life size statue to a man who was supposedly a "model public servant."

Murtha already has untold monuments in Johnstown and other parts of PA-12 dedicated to his profligate largesse.

Murtha doesn't need a statue to honor his memory.

On the other hand, a Dorian Gray picture, perhaps.

Monday, February 08, 2010

To Our Dear Readers...Our Final Post

If you're visiting this blog today, you have no doubt heard or read that John Murtha has died.

We at Murtha Must Go!! feel sorrow for the family of Congressman John Murtha and extend our condolences. It is never easy to lose a loved one; we wish them well, and it is our hope that they will not take the remainder of this post personally against them.

It gives me no pleasure to write the following; but since May 21st, 2006, this blog has stood as a record of the type of public servant Congressman Murtha was; and it is important, therefore, for purposes of the integrity of this blog, to keep the record straight.

It is for this reason that I close with this:

While we indeed do extend heartfelt condolences to the family of John Murtha, at the same time, we extend our condolences to the taxpayers whose money, in our opinion, John Murtha usurped and squandered in his efforts to seal his stranglehold on power, to build publicly-funded monuments to himself, and to line his own campaign war chest.

We extend our condolences to our troops, who will never receive an apology for John Murtha's decision to label their mission in Iraq a failure, as a means of cementing his own political fortune with the far-left power structure in congress and their benefactors; thus opening the door to years of badmouthing their mission and/or outright verbal sabotage by high ranking democrat officials.

But most of all, we extend our deepest condolences to the Haditha Marines and their loving families, who will now never receive a formal apology (at least in this lifetime) for their sacred honor being besmirched by Murtha when he told the bald-faced lie about the 'massacre' at Haditha that never happened.

There are people in this world who leave as their legacy an example of how to live their lives in service to others.

Others, like Congressman John P. Murtha, leave as their legacy an example of how not to do it.

As twitter compatriot @wilsonpd stated, "... and may God forgive him for his treachery and perfidy here on earth. Amen!"

And, Amen.

Leo Pusateri
Founder and editor, Murtha Must Go!!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Today Marks an Ignominious Day In History...

From the NPR blog:
State Rep. John Murtha (D) wins a special congressional election in Pennsylvania's 12th District to fill the seat of the late GOP Rep. John Saylor.

Murtha defeats Republican Harry Fox by just 122 votes. Many observers wondered if this race would give hints about what would happen in November. President Nixon and the GOP are on the defensive over the Watergate scandal, and some read this as a sign that this could be a big Democratic year. But Murtha's close win, in a district that has a narrow Democratic advantage in registration, left both sides with a murky message.

Meanwhile, 36 years later, Murtha still holds the seat.
Yes, and 36 years later, we have a man who narrowly escaped indictment in ABSCAM, engaged in years and years of palm greasing and backroom deals, receiving thousands upon thousands in campaign contributions while doling out millions upon millions of taxpayer dollars in quid-pro-quo earmarks; who is currently under scrutiny for ethics violations and/or outright illegalities* with respect to the PMA and Kuchera Industries scandals, who has placed his name on airports, hospitals and sundry other projects like some Egyptian pharoah, who nearly singlehandedly sabotaged our troops' efforts in Iraq, and who has unapologetically slandered and wrongly besmirched the names and honor of Marines in Haditha in 2005, whose only 'crime' was correctly following rules of engagement while under enemy attack.

Yes, one honest man could have made a difference in 1974.

Too bad John P. Murtha is not an honest man.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

It's Only A Matter of Time...

Play with sharks long enough, and sooner or later, you will get bit:

Kuchera Defense Systems, a Pennsylvania contractor closely tied to Rep. John Murtha and his military earmark machine, has again been barred from getting government contracts, Politico reports.

The Navy put Kuchera on a banned list in December in response to allegations that the company paid kickbacks to win part of an earmark awarded by Murtha to another company. Those allegations arose in a fraud trial for two ex Air Force officers that resulted in convictions last year.
As we have documented on this blog, Jihad Jack Murtha was pronounced an unindicted co-conspirator in the ABSCAM case in the early 1980s. Since then he's skated on corrupt ice for upwards of three decades, and has engaged in questionable tactics since, as documented in droves on every page of this blog.

But Murtha's chickens may be coming, as the good Rev. Wright says, home to roost:
But you have to wonder why a year has passed with no real news on the investigation.

Those close to U.S. Rep. John Murtha, D-Johnstown, predict there will be news and it will be released – or leaked – at a strategic time right before the congressional primary in May or the general elections in November.

You would hope that the 300 employees of Kuchera are not being used as pawns in a political game.

But if you are naive enough to think that such shenanigans don’t go on, you need to shake off your veil of innocence and remember that this is good old American politics.
And "good ol American politics" as usual, as can be attested to as of late in the great state of Massachusetts, is getting a bit old.

We at Murtha Must Go!! certainly look forward to the day when Mr. Murtha can take up residence in the "John P. Murtha State Penitentiary."

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Murtha Thumbs His Nose at the Constitution!

In an at-once shameful and shameless display of tyrannical authority:

PA-12--America has had enough of this scum.

Send him back to his front porch in Johnstown, where the worst he could do is to yell at the kids to keep off his lawn.


Tuesday, January 05, 2010

What Price, Treason?

Despite "Jihad Jack" Murtha's treasonous betrayal of the Haditha Marines (for which he has yet to apologize); despite numerous sweetheart deals with cronies who continually line his campaign coffers; despite documented corruption going all the way back to Abscam in the early 1980s; despite all this and more, PA-12 voters have somehow found it within themselves to hold their collective noses at the polling place and re-elect Murtha, time and time-again. All because of Murtha's reputation of "bringing home the pork" for PA-12.

Yes, PA-12 again and again sold their souls elected a self-serving, traitorous politician in the grand tradition of Huey Long and other kings of corruption, because of the millions upon millions of dollars in booty that the corpulent political pirate brought home for his district.

So, what have the voters of PA-12 received in return for selling their souls?

Not much:
The Post analysis illustrates the fleeting success of some of the companies backed by earmarks. Some of the jobs generated by Murtha's earmarks cost about $2 million each, and scores disappeared as soon as projects were completed.

Peter Fiske, a former defense executive in Murtha's district, said awarding earmarks to fledgling companies often backfires, a problem that might be avoided with a more rigorous assessment of project risks. Fiske helped found RAPT Industries, a company that Murtha forecast would generate 45 new jobs. It shuttered its four-person office this year.

"If you looked at Congressman Murtha's efforts in the same way you look at an investor's efforts, it's easy to see that the business model originally conceived hasn't really panned out in terms of its rate of return, " Fiske said.
This is only the tip of the iceberg, of course. Murtha's self-named monument, the airport to nowhere, despite its hefty price tag, still has few flights. An 8-million dollar radar system continues to go un-utilized, due to the fact that there is no one around who is qualified to operate it.

So, PA-12... what did your 30 pieces of silver you deposit at the polling place every two years get you?

The question remains: In 2010, will you continue to pay your tribute to your faux provider-god, or will you finally come to your senses and do yourself (and your nation) a favor and elect an honest man, for once.

Monday, December 14, 2009

BOI Finds LtCol Chessani Not Guilty

I just got TMLC's press release on breaking news that a Board Of Inquiry, aka BOI, has found Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani not guilty of misconduct. Here's the heart of their statement:

ANN ARBOR, MI – Late last Friday afternoon (Eastern Standard Time), after three hours of deliberation, the military Board of Inquiry ruled LtCol Chessani was not guilty of misconduct and should not be demoted.

Nevertheless, the Board’s ruling produced a mixed result. It ruled Chessani must now retire because he displayed “substandard performance” by failing to conduct a more detailed investigation of the civilians killed as a result of the house clearing actions of four Marines after they were ambushed in Haditha, Iraq on November 19, 2005.

The Board’s decision came after a 1½ hour impassioned closing argument on behalf of LtCol Chessani made by Thomas More Law Center attorney Robert Muise. Muise argued Chessani was a scapegoat to appease the anti-war media and anti-war politician John Murtha. “Here’s your scapegoat. Here’s your fall guy,” said Muise as he pointed at Chessani, who sat silently at the defense table.

The BOI's requiring Lt. Col. Chessani to retire is a bitter pill for me to swallow. I can't even imagine what that ruling means to Lt. Col. Chessani. This is more proof that John Murtha's anti-war diatribe was politically motivated. It's further proof that the gutless wonder from Johnstown, PA, doesn't put the troops first.

There's no longer any arguing that Murtha put political motivations ahead of his consideration of the Haditha Marines. He didn't get a single fact straight in making these accusations, as I've proved with this timeline. He didn't wait for the investigation to be completed. He lied about where he got his information from.

“It’s much worse than was reported in Time magazine,” Murtha, a Democrat, former Marine colonel and Vietnam war veteran, told reporters on Capitol Hill. “There was no firefight. There was no [bomb] that killed those innocent people,” Murtha explained, adding there were “about twice as many” Iraqis killed than Time had reported.

According to the findings of facts, there's no question that there was a firefight that night in Haditha. In fact, then-Capt. Jeffrey Dinsmore refuted Murtha's allegations with his testimony:

The battalion S2 officer made a full and complete report based on his monitoring of the day’s events and the intelligence he and others had amassed then and previous days. As we wrote at the time, the PowerPoint after-action report he sent up the command ladder proved to all the higher officers that the incident warranted no further investigation.

Capt. Dinsmore watched the firefight by monitoring the drone footage as the UAVs circled over the scene of the firefight. You can't get more direct refutation of Murtha's accusations than that.

To review, here's what Rep. Murtha said when first questioned where he got his information from:

Asked about his sources during a midday briefing on Iraq policy in the Capitol, Murtha confidently replied, “All the information I get, it comes from the commanders, it comes from people who know what they’re talking about.” Although Murtha said that he had not read any investigative reports by the military on the incident, he stressed, “It’s much worse than reported in Time magazine.”

That's a bunch of BS. We know this because he quickly changed his story:

Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat, is being sued by one of the accused Marines for libel. He had told The Philadelphia Inquirer that Gen. Michael Hagee had given him the information on which he based his charge that Marines killed innocent civilians.

But a spokesman for the Marine Corps said Hagee briefed Murtha on May 24 about Haditha. Murtha had made comments on the case as early as May 17. On May 17, for example, he said at a news conference, “Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood.”

The last I checked, the Commandant of the Marine Corps isn't an officer in the field. It wouldn't be a stretch to think that Marine Corps Commandant is stationed in the Pentagon.

What's more is that Gen. Hagee didn't brief Murtha until a week after he'd made his accusations.

The charges have been dropped against Capt. McConnell, Capt. Stone, Sgt. de la Cruz, LCpl Tatum and LCpl. Sharratt. Lt. Grayson was found not guilty. SSgt. Frank Wuterich is the only man left of the 8 Haditha Marines that hasn't been acquitted or had his charges dropped.

It's time that the military end this persecution of SSgt. Wuterich. The murder charges have been dropped against the Marines fighting in the firefight. The so-called cover-up has now been dealt with. I've said from the start that there wasn't a cover-up despite what Murtha said. Now that's an official finding of fact.

It's also time for the gutless wonder from Johnstown to publicly apologize for his political anti-military accusations. Finally, it's time for Murtha to retire from the House. He's exceptionally corrupt in addition to his willing to throw the Haditha Marines under the bus.

Cross-Posted at LFR.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

A "Thank You" to Jihad Jack...

This LTE was published in the Indiana Gazette:
Recently in this paper a thank-you letter to U.S. Rep. John Murtha, D-Johnstown, was written by a man from Homer City. I also have some things to thank Mr. Murtha for.

First, I want to thank him for his service as a Marine; of course, Benedict Arnold also served this great nation honorably for a time before he sold out.

Thanks for calling your fellow Marines cold-blooded killers. Our enemies loved that.

Thanks for not apologizing to those fine soldiers when they were all found innocent. They deserved better.

Thanks for buying your votes with our taxpayer dollars. That's big of you.

Thanks for not having even one meeting over the past summer with the people of your district to hear their/our voices. That was cowardly.

Thanks for making the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington's list of ``Most Corrupt Politicians in Washington, D.C.'' for the fifth year in a row. Now that takes some doing.

Finally, Mr. Murtha, thank you for showing exactly who you are in front of the entire world.

My thanks are obviously sarcastic, but your actions are a matter of public record. If people still vote for you after all of this, then they will get exactly what they deserve.

Terry Anderson

Does anyone from PA-12 have the cajones to write such a letter to the Tribune Democrat? Or has Jihad Jack Murtha actually bought the votes through the taxpayers' largesse.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

When it Comes to Corruption,

Murtha leads the way:

While it would be wrong to tar all of those who earn their living in and around government from the Congress to the White House, Will Rogers' crack way back in the 1930s that the United States has the best legislature money can buy continues to be validated by a monotonous repetition of scandals year after year.

The latest inadvertently leaked score card from the House Ethics Committee should resolve any doubt about this. According to news accounts of the panel's report, more than 30 lawmakers and several of their aides are under investigation to one degree or another on issues that include lobbying and influence peddling. Seven members of a highly influential House subcommittee that controls Pentagon spending are under scrutiny over allegations they steered money to clients of a lobbying firm in return for campaign donations.

That's half the membership of the subcommittee whose chairman is high profile John Murtha of Pennsylvania. Murtha's activities, through the use of earmarks, have been the subject of inquiries for some time and it now looks like a mixed bag of Democrat and Republican colleagues have done their best to copper their campaigns with the same tactics.
Way to go, Jihad Jack--they're learning from the best at being the worst.

But it gets even better...errr... worse:

Under O’Toole’s jurisdiction now falls the decision concerning the Murtha-supported effort to make the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) “the world’s leading facility for manufacturing vaccines by 2013, potentially a $1 billion venture.”

Mysterious players in private equity, pharmaceutical, and lobbying worlds have been working for years to get to the point where one of their own -- a fellow Murtha supporter and contributor like O’Toole -- can reward them with huge federal contracts. As someone affiliated and closely aligned with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the conflict of interest before O’Toole is clear, but will she really be able to resist the pressure to reward Murtha’s cronies with millions upon millions in taxpayer-funded, government contracts?

We've chronicled Murtha's dealings with UPMC and/or Pennsylvania University here here, here, here, and here.

As Michael Golfarb concludes:
Prediction: coming soon to western Pennsylvania with the support of Harry Reid, Arlen Specter and of course, Tara O’Toole, will be the John Murtha Center for Biosecurity to go along with the John Murtha Airport and the John P. Murtha Institute for Homeland Security.
With any luck, we will one day add the John P. Murtha State Penitentiary, and Mr. Murtha himself will be one of its most celebrated occupants.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Corruption, Inc.

In yet anther instance of quid pro quo and pay-to-play politics, Boss John "Jihad Jack" Murtha pours millions of taxpayer dollars to buy even more votes! (emphases added)

Working with two of the most powerful members of a House subcommittee that controls Pentagon spending, the company also hired lobbying firms that employed former top aides of both the Democratic lawmakers and Mr. Murtha's brother. Company executives and their lobbyists donated thousands of dollars to the two congressmen.

Soon, money flowed the other way.

Between 2003 and 2009, Mr. Murtha and Mr. Moran helped deliver $12 million to MobilVox in earmarks — money that is set aside by lawmakers for pet projects in the government's annual spending bills. The latest House defense spending bill introduced and pushed through by Mr. Murtha includes an additional $2 million earmark for MobilVox requested by Mr. Moran. The bill is currently pending in conference committee.

Hey PA-12-- do you feel like taking a shower yet?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

~Can't Buy Me Love~

'Cause I don't care too much for money, money can't buy me love

Not only is it a great retro Beatles tune, it's a song that Jihad Jack Murtha is getting to know quite well:

A Democratic congressional candidate in Florida returned a campaign check from House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee Chairman John Murtha’s PAC, offering further evidence that Democrats in competitive races are worried about being linked to Murtha, who has come under intense scrutiny for his earmarking practices.

Lori Edwards, running in a GOP-leaning district in Florida, gave back $1,000 in Murtha money earlier this summer, shortly before the House killed a resolution from Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) demanding a probe into earmarks and contributions related to the now-defunct PMA Group lobbying firm, run by former Appropriations Committee aide Paul Magliocchetti. The returned check was revealed in the October campaign finance reports released Wednesday.

More than 100 House members secured earmarks for clients of the PMA Group in the Murtha-written fiscal 2008 defense spending bill alone, and those members had taken in more than $1.8 million in campaign contributions from the PMA Group’s political action committee and its employees since 2001, according to CQ Politics.

Murtha, the most prolific in securing earmarks for PMA clients, had received the second most campaign contributions from the group, behind fellow defense appropriator Pete Visclosky of Indiana.

Flake spent months trying to pressure the House to force an ethics investigation, and around the time Edwards returned her Murtha money, more Democrats were beginning to distance themselves from Murtha. Though Democratic leaders were able to fend off the Flake efforts, 29 Democrats — mostly from swing districts — voted with Flake on one of his Murtha-related resolutions.

Well, Jack--it looks like pretty soon we're gonna have to tie a pork chop around your neck just to get a junkyard dog to play with you.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Murtha: King of Wasted Taxpayer Dollars

Of course, we at Murtha Must Go!! (as well as other outlets) have been rightly portraying Murtha s the "King of Pork." While this is wholly accurate, I believe that once in a while it is more than worthy to point out that "porkbarrel" spending is invariably the spending of other people's money--Yours and My money, to be exact. Take this story by the Washington Post:
INDIANA, Pa. -- The buzzer is broken at the John P. Murtha Institute for Homeland Security, and a note invites visitors, "Please knock." On a summer afternoon, a lone intern answers the door of the mostly empty basement offices that through the years have overseen $50 million in federal money awarded to projects designed to make the nation safer.

Named for the chairman of the powerful House Appropriations subcommittee on defense, who has shepherded most of its funding, the Murtha Institute was supposed to embark on projects to protect the country from terrorists and clean up environmental dangers. Much of the work went to companies and friends close to the congressman, and few of the projects met their goals, a Washington Post investigation shows.

But its spotty performance and internal turmoil have not deterred Murtha (D-Pa.) or his alma mater, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, which houses the center, from seeking more money or dreaming big about the future.

Plans are underway to move the Murtha Institute from its dormitory basement suite to a $53 million IUP athletic arena and conference center now under construction. Murtha secured a $3 million federal earmark for the building two years ago, and he sought another earmark this year before abruptly changing course as investigations of his defense appropriations and lobbying connections heated up. Murtha redirected some of that request to IUP research.

This largesse, folks, is not only made up of "other people's money," it is financed with YOUR taxpayer dollars.

Folks, in these trying times, "politics as usual" shouldn't cut it.

If Jihad Jack had pulled his ponzi schemes anywhere outside what should be the hallowed halls of Congress, Jack Murtha would be now be sitting in the John P. Murtha Penitentiary.

It's now more apparent than ever that Murtha Must Go!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Finally, a project worthy of Murtha's Mettle...

Murtha lands $2 million for sewer project.

Seeing as how just about everything that receives taxpayer largesse courtesy of Jihad Jack Murtha gets named after him, I'm just waiting for the newly remodeled facility to be re-named the John P. Murtha Sewer District.

Just sayin.

Friday, August 07, 2009

At the Bidding of the Queen...and other friends in low places...

John Murtha bows...

Relations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and the Department of Defense grew testy last year when the Pentagon couldn't come up with the aircraft she wanted for congressional travel. But this year the House has a $132 million solution: buy the Air Force more executive jets so Congress can take more junkets.

Roll Call newspaper reports the addition of two unasked-for new Gulfstream 550 jets to the executive aircraft stable at nearby Andrews Air Force Base. It is not even considered an earmark under the rules of the House, just an "expansion" of an existing Air Force mission.

But it isn't hard to trace the influence of House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Murtha, D-Pa. When Ms. Pelosi's demands first surfaced in 2007, Mr. Murtha said the Pentagon was making a "mistake" by being uncooperative.

With Rep. Murtha leaning hard on the Pentagon from his position of control over defense spending, the legislative demands got quite aggressive last year. Judicial Watch, a non-profit watchdog group, earlier this year published an e-mail in which a Pelosi staffer complained, "It is my understanding there are no G5s available for the House during the Memorial Day recess. This is totally unacceptable. ... The speaker will want to know where the planes are."

Of course, the high-flying Madame Speaker of the Universe notwithstanding, having never met an earmark he didn't like, Murtha, as usual, was again quick to reward his campaign contributors:
Murtha got 15 earmarks, worth $61.4 million, for companies whose employees or related political action committees (PACs) donated $199,050 to his campaign or leadership committee since 2007. All have offices, and jobs, in Pennsylvania. This is business as usual for Murtha. Federal prosecutors are investigating a defunct lobbying firm, PMA Group, whose defense clients have contributed heavily to Murtha and remain immensely successful at getting earmarks.
My, Jihad Jack, but what a tangled web we weave, when power through corruption is your plan to achieve.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Murtha--It Just Keeps Getting Slimier & Slimier

Murtha's associates involved in the drug trade?
A Johnstown-area defense firm under investigation for possible contract fraud received an infusion of cash during its start-up years from a narcotics trafficker with whom one of the company's founders admitted engaging in the drug trade.

Mr. Whorley's $50,000 line of funding, and whether it amounted to a loan or a share of the company, became the subject of a bitter legal battle between the two former partners who, according to a deposition by William Kuchera, were once associates in the narcotics trade.

The role of Mr. Whorley, as well as Mr. Kuchera's past as a marijuana dealer, surfaced amid a federal investigation of the Kuchera companies.

What was unclear was whether Mr. Kuchera's narcotics conviction should have precluded him or his company from receiving a security clearance that would enable the firm to perform defense work.

Department of Defense spokesmen did not respond to requests to explain the firm's status and the possible effects that a felony conviction would have on the Kuchera companies' eligibility for defense work.

Loren Thompson, who heads the Lexington Institute, a Washington-area think tank that deals with defense procurement issues, said he believed a narcotics conviction would be sufficient to disqualify Mr. Kuchera.

"Felony drug convictions are usually enough to disqualify a person for a security clearance, because they go to character," Mr. Thompson said.


U.S. Rep. John P. Murtha, D-Johnstown, has helped to direct millions of dollars in federal defense appropriations to major defense contractors that sub-contract large portions of the jobs to Kuchera Defense Systems. The Kucheras, their employees and associates are among major contributors to Murtha political campaigns.

There is no indication that Mr. Murtha was aware either of Mr. Kuchera's past or Mr. Whorley's role in the firm's early days.

And, what has become a very typical byline from anyone trying to get answers from Jihad Jack Murtha:
A Murtha spokesman declined comment about the Kucheras today.
Sources close to the probe said federal prosecutors are attempting to determine whether the companies padded their payroll to increase the amount of federal cost-plus contracts, and whether they delivered on millions of dollars in federal contracts steered their way through Mr. Murtha's office.You know John Murtha has lots of things named after him in PA-12, like an airport, a couple of clinics, and a pavilion along with many other monuments to his largesse. We've reported on Murtha's relationship with Kuchera and/or the PMA group since 2006 here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

In light of the recent revelations in Murtha's behavior, along with his somewhat checkered political past, may I suggest one more memorial, totally fitting to the life to Jihad Jack Murtha: The John P. Murtha Penitentiary.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Breaking News: Jack Murtha, All in the Family, Parte Deux

Roll Call has the story:

In early 2005, Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) apparently added language to a tsunami relief bill shifting $8.2 million from a former client of his brother’s lobbying firm to a new client of the same firm.

That earmark is now tangled up in a federal indictment alleging that some of the money was skimmed by contractors and a Defense Department employee for their personal use.

Murtha’s spokesman said that no one in his office has any recollection of the transaction, and the House Appropriations Committee was unable to provide any information about how the language appeared in the tsunami relief bill.

But sources familiar with the appropriations process agreed it was impossible that a provision removing earmarks from one company in Murtha’s district and transferring the money to another company in his district could have been added to the bill without Murtha’s involvement, since he was at the time the ranking member on the subcommittee with jurisdiction over the language.

More regarding Murtha's nepotistic allocation of taxpayer funds, dating back to 2006, can be found here, here, here, here, and here.

h/t @katyInIndy via Twitter

Murtha's Tentacles of Corruption--Extending to "Nonprofits"?

Now Murtha, Inc. is getting into the charity bizz...
CBS News has learned the FBI is investigating a little-known not-for-profit organization called Commonwealth Research Institute. It's located, like a lot of Rep. John Murtha's, D-Penn., pet projects, in his hometown, Johnstown, Penn.

Commonwealth gets the same benefits as the Salvation Army or any other charity: It doesn't have to pay taxes. But its line of work may be surprising. It's a defense contractor.

"It certainly raises a question," says Dean Zerbe, a former top Senate investigator. He questions Commonwealth's tax exempt status, saying it seems to do business just like any for-profit defense contractor.

"There’s a lot of tests to being a charity, and just saying, ‘Well I’m doing research paid for by the government," said Zerbe, " - if that were the case, I would have 10,000 companies that would tomorrow be a charity."

If Commonwealth were not a charity, it could owe roughly one-third of its profits in taxes. That could add up to millions, on more than $45 million dollars in government contracts. But it pays nothing.
Okay--here comes the juicy part:
Documents show when Commonwealth was formed, company officials touted their connections to "the local Congressman" Murtha.
And, in grand "Murtha fashion,"
For the biggest hint as to what Commonwealth is all about, it may help to know something about its parent company, Concurrent Technologies. Concurrent is another defense contractor in Johnstown, also registered as a charity at the same address. And, with the help of Murtha and The PMA Group, a lobby firm that's also under FBI investigation, Concurrent has gotten a billion dollars-plus in defense contracts and earmarks.

Concurrent employees have also given Murtha’s campaign over $95,000 in donations since 2002.

This isn't the first time Commonwealth has been involved in controversy. Back in 2007, the charity mysteriously paid $26,000 to a Pentagon official who was in between positions at the Pentagon and waiting to be confirmed for a top Air Force procurement position. The official admitted to a Washington Post reporter that he hadn’t done any work to earn the Commonwealth payment. Less than three weeks after The Post published an article on the controversy, the official committed suicide.

The incident kicked off an investigation at the Pentagon's Inspector General’s office. CBS News has learned that review has been put on hold in light of other active federal investigations into entities connected to John Murtha. Last spring Commonwealth was subpoenaed in a federal investigation into a government defense contract it received that is worth up to $45 million.
You remember Concurrent Technologies. We reported onMurtha's connections with Concurrent here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

As a matter of fact, we first reported on Murtha's associations with Commonwealth slush fund Research Instutute here.

With Murtha having outlived his usefulness to the leftist media in giving them cover to try to destroy the Iraq war effort, The MSM finally seems to be getting around to be getting up to speed with the corruption that emanates from the office of Jihad Jack Murtha.

But then again, all folks had to do in the first place was to check with us.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Heat Is On...

And Jihad Jack Murtha is feeling a bit hot under the collar:

NEW – National media draws Murtha's ire

The Tribune-Democrat
A visibly angry Rep. John Murtha cut his Showcase for Commerce press conference short this morning after a reporters’ questions about Kuchera Defense Systems of Windber, which is under investigation by the federal government.

Kuchera offices were raided in January and the company was suspended from new Navy contracts last month. The Kuchera family and related companies are major campaign contributors for Murtha.

“What’s that got to do with me?” Murtha shot back to a reporter’s question about the investigation. “What do you think? Do you think I oversee these companies? That’s the Defense Department’s job. That’s not my job. You guys write these stories: You don’t have a clue what this is all about.”
But that's exactly what's bothering you, isn't it, Jack Murtha. The media are actually starting to get a clue, the same clue that we at Murtha Must Go!! have had since we started this blog in May of 2006. That you are a self-serving, self-indulgent, arrogant sorry excuse for a public official who thinks he can do whatever he wants to meet his ends, even going so far as to deny Constitutional rights to those who laid their lives on the line to defend them.

But now it isn't so easy, is it Jack. With two Republican challengers, and even a democrat primary challenger, the power you wielded so recklessly is now slipping through your greasy fingers like sands through an hourglass.

When you were giving your party cover when you declared the Iraq war unwinnable in November of 2005, Jack, you were the toast of the town. The darling of every antiwar moonbat, your eyes set greedily upon the majority leader post in Congress, you thought you were untouchable.

And now your plans are unraveling like a cheap $15 suit from the Goodwill, as you finally receive your comeuppance:
Murtha would not answer a question if he would distance himself from Kuchera, and cut the session off when asked if he had hired a lawyer.

“What kind of question is that?” Murtha fumed, leaving the Frank J. Pasquerilla Conference Center, 201 Napoleon St.
The right kind of question, Jack. The kind of question the media should have asked you long ago.

Better late than never, I guess.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hell's Kitchen's Getting Hotter...

Not only does Murtha have Lt. Col. (Ret). William Russell and Timothy Burns on the Republican side to contend with, but it also looks like Murtha will have a Primary contender on the democrat side to contend with, as well:

Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha -- under fire for steering controversial federal money to his district -- has a Navy veteran with a Harvard degree lining up to challenge him for the Democratic nomination next year.

The race for Pennsylvania's 12th District seat is heating up, with the announcement this week that veteran Ryan Bucchianeri, 34, is challenging Murtha for the Democratic nod. Two Republicans are also vying to run against Murtha.

"I invite the residents of Pennsylvania to continue to research the incumbent and ask if the current office holder, who has held this position the last 35 years, still truly represents the best interests of the people of Pennsylvania," Bucchianeri said.

Bucchianeri, of Monongahela, Pa., is targeting the 35-year incumbent, stressing that his Navy service, experience in private industry and youthful perspective would better serve voters in Pennsylvania's southwest corner.

Feeling a little hot under the collar, Jihad Jack?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

DoJ Investigating Contractor With Murtha Ties

This morning, the Washington Post is reporting that the DoJ is investigating a contractor with strong ties to Rep. Murtha:

The Department of Justice is probing a Pennsylvania contractor that has won millions in earmarks and contracts with the help of Rep. John Murtha, according to a new report.

The Washington Post reported Monday that federal investigators are looking into how Mountaintop Technologies got involved in distributing and monitoring local police grants.

The company has been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to distribute the money, according to the article, but has received at least $36 million worth of earmarks and military contracts over the past eight years, with the help of Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat, and no competition.

According to the article, company executives have donated tens of thousands of dollars to Murtha's campaigns and often distributed the police grant funding on behalf of Murtha before fall elections, and the firm even hired the lobbying company where Murtha's brother worked.

Democrats screamed at the top of their lungs about Halliburton getting no-bid contracts. Nevermind the fact that Halliburton was one of only 2 companies in the world equipped to do the things that they were hired to do.

Now we have a another company in Rep. Murtha's network of cronies who is getting no-bid contracts annually being investigated. Instead of launching an ethics investigation into Rep. Murtha, Speaker Pelosi is doing everything possible to prevent a spotlight from shining on Rep. Murtha's reprehensible behavior.

What's particularly troubling to me is that federal grant money was distributed by Mountaintop Technologies right before elections. If I were a cynic, I'd almost think that that sounds alot like taxpayer-funded walking around money. At minimum, the timely disbursement of grants right before an election served as a reminder to these organizations that Rep. Murtha was their sugar daddy in Washington.

Mountaintop Technologies founder David Fyock told the Post that his company won the contracts on merit. "We are pretty darn good at managing contracts," he said.

But law enforcement sources said the police grants drew attention because the firm was a defense company with little law enforcement experience.

Mr. Fyock's explanation is flimsy at best. Whether they're "pretty darn good at managing contracts" or not, the reality is that they made a fistful of money on no-bid contracts that should've been put up for bid. Why shouldn't other companies have the opportunity to get these contracts? Might it be that Rep. Murtha didn't want other companies who weren't part of Murtha's crony network to get the job of distributing these grants?

Here's the opening paragraph of the Washington Post article:

In tiny, cash-strapped Monongahela, Pa., the city clerk was stunned when federal investigators arrived this fall with a subpoena seeking information on a crime-fighting grant she'd never heard of. She takes pride in tracking every dollar in the municipal budget.

Further down the page, we read this:

Over the past five years, a local defense contractor with close ties to Rep. John P. Murtha, a Democrat who has represented southwestern Pennsylvania for three decades, has selected several small police departments in the region to receive $10 million in Justice Department grants.

The company, Mountaintop Technologies, was selected by the lawmaker in a series of earmarks to hand out and monitor the grants. As it distributed the money to the departments, the firm would explain each time that it was arriving through the largess of Murtha, often just before fall elections.

Imagine that. Mountaintop Technologies would "explain each time that it was arriving through the largess of Murtha" and that that largess often happened "just before fall elections."

My cynical said asks whether Murtha's campaign pay Moutaintop Technologies for the PR work they did on his behalf right before elections. It's one thing to hand out these grants. It's another to hand them out with the reminder that a vote for Rep. Murtha will help the grant money flowing.

Let's take this into account, too:

Once she learned from the investigators that Monongahela's police department was getting money outside of normal channels, City Clerk Carole Foglia was disturbed. "I wasn't happy with the situation at all," Foglia said. "I didn't want to be involved in anything that was done improperly, because that's not the way I work in my office. And this was improper. No question about it."

This clerk did the right thing in reporting the unusual nature of the grant distribution. Though I can't be certain, I suspect that Ms. Foglia thought that this sounded alot like hading out walking around money right before an election.

Let's ask these questions of Rep. Murtha:

Why are these grants disbursed right before an election? When did Mountaintop Technologies get these checks? Did Mountaintop Technologies hold these grant checks until the fall for maximuim impact on elections?

It's time we got some answers. Hopefully, the DoJ's investigation won't be short-circuited by Eric Holder or other political appointees in DoJ.

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Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog