Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A dubious honor, to be sure...

It looks like our dear, senile windbag Jack Murtha has posted yet another dubious distinction--you see he was named among the most corrupt U.S. Congressmen...

Rep. John Murtha (D-PA)

John Murtha is a seventeenth-term member of Congress, representing the 12th district of Pennsylvania. His ethics issues stem from abuse of his position as Ranking Member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee to benefit clients of his brother, Robert “Kit” Murtha, a registered lobbyist.

KSA Consulting

In 2002, Kit Murtha was hired by KSA Consulting, a firm that lobbies the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee on behalf of defense contractors. Mr. Murtha joined the firm at the invitation of top KSA official Carmen Scialabba, who had worked for Rep. Murtha on the House Appropriations Committee for 27 years.

In 2004, Congress passed a $417 billion defense appropriations bill that went through Rep. Murtha’s subcommittee. The bill benefitted at least 10 companies represented by KSA and KSA directly lobbied Rep. Murtha’s office on behalf of seven of those companies, which received a total $20.8 million in earmarks.

PMA Group

Paul Magliocchetti worked with Rep. Murtha as a senior staffer on the Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Defense for 10 years. After leaving the committee, Mr. Magliocchetti founded the PMA Group, which has become one of the most prominent Washington, D.C. defense lobbying firms. In the current campaign cycle, the PMA Group and 12 of the firm’s clients rank in the top 20 contributors to Rep. Murtha, having made campaign contributions totaling $274,649. In turn, many of PMA’s clients have benefited significantly from Rep. Murtha’s earmarks. In the 2006 Defense appropriations bill, PMA clients received at least 60 earmarks, totaling $95.1 million.

House ethics rules prohibit members from taking any official actions for the prospect of personal gain for themselves or anyone else. In addition, Rule XXIII of the House Ethics Manual requires all members of the House to conduct themselves “at all times in a manner that reflects creditably on the House.” By earmarking funds for companies represented by Kit Murtha and Paul Magliocchetti, Rep. Murtha has violated House rules. (click here to download the whole report).

Gee, Jack--we here at MMG just knew you could do it!