Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Tribune Democrat Exposes "Boss Murtha"

The Tribune Democrat, in the heart of PA-12, is admirably performing the Constitutional duty of The Fourth Estate, which is to expose corruption and abuses of power by elected officials (all emphases mine):

Report prompts Murtha opponent to raise issues

U.S. Rep. John Murtha is “abusing taxpayer dollars for his own personal political benefit” by trading congressional votes for money, Republican challenger Diana Irey said Tuesday.

Irey was responding to a Sunday New York Times article that says the veteran Johnstown Democrat operates a “political trading post” from his House seat.

Murtha, the top Democrat on a House defense-spending subcommittee, often persuades members of his own party to vote for Republican initiatives “in a tacit exchange for earmarks for himself and his allies,” the Times reported.

Irey, a Washington County commissioner, used the opportunity to fire another salvo at Murtha’s camp.

“Serving in Congress is not about making deals,” she said. “It is about representing your district – with honor.”
Murtha, it appears, has other ideas...
Murtha’s campaign did not immediately respond Tuesday to a request for comment.

But in the Times story, Murtha – a consistent provider of federal funding for projects in his 12th district – said his actions simply are representative of the status quo in Washington.
And therein lies the problem. John Murtha, IMO, is a dinosaur politician, involved in power-brokering and backroom deals that often have little to do with the best interests of the people he's supposed to serve, and oftentimes everything to do with spending the money his constituents pay in taxes to enhance his own personal and political power.

To wit:
The Times article also raises other issues regarding Murtha’s voting record:

• The congressman has helped Republicans garner just enough Democratic votes to defeat some Democratic proposals, including an effort to probe federal contracting fraud in Iraq, reform lobbying laws and add $150 million for veterans’ health care and job training.

• Those who follow Murtha’s lead are rewarded with funding for their “pet spending projects,” otherwise known as earmarks.

• Murtha has sided with Republicans 169 times on close votes during the past 12 years, “more often than all but three of the most conservative Democrats.”

The practice has spurred gripes from some Democrats, especially after Murtha earlier this year announced his intentions to seek a leadership position if his party wins control of the House, the Times reported.

• Murtha has resisted attempts at implementing ethics reform or instituting new disclosure requirements in Congress.
Voters of PA-12--isn't it time you had leadership that fought for your interests instead of one who "brokers deals" for political gain?

It's time to end "politics as usual" and the freewheeling spending of other people's money.

It's time to put "Boss Murtha" out to pasture.