As Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute points out:
The ethics package was the only occasion in which more than a tiny handful of Republicans bucked their leaders and voted for the Democratic alternative--20 of them did so in this case, providing an opening for a real reform to pass the House. Except that four Democrats voted against their own party, killing ethics and lobbying reform all by themselves. Among them: John Murtha. Why? We recently learned from the New York Times that Murtha traded away lobbying and ethics reform in return for earmarks from the Republican leaders.Indeed.
Murtha is a skilled and experienced legislator, a war hero and an articulate and passionate opponent of the Bush administration policy toward
. He also is deeply ethically challenged. Electing him as Majority Leader is no way to start out the most ethical Congress in history. (emphases added) Iraq