In 2001, Murtha announced the creation of Scialabba's nonprofit agency for the disabled in Johnstown, Pa. The next year, with Scialabba still on his staff, Murtha secured a half-million dollars for the group, the Pennsylvania Association for Individuals With Disabilities (PAID), and put another $150,000 in the pipeline for 2003, according to appropriations committee records and former committee aides. Since then, the group has helped hundreds of disabled people find work.To residents of PA-12, the Tribune-Democrat and others. You have helped to install a political majority whose ostensible aim is to clear up corruption in Washington, yet you have again elected a dinosaur politician who is the literal embodiment of that corruption!
But the group serves another function as well. PAID has become a gathering point for defense contractors and lobbyists with business before Murtha's defense appropriations subcommittee, and for Pennsylvania businesses and universities that have thrived on federal money obtained by Murtha.
Lobbyists and corporate officials serve as directors on the nonprofit group's board, where they help raise money and find jobs for Johnstown's disabled workers. Some of those lobbyists have served as intermediaries between the defense contractors and businessmen on the board, and Murtha and his aides.
That arrangement over the years has yielded millions of dollars in federal support for the contractors, businesses and universities, and hundreds of thousands in consulting and lobbying fees to Murtha's favored lobbying shops, according to Federal Election Commission records and lobbying disclosure forms. In turn, many of PAID's directors have kept Murtha's campaigns flush with cash.
But, yeah, I know--it's the pork, stupid:
In turn, the lobbyists and businesses associated with PAID have become supporters of Murtha's campaigns, contributing a total of nearly $125,000 in the past three election cycles, when Murtha raised a total of $7.2 million, according to campaign records. And those same players have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars at three lobbying shops with close Murtha ties: the PMA Group, Scialabba's KSA Consulting and Ervin Technical Associates.But yeah, I know--it's the pork, stupid:
Under Murtha's watch, for instance, Windber Medical Center has been transformed from a struggling hospital outside of Johnstown into a burgeoning cancer research center, thriving on Defense Department funding. Hospital officials have paid the PMA Group some $380,000 in lobbying fees since signing on in 2001. And hospital employees have financed Murtha's political campaigns to the tune of nearly $25,000.So, you wanna clean up Washington, eh? Did you ever stop to think that all the pork that Murtha's sending your way is the same money that comes out of your paycheck???? That you're being robbed blind by a Machiavellian fat-cat middleman who continues to tell you it's a good thing while pissing all over your leg?
But Yeah, yeah I know... it's the pork, stupid:
Yeah, yeah, I know. It's the pork, stupid.
After PAID's founding, Scialabba approached Kuchera to get involved. Kuchera jumped, not only joining the group's board but ramping up hiring of disabled workers, who now compose a third of the 200 employees in his company's defense business. The federal government picked up Kuchera's $7 million training bill. This year, Murtha earmarked $1.3 million for Kuchera's chemical and biological weapons detection research.
Kuchera employees donated more than $31,000 to Murtha in the past three election campaigns, according to federal election records. Between 1990 and 2000, contributions totaled $1,000. And congressional lobbying disclosure forms tally $140,000 in payments since 2001 from Kuchera to Ervin Technical Associates, whose chairman is former representative Joseph M. McDade (R-Pa.), a close Murtha ally.
Well, as Forrest Gump once said, "Stupid is as stupid does."
Congratulations, PA-12. At least for the next two years, you have become stuck on stupid.