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.