Thursday, November 05, 2009

When it Comes to Corruption,

Murtha leads the way:

While it would be wrong to tar all of those who earn their living in and around government from the Congress to the White House, Will Rogers' crack way back in the 1930s that the United States has the best legislature money can buy continues to be validated by a monotonous repetition of scandals year after year.

The latest inadvertently leaked score card from the House Ethics Committee should resolve any doubt about this. According to news accounts of the panel's report, more than 30 lawmakers and several of their aides are under investigation to one degree or another on issues that include lobbying and influence peddling. Seven members of a highly influential House subcommittee that controls Pentagon spending are under scrutiny over allegations they steered money to clients of a lobbying firm in return for campaign donations.

That's half the membership of the subcommittee whose chairman is high profile John Murtha of Pennsylvania. Murtha's activities, through the use of earmarks, have been the subject of inquiries for some time and it now looks like a mixed bag of Democrat and Republican colleagues have done their best to copper their campaigns with the same tactics.
Way to go, Jihad Jack--they're learning from the best at being the worst.

But it gets even better...errr... worse:

Under O’Toole’s jurisdiction now falls the decision concerning the Murtha-supported effort to make the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) “the world’s leading facility for manufacturing vaccines by 2013, potentially a $1 billion venture.”

Mysterious players in private equity, pharmaceutical, and lobbying worlds have been working for years to get to the point where one of their own -- a fellow Murtha supporter and contributor like O’Toole -- can reward them with huge federal contracts. As someone affiliated and closely aligned with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the conflict of interest before O’Toole is clear, but will she really be able to resist the pressure to reward Murtha’s cronies with millions upon millions in taxpayer-funded, government contracts?

We've chronicled Murtha's dealings with UPMC and/or Pennsylvania University here here, here, here, and here.

As Michael Golfarb concludes:
Prediction: coming soon to western Pennsylvania with the support of Harry Reid, Arlen Specter and of course, Tara O’Toole, will be the John Murtha Center for Biosecurity to go along with the John Murtha Airport and the John P. Murtha Institute for Homeland Security.
With any luck, we will one day add the John P. Murtha State Penitentiary, and Mr. Murtha himself will be one of its most celebrated occupants.