Despite "Jihad Jack" Murtha's treasonous betrayal of the Haditha Marines (for which he has yet to apologize); despite numerous sweetheart deals with cronies who continually line his campaign coffers; despite documented corruption going all the way back to Abscam in the early 1980s; despite all this and more, PA-12 voters have somehow found it within themselves to hold their collective noses at the polling place and re-elect Murtha, time and time-again. All because of Murtha's reputation of "bringing home the pork" for PA-12.
Yes, PA-12 again and again sold their souls elected a self-serving, traitorous politician in the grand tradition of Huey Long and other kings of corruption, because of the millions upon millions of dollars in booty that the corpulent political pirate brought home for his district.
So, what have the voters of PA-12 received in return for selling their souls?
The Post analysis illustrates the fleeting success of some of the companies backed by earmarks. Some of the jobs generated by Murtha's earmarks cost about $2 million each, and scores disappeared as soon as projects were completed.This is only the tip of the iceberg, of course. Murtha's self-named monument, the airport to nowhere, despite its hefty price tag, still has few flights. An 8-million dollar radar system continues to go un-utilized, due to the fact that there is no one around who is qualified to operate it.
Peter Fiske, a former defense executive in Murtha's district, said awarding earmarks to fledgling companies often backfires, a problem that might be avoided with a more rigorous assessment of project risks. Fiske helped found RAPT Industries, a company that Murtha forecast would generate 45 new jobs. It shuttered its four-person office this year.
"If you looked at Congressman Murtha's efforts in the same way you look at an investor's efforts, it's easy to see that the business model originally conceived hasn't really panned out in terms of its rate of return, " Fiske said.
So, PA-12... what did your 30 pieces of silver you deposit at the polling place every two years get you?
The question remains: In 2010, will you continue to pay your tribute to your faux provider-god, or will you finally come to your senses and do yourself (and your nation) a favor and elect an honest man, for once.