I'm still seething over last night's passage of the Cap and Trade mess in the House of Representatives. Now, I am on a mission to see that my representative, John P. Murtha, will never occupy the seat that he has held for 18 (not a typo) terms. This is the poster boy for term limits.
Murtha represents the 12th Congressional District here in Pennsylvania, which includes Johnstown and Altoona areas. Everywhere you travel in this area, you will see many buildings and roads bearing his name. Why don't they just rename Johnstown "Murthaland"?These areas are democratic strongholds largely due to the fact that many early residents were coal miners and belonged to the union. And we know that the unions aren't in bed with Republicans nearly as often as Democrats! I'd almost venture a guess to say that if most of the people in this district had to choose between a million-dollar check or voting Democrat, they'd still be poor and unemployed.
Old Johnny Boy really raised the hackles of most Americans who really had no idea who he was when he called our brave soldiers "murderers" for the incident in Haditha. Murtha claims that innocent civilians were killed by our Marines before any facts or testimony were presented. Well, being a former Marine, you would think Jack would have a little more RESPECT for the military. Guess not. Yet he chairs the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee and, if he gets hacked off at the military, he has a lot of say as to whether or not they get funding. Isn't that special???
Even more special: Murtha's nephew, Robert C. Murtha Jr., just received a $4 million no-bid no-competition contract from the Department of Defense for his company, Murtech. What does Murtech do? Warehousing. That's it. A lot of the offices in the building are unoccupied and its reception area is unmanned. Many days, you can see only a handful of cars in the parking lot, and no trucks pull up to the 10 loading bays. One of Bobbo Murtha's contracts came through PMA, a Jack Murtha-associated lobbying group now at the center of a federal investigation for corruption in earmarking and influence peddling. Better yet....Robert C. Murtha Sr. (John's brother) runs a highly-successful lobbying group, KSA, that specializes in (drumroll please)....DEFENSE CONTRACTS FROM THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE. Nepotism at its very finest!
By the way, have you received a "Thank You" note from dear Jack for the stimulus money for the John P. Murtha-Cambria County Airport? You didn't know? Let me tell you what you kind folks have done. In the stimulus package passed by Congress earlier this year, $800,000 of that is going to be spent to pave the backup runway at Jacko's airport. Pretty cool, huh? Recently, the Washington Post had an article about the airport after a reporter visited there. On the day of the reporter's visit, four passengers lined up to catch a flight, and those passengers were outnumbered by seven security staff members and supervisors, all who wore uniforms and gloves to screen the six pieces of luggage. After all that hard work, they all got a three-hour break because no flights, private or commercial, came in or took off. During the week, three commercial flights leave the airport -- all bound for Dulles International Airport in Washington, DC. In the past decade, this airport of all airports has received $200 million in federal funds, and Murtha is credited with securing at least $150 million of that. It's been dubbed "The Airport to Nowhere".
John Murtha is definitely one of the most corrupt members of Congress, yet the people of the Johnstown area keep electing him based on his ability to bring money into the area. Nevermind that he's not creating a lot of jobs in what has been a depressed area since the coal mines shut down. He's just securing funding for already established projects that usually bear his name.
Coming from a region rich in coal and coal-mining history, I would almost think for a nanosecond that he would've voted against Cap and Trade. Then I wake up and I'm still in the nightmare known as the 12th Congressional District.