April 19, 2009

MURTHA UPDATE: Murtha’s Earmarks Keep Airport Aloft: State-of-the-Art Pennsylvania Facility Sees Few Travelers but Lots of Funding. “Murtha, dubbed the King of Pork by critics, consistently directs more federal money to his district than any other congressman — $192 million in the 2008 budget. His pattern of steering millions in earmarks to defense contractors who give to his campaign and hire his allies as lobbyists is being scrutinized by the FBI as part of an investigation of a lobbying firm led by one of Murtha’s closest friends. The lawmaker, who uses the airport frequently during his campaigns, has steadily steered millions of taxpayer dollars to it to build a new terminal with a restaurant; a long, concrete runway sturdy enough to handle large jets; and a high-tech radar system usually reserved for international airports. The airport’s passenger count has fallen by more than half in the past 10 years. When Johnstown native Bill Previte arrived on a recent morning, he lamented that his plane was half-empty and that the terminal was deserted.”

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