May 13, 2009

JOHN MURTHA UPDATE: The Hill: GOPers target Dems’ earmarks to clients of firm probed by FBI: “Republicans are planning new attacks on a vulnerable Democratic front: earmarks senior Democrats, including Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), directed to clients of a now-defunct lobbying firm under FBI investigation. Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), a member of the Appropriations Committee, plans to offer an amendment that would freeze millions of dollars directed to PMA clients as earmarks in the 2009 omnibus spending bill. The money would be on hold until the FBI investigation into the lobbying firm is concluded and Congress and the public can determine whether any wrongdoing occurred.”

Plus, Democrats stop GOP effort to start ethics inquiry. “House Democrats on Tuesday stopped a Republican plan to force a campaign finance inquiry that likely would have investigated several influential Democrats. It was the eighth time since late February that the Republican move was halted. One of the biggest recipients has been the chairman of the defense appropriations subcommittee, Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania. The vote was 215-182 to stop consideration of a GOP resolution to initiate a House ethics committee inquiry. It called for an investigation into campaign contributions to House lawmakers by recipients of pet project money and their lobbyists. . . . In 2007 and 2008, Murtha, Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va. and Rep. Peter Visclosky. D-Ind., directed $137 million to defense contractors who were paying PMA to get them government business.”

Way to “drain the swamp” there, Nancy.

Also, Murtha’s Caring Corruption:

Guess what? Two different nephews. They’re brothers, though, each blessed with the same, beneficent and no doubt beloved uncle – Pennsylvania Congressman John P. Murtha, Democratic chairman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee – friend of the military-industrial complex; a man who’s generous to family and constituents, always ready to lend an ear – or, rather, earmark.

His nephew Colonel Brian Murtha, a Marine helicopter pilot, has been transferred to the Marines’ legislative liaison office – which deals with Congress and Murtha’s subcommittee — and has even moved into the same Virginia condo building as his Uncle Jack. . . . The other nephew – Robert C. Murtha, Jr. – a former Marine, runs a company in Glen Burnie, Maryland, called Murtech Inc. According to The Washington Post, “Last year, Murtech received $4 million in Pentagon work, all of it without competition, for a variety of warehousing and engineering services.”

Murtha, Jr., denied that his uncle had anything to do with his business success, but on Monday, the Post revealed documents that “show Robert Murtha mentioning his influential family connection as leverage in his business dealings and holding unusual power in his dealings with the military.”

Good thing we left that “culture of corruption” behind when the Democrats took over Congress.

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