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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

John Murtha Has a Challenger- William T. Russell

The Wall Street Journal has an excellent article detailing how John Murtha, King of Pork, has used his clout on Capitol Hill to create thousands of jobs and steer billions of dollars in federal spending to help his hometown in western Pennsylvania recover from devastating floods and the flight of its steelmakers.

More is on the way. In the massive 2008 military-spending bill now before Congress -- which could go to a House-Senate conference as soon as Thursday -- Mr. Murtha has steered more taxpayer funds to his congressional district than any other member. The Democratic lawmaker is chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, which will oversee more than $459 billion in military spending this year.

Johnstown's good fortune has come at the expense of taxpayers everywhere else. Defense contractors have found that if they open an office here and hire the right lobbyist, they can get lucrative, no-bid contracts. Over the past decade, Concurrent Technologies Corp., a defense-research firm that employs 800 here, got hundreds of millions of dollars thanks to Rep. Murtha despite poor reviews by Pentagon auditors. The National Drug Intelligence Center, with 300 workers, got $509 million, though the White House has tried for years to shut it down as wasteful and unnecessary. Another beneficiary: MTS Technologies, run by a man who got his start some 40 years ago shining shoes at Mr. Murtha's Johnstown Minute Car Wash.

Read the whole thing...

The Weekly Standard provides even more examples of John Murtha's ecessive earmarks and spending for his own political benefit.

We've covered the fact that Murtha has received donations from every interest to which he granted an earmark--many in the last few days before he introduced the earmarks in legislation. He's funneled money to a group headed by a former staffer which supposedly helps wounded veterans find jobs--but there's no evidence that they've helped anyone. He falsely claimed that the Department of Energy supported one of his earmarks. He falsely claimed Department of Justice support for another. He's threatened his colleagues. He's broken House rules to get earmarks.

And all that is merely this year! We have not yet touched upon Haditha, or 'slow-bleed,' or the draft, or AbScam.

Which brings us to the need to replace John Murtha, king of Pork and corruption, with a hat tip to Take Our Country Back, we see reports of a challenger to John Murtha, one we all need to get behind and help him replace Murtha.

Introducing Career Army man, William T. Russell:

After nearly three decades in the military, William T. Russell’s latest mission has brought him to Johnstown.

The career Army man, just two years short of retirement, has left the service and moved to the Flood City in order to mount a political campaign against veteran Democratic U.S. Rep. John Murtha.

As a Republican and first-time candidate facing a powerful congressman in the sprawling, Democrat-dominated 12th Congressional District, Russell faces a tough challenge.

But he is determined to press ahead and will formally announce his candidacy within weeks.

“I recognize this is an uphill battle,” Russell said in an interview last week at The Tribune-Democrat.

“But it’s one that must be fought.”

Born on an Air Force base in Newfoundland, Canada, Russell’s long Army and Army Reserve career includes duty in the Balkans and in both Iraq wars.

Russell and his wife, Kasia, were in the Pentagon when a hijacked jetliner crashed into the building on Sept. 11, 2001. They escaped unharmed.

While Murtha’s encounters with wounded soldiers have solidified his stance on Iraq, Russell said a similar encounter left him with the opposite impression: To withdraw from Iraq, he argues, would render the sacrifices of those soldiers pointless.

“I think Mr. Murtha is just flat-out wrong,” Russell said.

The Republican also cites, as Irey did, Murtha’s public accusation that U.S. Marines murdered innocent civilians in the Iraq town of Haditha in 2005.

The congressman, Russell contends, is “playing right into the hands of this enemy.”

On his Web site, Russell takes that line of thought a step further and attempts to raise the stakes for next year’s election.

“In this war against Islamic radicalism, the political battle of the 2008 election in the Pennsylvania 12th Congressional District is a critical turning point,” he said.

Russell’s platform is not limited to the Iraq issue.

He seeks to turn a long history of substantial economic clout against Murtha, arguing that the congressman is an “extreme practitioner of cronyism” who has not created long-term, sustainable jobs in this area.

As a small-business owner who operates an ATM company, Russell says he wants to help create a local economy that is more dependent on the free market – while also acknowledging that some jobs may be lost if governmental contracts disappear.

Here is William T Russell's website, please stop by and see how you can help him to replace Haditha Murtha.

A little teaser from his website:

Until August 31st of this year, I was a fulltime Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army Reserve, stationed at the Pentagon and a little over 2 years short of full, active duty retirement. I am also a small business owner and entrepreneur, as well as a husband and father.

In my military career I have served six tours in hostile fire zones including Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the Balkans. These tours include almost three years in the Middle East (Iraq and Saudi Arabia) and a year and a half in the Balkans (Hungary, Bosnia, Kosovo, Croatia). My wife, Kasia, who was pregnant with our son at the time, and I were also in the Pentagon on 9/11.

It is time to bring some honest men back into our halls of Congress and replacing Murtha is a wonderful step in the right direction.

Good Luck Mr. Russell and please make sure to let everybody know what we can do to help you replace John Murtha.