Saturday, April 4, 2009

Murtha Goes After Earmarks When Effort To Investigate Is Thwarted

President Obama, is really the change you said you were going to bring to Washington?

On March 11, 2009 Obama signed the $410 Billion Congressional earmark spending bill in hiding. From the Star Tribune out of Minneapolis- President Obama said on Wednesday that he will sign an "imperfect" spending bill packed with special projects in order to keep government running, but he vowed that it will be the last one and proposed ways to curb lawmakers from abusing the process in the future.

Evidently nobody told John Murtha. According to Murtha wants another $134 million in earmarks for his district. He posted the requests on his website.

From Four of the earmark requests from Murtha’s office are for current or former clients of a lobbying firm, the PMA Group, that is currently under federal investigation for connection to possible "straw" donations to Murtha and other Democratic members of the House.

PMA Group clients include: Advanced Acoustic Concepts ($5 million request), Argon ST ($8 million request), MTS Technologies, Inc. ($5 million request) and Planning Systems Inc. ($2.3 million request).

Two requests totaling $3.7 million are for Pennsylvania State University, but the Murtha's office says they are not intended for the Electro Optic Center (EOC) in Freeport, Pa. which has received millions in defense contracts and has been the subject of recent scrutiny by the FBI.

Please refer to my previous post where Kanjo and Carney voted to table a motion to investigate (1) the source and timing of past campaign contributions to Members of the House related to the raided prominent defense-lobbying firm; and (2) earmark requests made by Members on behalf of the firm's clients.

While a number of entities with connections to Murtha are under federal law enforcement scrutiny, Murtha himself has not been named as the target of the investigation.

President Obama, what was that about proposing ways to prevent lawmakers from abusing the process. Kanjorski and ethics is like oil and water. And Carney should know better.

Oh, one other minor detail. Murtha missed a deadline to start disclosing his ties to political action committees(PACs) as required by law. From CQ Politics: Some senior congressional appropriators are among those with known connections to committees that did not register as leadership PACs, until after being asked about missing the deadline. They include: Reps. John P. Murtha , D-Pa.,

Do you recall when Murtha called his constituents "rednecks" and "racists" last fall?

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