Last week’s release of FBI documents finally put in writing what nobody had ever said on the record: The FBI suspected that former Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) and lobbyists close to him were running a scheme to funnel earmarks to sham companies and nonprofits to benefit the lawmaker’s friends and former staffers.
Bits and pieces of this story were kicked around for years before Murtha died in February 2010. The Los Angeles Times, Roll Call, the Washington Post and others had documented the odd appearance of earmarks for tiny defense contractors that just happened to open an office in western Pennsylvania and just happened to hire one of the lobbying firms close to Murtha and just happened to begin making campaign donations to Murtha and other Members of Congress close to him.
Yes, that was sarcasm.
Really short version: Jack Murtha – whose influence burrowed and chewed through the federal government like the way that his lovingly designed district burrowed and chewed through western Pennsylvania – was investigated by the FBI on numerous occasions for various corruption-related issues, only to have the investigations… stop. And that remained true until Jack Murtha died. And there’s not much else to say about that, really… except that the current Congressman for PA-12 is Mark Critz, who is simultaneously: a former Murtha staffer; and highly likely to not have a Congressional District next year. At least, I can’t imagine that anybody in the PA redistricting process on either side really thinks that Critz deserves that district; and PA’s losing one anyway.
So I look forward to that conversation the newly out-of-office Critz may be having with the authorities in 2013…