Navy suspends work with Murtha-connected contractor

posted at 12:55 pm on May 29, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Pork king John Murtha hasn’t gotten much good news lately, and it may start getting a lot worse.  The Navy has cut ties with Kuchera Defense Systems], a contractor with deep ties to Murtha.  The move signals that the allegations of corruption and misconduct may have more credibility than the Pennsylvania Democrat wants to publicly admit (via William Amos):

A Pennsylvania defense contractor to whom Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., directed millions of dollars in congressional earmarks has been blocked from doing business with the Navy amid allegations of fraud.

Word of the suspension comes during an annual defense contractor trade show in Johnstown, Pa., the heart of Murtha’s congressional district. 7 of the world’s largest defense contractors, who have been among Murtha’s biggest campaign contributors over the years, are helping to bankroll this week’s “Showcase for Commerce.”

That’s not all they’ve been bankrolling.  The firm got raided in January in connection to a federal probe into pay-for-play allegations involving the relationship between defense contractors and members of Congress.  That expanded to include PMA, a lobbying firm started by former Murtha aide Paul Maggliochetti, which got raided in February.  That appears to have more targets than just Murtha, though, as PMA has supplied funds for more than a dozen members of Congress who got earmarks for PMA clients.

All of this attention has brought a new challenge to Murtha’s power — this time from Democrats.  For the first time in quite a while, Murtha will have a primary fight:

The veteran Pennsylvania Democrat, well-known for his opposition to the Bush Administration’s decision to wage war in Iraq and for steering federal dollars to his mostly blue-collar district in southwestern Pennsylvania, will be opposed next spring by Ryan Bucchianeri, a Harvard-educated former naval officer who’s embarking on his first campaign for office.

Bucchianeri was unavailable for an interview Thursday, citing a full schedule. But he did e-mail CQ Politics a biography and a news release that said he “intends to put his life experiences and education as a U.S. naval officer, businessman, and veteran to good use for Pennsylvanians and in Congress.” A son of educator parents, Bucchianeri identified education as one of many policy issues of interest.

Normally, one would expect an incumbent with Murtha’s political connections to easily stave off a primary challenge.  However, PMA won’t be riding to Murtha’s rescue like they did last October, and few would want to prompt a federal investigation by replacing Magliochetti as Murtha’s political sugar daddy now.  Even if he survives the primary challenge — his first since 1990, and only the second of his re-election campaigns — the damage to Murtha’s campaign chest bodes ill for Democratic hopes of holding the seat.


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Most ethical congress evahhhhnevermind

DrAllecon on May 29, 2009 at 12:58 PM

Replacing Murtha with a Repub would be sweet…we’ll see how many of the “ignorant racist rednecks” vote for him again.

AUINSC on May 29, 2009 at 12:59 PM

This slug slime is toast I hope.
L

letget on May 29, 2009 at 12:59 PM

Check Murtha’s freezer…

right2bright on May 29, 2009 at 12:59 PM

Who knew that when Pelosi was screaming about the “Culture of Corruption” that she was talking about her own party?

eforhan on May 29, 2009 at 1:01 PM

A son of educator parents, Bucchianeri identified education as one of many policy issues of interest.

Then why in the hell are you running for a federal office. His educator parents must have not stressed the consitution and limited government. Sounds like he would fit in to congress well.

WashJeff on May 29, 2009 at 1:02 PM

So we’re not going to get he Sturmgolfwagen?

I thought it looked pretty cool. Useful to the military? Probably not.

forest on May 29, 2009 at 1:02 PM

They are just delaying so the contracts can be re-priced (higher).

Vashta.Nerada on May 29, 2009 at 1:06 PM

Murtha, the jobs are rolling into PA under this great new economic plan, eh?

Upstater85 on May 29, 2009 at 1:06 PM

Fancy Nancy will protect him.
No biggie.

Knucklehead on May 29, 2009 at 1:09 PM

If I recall correctly, Murtha can continue to serve, even from prison, so as long as the panthers help out at the polls, no problem.

Vashta.Nerada on May 29, 2009 at 1:11 PM

Is Nancy one who got a few perks? Is Nancy corrupted by this? Is this why Nancy went to China? Will Nancy come back to face the music?

Stay tuned….

capejasmine on May 29, 2009 at 1:22 PM

I honestly hope Murtha goes down in flames.

But wait and watch as the left turns its attack dogs on its those of its own party to save the elite. Its what they do.

That’s the only reason people on the left have children… to continue the spread of hate.

madmonkphotog on May 29, 2009 at 1:35 PM

It’s high time.

maverick muse on May 29, 2009 at 1:44 PM

I heard that Randy Cunningham has called dibs on the lower bunk. ;)

evilned on May 29, 2009 at 1:47 PM

its overdo investigate all of congress over half are corrupt oh if evidence is found they must to directly to jail how about gittmo

rone5847 on May 29, 2009 at 1:48 PM

Obama said he would do away with pork and lobbyists.

This looks like pork and beans.

seven on May 29, 2009 at 1:59 PM

John Murtha “I am not a crook”

“So what’s that got to do with me?” he said, when asked by a reporter about the investigation. “Wait a minute. What do you think, I oversee these companies? That’s the Defense Department’s job. That’s not my job. You guys write these stories [but] you don’t have a clue what this is all about.”

He then left the morning press conference, which was held after the annual announcement of federal contracts getting awarded to local firms. This year’s tally: $110 million in funding, to three local companies.

William Amos on May 29, 2009 at 2:03 PM

Few things on the upcoming congressional elections look good for conservatives. For the good of the nation, it would be wonderful if this crook is expunged from Congress. I’d even take his Democrat primary challenger over this useless lying corrupt bag of crap.

Webrider on May 29, 2009 at 2:06 PM

Let’s pray and hope for justice.

Which would be seeing Murtha brought down for this crap.

Mr. Joe on May 29, 2009 at 2:14 PM

Murtha’s been the subject of or on the perimeter of ethics and corruption investigations since ABSCAM and gets re-elected anyway. Friday dump and no one will be talking about it on Mon., the dems know how to manipulate the release of info as good as Geobbels.

thomasaur on May 29, 2009 at 2:17 PM

replacing Murtha with anyone would be an improvement he is a disgrace to the Marines congress.

kanda on May 29, 2009 at 2:57 PM

If ever there was a poster child for Congressional term limits, I consider Jack “Abscam” Murtha a leading candidate.

Fry the bastard!!

Sweet_Thang on May 29, 2009 at 2:58 PM

As a resident of PA’s 12th District I have voted for people I never even heard of before just because they were running against Jack Murtha .. hoping each time that my vote would help put him in the unemployment line …

I cling to the hope that I will live long enough to see the crooked SOB go down in flames .. Go Bill Russell!!

DJ Dubya on May 29, 2009 at 3:31 PM

Bill Russell news:

[JOHNSTOWN, PA] – Republican candidate in the 12th PA Congressional district William Russell today was awarded two prestigious medals by the U.S. Army for distinguished and meritorious service.

Russell, a United States Army retired Lt. Col., received the Meritorious Service Medal for his service in Iraq and The Legion of Merit Award for his years of distinguished service…

Buy Danish on May 29, 2009 at 4:03 PM

The king of pork -Murtha , unfortunately, will survive.
He has far too many friends in high places that he has bought off who will come to his rescue.
Besides , in PA they seem to overlook everything he does , as long as he keeps bringing the bacon home.
This guy proves how corrupt Washington really is .

jerseyjoe99982002 on May 29, 2009 at 6:58 PM

we’ll see how many of the “ignorant racist rednecks” vote for him again.

How about, all of ‘em that stupidly re-elected him last time.

Anyone who voted for him last time is just too stupid to be permitted to vote. But they are. And they will. And the idiots in Johnstown and vicinity will keep screwing themselves.

Have at it, once again, morons!

seanrobins on May 29, 2009 at 8:17 PM

As a resident of PA’s 12th District I have voted for people I never even heard of before just because they were running against Jack Murtha .. hoping each time that my vote would help put him in the unemployment line …

They you, sir, are one of the few there that are not losing the intellectual battle to the local flora and fauna.

seanrobins on May 29, 2009 at 8:19 PM