"Threatening a House member for criticizing earmarks. That's a clear violation of House ethics." --- Melanie Sloan, Executive Director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington DC
John Murtha is my congressman in Washington DC. I am not proud of that fact, but we in the Johnstown area of central Pennsylvania have had this "ball & chain" type of politician dragging us down for over 3 decades!
I have written personal letters to him on numerous occasions concerning various issues. And he has usually responded. When I do get a letter from him it is as is the case with politicians who have held office far too long -- a lot of words without any real substance and exhibiting the unusual ability to straddle the fence. I have found that a number of church leaders can do about the same thing!
Big John grabbed national headlines some time back by advocating the withdrawal of our troops from Iraq. Needless to say, he doesn't rank high on Bush's book of people to admire and like.
In his district Big John holds a position that puts him higher than Almighty God Himself in the minds of a lot of people! And likely some would go to Big John first with their request for help rather than to God. Seems he has an open spigot in his district which runs to the U. S. Treasury! So this recent release of details about his being corrupted and abuse of his power will not go down well with a lot of people in his district and especially Johnstown where his name appears on buildings all over the place.
The report from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) mentions not only the theat Murtha made to a fellow House member, but also noted he had more earmarks (money for projects in his home district) than anyone else. He is also cited for the abuse of his position on the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and allegations that by doing so such actions benefitted the lobbying firm of a former long-term staff staff member.
So, should anyone really be surprised?
Always remember, very few people can handle power and/or wealth responsibly. Big John Murtha of Johnstown PA certainly demonstrates the reality of that. And it's not just true in government, but also in the corporate world and within the church with its many institutions!
Woe to her who is rebellious and polluted, to the oppressing city! She has not obeyed His voice, she has not received correction; she has not trusted in the LORD, she has not drawn near to her God. Her princes in her midst are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves that leave not a bone till morning. Her prophets are insolent, treacherous people; her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law. --- Zephaniah 3:1-4