February 22, 2010 – News report stated that Joyce Murtha, widow of Congressman John Murtha, has announced that she will not seek to fill the unexpired term of her late husband, thus ending much speculation that she run for the position in the special election to be held in the future.
Yes, it is happening according to an old familiar expression – they are indeed coming out of the woodwork! And who might that be? Didn’t you know? A bunch of individuals want to occupy the seat in the House of Representatives which had been held for many years by the late congressman, John P. Murtha. The geographical territory involved is the 12th Congressional District in south central PA in which the city of Johnstown is located. Johnstown was Murtha’s hometown and could be considered as having been his major base of operations outside of Washington DC during his congressional career. The evidence of that is clear from observing his name prominently displayed everywhere in the area!
Before John Murtha was placed in the ground, speculation, with a lot of help from the local media, was running at a white hot pitch regarding Mrs. Joyce Murtha seeking the congressional seat once held by her late husband. The way some of the local talking heads were handling the issue, Mrs. Murtha was already occupying the office!
Then came announcement after announcement by persons in both political parties of their intention to seek the office. One, former Lt. Gov. Mark Singel , expressed his desire to run but qualified it by saying if Mrs. Murtha decided to run, he would drop out and support her.
Then came the statement as given by Mrs. Murtha that she would not seek the position. This was sort of like opening the floodgates and now it is almost as though just about everyone and his brother are throwing their hats in the ring!
As noted in an earlier post, no matter who wins the election on this, Johnstown will not be the recipient of millions of dollars, especially defense related, as was the case with John Murtha over the years. But there is one thing that is rather certain – whoever gets the coveted seat of the 12th District will in time be transformed into a typical politician. There may be a lot of rhetoric during campaigning that seems to sound so good, but in Washington DC the priority is to march in lockstep to the philosophy, “To get along, go along!”
There are two things that indicate that the U.S. Congress is in desperate need of a major overhaul. First, what the members have over time “voted” for themselves in terms of salary, perks, health and retirement benefits. You’ll never find anything comparable in the private sector.
Second, because of the way special interest groups are organized and the influence they have, the curse of lobbying has grown like a cancer over the years. Highly paid lobbyists (some are former members of the U.S. Congress) are able to bring pressure to bear upon elected officials that we private citizens will never be able to do.
With Congress’ approval rating extremely low so far as citizens are concerned, the best solution would be to totally outlaw all organized lobbying and vote ALL incumbents out of office for a few years. Along with that, have the citizens vote on what the salaries will be along with all the other benefits. The intent here would be to have those salaries and “perks” reflect more closely the average of salaries and benefits earned by the constituents these officials claim to represent at the federal level!
So, in a matter of weeks someone new from the 12th Congressional District in Pennsylvania will enter the halls of the U. S. Congress and in time will be just one of the “good old” boys’ and girls’ club in D.C! The glaring difference will be that the rookie will not be able to get hold of the millions of dollars that “Big John” Murtha did – at least for a few years anyway!
O LORD, how long shall I cry, and You will not hear? even cry out to You, "Violence!" And You will not save. Why do You show me iniquity, and cause me to see trouble? For plundering and violence are before me; there is strife, and contention arises. Therefore the law is powerless, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; therefore perverse judgment proceeds…….Woe to him who builds a town with bloodshed, who establishes a city by iniquity! --- Habakkuk 1:2-4; 2:12