The quotable John Murtha: ‘If I’m corrupt, it’s because I take care of my district’

This from a Sunday profile of U.S. Rep. John Murtha in the Pittsburg Post-Gazette:

Photo credit: Bloomberg News

Photo credit: Bloomberg News

No one has tallied the amount Mr. Murtha has steered into his district, which sprawls well beyond the Conemaugh Valley and reaches the West Virginia border. Conservative estimates are in the billions of dollars, most of it lobbied from federal agencies or won through open bidding or, more controversially, steered home directly during his 35-year career.
Mr. Murtha, a 76-year-old Marine veteran schooled in the blunt-knuckle deal-making that defined politics here, is contrition-free when it comes to his success.

“If I’m corrupt, it’s because I take care of my district,” Mr. Murtha said. “My job as a member of Congress is to make sure that we take care of what we see is necessary. Not the bureaucrats who are unelected over there in whatever White House, whether it’s Republican or Democrat. Those bureaucrats would like to control everything. Every president would like to have all the power and not have Congress change anything. But we’re closest to the people.”

Reminds me of that line from Eugene Talmadge, who ruled Georgia during much of the ’30s and 40s: “Sure, I stole. But I stole for you,”

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5 comments Add your comment

Coastal Cavalier

March 30th, 2009
6:12 pm

A miserable old man who needs to be defeated but probably won’t be because he continues to bribe voters in the fine tradition of former KKK’er Robert Byrd.


March 31st, 2009
7:53 am

Congress is wasteful by design. Sadly, he really is just doing his job.

Just Nasty & Mean

March 31st, 2009
4:11 pm

Murtha is a thieving old geezer.

Caught on film making a hotel room kickback deal he is quoted “If I get to know you better, maybe I’ll take it (the money)”. A lowlife, slimeball politician if there ever was one.

If there were a definition of a democrat–it would have Murtha’s picture beside it. This old coot is the antithesis of tax-&-spend democrats, with their pork, earmark, bring-home-the-bacon, kickback, pay-to-play mentality–and the HELL with the rest of the USA.

Murtha will thrive under the Obama administration. He knows the low-road game well.

Aaron Burr V. Mexico

March 31st, 2009
8:19 pm

Yeah, good point! Republican representatives should all volunteer to have all federal funds go to democratic districts to show how committed they are to small government.

Carolyn Cunningham

April 1st, 2009
11:29 am

While campaigning for Governor of Georgia in 1932, Agriculture Commissioner Gene Talmadge made a similar declaration: “Yeah, I stole! But I stole for you. You men in overalls. You dirt farmers!”

To save Georgia’s hog market and bypassing Georgia Governor Richard Russell in 1930, he bought 82 carloads of hogs from Georgia farmers with state money, shipped them to Chicago, and lost the state about $12,000 when they sold at market. Anyway, as some of your readers know, Talmadge won.