Too much power at the federal level leads to a culture of corruption in Washington D.C. I don’t care if you’re talking Democrats or Republicans. Of course, Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) had “no influence” in awarding no-bid Pentagon contracts to his nephew … wink wink, nod nod.
The problem is not obvious corruption – of which there seems to be none here – but when you read about these types of contracts, you just feel a little dirty about it. You have to admit it, the Washington D.C. spending culture results in these stories and connections, even if nothing is really wrong or corrupt.
Yet last year, Murtech received $4 million in Pentagon work, all of it without competition, for a variety of warehousing and engineering services. With its long corridor of sparsely occupied offices and an unmanned reception area, Murtech’s most striking feature is its owner — Robert C. Murtha Jr., 49. He is the nephew of Rep. John P. Murtha, the Pennsylvania Democrat who has significant sway over the Defense Department’s spending as chairman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee.
My guess is Robert Murtha’s company may just be the absolute best company to do this kind of work for the Pentagon. I’m going to assume that is the case.
Why was this a no-bid contract?
It comes down to this. Since the federal government has so much authority to spend cash on items not authorized by The Constitution, the media has the opportunity to go out and easily find stories that the public just soak up.
Murtha has been in Congress so damn long as the king of pork for his district, that he has single-handedly warped the minds of his constituents into thinking it’s his job to bring as much bacon/cash/pork back home as possible. If his district sends in $1 and they get $3 in return from the feds, they win.
And Murtha gets re-elected.
Do you see what the real problem is?
Others writing now includes Hot Air.
As far as the name “Murtha” being a hindrance, the Washington Post notes that Robert’s not the only Murtha doing all right despite that supposed handicap. His father, John Murtha’s brother Robert Sr, runs another highly-successful lobbying group, KSA, that specializes in — wait for it — defense contracts from the Appropriations Committee. If the name “Murtha” is a drag on government contracting, imagine what they could do by changing their names … maybe to Visclosky.
There may be good reasons to occasionally award no-bid contracts for highly specialized work, but warehousing doesn’t fall into that category. Granting no-bid Pentagon contracts to a powerful Congressman’s nephew screams for an investigation, and a deeper look at the “culture of corruption” that seems to surround John Murtha and his allies on Capitol Hill.
AJStrata over at Strata-Sphere is calling this a witch hunt, but my point still stands. We need to look at the culture of control in Washington, along with the culture of corruption.