Murtha-Funded Firms Busted

Two firms funded with over $100 million in earmarks from the Democratic Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, John Murtha, were raided and temporarily shut down yesterday by the FBI and IRS. Surprised that you didn't hear about such big news? Well, it did manage to hit page A6 of the Wall Street Journal today (U.S. Raids Contractors Aided by Murtha):

Federal agents raided two small Pennsylvania defense contractors that were given millions of dollars in federal funding by Rep. John Murtha, chairman of the defense appropriations committee and one of the most powerful men in Congress.

Kuchera Industries and Kuchera Defense Systems shut down for the day after the raid by officers from the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and an Internal Revenue Service criminal unit.

In a statement Thursday night, the Pittsburgh U.S. attorney confirmed that offices in Windber, Johnstown and Summerhill were raided "as part of an ongoing investigation." A second federal official said that ties to lawmakers would be examined as part of the probe.

This story has legs. While the drive-by media hasn't given it the attention it deserves, Hot Air has covered it, the Politico has covered it, and there's a pretty amazing alert as to why this story is so troubling for the Dems and Murtha in a post by Ken Silverstein on the not-so-conservative Harper's Magazine website, More on the Murtha-related Raid:

The CEO of Kuchera Industries and Kuchera Defense Systems, the two firms raided by the feds yesterday, was the director of a non-profit group that the Washington Post described in 2006 as "a gathering point for defense contractors and lobbyists with business before Murtha's defense appropriations subcommittee, and for Pennsylvania businesses and universities that have thrived on federal money obtained by Murtha."

The non-profit's board of directors included three lobbyists from KSA Consulting, a firm which employed former Murtha staffer Carmen Scialabba (who created the non-profit) and Kit Murtha, the congressman's brother.

Silverstein then links to a story that he had written with Richard Simon for the Los Angeles Times about the tangled web of Murtha's earmark and pork business, Lobbyist's Brother Guided House Bill. That 2005 story includes information that seems pertinent to yesterday's raid.

Rep. John Murtha, a close ally of Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, has been a marvelous human retort to the Democrats' continuing canard, spread through the media, that corruption in Washington has been limited to Republicans. From being named as an unindicted co-conspirator in Abscam, to being named one of the most corrupt members of Congress by the George Soros funded CREW, to calling for the immediate surrender of our forces in Iraq, to referring to the Marines in Haditha as cold blooded killers before all but one of them had their cases dropped or were found innocent (one awaits trial on reduced charges), to stating that he'd be happy to have the detainees housed at Guantanamo moved to his district in Pennsylvania, to now this current scandal - Jack Murtha is a unstable time-bomb for the Democrats on the Hill, capable of doing or saying anything at anytime.

Since the mainstream media isn't doing to do their job quite yet, I trust that someone in the GOP is willing to help them by pushing Murtha's buttons.
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