John Murtha, a Pennsylvania congressman going on 36 years, may be today’s uncrowned “king of pork.” Recently, he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “If I’m corrupt, it’s because I take care of my district.”
Murtha was responding to questions about the FBI, which is now looking into his “pattern of steering millions in earmarks to defense contractors who give to his campaign and hire his allies as lobbyists.”
In taking care of his district, Murtha takes care of himself, too. For instance, he has his own airport: the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport.
The airport has received over $200 million in federal tax money, most of it earmarked by Murtha. In addition to a big portrait of the congressman, the airport also has free parking and boasts “easy check-in.”
Of course, the airport hosts only three flights a day — all going to Washington, DC. A recent Washington Post report mentioned that there were seven TSA personnel screening the four passengers boarding with their six pieces of luggage.
Federal taxpayers also provided the airport an $8-million radar system back in 2004 — a system that has never been used.
In addition to Murtha’s numerous earmarks, the Murtha airport just got $800,000 in federal stimulus funds. Seems it was “shovel-ready.”
Yes, one needs a shovel for all the . . . well, you know.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.