When the WSJ hits you, you’re hit. This morning, they hit John Murtha. That’s the good news. The bad news for America is that it doesn’t guarantee PA-12 voters retiring Murtha. Here’s what the WSJ said about Mr. Murtha’s ’employment record’:

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — If John Murtha were a businessman, he’d be the biggest employer in this town.

Then they dive into the ‘sausage-making’ part of his ‘business’:

The powerful U.S. congressman has used his clout on Capitol Hill to create thousands of jobs and steer billions of dollars in federal spending to help his hometown in western Pennsylvania recover from devastating floods and the flight of its steelmakers.

In the massive 2008 military-spending bill now before Congress, which could go to a House-Senate conference as soon as Thursday, Mr. Murtha has steered more taxpayer funds to his congressional district than any other member. The Democratic lawmaker is chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, which will oversee more than $459 billion in military spending this year.

This isn’t a well kept secret. Everyone living in PA-12 knows this. I suspect that that’s why they keep voting for him. Things are changing in Mr. Murtha’s kingdom, though:

Most people outside of Western Pennsylvania may known Rep. John Murtha as the guy who first called for the troops to come home. But the Wall Street Journal presents a withering portrait of the congressman today as “old-fashioned political boss” who, as the powerful chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, has dubiously funneled billions of taxpayer dollars to his hard-luck hometown.

Last year, Democrats barked about Halliburton’s no-bid contracts. This year, they aren’t saying a word about the no-bid contracts being given out. Here’s an example of that corporate welfare, mixed with a little culture of corruption:

Johnstown’s good fortune has come at the expense of taxpayers everywhere else. Defense contractors have found that if they open an office here and hire the right lobbyist, they can get lucrative, no-bid contracts. Over the past decade, Concurrent Technologies Corp., a defense-research firm that employs 800 here, got hundreds of millions of dollars thanks to Rep. Murtha despite poor reviews by Pentagon auditors. The National Drug Intelligence Center, with 300 workers, got $509 million, though the White House has tried for years to shut it down as wasteful and unnecessary. Another beneficiary: MTS Technologies, run by a man who got his start some 40 years ago shining shoes at Mr. Murtha’s Johnstown Minute Car Wash.

Eventually, Johnstown’s economy won’t be the recipient of the corporate welfare payments that Murtha arranges. Eventually, they’ll need to get into real businesses that aren’t reliant on John Murtha’s ‘Corporate Welfare office’ in Washington, DC.

Nothing would make me happier than to see William Russell defeat Murtha:

First-time candidate William T. Russell, 45, a Republican, acknowledged that taking on a popular, 18-term congressman in the 2008 election will be “an uphill battle.” “But it’s one that must be fought,” Russell told the Tribune-Democrat in Johnstown.

Indeed it must, Mr. Russell. Indeed it must. It’d be Christmas come early hearing John Murtha congratulating Mr. Russell’s victory in 2008.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

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