Sunday, December 30, 2007

"Master of a Broken System"

Responding to Hillary Clinton's claim that her greater "experience" as co-President First Lady gives her a leg-up on other candidates, Barack Obama called Senator Clinton the "master of a broken system". According to Obama, you can't expect Washington insiders to fix the problems of Washington.

I think he has a point. In fact, his point is broader than the Presidential election; it has implications for every office from President to Dog Catcher.

My thoughts turned immediately to the race I'm involved in, for William Russell over Congressman John Murtha. The Wash-Post has recently joined the ranks of the Wall Street Journal, the Harrisburg Patriot-News, and other papers in digging into Murtha's role as Johnstown's biggest employer.

WaPo's "Millions in Earmarks Purchase Little of Use" calls into question why Concurrent Technologies is a non-profit charitable organization, why the National Defense Center for Environmental Excellence (run by Concurrent) has put only nine systems (out of 500 developed) in more than just one military installation, and how so many millions of dollars in earmarks producing so little can be allowed to go on for so long.

"Something is very wrong here. Why is the government pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into a contractor whose work it isn't using?" said Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, a nonprofit watchdog group in the District that has examined defense spending over the years.

Indeed. The Congress' needless defense earmarks are detracting from real military needs. Murtha is the master of a broken system that short changes our armed forces and the taxpayers. Murtha however, is unapologetic for bringing home indiscriminate pork to his district.

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