Skip to comments.Irey files to challenge Murtha
Posted on 03/08/2006 9:10:43 AM PST by smoothsailing
Irey files to challenge Murtha
Barbara S. Miller
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Washington County Commissioner Diana L. Irey, an all-but-announced Republican congressional candidate, has taken the first formal step toward a bid to unseat veteran Democratic U.S. Rep. John Murtha.
Neither Irey nor her media consultant, John Brabender, returned phone calls for comment Tuesday after Irey's name was listed among those having filed as candidates in Harrisburg, and her secretary said she would not be in the Washington County commissioners' office, where she took few questions last week on her pending decision.
"Petitions are being circulated. If I'm going to be a candidate, I will announce. I'm still weighing this. I'm looking at it, and I don't have any other comment," said Irey, 43, of Carroll Township.
At a gathering of Peters Township Republicans Thursday night, she gave a small audience that braved a snowstorm an update about Washington County's new voting machines and a recent redevelopment authority retreat.
Her mention of "a little news story" that she was circulating petitions was met with applause, and she told of appearing with Fox News Network's Sean Hannity and U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., in Cambria County the weekend before last.
"I had a lot of encouragement at that event," Irey said of her parley with Hannity, which also included a stop at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh.
She said Hannity signed one of her nominating petitions. He's not a Pennsylvania resident, so Irey said she's keeping that page as a memento, tacked to the door of her refrigerator.
"I will be giving you a final decision in the very near future," Irey said of what would be her first run for office outside Washington County, where she has been a commissioner since 1996.
State Sen. John Pippy, R-Moon, was treating Irey's petition drive as a fait accompli at the gathering in Peters Township, which is part of the 18th Congressional District represented by Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, not the 12th, which Murtha represents.
"I'm delighted at Diana's pending decision," he said. "We can send two Republicans to Congress."
Bonnie West of Lawrence, a Cecil Township Republican committeewoman and vice chairman of the county GOP, said of an Irey run for Congress, "I'd be thrilled to death. I don't approve of Murtha's stance against the war in Iraq."
In November, Murtha, a 73-year-old decorated veteran from the Johnstown area, called for an immediate pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq. The House Republican leadership forced a vote on the withdrawal proposal, which even Murtha voted against.
"I understand it's going to be a very uphill battle for her, because of the amount of Democrats here," West said.
Murtha, the senior member of Pennsylvania's congressional delegation, was elected to Congress in 1974.
"Even though the 12th Congressional District has a Democratic registration edge of about 150,000, and even though I've defeated 22 opponents, including two congressional incumbents, in primary and general elections during my 32 years in office, I take every opponent seriously," Murtha said through a spokesman Tuesday.
The 12th Congressional District includes about half of Washington County, all of Greene County and pieces or all of seven other counties: Allegheny, Armstrong, Cambria, Fayette, Indiana, Somerset and Westmoreland.
In the 18th Congressional District, which includes the northern part of Washington County and parts of Allegheny and Westmoreland counties, two Democrats are vying for the opportunity to face Murphy in November.
Chad Kluko, 44, of Monroeville, who won the endorsement of Allegheny County Democrats last month, and Tom Kovach, 44, of Peters Township will square off in the May 16 primary.
Murphy, 53, a former state senator, was elected to the House of Representatives in 2002.
On the Web: For the latest on candidate filings, go to www.dos.state.pa.us © 2006 Observer Publishing Co.
Where can we donate?!??!!
Is there a web site ?
Diana Irey for Congress
PO BOX 117
Finleyville PA 15332
We need a change.
Slam me on that list, please : )
National Security: Contrary to popular opinion, Rep. John Murtha, the ex-Marine who called for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, is no hawk.
He may also soon be probed for misusing defense appropriations.
"If you want anything done on the committee, you go to Murtha."
He's delivered so much pork to his congressional district, an airport and a major highway are named after Murtha.
Ashdown and his nonpartisan watchdog group criticized Murtha for using the $417 billion fiscal 2005 Pentagon spending bill to give business to his lobbyist brother.
The Los Angeles Times in June reported that Murtha funneled nearly $21 million to 10 or more corporate clients of KSA Consulting, where Robert "Kit" Murtha is a senior partner.
Carmen Scialabba, a Murtha congressional aide for 27 years, is also a high-ranking official at KSA.
The newspaper Roll Call reported that there might be a House ethics committee investigation of Murtha's apparent improprieties.
But is that possible now that Murtha has become the media's "hawk with a conscience?"
Come to think of it, could Murtha have been thinking about a possible ethics investigation when he decided to throw himself into the public limelight last week?
Please DO NOT REMOVE me from your list. ;*)
Murtha a lot like that hideous Rangel from N.Y., who pushed for a draft and when time came to vote for the bill he voted against it, they all seem to be graduates of the "FRENCH KERRY FLIP FLOP SCHOOL"
But the mailing address has been set up, so I'm sure folks are already sending checks.
Please sign me up.
Thanks to Greyhawk at the military blog The Mudville Gazette.Greyhawk fully documents his posts and I am indebted to him for these few examples:
MURTHA VS THE ARMY
January 6, 2006
The Army has been meeting it's recruiting goals for several months. This must be deeply disturbing to Congressman John Murtha - he's now urging Americans to avoid military service:
"Would you join (the military) today?," he was asked in an interview taped on Friday.
"No," replied Murtha of Pennsylvania, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives subcommittee that oversees defense spending and one of his party's leading spokesmen on military issues.
"And I think you're saying the average guy out there who's considering recruitment is justified in saying 'I don't want to serve'," the interviewer continued.
"Exactly right," said Murtha.
Murtha's comments beg the question "But if you had it to do over again, would you enlist for Vietnam?" - but if that question was asked or answered it hasn't been reported in the coverage.
When asked about Murtha's remarks in a press conference, current Marine and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Peter Pace responded:
Q: If I could switch topics, sir, this week Representative John Murtha was asked if he would join the U.S. military today, and he said no. And pressed in that ABC interview -- and I don't know if you saw it or not -- he said -- the interviewer said, "I think you're saying the average guy who's considering recruitment is justified in saying, 'I don't want to serve.'" And he said, "Exactly right." Can get your response to those statements?
GEN. PACE: You know, when I got back yesterday, one of the first questions I was asked was what I thought about that. I had not seen the clip. I did get a chance to see it yesterday.
A large segment of the clip had to do with opinion about the war, and that's not my lane. This country's strength is based on the ability of its citizens and its leadership to have divergent views.
There were two parts in what I saw that went directly to my lane in the road, which is the health of the U.S. military. One was a statement that the U.S. Army is not well trained. The United States Army is well-trained. It is the best trained army in the world. It has never been better-trained, and we will continue to make sure that it stays well- trained.
The second was a quote that you just mentioned. That's damaging to recruiting, it's damaging to morale of the troops who are deployed, and it's damaging to the morale of their families who believe in what they're doing to serve this country. We have almost 300 million Americans who are being protected by 2.4 (million) volunteer active, Guard and Reserve members. We must recruit to that force. When a respected leader like Mr. Murtha, who has spent 37 extremely honorable years as a Marine, fought in two wars, has served the country extremely well in the Congress of the United States, when a respected individual like that says what he said, and 18- and 19-year-olds look to their leadership to determine how they are expected to act, they can get the wrong message.
Q: Sir, you look and sound a little angry about this. Am I misreading that?
GEN. PACE: I would describe myself as "energized" -- (laughter) -- because we have an all-volunteer, all-recruited United States armed forces. I believe that all young people should have the opportunity to serve their country in whatever way they see fit, and that those who would elect to serve in the armed forces of the United States should be encouraged to do, especially when we're in a war where our enemy has stated intention of destroying our way of life.
Q: So, General, is it irresponsible of the congressman to have made those remarks?
GEN. PACE: I think I've said what I needed to say about that.
General Pace also pointed out that the Army has met its recruiting goals for the last six months.
Last night Congressman Murtha dismissed General Pace's comments at a "Town Hall Forum" in Arlington, Va., sponsored by Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.) The Washington Post:
In an emotional two-hour public forum in Arlington last night on the Iraq war, one of the Bush administration's chief critics, Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), renewed his call for an immediate pullout, saying, "We've become the enemy."
Before a crowd of about 600 people that spilled out of the auditorium and into an overflow room and the street, Murtha accused the Pentagon of ignoring a drop in recruitment levels and tolerating such problems in Iraq as low morale and shortages of body armor and other equipment.
"Instead of taking on the real problems, they face it with rhetoric," he said. " 'Murtha's hurting recruiting,' " the congressman said. "They say, 'You're hurting the effort and hurting the troops.' That's what so frustrating to me."
Most of Murtha and Moran's talking points from this event are from 2003-2004 - not enough armor, Abu Ghraib was a result of poor training, troops aren't getting medical care, only poor people join the army - we've debunked them all here over the past several months. As the Post noted, MoveOn.org sent e-mails to opponents of the war urging the faithful to attend. And although several Iraq war veterans turned activist made the long trek to cheer him on, an actual "local vet" also made an appearance. The Post offered a partial quote:
But one veteran angrily confronted him.
Said former Army sergeant Mark Seavey, who recently returned from Afghanistan: "I keep hearing you say morale is low, and I resent that. I don't know who you are talking to. Morale . . . is very high."
"Yes sir my name is Mark Seavey and I just want to thank you for coming up here. Until about a month ago I was Sgt Mark Seavey infantry squad leader, I returned from Afghanistan. My question to you, (applause)
"Like yourself I dropped out of college two years ago to volunteer to go to Afghanistan, and I went and I came back. If I didn't have a herniated disk now I would volunteer to go to Iraq in a second with my troops, three of which have already volunteered to go to Iraq. I keep hearing you say how you talk to the troops and the troops are demoralized, and I really resent that characterization. (applause) The morale of the troops that I talk to is phenomenal, which is why my troops are volunteering to go back, despite the hardships they had to endure in Afghanistan.
"And Congressman Moran, 200 of your constituents just returned from Afghanistan. We never got a letter from you; we never got a visit from you. You didn't come to our homecoming. The only thing we got from any of our elected officials was one letter from the governor of this state thanking us for our service in Iraq, when we were in Afghanistan. That's reprehensible. I don't know who you two are talking to but the morale of the troops is very high."
Moran - who is one of the few congressmen supporting Charlie Rangel's call to restore the draft - responded quickly: "That wasn't in the form of a question, it was in the form of a statement. But, uhh... let's go over here." And he took the next question.
That was not in the form of a response to Sgt Seavey in any way shape or form.
In addition to declaring the US troops "demoralized", "defeated", and "the enemy", Murtha also recently defended the "insurgents" in Iraq:
"Bin Laden said he attacked the United States because of the troops in Saudi Arabia. That's terrorism. Terrorism was in London. Terrorism was in Spain. Terrorism was, obviously, in the United States."
"That's completely separate from what's going on in Iraq. Iraq is an insurgency."
"Very small proportion of the people that are involved in the insurgency are terrorists or how I would interpret them as terrorists."
According to the government of Iraq, Murtha's "insurgents" killed over 7,000 Iraqis last year:
The year 2005 saw 2,880 terrorist attacks target Iraqi security forces and civilians, Major Abdul Aziz al-Mousawi said. About 1,225 policemen and 475 soldiers were killed, along with 4,021 civilians and 1,709 insurgents, he said. Overall, 7,430 Iraqis were killed, according to the figures.
But "we" are the enemy.
Shan't dare trust Kerry, Murtha, or the French to know what to do!
I watched that disgusting meeting more than once. What a puke.
Maybe if this got more attention...
Stolen Valor Act of 2005
Might get Irey more traction.
Did any more surface on this that you're aware of?
The Stolen Valor Act would make the fake purple hearts a felony.
All seems to be quiet on both accounts now though.
This is a promising developement.
Alas, Frank Mascara, come back... we hardly knew ye...
Absent the sane former Democrat Rep., I wish Miss Irey well.
The Stolen Valor Act would make the fake purple hearts a felony.
All seems to be quiet on both accounts now though.
I hate to burst anyone's bubble, but it would take a miracle a whole lot bigger then Thune besting Dashle for us to have a realistic shot at this one.
The district is too D, Murtha is too entrenched.
Hope I'm wrong, but I just don't see us actually winning this one.
Murtha also removes pork from his district regularly. He smuggles it out between his ears on each return trip to DC.
You're probably right. But Murtha is aging and won't be in Congress forever. A strong showing could set Irey up for another run or for winning another office in a future election.
That aside, it's important that Murtha's reelection margin be reduced.