ABSCAM was barely mentioned in the latest campaign that got Murtha reelected. The newspaper in my hometown didn't mention it; the Pittsburgh t.v. stations didn't mention it. I doubt the voters in Murtha's district even know much about it. Diana Irey tried to run against him, but she didn't have enough money or clout to beat him. Republicans need to get an experienced, savvy, clean politician to run against him who's willing to shovel some dirt. Murtha can be beaten.
Before the Republicans find that mythical candidate that you speak of, it might be beneficial to get rid of Murtha's buddy who is the head of the PA Republican party who makes sure he doesn't get any competition from anybody inside the party and limits his competition to some maverick like Irey who is pretty much self-financing and limited to contributions from the grassroots.