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Cash pours in for Murtha's top aide in Pa. race for seat
WaPo ^ | April 26, 2010 | Carol D. Leonnig

Posted on 04/26/2010 9:00:52 AM PDT by jazusamo

Many of the defense contractors that benefited from the late Rep. John Murtha's power to dole out Pentagon contracts are lining up to help elect his top aide to the seat.

Defense contractors, local business officers and lobbyists that relied on earmarked federal contracts from Murtha (D-Pa.) recently chipped in $142,400 to elect Mark Critz, an analysis by The Washington Post shows. Those donations made up more than 52 percent of the individual contributions that Critz raised in the first-quarter of 2010 as he seeks to replace his late boss, new campaign records reveal.

Critz is a friendly face to many defense industry officers who had donated to Murtha's campaigns. He served as local district director for Murtha's office in Johnstown, Pa., and helped recommend to Murtha which companies should get earmarked contracts when Murtha chaired the powerful House defense appropriations subcommittee.

~snip~

The House ethics committee identified Critz as a person who prepared earmark suggestions for Murtha, and Murtha told the committee he routinely approved the list his staff gave him without making any changes. The committee found no evidence of wrongdoing by Murtha.

The House race is now considered a close one, with powerful Republican and Democratic leaders stepping in to stump for their party candidates. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hosted a reception-fundraiser...

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Politics/Elections; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: burns; critz; earmarks; keyhouseraces; khr; pa12; pma; russell; timburns; ushouse
No surprise here, defense contractors want to continue the corrupt Murtha connection to Congress.

Some encouraging news:

(Election Projection) Rating change: GOP projected to win Murtha's seat

Tim Burns runs against Mark Critz in the special election to fill Murtha's seat on May 18.

The same day Bill Russell runs against Tim Burns in the Republican primary to be the candidate in the November general election.

1 posted on 04/26/2010 9:00:52 AM PDT by jazusamo
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To: randita; smoothsailing; Just A Nobody; alice_in_bubbaland; Allegra; ArmyTeach; billmor; ...
Russell header

HOME...|...BILL RUSSELL...|...VOLUNTEER...|...ISSUES...|...NEWS...|...EVENTS...|...DONATE

.

Contact me to be added to ping list.

2 posted on 04/26/2010 9:04:07 AM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

Heads up to PA voters in Murtha’s district, vote for Tim Burns this May and in November 2010 too. I’m for a strong defense, but these defense contractors giving Critz are in it for pork, not national security. PA and our nation deserve better representation in Congress.


3 posted on 04/26/2010 9:07:49 AM PDT by RicocheT
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To: jazusamo

The good news is that Bill Russell is still the number one, non incombent fundraising candidate in the US.

Santorum and Gingrich support of the Burns choice is based on their desire to get his campaign contributions, as he is a millionaire, when they run for higher office. Yeah, good luck with that. /s

They are shameless!

Bill Russell on Freedom Radio Sunday night, May 2. LIVE!


4 posted on 04/26/2010 9:14:52 AM PDT by HonestConservative (When Injustice becomes law, resistence becomes duty. Thomas Jefferson)
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To: jazusamo

Can Murtha’s seat be bought?
Oh wait I thought it was “the peoples’” seat.
So how much are you redneck racists (as Murtha called you) in western PA willing to sell for?


5 posted on 04/26/2010 9:18:01 AM PDT by silverleaf (Karl Marx was not one of the founding fathers ....)
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To: HonestConservative; smoothsailing
Bump to that!

Bill Russell on Freedom Radio Sunday night, May 2. LIVE!

Thanks, HC, will be tuned in.

6 posted on 04/26/2010 9:18:21 AM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

LOL I donated just this morning to the
Republican opponent!


7 posted on 04/26/2010 9:25:18 AM PDT by Freddd (CNN is down to Three Hundred Thousand viewers. But they worked for it.)
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To: jazusamo

Thanks for the ping! Dems are going apoplectic over this seat.


8 posted on 04/26/2010 9:32:26 AM PDT by randita (Visit keyhouseraces.com for a list of vulnerable DEM and must hold GOP House seats.)
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To: randita

Thanks for your work on all the races. Dems going apoplectic is a wonderful thing! :)


9 posted on 04/26/2010 9:40:08 AM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: All
Please bump the Freepathon and donate if you haven’t done so!

10 posted on 04/26/2010 9:42:19 AM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

90% of the people in that district rely on defense contractor pork for their daily sustenance. There ARE no other jobs in Johnstown, PA. This is how Murtha managed to muscle his way back in even after calling his own consituents a bunch of racist rednecks. Not a good sign for Burns.


11 posted on 04/26/2010 9:53:23 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: HonestConservative

Russell is just a military carpetbagger looking to stuff Murtha’s defence contractor connections into his own pocket.


12 posted on 04/26/2010 10:15:12 AM PDT by Willie Green (Go Pat Go!!!!)
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To: HonestConservative; smoothsailing; Willie Green

LOL!

I see Willie showed up to provide a little comic relief. He’s either a Brit or doesn’t know how to spell defense.


13 posted on 04/26/2010 10:25:25 AM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: Willie Green

You’re not passing the pipe around and that is rude.


14 posted on 04/26/2010 10:28:22 AM PDT by HonestConservative (When Injustice becomes law, resistence becomes duty. Thomas Jefferson)
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To: jazusamo

Maybe both.


15 posted on 04/26/2010 10:29:13 AM PDT by HonestConservative (When Injustice becomes law, resistence becomes duty. Thomas Jefferson)
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To: HonestConservative

LOL!


16 posted on 04/26/2010 10:54:00 AM PDT by Syncro (TPXIV Coming Soon!)
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To: Syncro

Well it is!

Listening to Joyce, she’s making me laugh, which today isn’t easy.


17 posted on 04/26/2010 10:57:06 AM PDT by HonestConservative (When Injustice becomes law, resistence becomes duty. Thomas Jefferson)
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To: HonestConservative

I like your new picture, is that a lemon drop?


18 posted on 04/26/2010 11:06:11 AM PDT by Syncro (TPXIV Coming Soon!)
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To: Syncro

Martooni.


19 posted on 04/26/2010 11:29:04 AM PDT by HonestConservative (When Injustice becomes law, resistence becomes duty. Thomas Jefferson)
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To: HonestConservative; jazusamo
Bill Russell on Freedom Radio Sunday night, May 2. LIVE!

Thanks for the headsup!

Mrs. Smooth and I went to Bill's Birthday Party this past Saturday. There was a great crowd on hand and everyone had a ball!

20 posted on 04/26/2010 12:26:21 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing
Mrs. Smooth and I went to Bill's Birthday Party this past Saturday.

Thanks! Was wondering if you went and was going to ask you about it, glad to hear it was a success.

21 posted on 04/26/2010 12:32:42 PM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo; HonestConservative
While Burns and Critz are trashing each other daily with their negative TV ads, Col. Russell is running a TV ad that is upbeat and patriotic. The contrast to the Burns-Critz daily battles is quite uplifting.
22 posted on 04/26/2010 12:38:29 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: jazusamo; HonestConservative; Willie Green
LOL! I see Willie showed up to provide a little comic relief

Ah, good ole Willie, proudly playing the role of Free Republic's beloved village idiot since May 29, 1998!!!

ROCK ON, WILLIE!!!!


23 posted on 04/26/2010 12:51:44 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing; HonestConservative

That’s a great ad, positive and no sleezy stuff. I’m sure it’s uplifting to many people in the district.


24 posted on 04/26/2010 12:54:26 PM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: smoothsailing

LOL!

Love your ROFL Copter and it’s most appropriate!


25 posted on 04/26/2010 12:56:22 PM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: smoothsailing; jazusamo

Steve Malzberg will have Santorum on now.

http://wor710.com

Lets see how he handles it.


26 posted on 04/26/2010 1:35:44 PM PDT by HonestConservative (When Injustice becomes law, resistence becomes duty. Thomas Jefferson)
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To: smoothsailing
Ah, good ole Willie, proudly playing the role of Free Republic's beloved village idiot since May 29, 1998!!!
ROCK ON, WILLIE!!!!

Notorious GOP Firm Still Fleecing Longshot Candidates

Zachary Roth | March 8, 2010

BMW Direct, the GOP fundraising firm known for taking long-shot candidates for a ride while raking in big bucks off their campaigns, has re-emerged under a new name -- but with a similar modus operandi. And this time around, even some Republicans are crying foul, with one consultant accusing the firm of engaging in "sub-prime fundraising."

One 2010 client of BMW Direct -- now rechristened as Base Connect -- is William Russell, the retired lieutenant colonel who is running for the Pennsylvania Congressional seat of the late John Murtha. Russell's campaign raised over $895,000 in the fourth quarter of last year, according to federal disclosure records. But it paid over $719,000 of that amount -- about 80 percent -- to Base Connect, and other companies associated with it, which ran the company's direct-mail fundraising program. For the year as a whole, Russell's campaign raised over $2.8 million, but spent over $2.6 million -- much of it again going to Base Connect -- leaving it with cash on hand of just $211,000.

Those numbers were first noted last week in a blog post by Bill Pascoe, a veteran Republican consultant, who declared, very slightly inflating Base Connect's take: "Keeping 82 cents out of every dollar you gross isn't fundraising, it's highway robbery. You might as well call it subprime fundraising."

Three GOP consultants who spoke to TPMmuckraker agreed that the percentage of dollars raised that Base Connect and its affiliated companies keep is far more than standard. One said most direct-mail fundraising firms take no more than a third. "Anything more than half doesn't pass the laugh test," he said, adding of Base Connect: "They have an awful reputation." Another put the standard rate at no more than 20 percent. "They're not serving the interests of the candidate," he said. A third, choosing his words carefully, said that Base Connect's approach is "not a business practice that I endorse." Base Connect's president and CEO, Kimberly Bellissimo, did not respond to a request for comment.

The day after Pascoe's blog post appeared, Erick Erickson, the influential GOP strategist who founded RedState.org, tweeted: "If you are a GOP candidate using BMW Direct a/k/a Base Connect, you might be denying yourself a RedState endorsement." And one consultant said he'd heard that the National Republican Campaign Committee was urging candidates not to work with the firm, though that could not be confirmed. (The NRCC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)

As we've written in the past, Base Connect's business model appears to involve using direct-mail appeals to a well-honed lists of national Republican donors to raise a lot of money on behalf of long-shot candidates -- for instance, Deborah Honeycutt, a black Republican who has challenged Rep. David Scott (D-GA) in the last two cycles, both times losing by 38 points. The firm then charges the candidate nearly the sum total of what it raised, for expenses related to the fundraising effort itself. Each campaign not only allows the firm to turn a hefty profit, but also helps it further hone its master list for future use.

Russell isn't the only GOP candidate who may be getting taken for a ride this cycle. The AP reported last month that the campaign of another Base Connect client, Rep. Joseph Cao (R-LA), had a similar financial profile to Russell's, spending around 75 percent of the money it raised on fundraising, leaving it with just $315,00 cash on hand. Cao, a freshman who represents a heavily Democratic district, is considered highly vulnerable this year, and his financial situation only makes things seem bleaker.

But its inflated compensation for fundraising isn't the only Base Connect business practice that's causing concern in Republican circles. Scott Mackenzie is listed on federal disclosure reports as the treasurer for Russell's campaign -- as he has been for several other Base Connect clients in the past. In fact, as we reported in 2008, Base Connect's website lists Mackenzie as a staffer with the firm, and also lists his own firm, Mackenzie and Company -- which works out of the same Washington building -- as a Base Connect "strategic partner." The arrangement effectively allowing Mackenzie to oversee campaign accounts that cut checks to his colleagues. Another "strategic partner," Legacy List Marketing, is run out of the same Washington office as Base Connect, as is an officially independent PAC, Freedom's Defense Fund, which recently commissioned a Zogby poll that showed Russell leading his GOP primary. As one Republican consultant put it to TPMmuckraker last week: "The issue is: how many sides of the table are they on?"

Of course, if a candidate agrees up front to Base Connect's way of working, it's difficult to claim there's any deception going on. But there's evidence that at least some of the firm's candidates were taken for a ride. When one long-shot 2006 House candidate, Charles Morse, found out that 96 percent of the funds raised in his name went to pay BMW Direct and its affiliates, he called it "craziness," adding: "I am really amazed. It is really way above and beyond what I was made aware of." Another long-shot BMW Direct client, Ada Fisher, called the firm, in a complaint to the FEC examined by TPMmuckraker, "the biggest fraud and embezzlement in the system." And of course, the real victims are the ordinary conservative donors, most of whom likely won't suspect that 80 or 90 percent of their donation is going not to the candidate they're aiming to support, but rather to Base Connect.

There is one other figure on whose behalf Base Connect is currently working, who may not be such an easy mark, though. The firm recently tapped its donor list for contributions to the Hannah Giles Legal Defense Fund.


Parasites, frauds and phonies.
27 posted on 04/26/2010 2:24:50 PM PDT by Willie Green (Go Pat Go!!!!)
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To: Willie Green

Poor Willie, using leftwing blogs to discredit Conservative candidates. It’s no wonder we all laugh at you. :o)


28 posted on 04/26/2010 2:50:56 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing
Whatever...

I think it's hilarious that the carpetbagger is getting fleeced by the frauds.

That means that Burns is the only conservative that really has a chance to win!!!

29 posted on 04/26/2010 3:52:25 PM PDT by Willie Green (Go Pat Go!!!!)
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To: Willie Green

Hey Willie, what happened to your disparaging of Russell on the fair tax thing? Did you change your mind when you discovered your guy Burns has the same views?

For a comedian you suffer from foot in mouth disease. LOL!


30 posted on 04/26/2010 4:02:24 PM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo; ICAB9USA
No, it just reinforces my belief that the GOP deserves its reputation as "The Stupid Party."

Besides, the GOP has about as much chance of winning that seat as the Pirates have of winning the NL pennant this year, no matter who's in the race.

31 posted on 04/26/2010 6:34:45 PM PDT by Willie Green (Go Pat Go!!!!)
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To: Willie Green; jazusamo
re: Besides, the GOP has about as much chance of winning that seat as the Pirates have of winning the NL pennant this year, no matter who's in the race.

_______

Honestly ...... the Republican in this race will have a much better chance than the Pirates' winning the N.L. pennant.

_____

The last two losses by the Pirates to Milwaukee were scores of 20-0 and 17-3.

The Pirates are beginning to think they are playing the Green Bay Packers in football, because at least they scored a field goal in tonight's game.

32 posted on 04/26/2010 9:45:32 PM PDT by ICAB9USA (If you want your dreams to come true, don't sleep quite so much ...............)
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