Thursday, November 16, 2006

Hoyer Defeats Murtha. Our Pocketbooks Are Safer.

Steny Hoyer defeated Jack Murtha by a whopping 149-86 -- that's a 63-37 percent smackdown.

Think about that for just a moment -- almost two-thirds of the House Democratic caucus voted to defy the woman they had, just moments earlier, unanimously elected as the first-ever female Speaker of the House.

Now remember what The New York Times reported on October 2, in its front-page, above-the-fold expose of Murtha's practice of trading votes for earmarks:
Mr. Murtha can punish lawmakers, as well. Those who do not support the defense spending bill, for example, discover their next earmark requests go nowhere. ''Let me tell you the facts of life,'' Mr. Murtha said he tells balky legislators. ''If you vote against this bill, you won't have any input at all the next time."
Both Murtha and Pelosi were reported this week to have been using strong-arm tactics. Pelosi, in fact, was said to be telling newly-elected Democrats that she needed Murtha as her number two in the very same conversation where she inquired about the newbies' desired committee assignments.

Murtha, with a reputation for being no more subtle, likely was employing his own version of arm-twisting -- offering earmarks in exchange for votes, and threatening to deny funding for pet projects of those who failed to support him.

Pelosi gets a black eye, Murtha doesn't even come close, and next year's Defense Appropriations bill will likely contain fewer earmarks.

Taxpayers win on all three fronts.

Thank you, House Democrats.


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