John Murtha is known in the 12th congressional district as the man "who brings home the bacon."
Unless the "bacon" is a metaphor for low household incomes through the district, then it's the wrong term. The median household incomes in the 12th District are among the lowest in Pennsylvania. Population in 12th District has been in a steady decline -- including Murtha's hometown of Johnstown -- a sure sign of economic distress.
What I'm saying about median household income will come as news to quite a few people in the 12th. If John Murtha has been so good for the district, why are economic conditions so bad?
If you have any doubts about what I'm saying, go to the web site dedicated to outlining conditions in towns across America. It's called epodunk.com.
Fill in the names of towns in the 12th, including Johnstown, Windber, Latrobe, Monongahela, Monessen (hometown of Joe Namath), Waynesburg, and even beautiful Washington, PA. Check the median household incomes against the national averages -- and against Pennsylvania averages. The web site use data from the U.S. Census Report.
William Russell's campaign manager (Larry Stiles) tells the story of meeting two middle-aged women in Johnstown. Both of them were quick to sing the praises of Congressman Murtha. But when Larry pressed them about economic conditions, one woman said, "Well, the kids get a good college education, but when they graduate from college there are no jobs for them, so they all move away."
If you're a corporate executive, a lobbyist, or a cancer surgeon in the 12th, John Murtha probably done well for you. If you're member of the other 90%, he's done little or nothing for you.
What's wrong with that picture?
What's right with the 12th District in this election cycle is William T. Russell.
The people in the 12th District are wonderful, and the area is beautiful. It deserves better than Jack Murtha.
Stephen R Maloney