Wednesday, December 12, 2007

William Russell, Heather Wilson: Excellence

Bulletin: If you want to support our troops -- and all of you do -- please be aware of the veterans who are running for Congress, including William T. Russell, Eric Egland, and Duncan Duane Hunter (the presidential candidate's son). Please be good enough to go to their web sites and offer them any assistance you can.

It's clearly time to send people to Congress who actually have first-hand knowledge of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Russell, Egland, and Hunter do.

Air Force veteran and former Rhodes Scholar Heather A. Wilson of New Mexico is running for the U.S. Senate seat in New Mexico. She's the only female veteran ever elected to Congress. Heather is a staunch supporter of the military and an expert on foreign affairs, especially in the Middle East. She's exactly the kind of person we need to improve the quality of government in DC. You can find her site at:

A Vets4Russell web site will be appearing soon, and I urge everyone to visit it. Veterans are a critical constituency for Murtha opponent William T. Russell. There are approximately 50,000 veterans in Russell's 12th Congressional District of PA. We won't get all of them, but we will get the vast majority of them. The damage Murtha has done with his irresponsible comments about Haditha is incalculable.

I'll be one of the contributors to the site.

I also urge everyone to visit the Web site of the only female veteran ever elected to Congress -- Air Force Academcy graduate and Rhodes Scholar Heather Wilson. She's running for the New Mexico Senate seat to replace Sen. Pete Domenici. You can find her at:

The absolute best way we can "support our troops" is to elect quality people like William Russell and Heather Wilson. Contributing to these fine people is the best step we can take to improve the quality of our government. Please do so today!
steve maloney

The absolutely critical challenge in the Russell Campaign are how to "detach" conservative Democrats from the Murtha column. In the 12th District, there are twice as many registered Democrats as Republicans.

However, many of those Democrats -- up to 45% -- have shown themselves willing to vote for Republican candidates. In 2004, President Bush -- not the most popular figure in PA -- got 49% of the vote against John Kerry. In fact, Bush won Murtha's home county (Cambria).

Murtha's recent statement that "The Surge is working" reflects the fact that he's feeling the "heat" from the Russell Campaign. Many veterans in the district look at Murtha's disgraceful statements about the Haditha Marines and wonder, "Gee, what's wrong with good ole John?"

The Russell Campaign needs to convince such people that Murtha has "lost it," that he's more concerned with preserving his own political power than protecting the troops. Many Democrats are beginning to recongize that but they're not quite willing -- yet -- to vote against Murtha.

Of course, Murtha gets conservative votes because many people in the District believe "He brings home the bacon!" As I've pointed out previously -- using Bureau of Labor Statistics data -- Murtha DOES NOT bring home the bacon.

Yes, he does use taxpayer dollars to bring some "captive jobs" to the Johnstown area. However, most of the District remains economically depressed. The median household income in the 12th is one of the lowest in the state -- about the same as inner-city districts in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

Do conservative Democrats in the 12th know these things? A growing number do, but a majority still believes that Murtha has done great things for the District.

Murtha's focus in the 21st century has been to raise huge amounts of cash for his campaigns. Until the year 2000 -- and you can find this in OpenSecrets -- his campaign funds were about average, even though he rarely even had any opposition. He's had strong opposition only once in this century, but every two years he raises Brobdinagian funds that are double the congressional average.

In other words, if you want tens of millions in federal handouts ("earmarks") from John Murtha, you'd better be prepared to pony up with huge "donations." Apparentely, the funds get distributed back to various supporters, including his former aide Paul Magliochetti (of the PMA lobbying Group). Magliochetti makes millions from Murtha's actions -- and returns hundreds of thousands in campaign gifts.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) has received tens of millions in federal dollars via Murtha. UPMC, also the former employer of Rep. Jason Altmire, is known for wildly overcharging patients and their insurers. This supposed "non-profit" generated a surplus (i.e., profit) of $460 million in the first nine months of 2007. UPMC has given more than $300,000 to Murtha in this century -- including $100,000 in 2007.

Are most conservative Democrats aware of the strange goings-on with campaign funds? Apparently, very few of them are. The notion that Murtha is "a good guy" is one of the abiding myths in the 12th District. But grown-ups eventually stop believing in myths.

There are real opportunities here for the Russell Campaign. Murtha's past electoral successes are based on illusions about who he is and what he does.


a Will to Win said...

Two comments in one - another Vet - a major in the Army Reserve who has served three tours in Iraq is running against Blue Dog Dem - Mike McIntyre in NC-7(from Ft Bragg to Camp Lejeune in south east North Carolina.

Second, I believe there is another female vet - a Dem - who was elected to Congress last fall. Believe she is from Illinois.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

I'll support the vet in NC. I will check on the female veteran, but I think you might be talking about Tammy Duckworth (I was neutral on that race) who ran for Congress in the Chicago area. She lost that race, although she attracted more than three million dollars in funding. I disagree with Tammy on the war -- I believe she's for a timetable. She lost both legs in combat (flying a helicopter).

Her husband is now serving in Iraq. I look at both members of that family as American heroes, with the recognition that even heroes aren't right all the time. I'll look into the NC race you mentioned. Heather was the first female veteran elected to Congress.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Okay, Mike McIntyre is a supposed Blue Dog Democrat who runs for an office as a conservative and then makes sure that Pelosi, Obey, Rangel, and Rohm Emmanuel keep their powerful positions. Somehow that doesn't seem conservative to me.

McIntyre absolutely MUST have a strong GOP opponent. I haven't been able to find out who the candidates are, but I will soon. If you know, let me in on who they are.


a Will to Win said...

The only challenger to McIntyre (at least the only announced) is Will Breazeale - three time Iraq Vet, major in the Army Reserves and air line pilot. his web site is