State Rep. John Murtha (D) wins a special congressional election in Pennsylvania's 12th District to fill the seat of the late GOP Rep. John Saylor.Yes, and 36 years later, we have a man who narrowly escaped indictment in ABSCAM, engaged in years and years of palm greasing and backroom deals, receiving thousands upon thousands in campaign contributions while doling out millions upon millions of taxpayer dollars in quid-pro-quo earmarks; who is currently under scrutiny for ethics violations and/or outright illegalities* with respect to the PMA and Kuchera Industries scandals, who has placed his name on airports, hospitals and sundry other projects like some Egyptian pharoah, who nearly singlehandedly sabotaged our troops' efforts in Iraq, and who has unapologetically slandered and wrongly besmirched the names and honor of Marines in Haditha in 2005, whose only 'crime' was correctly following rules of engagement while under enemy attack.
Murtha defeats Republican Harry Fox by just 122 votes. Many observers wondered if this race would give hints about what would happen in November. President Nixon and the GOP are on the defensive over the Watergate scandal, and some read this as a sign that this could be a big Democratic year. But Murtha's close win, in a district that has a narrow Democratic advantage in registration, left both sides with a murky message.
Meanwhile, 36 years later, Murtha still holds the seat.
Yes, one honest man could have made a difference in 1974.
Too bad John P. Murtha is not an honest man.