Andrew Clem home
Andrew Clem banner

Blog post

Monthly archives
(all categories)

December 26, 2006 [LINK / comment]

Murtha's charitable scam

In politics, there is no such thing as pure motives. It is still possible to distinguish politicians with real integrity from the ones who use their office as a brokerage house for trading favors, however. An article in the Washington Post suggests that a charitable program that receives Federal funds thanks to Rep. John Murtha is not quite on the up and up. Murtha, of course, has a senior spot on the House Appropriations Committee and is a close ally of Speaker-to-Be Nancy Pelosi. The Pennsylvania Association for Individuals With Disabilities (PAID) was set up by a former Murtha staffer, Carmen Scialabba.

But the group serves another function as well. PAID has become a gathering point for defense contractors and lobbyists with business before Murtha's defense appropriations subcommittee, and for Pennsylvania businesses and universities that have thrived on federal money obtained by Murtha.
In turn, many of PAID's directors have kept Murtha's campaigns flush with cash.

Well, what do you know?! It appears that many disabled folks are getting jobs, but the efficiency of the spending for that worthy purpose is probably as low as for those police-related charities that telemarketers are always pushing. Glenn Reynolds at first found it odd that the Post chose to publish this item on Christmas Day, suspecting they were trying to bury it, but he later gave them the benefit of the doubt for at least bringing the story to light. I probably would too. For what it's worth, I used to know someone who worked in Murtha's office, and she had a rather low opinion of him.

Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 26 Dec 2006, 11: 56 PM

(unformatted URL)

This post is over a week old, so comments are closed.

© Andrew G. Clem. All rights reserved. Your use of this material signifies your acceptance of the Terms of use.

Hits on this page (single blog post) since July 2, 2007:

Category archives:
(all years)

This (or that) year's
blog highlights

Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.


The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:

  1. Wild birds (LAST)
  2. War
  3. Science & Technology
  4. Politics
  5. Latin America
  6. Culture & Travel
  7. Canaries ("Home birds")
  8. Baseball (FIRST)