"In the last year, ever since Tom DeLay became embroiled in the Jack Abramoff scandal, the Washington Post alone has published 168 articles mentioning Abramoff and DeLay. The Post's dogged Abramoff investigator, Susan Schmidt, has written 39 articles on Jack Abramoff in the last two years. Almost half of those made page A1 of the Post, and most were over 1,000 words in length. The Post has written enough about this scandal to fill a book -- literally -- and they probably will.
Since Rep. John Murtha made his splash in November with his call for an American troop withdrawal from Iraq, there have been no stories about Robert C. "Kit" Murtha in the Post. In fact, the Post has never mentioned Kit Murtha. A quick Lexis Nexis search turns up only a dozen or so mentions of "Kit" Murtha, Robert C. Murtha, or Robert Murtha in the last 15 years. Who is "Kit" Murtha?
He's John Murtha's brother -- a Washington lobbyist whose firm reeled in more than $20 million for its defense contractor clients in the 2004 Defense appropriations bill. And the Pennsylvania congressman is the ranking Democrat on the Defense appropriations subcommittee, which he also chaired for six years before Democrats lost the House in 1994.
It's a cozy relationship the likes of which are garnering heavy attention these days in Washington. Roy Blunt's family connections to K Street have received extensive coverage, as have Harry Reid's. Yet despite a front page story in the Los Angeles Times last June exposing Kit Murtha's firm's enormous success in steering defense contracts to its clients, other newspapers have been mostly silent: the Times has yet to follow up, and Murtha's lobbying ties have earned coverage by Roll Call and only single mentions in the Village Voice, Investor's Business Daily, and the Boston Globe just this week.
If Murtha were a powerful Republican legislator, the media would probably be all over this story. A former aide from John Murtha's office, Carmen V. Scialabba, is a top official at KSA Consulting, where Kit Murtha is a senior partner. KSA has directly lobbied Murtha's office on behalf of defense clients that directly benefited from the 2004 Defense bill. Murtha's subcommittee staff helps write Defense appropriations bills and oversees the lucrative earmark requests forwarded by Democrats. The contracts for KSA clients in the bill were entirely earmarks, the L.A. Times found. The Times also reported that most of KSA's defense clients hired the firm only after Kit Murtha became a senior partner in 2002." ...... continued