Wednesday, December 5, 2007


As more and more of you are learning, I'm "transitioning" from this web site to a new, permanent site at: I'll be writing this month (December) about some extremely important races for the House and Senate -- Melissa Hart (R.) against Rep. Jason Altmire (D.) in the PA 4th District, Lt. Col. William Russell (R.) against John Murtha (D.) in the PA 12th District and Heather Wilson (R.) against Steve Pearce (R.) in the Republican primary for the New Mexico Senate race.

Please visit my new site and bookmark it. You're always welcome there.

My goal is not, unlike many other blogs, to "steal" tidbits of news from the campaigns or the MSM. Instead, I will dicuss how Republicans (moderates AND conservatives) can wage effective campaigns against tough opponents, such as John Murtha and Jason Altmire. I will not accept "conventional wisdom," such as (erroneous) statements about how much Murtha has done for the 12th District.

In short, I'm not into gossip, titillation, and nonsense.

On my new site I have a column (put up last night, Dec. 4) titled: John Murtha: "Where's The Bacon?"

It shows that Murtha gets a lot of credit from some voters for things he HAS NOT DONE. Specifically, he's added a FEW taxpayer-funded jobs, but has not even come close to helping achieve economic revitalization for the District.

If John Murtha can reasonably be criticized for NOT "bringing home the bacon," then he's very expendable as a federal representative. If the bacon exists as other than a fantasy, we're entitled to ask where it is, right?

Granted, there's some controversy over whether to pursue that line of attack. At times, people can believe something so deeply -- in this case, that Murtha's been an economic savior -- that it's a waste of time to argue otherwise. Yes, children believe in Santa Claus, but as we mature, the time arrives when we need to put away childish things.

William T. Russell must deal with the understandable economic insecurities felt by many people in the 12th District. They're afraid that booting the boorish and bullying John Murtha, which a growing number of people would secretly like to do, might propel the region into an economic death-spiral. They ignore the fact that federal make-work jobs are not sustainable. When the federal dollars stop flowing in, as they will someday, the temporary "jobs" will dry up.

Murtha's view is that the people of the 12th -- and specifically those in Johnstown and Cambria -- are his children. They're dependent on the "daddy," which in this case is him. That's certainly not a wholesome position to be in for adults in a free society.

Lt. Col. Russell must speak to the people of the 12th as grown-ups. Yes, they can see the good results for some people of what Murtha's done. They also recognize, however, that his approach to "economic development" has a short shelf-live. The community needs real jobs and real growth -- the kind that will keep young people from continuing to desert the area in droves.
Read my column John Murtha: "Where's The Bacon?" You'll see that Murtha has focused on directing federal money to a few neighborhoods in Johnstown and Cambria county. The rest of the district has continued a decades-long economic free-fall. The figures I've used to point this out are available online, both from the Almanac of American Politics and the Bureau of Lablor Statistics. They tell a much different story from the one Murtha has been spinning.

Murtha's actions have helped him get re-elected -- and generally to run without opposition. This time, though, he has a strong opponent whose desire is NOT to humor the people of the 12th District. Lt. Col. Russell knows that what Johnstown -- a mere 2 1/2% of the District's population -- and the other areas in the 12th need are REAL, PRIVATE ENTERPRISE jobs that will create tax revenues rather than consume them.

In short, they need jobs, including those in manufacturing and information technology, that will last for many decades. Those are the kind of work opportunities that have existed in the area's past and must exist in the future.

A true political leader's goal is not to get re-elected ad infinitum. Rather, it's to offer a vision, an achievable one, of the great things that can be accomplished in the future. It's to offer hope -- not short-term federal handouts -- for a better life. That's exactly what Lt. Col. Russell is doing.

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