The more things change the more they stay the same:
The former defense-appropriations chief in the House — who famously remarked, “If I’m a little corrupt, it’s because I take care of my district” — passed on in February. His successor, Rep. Mark Critz, gave Murtha an appropriate eulogy earlier this summer, slipping a $10 million earmark into the House version of next year’s defense funding bill to fund construction of a John P. Murtha Center for Public Service at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. If the earmark survives the snail’s-pace process of passing the bill during the current election season — and its prognosis is good — Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell has pledged to match the cash with state money.
According to Critz’s explanation of the project, the 30,000 square-foot Center will primarily serve as a scholarly debating forum for policy issues and a repository for Murtha’s papers. But wait, you ask. How does the Murtha Center relate to the Department of Defense? Oh, it’ll inspire “students and the general public to become active in our communities, the military, and in public service.” See? Military applicability.
What’s worse, this center with its millions in state and federal tax dollars will undoubtedly be used to advance liberal policy agendas.