What Fresh Hell Is This?

October 28, 2006

All Politics are Local - Tim Murphy Edition

It's been said that all politics are local - and so it's not surprising to see that the nationwide Republican culture of corruption may, indeed, have a local practitioner.

Take a look at this.
U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, who is seeking his third term in Congress, has mixed campaign activities and official government work in a manner that present and former staffers consider unethical or in violation of House rules, according to interviews with a half-dozen of them.

Some of those interviewed described the practices as routine, others as sporadic, but all said they were disturbed by the conduct. The allegations primarily concern the use of taxpayer-funded congressional staff and resources to do work they viewed as part of Mr. Murphy's political campaign.
Murphy, a Republican, is running against Chad Kluko for Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District seat. Back to the P-G:
But it's clear that multiple staff members believed that what they were instructed to do crossed an ethical line.

"I see someone in a very high office taking advantage of people and situations, and it's wrong," said Jayne O'Shaughnessy, the scheduler in his Mt. Lebanon district office since April 2005. "He's someone who should know better."
That last part is the important piece of the puzzle - a staffer who goes on record with the allegations.
Ms. O'Shaughnessy, 63, was one of only two of the six staff members interviewed who were willing to be identified, and she was the only one who is a current staff member. Others, mostly in their 20s and Republicans like the congressman, have left within the past year and said it could harm their careers if they publicly criticized an influential congressman.
He must be a real nice guy. There's this from the P-G:
"Congressman Murphy would very often say, 'Don't you people care about your jobs? If I'm not re-elected, you don't have jobs,' " recalled Emily Campbell, a staff member from June 2003 to February 2006 who has relocated to Cleveland.
Yea, a real nice guy.

The P-G has a list of some of the allegations against Congressman Murphy, which include:
Mr. Murphy and his campaign staff have frequently used his Mt. Lebanon office for campaign strategy sessions, and equipment like the office's fax, copier, camera and filing cabinets for campaign-related materials, instead of using his separate campaign office a few miles away.
Multiple staff members from the district office were instructed last December to devote their time to labeling, stuffing and mailing greeting cards to individuals who were campaign contributors of Mr. Murphy's. The postage and materials were paid by his campaign fund, but several staffers said they performed the functions in the middle of the government workday, rather than on their own time.
The P-G explains the problem:
House ethics rules for members say no campaign activities may take place in any congressional office, and use of office resources such as equipment, supplies or files is prohibited. The guidelines also say staff may do campaign work on their own time, but only outside the congressional office. They may not be compelled to do such work.
So you see, Murphy has an ethics problem. Also he just doesn't seem to be that nice of a guy. Sources say that he's demanding, rude and hard to work with. Heck, even the good folks over at PoliticsPA have a whole page dedicated to some of the reasons staffers have given for disliking Murphy. He even shows up as a possiblity for this "blind item" over at Wonkette:
A sophomore Member has turned over so many staffers that no one will even apply for the jobs any more. I had a friend who worked for him and then quit because the office was so dysfunctional. Apparently he goes through more staff than any other office on the Hill. In just the 3 years he has been in office, he has had 4 press secretaries (2 were fired), two COS, three LDs, and more leg staff come and go than I have ever heard of. Some get fired by the apparently tempramental boss, and some just leave.

The office is so dysfunctional that at the present moment he has 4 vacancies, and no applications! He only has one leg staffer working for him right now! He had to fly up district staffers just to keep the office going.
The first reason wonkette quotes?
Is it Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA)? He is an asshole.
So the man hasn't made many friends and now a staffer has accused him of mixing campaign stuff with office stuff. We'll call it Tim Murphy's "Habay moment."

UPDATE: The P-G story made it all the way to Talkingpointsmemo - 5 hours after I posted mine here.


Ol' Froth said...

And we all know what happened to Haybay

Anonymous said...

Tim Murphy lacks moral character and always has. He and his crazy wife Nan Missig (didn't use his last name until he went to Washington) think they are better than everyone else. How Upper St. Clair of them!

I really hope this blows up in his nasty horse face.

Piltdown Man said...

I've met many, many politicians, and he is certainly one of the most arrogant of all of them. He has the whole "I'm a Doctor" thing going for him...and I doubt that he ever passes a mirror without checking out his profile.

Murphy is book-learned smart, not politically saavy, and it may finally be catching up with him.

Besides, as the Congressman voted, "mostly likely to have 100% staff turnover every six months" he was
bound to have people lined up to whup his skinny butt!

It's just a damn shame it didn't come out a wee bit sooner....and that Stan didn't jump in and slam Tim pee pee....