They raved at this news:
And they danced the standard anti-Murtha dance; Abscam, Haditha, Congressional Pork and so on.
A JAW-dropping political miracle may be on the horizon. No, I'm not talking about the second coming of the Obamessiah. I'm talking about the long-deserved comeuppance of troop-smearing, pork-feasting, scandal-tainted Democratic Rep. Jack Murtha of Pennsylvania.
The 18-term congressman's challenger, staunch conservative Republican newcomer William Russell, raised nearly $670,000 in the second quarter. Earmark king Murtha scraped together a measly $119,000.
Turns out that the numbers might not be as peachy as Frau Malkin ranted. According to Talking Points Memo, Russell's been using a firm called BMW Direct for its fundraising.
The Boston Globe had a good piece on BMW Direct. The piece is about a candidate running against Barney Frank, a guy named Charles Morse.
Talking Points Memo has a rundown on Russell's finances:
Yet the political fund-raising firm that ran Morse's campaign finances reported that it raised more than $700,000 for his race, much of it from GOP contributors across the country eager to help defeat a Massachusetts liberal - and some of it donated well after Morse abandoned the race.
A review of campaign reports shows that, rather than spending that money in the Fourth Congressional District, 96 percent of the funds raised in Morse's name were used to pay a politically connected direct-mail firm in Washington, BMW Direct Inc., and a coterie of BMW Direct's affiliates and contractors. The firms specialize in national fund-raising appeals on behalf of conservative Republican candidates and right-wing causes.
It also turns out that Russell failed to get the necessary signatures to get on the ballot as a Republican. From the Post-Gazette:
In the most recent quarter Russell raised $669,534, almost all from out-of-state donors who presumably are on BMW Direct's list of self-styled conservatives with a good track record of responding to direct-mail fundraising.
At the same time, he spent $442,990, almost all of it on expenses related to the direct mail effort and paid to BMW Direct and its affiliates (some of which share the same downtown Washington office).
The only expenses that appear to be spent on an actual campaign totaled about $20,000 for Web site design, a low-budget video and a campaign consultant based in Pennsylvania rather than Washington.
He reports having $269,953 in cash on hand. But he also reports debts totaling $242,521 -- almost all for direct mail expenses to BMW Direct and its vendors.
So that leaves him only about $27,431 ahead -- not much for a guy who's raised a total of nearly $1 million this election cycle.
Mr. Murtha had faced a challenge from former Army Lt. Col. William Russell, who moved to the Johnstown area so he could run as a Republican. But Commonwealth Court ruled last week that he failed to file the required 1,000 signatures on his nominating petition and removed him from the ballot, clearing the way for Mr. Murtha to run uncontested for his 18th term.A million dollars raised for a candidate not on the ballot. SOP for BMW Direct