The PoliBlog

The Collective
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
By Dr. Steven Taylor

I have started looking into the Murtha-Abscam situation and it isn’t especially pretty.

For some details check out the TPMmuckraker and Joshua Zeitz at HuffPo.

Both posts notes that the full Abscam video (click here) featuring Murtha is revealing, especially from the 15 minute mark to the 30ish mark. In Zetz’s word:

While Murtha refused the bribe, he made it clear that his reasons for doing so were trust and appearances. He explained to the undercover agent, who was posing as a middleman for a wealthy sheik, that he intended to serve a long tenure in Congress, and since he was not personally acquainted with the parties in question, he was reluctant to accept money from them. Moreover, he explained that were he to start doing favors for a sheik who had no connection to his district, the authorities might become suspicious.


At the fifteen-minute mark it gets interesting, and at about thirty-two minutes it gets scandalous. Murtha could have stood up, walked out of the room, and called federal authorities. Instead, he indicated a future willingness to accept the sheik’s bribe, provided the sheik first make a show of good will by dropping some money in the local economy.

Having watched the tape, that comports with my assessment as well.

Murtha’s defense on Hardball (transcript and video here) is not all that impressive.

When one steps back and looks at this, the political ineptitude of Pelosi throwing her support behind Murtha is mind-boggling, given the significance of ethics to the recent elections.

Update: More on Murtha, Abscam and Pelosi’s odd choice from Ruth Marcus in WaPo.

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Filed under: US Politics, 2006 Elections | |

1 Comment

  1. Honestly, I can’t figure out what motivates either party to do what they do. They must all be nuts!

    Comment by Jan — Thursday, November 16, 2006 @ 7:34 am

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