Legendary Pennsylvania Congressman John P "Jack" Murtha passed away last spring leaving a trail of controversy in his wake. Several investigations into the merry-go-round of Pentagon contracts, jobs in the 12th District and substantial campaign contributions hung over him and are continuing today. His former district director Mark Critz won a special election in May over Republican Tim Burns for the privilege of holding the seat until the general election in November.
Tim Burns and Mark Critz are again facing off for the full term and polls show either of them in the lead meaning this is a close race. The 12th CD is a very gerrymandered area stretching from Johnstown and Westmoreland County southwest down to the corner of the state.
Then Paul Magliocchetti got indicted. He was a defense industry lobbyist who previously worked on Murtha's Defense Committee as a staffer. He enjoyed the close relationship with the late Congressman to the extent the Justice department got involved investigating their ties. Their PMA Group profited handsomely and now word is he will plea guilty in return for providing testimony to the feds. This could be bad news for Mark Critz if Magliocchetti implicates the current Congressman in dubious activities. Can Mark Critz survive the legacy of Jack Murtha and keep the 12th CD gravy train rolling down the track or will conservative Burns derail him?
Follow John Morgan on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JohnPMorgan