With Murtha Inc. calling the shots on defense appropriations, some are chortling that he fancies himself a kind of taxpayer-backed venture capitalist operating in service to his job-hungry district. To judge by the fruits, though, the unindicted "Abscam" coconspirator could not be considered a very successful "venture capitalist." We'd stick with a more traditional label like pork-barreller.
The self-styled "most ethical and honest Congress in history" must get a grip on Mr. Murtha and friends if it is to make any headway whatsoever on ethics reforms. At this rate, Mr. Murtha just about torpedoes whatever chance House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has to deliver on her campaign promises.
After much waiting, Congress is expected soon to consider legislation to reform lobbying and ethics laws. It is unlikely to make any difference in how the public perceives Washington, if it's enactment does not put an end to abuses like these.