John Murtha is Dead at 77

Murtha’s death is bad news for health care reform.

We didn’t need this.

I was no fan of Murtha, but he was a reliable vote for Nancy Pellosi when it came down to it.  He represented a slightly conservative Pennsylvania district that went for McCain in 2008.  The odds are slim that his replacement — who will be chosen via a special election, will support health care reform.

And no, that’s not shallow: millions of people’s lives depend upon health care reform passing.

Pelosi has shown an amazing ability to get votes when she needs them.  She will have to be even more wizard-like now.

Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.

7 thoughts on “John Murtha is Dead at 77”

  1. I guess this means that there'll be less egregious pork flowing into Cambria County, PA. On behalf of all the citizens of our fiscally beleaguered republic who live outside/i> of southwestern, PA, thanks for nothing, Rep. Murtha. A political boss, a bandit, a mobster, a thief–it's a shame that he came to have so much power in the US of A. May his name be erased from history.

  2. This is the man that changed the debate on the Iraq War. I was proud to have him as my congressman. Shame on the previous poster for his/her less than charitable view of Representative Murtha.

  3. Well, now which, bought and paid for politician is going to get the jewel of the Defense subcommittee and the riches that flow from it?

    Power. Wow. Illegal bugging of the deals that are going to be made would show just exactly why the american taxpayers are truly screwed.

    Take the budget of the united states, subtract discretionary spending, Social Security and Medicare and all you have left is the military/industrial complex.

    I don't say that Murtha was corrupt, but he never did anything that was in my best interest except to say two years into the illegal, immoral and vicious butchering in the Mideast, that he thought it was wrong. Wow, that was certainly brave and manly of him. Murtha ranks up there with Robert McNamara as damned expensive for the taxpayer and men who supported illegal american wars that they really did not believe in. What's a little hypocrisy? Liberal my aching ass.

    Stopping the swindle that is the flying gas stations for obsolete bombers would pay for total medical coverage in the US. The Alabama senator that put the hold on the appointments will get more in bribes for his pork loving constituents than

    Ben Nelson got for his swindle of putting the extra bonus money for his constituents in the health bill.

    Murtha supported waste in the military as long as he got a cut for his district and for whomever funded his campaign and relatives.

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