Take a look at the GOP in Pennsylvania and you’ll see a microcosm of what plagues the GOP nationwide. If I had to name the two worst actors in Washington representing PA, Murtha and Specter would be among the first to come to mind (though, with Specter now a DINO, may we get abundant mileage from the Specterenfreude factor alone).
Now meet Pennsylvania’s Republican State Committee Chairman, Robert Gleason Jr. Mr. Gleason was all set to support Specter before his ignoble defection. However, that merely makes him a qualified candidate for the NRSC. The real problem with Gleason is his support for Murtha. No, he hasn’t publicly endorsed Murtha (at least not during an election) but the two have business ties going back a very long time (they both come from the same hometown of Johnstown, PA). At best, their relationship occasionally embarrasses the GOP (see this for some overly-chummy words Gleason had for Murtha, which came even after his “killed in cold blood” charade), and at worst creates a conflict of interest.
Gleason’s business insures companies that Murtha’s illicit pork funds – hence the incentive to keep Murtha in office and maintain the flow of federal dollars. As such, Gleason is rumored to work behind the scenes during election campaigns to derail Republican opponents to Murtha. Even if the rumors were to prove untrue, Gleason has demonstrated his willingness to place his friends and colleagues above the principles he was elected to defend. He is yet another member of the old establishment who thinks that Murtha’s detestable antics have “done a wonderful job for our region”, and that is not acceptable.
Gleason and a significant portion of the PAGOP need a wakeup call. Our country is on the edge of an abyss and we need our representatives to stand for something besides their own reelection. William Russell, who ran against Murtha last election, is still in the ring for 2010 and is as solid as they come. Support Russell’s campaign. Also, contact Mr. Gleason and the PAGOP and tell them to get behind candidates like Russell and Toomey, and that we expect them to do their jobs. Contact Mr. Gleason’s at [email protected] and contact the PAGOP at [email protected].