Washington Babylon — January 22, 2009, 8:40 pm

Feds Raid Offices of Firm Tied to Murtha

Congressman John Murtha’s relationship with his campaign donors is a topic I’ve written about frequently in the past. Today the FBI raided the offices of one of those donors:

Federal agents raided the offices of a Western Pennsylvania defense contractor that has received millions in federal earmarks at the request of Rep. John Murtha, according to local media reports. The offices of Kuchera Industries and Kuchera Defense Systems were shuttered for the day following the raids, the chief financial officer told the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat. The companies’ phone system says they will open again Friday morning, and e-mails sent to top company officials went unanswered.

Based in Windber, Pa., just outside Johnstown, Kuchera won $8.2 million in federal defense earmarks in the 2008 budget. The earmarks came at the request of Murtha (D-Pa.). Murtha’s spokesman declined to comment, and an agent in the FBI’s Pittsburgh office did not return calls seeking clarification. The company has been active in politics, with top officials donating more than $100,000 in campaign contributions over the past decade, to both Democrats and Republicans.

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I conferred quietly with Emma, who said he was studying Pashto, privately, in his spare time. Afghani, she said, to enlighten me further.

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