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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.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Percentage increase in the annual number of polio cases in Pakistan since 2005:
A bowl of 4,000-year-old noodles was found in northwestern China; and a spokesman for the Chinese Academy of Sciences said that “this is the earliest empirical evidence of noodles ever found.”
A federal judge sentenced the journalist Barrett Brown to 63 months in prison for sharing a link to information stolen from the private-intelligence firm Stratfor by a hacker in 2011. “Good news!” Brown said in a statement. “They’re now going to send me to investigate the prison-industrial complex.”
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