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Letter: Murtha fails to live up to promises

To the Editor:

Republican John Murtha is running for re-election to the Wisconsin Assembly and that means mailboxes are filling up with fliers from Murtha and his friends.

These fliers have two basic messages. One: Murtha is a super-hero legislator single-handedly saving the elderly. Two: His opponent, Democrat Chris Buckel, will single-handedly raise taxes to a level that will make the Wall Street bailout look like a bad tip.

Now is a good time to see if Murtha has lived up to the "if-elected" promises made in 2006.

In 2006, Murtha told us "his number one priority would be to defend the taxpayer." Since taking office, Murtha has apparently failed at this.

According to a Sept. 7 article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Murtha - a self-proclaimed small business owner -- paid no state income taxes in 2004, 2005 and 2006 ... because "We didn't make any money."

His 2007 tax information isn't yet available, but Murtha thinks he paid taxes in 2007, but wasn't sure of the amount. I hope that his annual Assembly salary of $47,413 will qualify him as a taxpayer.

Murtha said he would fight the lobbyists and special interest groups in Madison. Notice that some of those Murtha campaign fliers are coming from a Michigan group called All Children Matter.

Started by billionaire Dick Devos, All Children Matter is a special interest group lobbying against public education and affordable health care. Its contributors include billionaires of Wal-mart family fortune and Virginia millionaire Richard Sharp.

Coincidently, last year the Wal-mart Waltons donated $1,500 directly to Murtha's campaign and Sharp donated $500.

In Murtha, we have a self-proclaimed ethics crusader whose campaign is financed by out-of-state billionaires who are sending out fliers attacking his opponent with false and misleading information. Either Murtha has never heard the saying "actions speak louder than words" or he thinks his constituents are gullible idiots.

In Buckel, we have a husband with four young kids and a mortgage to pay. He is an articulate school teacher, a Hammond Village Board member and is active in his church and community.

Buckel, who actually pays income taxes, knows he can't promise that by electing him his constituents won't have to pay taxes like Murtha. However, he knows that the decisions made in Madison impact every family's pocketbook -- including his own.

On Nov. 4, investigate the candidates and the issues. Don't base your vote on the glossy fliers with false and misleading information paid for by out-of-state billionaires.

James P. Nelson

New Richmond