Thursday, July 27, 2006

I once mentioned that every Democrat was running for President...

...there was a time that I thought I was exaggerating.

July is not known as a hot month for local politics, so some recent developments in the 12th Congressional District race are so much more unusual.

Last week, we reported that a private investigator was checking into Washington County Commissioner Diana Irey on behalf of U.S. Rep. John Murtha, whom Irey is challenging in November. A woman visited the county elections office requesting copies of Irey's campaign finance forms in her races for commissioner and information from a state database that would show how often she voted.

While all of these things are matters of public record, Irey cited rumors that the investigation is more widespread and extends to another locale as well. She also charged that the Murtha campaign has previously looked into other opponents' pasts.

A statement from Murtha denied there was anything sinister about the effort to gather information about a candidate from the public record, but added, "especially when that person is not well known."

That sounds strange. Far from being an unknown, Irey has been a county commissioner since her election in 1995, and Murtha has represented a large portion of this county in Congress for nearly four years. We can't imagine his campaign brain trust sitting around asking, "Who is this lady and where did she come from?"

Monday's newspaper carried a picture of Murtha campaigning, not in Washington or Waynesburg, but in Hampton, N.H. While the AP failed to mention it, Murtha has already expressed interest in a presidential race and seems to be looking beyond this November to 2008 and bigger things.

Help Mothra get an early start on his Presidential campaign here!

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