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August 31, 2006

Major Owens blasts Jack Murtha

The fight for New York's 11th Congressional District continues.

Anti-war hawk Jack Murtha decided to appear at a townhall meeting in the 11th District with Democratic primary challenger Yvette Clarke and Congressman Anthony Wiener. Ostensibly, the meeting was convened to discuss Murtha's plan for phased redeployment from Iraq. The meeting was also a chance for Clarke to be seen with two of her most prominent endorsers: Murtha and Wiener.

Congressman Major Owens was incensed that he was not notified of the event in his own district and called up a New York radio station to voice his annoyance.

Owens' son Chris is one of Clarke's opponents in the upcoming Democratic primary race.

Owens supports immediate withdrawal from Iraq. He is said to have courted Murtha's endorsement unsuccessfully.


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murtha's endorsement is really interesting since clarke is presenting herself as the only woman in the race. His views on women's issues don't line up with hers. Also, this happened before it was revealed that Clarke lied about going to college--I'm guessing both Weiner and Murtha are having second thoughts.

Weird. Is this just the standard NYC dem brawling? The Voice article quotes Murtha saying Clarke came to him first is all.

As for not finishing college...I'm sorry, but I don't understand how anyone can make this mistake. I have anxiety dreams about it! It's really simple: when you complete your requirements, they mail you a piece of paper called a diploma.

I see it like this: Both Owens and his son are lame ducks--Major because he's out in January and Chris because he's just not going to win. While Murtha might have avoided some controversy by alerting Owens that he was going to be in his district, but that doesn't change the fact that he endorsed Major's son's opponent. New York Magazine put it well when it pointed out that if Major Owens had any power left he could clear the race for his son. Unfortunately for him, he has very little power on the Hill or in Brooklyn. The crowded field is a consequence of this.

When Murtha came to town it seemed like Clarke might be cresting at the perfect moment and was the favorite. The revelation that she lied about college and then lied about not knowing about it has destroyed her credibility and, surprise, the Times endorsed David Yassky a few days later. Again, it was assumed before Diplomagate that Clarke would get that endorsement, Murtha's visit being icing on the cake.

As always when I comment on this race, I should reveal that I used to work for Yassky but have since left to start law school.

Funny, I heard Major Owens very recently on WNYC and he was speaking very warmly of Murtha.

Greetings from Belfast.

Murtha and Major Owens share a lot of common ground on the war. Chris Owens is the first to tell you that he sought Murtha's endorsement, as did his opponent Yvette Clarke. Murtha says Clarke simply got there first, a claim which I'm prepared to take more or less at face value.

The issue was that Murtha and Clarke didn't even extend Owens the courtesy of notifying him about an event in his district. This is all part of the passing show in Brooklyn politics. I haven't decided whom to vote for in the primary, and this little episode will have minimal influence on my decision.

Hope you're having a good time, Phantom.

For the record, "Anti-war Hawk" is an oxymoron.

No it isn't. You can be generally hawkish in foreign policy, as Murtha is, and still think we need to get the hell out of Iraq.

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