My attention was first drawn to the Russell campaign by Steve Maloney, who contacted me asking for my support. Living in Australia as I do I was not sure why, but Steve it seems, is a consummate campaigner who will reach out to anybody who can in his opinion, help.
My research indicated that Russell was a Colonel with a great record who was taking on Murtha, a Democrat heavyweight in an electorate (12th PA) which was hopelessly gerrymandered in favour of the incumbent, who seemed to have endless streams of pork barrel spending at his fingertips and a constant stream of donations to his war chest as result.
OK, you’ll always find some guy to run a quixotic campaign against someone he has no chance of beating. Something about the guy told me this one was different.
Russell had a rather large axe to grind about the disgusting and deliberately false allegations made by Murtha against the Haditha Marines for political purposes.
He had good arguments as to why all of the pork Murtha brought in was not benefiting the people of District 12, who have one of the lowest per capita incomes in the state.
Bill had a lot going for him.
His fund raising is now vastly exceeding that of Murtha, and he seems to be making serious inroads as far as support is concerned. This guy has a damn good chance of pulling it off.
This is part of an Email I got today: -
(Johnstown, PA) - The fund raising effort of Johnstown resident and Republican nominee for Congress Bill Russell continues to outpace most congressional candidates not only in Pennsylvania but across the country. According to campaign manager Peg Luksik, "William Russell for Congress has raised $2 million to date, with over $200,000 coming in the last 2 weeks from an online drive."
"The incredible story about Bill's campaign is that the $15 and $25 contributions are coming in from all over Pennsylvania and every corner of the country," said Luksik. "This is K-Street versus Main Street. These are patriotic families expressing support for soldiers, sailors and Marines, and people saying they've had enough of the old 'pay-to-play' culture in the Capitol. That's what's fueling this campaign." Russell, who has only been able to actively campaign since August 1st, said, "There's something really special going on in this race. We really have a chance against an entrenched incumbent to bring real change and accountability to the district."
Russell also announced a new television commercial titled "Defend-Our-Heroes" which will debut on TV stations across the district on September 12th. The commercial uses incumbent Congressman John Murtha's own words when he called Marines in Haditha, Iraq "Cold-Blooded Murderers." Bill Russell is a retired Lt. Colonel having served in the U.S. Army for 28 years including six tours in hostile fire zones. His deployments include Operation Desert Storm, Kosovo and most recently Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Some sites pushing the Russell campaign are, beatmurtha.com, Murtha must go, and Russell brigade.
There are also some other excellent candidates promoted on Steve Maloney’s site Pennsylvania for John McCain.