Tim Murphy (congressman)

Tim Murphy (congressman)

name = Tim Murphy

date of birth = birth date and age|1952|09|11
place of birth = Cleveland, Ohio
occupation= psychologist
residence= Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania
alma_mater= Wheeling Jesuit University, Cleveland State University, University of Pittsburgh
state = Pennsylvania
district = 18th
term_start = January 7, 2003
preceded = Mike Doyle
succeeded = Incumbent
party = Republican
spouse = Nanette Missig
religion = Roman Catholic

Timothy "Tim" F. Murphy (born September 11 1952, Cleveland, Ohio) is an American politician who currently serves in the House of Representatives for the 18th Congressional District of Pennsylvania ( [http://nationalatlas.gov/printable/images/preview/congdist/pa18_109.gifmap] ).

The district includes several wealthy suburbs south of Pittsburgh. It includes parts of Allegheny, Washington, and Westmoreland counties.

A Republican, Murphy was first elected to the U.S. Congress in 2002. Prior to being elected to Congress, Murphy was in the Pennsylvania State Senate.

Murphy lives in Upper St. Clair, a suburb of Pittsburgh. However, he is listed on the official House roll as "R-Pittsburgh," even though his district does not include any portion of Pittsburgh itself. The likely reason for this is that many areas of his district (including his district office) have Pittsburgh addresses despite not actually being within the city limits. The district is drawn in such a way that in several locations, one side of the street is in Murphy's district while the other is in the neighboring 14th District (represented by Democrat Mike Doyle).

Early years, education, and career

Murphy was born into a middle class family in Cleveland, Ohio. After graduating from Walsh Jesuit High School, he received a Bachelor of Science from Wheeling Jesuit University, a MA from Cleveland State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.

Upon leaving school, he became a practicing psychologist and a professor at the University of Pittsburgh. He also made regular appearances on KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh from 1979 to 1995 as a health care expert. Murphy is known by many as Dr. Tim, and refers to himself as such on his official website.

tate senate

Elected to the Pennsylvania State Senate in 1996, Murphy served as chair of the Pennsylvania Committee on Aging and Youth and wrote the Pennsylvania Patient Bill of Rights. Despite his stance as a fiscal conservative, he pushed for increased public funding for medical research. He resigned his senate seat on January 3, 2003.

U.S. Congress

2002 election

Murphy ran for the newly redrawn 18th Congressional District in southwestern Pennsylvania in 2002. The district had previously been the 20th, represented by four-term Democrat Frank Mascara. However, the legislature drew the district in such a way that a large chunk of Mascara's territory ended up in the neighboring Johnstown-based 12th District, represented by 28-year incumbent John Murtha. The district was drawn in such a way that Mascara's house in Charleroi remained in the reconfigured 18th, but most of Charleroi (including nearly all of his neighborhood) was drawn into the 12th.

After a legal battle, the courts largely upheld Pennsylvania's redistricting plan after some minor modifications. Murphy was a member of the committee that redrew Pennsylvania's congressional map, and rumors abounded that he'd reconfigured the district for himself, even though numerous Democrats were also on the committee. Mascara made an unsuccessful primary challenge to Murtha, since he'd represented more of the newly drawn 12th than Murtha had.

This removed a significant barrier to Murphy, and he ran against Democrat Jack Machek in the November election. Even though Democrats outnumbered Republicans by 70,000 registered voters, it was somewhat friendlier to Republicans than the old 20th had been. Murphy's high name recognition as a State Senator and former KDKA consultant enabled him to win the election by 20 percentage points.

2004 re-election

Murphy was reelected in 2004 by a similar margin over Democratic challenger Mark Boles.

2006 re-election

Murphy faced Democrat Chad Kluko, a telecommunications executive, in the November 2006 general election. Murphy won reelection with 58% of the vote to Kluko's 42%.

2008 re-election

Murphy is being challenged by Democrat Steve O'Donnell, a Monroeville health care executive.

Traffic accident in Iraq

On November 26 2005, Murphy was injured during a traffic accident in Iraq while riding in a van along with fellow congressmen Jim Marshall and Ike Skelton. The van swerved off the road to avoid an oncoming vehicle and overturned, injuring Murphy and Skelton. The two were airlifted to Ibn Sina hospital in Baghdad. The driver of Murphy's bus suspected a car riding alongside the bus was a suicide bomber, and drove off the road on purpose.

After an MRI indicated head and neck injuries, Murphy was flown to the US Military's Landstuhl Medical Center in Germany for further tests. These tests indicated no permanent damage. After wearing a neck brace for a brief period, Murphy made a full recovery. [ [http://today.reuters.com/news/newsarticle.aspx?type=domesticNews&storyid=2005-11-28T130557Z_01_ROB805851_RTRUKOC_0_US-IRAQ-CRASH.xml&rpc=22 "Congressmen involved in Baghdad road accident"] , "Reuters", November 28, 2005] [ [http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05332/613720.stm "Rep. Murphy hurt in Iraq convoy crash"] , "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette"]


Murphy is a member of the Energy and Commerce, Veterans Affairs and Government Reform committees. In April 2006, it was reported that in the three-plus years that Murphy had been in the House, he had four press secretaries, two chiefs of staff, three legislative directors, and a high turnover among other staff positions. [ [http://www.wonkette.com/politics/blind-items/blind-item-guesses-the-devil-wears-a-members-pin-166798.php "Blind Item Guesses: The Devil Wears a Member's Pin"] , "Wonkette", April 12, 2006] While some have attempted to make this an issue, high staff turnover on Capitol Hill is not uncommon, particularly during a congressman's first term. In the words of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, (D-NV) "freshman offices typically have high turnover, as staff and managers figure out what's working and what isn't" [ [http://www.newsobserver.com/114/story/528106.html newsobserver.com | There are jobs to be had on the Hill ] ] He also recently lost his senior military advisor. (July 2007)

Possible violations of House rules

In late October 2006, the "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette" reported that according to interviews with a half-dozen present and former staffers, Murphy had mixed campaign activities and official government work in a manner that the staffers considered unethical or in violation of House rules.

When presented with the accusations, Murphy neither denied nor confirmed them. Instead, he said he would seek a congressional investigation of his own conduct. [http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06301/733740-177.stm]

In early November 2006, KDKA News reporter Andy Sheehan confronted the Congressman on camera with evidence of the accusations. [http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06301/733740-177.stm] The Congressman took some of the documents from Mr. Sheehan claiming that they had been illegally removed from his office. The documents confiscated by the Congressman seemed to indicate that the Congressman's District Office was doing illegal campaign work. The Congressman blamed his staff.

The documents at issue were:

* a document that shows “background research” performed by staff members on constituents who wrote letters to the editor ( [http://www.tele-art.org/MurphyChecksFolksWhoWriteLettersToTheEditor.pdf] )
* documents that indicate campaign work being handled through Murphy's District Office ( [http://www.tele-art.org/politicsattheofficeohmy.pdf] , [http://www.tele-art.org/memofromD0withplottingagainstkluko.pdf] )
* a document showing a planned teleconference with John Braebender, a media consultant for Rick Santorum ( [http://www.tele-art.org/j4yne0shaugh_phoneconferencerecords.pdf] )

Following his reelection, Murphy fired the staffer who had initially reported the alleged violations. Jayne O'Shaughnessy was dismissed for disregarding a staff prohibition against speaking to the press without the consent of the office after she allowed herself to be identified in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article detailing the allegations. [http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06301/733740-177.stm]

Pittsburgh's "City Paper" has also reported that Murphy's background check on the constituents' authoring negative letters to the editor about him returned information including the constituents "addresses, phone numbers, voting record, religion, stances on gun control and abortion, place of business, and supposed support for Democrat Bob Casey." [http://www.pittsburghcitypaper.ws/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid:20028] This was also alleged to be done with taxpayers' money.

On December 14, 2006, KDKA-TV reported that federal agents had begun interviewing former Murphy staffers on whether they did political work for the congressman on government time. [http://kdka.com/topstories/local_story_348170945.html]

On September 16, 2007, the organization"Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington" (CREW) released its third annual report on the most corrupt members of Congress entitled "Beyond DeLay: The 22 Most Corrupt Members of Congress (and two to watch)" [http://www.beyonddelay.org/node/373] . Murphy was included on the list. CREW issued their analysis of Murphy's alleged ethical lapses [http://www.beyonddelay.org/files/Murphy%20Profile.pdf] , together with various exhibits which CREW asserted supports their naming him to their list of the most corrupt members of Congress. [http://www.beyonddelay.org/files/Tim%20Murphy%20Exhibits%2007.pdf]

In July 2007, Lou Lazarro (Deputy Chief of Staff, Westmoreland Office)was caught attempting a background check on a former policeman who had been in a meeting with Tim Murphy regarding the Iraq war. Murphy has refused to comment on this incident.

Also during the summer of 2007, Rep. Murphy falsely stated that a civilian (who also is a retired state police officer)was fired because of "terrorist activities" A similar story was ran in the press, quoting Mark Carpenter.

Electoral history

{| class="wikitable" style="margin:0.5em ; font-size:95%"
+ ushr|Pennsylvania|18|: Results 2002–2006cite web |url=http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/electionInfo/index.html |title=Election Statistics |accessdate=2007-08-08 |publisher=Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives ] !|Year!!|Democrat!|Votes!|Pct!!|Republican!|Votes!|Pct!
Party shading/Democratic |Jack Machek
Party shading/Democratic align="right" |79,451
Party shading/Democratic |40%|
Party shading/Republican |Tim Murphy
Party shading/Republican align="right" |119,885
Party shading/Republican |60%
Party shading/Democratic |nowrap|Mark G. Boles
Party shading/Democratic align="right" |117,420
Party shading/Democratic |37%|
Party shading/Republican |Tim Murphy
Party shading/Republican align="right" |197,894
Party shading/Republican |63%|
Party shading/Democratic |Chad Kluko
Party shading/Democratic align="right" |105,419
Party shading/Democratic |42%|
Party shading/Republican |Tim Murphy
Party shading/Republican align="right" |144,632
Party shading/Republican |58%

*Write-in and minor candidate notes: In 2002, write-ins received 13 votes. In 2006, write-ins received 189 votes.


External links

* [http://murphy.house.gov/ Congressman Tim Murphy] official U.S. House website
* [http://electtimmurphy.com/ Elect Tim Murphy] official campaign website
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hwh-OCFCOTc YouTube Video from KDKA where Congressman Murphy is presented with documents stolen from his office.]
* [http://www.www.post-gazette.com/pg/06301/733740-177.stm/ Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article on Murphy's alleged ethics lapses]
* [http://www.pittsburghcitypaper.ws/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid:20028 11/23/2006 Pittsburgh City Paper article regarding Murphy's use of staff to research writers of letters to the editor critical of Murphy]

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