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Associate Editor Paul Singer reported on Rep. John Murtha for years, but he got one last scoop in October — more than a year and a half after the Pennsylvania Democrat's death. According to Murtha's FBI file, released posthumously, federal investigators suspected he was running a scheme "to funnel earmarks to sham companies and nonprofits" set up by his friends and former staffers. Rep. Mark Critz (D-Pa.), Murtha's former district director, now holds the seat.
When the co-chairmen of the Joint Committee for Deficit Reduction held an important mid-October meeting with Congressional leaders, they left out one: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Reporter Meredith Shiner got the scoop on the snub, which was blamed on "miscommunication," but it was all for naught as the so-called "super committee" failed to come to an agreement in late November.
Will Wrobleski, the incoming executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party, got off on the wrong foot when he told a Roll Call reporter in February that while he thought former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty was "a nice guy," he would not vote for him because he was not conservative enough. The state GOP chairman then issued a statement noting that Wrobleski was not yet working for the party when he made the comments and pledged to remain neutral. Pawlenty ended up dropping out and endorsing his rival, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) took the top prize in Roll Call's annual look at the richest Members of Congress. Thanks to some assets inherited by his wife, the daughter of the CEO and founder of Clear Channel Communications, McCaul beat out other perennials, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.). His estimated net worth: $294.21 million. Roll Call has ranked the 50 richest Members every year since 1990.
President Barack Obama headed to Florida in March to jump-start his 2012 re-election campaign, raising fears among some in Congress that he would not be around to help them on Capitol Hill. At the time, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was working to avoid a government shutdown over a budget fight — a battle that was seemingly fought all year.
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is known for her fiery words. In an appearance on "Meet the Press" in early March, she refused to back down from them. Asked about her statement at a tea party rally that the Obama administration is a "gangster government," she stood by her words: "I think that there have been actions that have been taken by this government that I think are corrupt," she said.