John Murtha, the veteran congressman from Pennsylvania, died on Monday at the age of 77. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1974 and served as a relatively conservative Democrat, opposing abortion rights and gun control. He was known for his strong pro-labor views and was, most recently, a “yes” vote on the Democrats’ health-care bill. He was also one of the first Democrats to turn against the Iraq war after originally voting for it. Much of his career was clouded by questions about his ethics, from the Abscam corruption investigation in 1980 to present-day questions about earmarks and campaign fundraising. He had been suffering complications from gallbladder surgery.
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