Murtha’s Office Denies Retirement Speculation, After Requesting What-If Memo From DCCC

Rep. John Murtha’s (D-PA) office is shooting down a rumor that the long-time Congressman could retire in 2010 — despite having asked the DCCC for a memo on how his war-chest could legally be spent if he were to do so.

The request to the DCCC was made in late October, The Hill reports. Murtha spokesman Matthew Mazonkey responded to the news: “Congressman Murtha is not retiring and looks forward to winning reelection to a 20th term in 2010.”

Murtha’s office and the DCCC both told The Hill that the memo was obtained in response to an inquiry by one of Murtha’s constituents, who worried that retiring members of Congress might be able to put campaign money to personal use. The Hill points out that this explanation “seemed strained to some observers,” since his office could have easily informed a constituent that this would be illegal.

If Murtha were to retire, it could present a headache to Democrats. His district narrowly voted for John McCain in 2008 — the only Congressional district in the whole country to switch from John Kerry in 2004 to the Republican column in 2008.