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Murtha-tied Company Wins Sole-Source Vaccine Contract

11:46 AM, Jan 4, 2010 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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And it's not as if this wasn't a concern during her nomination hearings. As obtained by THE WEEKLY STANDARD, Senator Tom Coburn specifically asked O'Toole on June 10, "What are your views on whether the United States should fund development of a second generation anthrax vaccine? Given that Pharmathene is competing for this effort, will you recuse yourself from any role in the decision whether to support this effort?" O'Toole's response, "I will, of course, adhere to all Executive Branch ethics requirements in consultation with the Department's Designated Agency Ethics Official with respect to conflicts of interest. I will recuse myself from any matter in which I have a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict as outlined in my Ethics Agreement which has been submitted to this Committee. With regard to Pharmathene, I have, as noted above, no financial interest in the company and am not aware of any current recusal requirements."

So O'Toole states she will not recuse herself and the favor factory begins production. Anyone concerned with this sole-source contract to O'Toole friends at PharmAthene -- a wholly owned subsidiary of John Murtha, Inc. -- has until January 13 to voice concerns in an effort to keep it from becoming finalized.

But with all that said, the mother of all taxpayer-funded gifts still sits in the wings, and it is the John Murtha Center for Biosecurity at UPMC.