Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Victim of Weathermen Underground and Obama pal runs for mayor in Yonkers, NY

by Jim Kouri
John Murtagh, one of the first Republican officials to publicly demand and explanation from then Senator Barack Obama about his questionable ties to radical terrorist William Ayers, has thrown his hat in the ring as the Republican designee for Mayor in Yonkers, NY, New York State's fourth largest city.
Some political observers in the state have said that control of New York's fourth largest city may be the biggest test for Republicans in New York this November.

Murtagh first gained national attention for his first hand account of the Weather Underground's 1970 firebombing of his family home published by City Journal (
In February 1970, when he was 9, Murtagh's father was a New York State Supreme Court justice presiding over the trial of the so-called "Panther 21," members of the Black Panther Party indicted in a plot to bomb New York landmarks and department stores.

Early on the morning of February 21, as his family slept, three gasoline-filled firebombs exploded at their home on the northern tip of Manhattan, two at the front door and the third tucked neatly under the gas tank of the family car.

That same night, bombs were thrown at a police car in Manhattan and two military recruiting stations in Brooklyn. The next morning the Murtagh family saw three sentences graffiti on the sidewalk: Free the Panther 21; The Viet Cong have won; Kill the pigs.

For the next 18 months, the young John went to school in an unmarked police car. His mother, a schoolteacher, had plainclothes detectives waiting in the faculty lounge all day. His brother saved money because he didn't have to rent a limo for the senior prom: The NYPD did the driving, according to the New York Daily news.

During the 2008 Presidential campaign Murtagh appeared on numerous national radio and television programs including Fox News Channel's The Greta Van Susteren Show and Hannity and Colmes discussing Obama's ties to Ayers.

Despite criticism in the local Yonkers media at the time, Murtagh continued to question Obama's ties to Ayers and other questionable personalities. Now Murtagh, who is currently the Republican Minority Leader on the Yonkers Council is running to become Mayor of that City.
To this day, in spite of overwhelming evidence, the majority of news organizations either ignore or downplay Obama's connection to radicals such as Ayers, his wife Bernadine Dorhn

John Murtagh has been the voice of civic reform and transparent government in Yonkers for nearly two decades.

He co-chaired the Yonkers Committee for Term Limits in 1994, leading the successful fight to make Yonkers one of the first municipalities in New York State to impose term limits on elected officials. Over the past seven years, he has fought to cut spending and end overtime abuse, and has been the leading conservative voice in local government.
In his first year on the Council Murtagh refused the "free" City car and "Free" City gas given as a perk to every Councilman. Last year Murtagh turned down a 10% raise in order to set an example for other City workers including Union leaders and other elected officials.
Councilman Murtagh is the author of the tough new Ethics Code for the City of Yonkers and the Board of Education, and he successfully amended the Rules and Procedures of the City Council to increase public participation.

Councilman Murtagh was elected Republican Minority Leader of the Yonkers City Council in 2010, and serves as Chairman of the Municipal Operations and Environmental Sustainability Committees. He is a member of the Real Estate and Economic Development, Budget and Rules committees.
Mr. Murtagh, an attorney with Gaines, Gruner, Ponzini & Novick LLP, is a graduate of Fordham College (B.A. 1982) and Fordham Law School (J.D. 1986). He served as an Adjunct Professor at the Fordham College of Liberal Studies, where he taught courses on urban policy and government.  He is a frequent lecturer on open government and the Freedom of Information Law.

He has been married for twenty-four years to Margaret Murtagh, a nursery school director. The Murtaghs have two sons – John, 23 and James, 19.
Jim Kouri, CPP, formerly Fifth Vice-President, is currently a Board Member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, an editor for, and he's a columnist for  In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB ( Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty. 

He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations.  He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country.   Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com.   Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc.