Here’s what Linkins had to say:
First, as the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Shuster is involved in “high-stakes negotiations to enact the most sweeping overhaul of the Federal Aviation Administration,” an ambitious plan to privatize the agency’s air traffic control services.
Second, there’s his girlfriend, Shelley Rubino, who — in a coincidence that’s sure to startle the innocent — happens to be “a top lobbyist” for Airlines for America (or A4A), which is “the leading U.S. airline trade association, an organization that spends millions of dollars trying to influence his panel.”
Cool, cool, sounds like a pretty chill arrangement. Per Politico, Shuster has mastered the art of explaining how him literally being in bed with the airline lobby is really no big deal:
“Ms. Rubino and I have a private and personal relationship, and out of respect for her and my family, that is all I will say about that,” the 54-year-old Shuster said in a statement.
Shuster added that his office “has in place a policy that deals with personal relationships that cover my staff and myself. This was created in consultation with legal counsel and goes further than is required by the law. Under that policy, Ms. Rubino doesn’t lobby my office, including myself and my staff.”
Are you still worried about Shuster and Rubino being tangled up both romantically and politically? Because it’s not a thing that’s bothering House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). In fact, this is the first he’s heard about it:
One thing’s for sure, though. From Rubino’s perspective, Shuster is a keeper!”