Privatizing air traffic controllers will fundamentally destablize air travel in the United States.

CALLED OUT BY PRIMARY OPPONENT ON FAVORING LOBBYIST PRIORITIES

 Washington, DC – As Congressman Shuster pushes his plan to privatize the Air Traffic Control, he yet again faces fierce backlash over motives, this time in Pennsylvania’s 9th district. Back home, the people of Pennsylvania have doubts over Shuster’s priorities.

Here’s what has been said:

 

  • “He cavorts with a lobbyist… I think that is a disgrace and it’s grounds for him to resign.” – 9th Congressional District candidate Art Halvorson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

 

  • “Shuster lives a rock star’s lifestyle funded by our tax dollars and lobbyists’ money, while his constituents suffer under a weak economy, rising healthcare costs, and a punishing tax burden.” – Halverson for Congress spokesman, PoliticsPA

 

  • “{Shuster] should be spending more time with the people than the lobbyists.” – Chambersburg Mayor Darren Brown, Public Opinion

 

Shuster, tea party challenger trade blows at rancorous debate | Politico | Sarah Wheaton

 

  • Halvorson portrayed Shuster as continuing a family tradition of trading on his position of influence in Washington, comparing the incumbent’s actions to those of his father, Bud Shuster, who resigned from Congress in 2001 under a cloud of impropriety.

 

  • A defeat for Shuster would be the most successful voter rebellion against a high-ranking Republican congressman since then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor went down at the hands of political neophyte Dave Brat in 2014. Shuster is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on ads and polling in the final weeks of the campaign, an indication he sees Halvorson as a serious threat.

 

Shuster, Halvorson tout conservative credentials in debate | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Len Boselovic

 

  • Incumbent Bill Shuster, R-Bedford, accused challenger Art Halvorson, a retired Coast Guard captain from Bedford County, of running a negative campaign. Mr. Halvorson’s rebuttal: His campaign is negative only because Mr. Shuster’s record is so negative.

 

  • Mr. Shuster, a 15-year incumbent, could be facing his toughest challenge since taking over from his father, Bud Shuster, who served for 28 years before suddenly announcing his retirement in January 2001. The elder Shuster had been cited a year earlier for ”serious official misconduct” for his ties to a lobbyist.
  • Mr. Halvorson believes Bill Shuster has more serious ethics problems than his father, citing the incumbent’s relationship with Shelley Rubino, a lobbyist for Airlines for America who Mr. Shuster has been dating. Mr. Shuster is chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which develops legislation that affects the industry Ms. Rubino represents.

Shuster on defense in reelection over lobbyist girlfriend | Politico | Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer

 

  • “I have a personal relationship with a woman and I have been completely open about it,” Shuster told the Indiana Gazette this week. “I’ve put in place things I didn’t have to do to make sure that woman — who works for the airline industry — doesn’t lobby my office. She doesn’t lobby the committee.”

 

  • That claim is not actually true. Airlines for America responded that Rubino does, in fact, still lobby the powerful committee, while avoiding Shuster himself and his staff.

 

  • “As a Democrat lobbyist, she has long-standing professional relationships with many members of Congress and staff. There is no change in her role at A4A,” said the trade group’s spokeswoman Jean Medina.

 

Art Halvorson: Rep. Shuster is tied to lobbyists | Public Opinion | Jim Hook

 

  • Congressional candidate Art Halvorson marked U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Everett, as a career politician who has lost touch with the people he represents.

 

  • Chambersburg Mayor Darren Brown arrived late to the meeting and gave a short endorsement of Halvorson.

 

  • “I have never seen Congressman Shuster at a big event like this, except maybe the Corn Soup Rally,” Brown said, referencing a fundraiser for the Franklin County Republican Party. He added members of Congress “should be spending more time with the people than the lobbyists.”

 

  • The other big applause line was Halvorson’s: “We need to make a statement: These guys (incumbents) don’t own the country.”

 

  • Shuster, chairman of the House transportation committee, was first elected in 2001 to the seat his father held for many years.

 

  • “It’s called friends in high places,” Halvorson told his audience.

 

Rep. Bill Shuster: Shyster | RedState | Ben Howe

 

  • So there you have it folks. The status quo in government remains the acquisition of power and then the abuse of that power for personal enrichment. Shuster is the latest in a long list of congressmen happy to take up the torch of trading direct government spending with phony-baloney corporatist cronyism.  Because one way or another, their friends have to get wealthy. Perhaps the House GOP should be shopping for a different chairman?