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Conservative PAC Backs Shuster Challenger

Art Halvorson
Art Halvorson

DC-based Madison Project PAC announced this week that it is throwing its support behind Art Halvorson, a businessman who announced a primary to Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Blair).

It appears to be motivated by a general anti-establishment sentiment.

“Republicans in southwest Pennsylvania deserve better than the tax-and-spend brand of Republicanism that has represented them in the form of the Shuster dynasty since 1972,” said Drew Ryun of the Madison Project. “Congressman Shuster is the embodiment of the big government tendencies within the Republican party with his votes for Cash for Clunkers, credit card regulations, TARP among other bad votes.”

The Madison Project, named after President James Madison, describes itself as a fundraiser for political conservative candidates across the country who match their platform as “Pro-Life, Pro-Family, Limited Government, Defenders of Religious Freedom.”

Located in Washington, the PAC is chaired by former Congressman (and Olympic medalist) Jim Ryun, a staunch Republican and Evangelical who was considered by some to be the most conservative member of congress during his five terms from 1996 to 2006. The Madison Project had an operating budget of nearly $2 million in 2012, most of which went directly to political candidates.

Shuster most likely attracted the PAC’s ire when he took over the gavel of the powerful House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure – thus joining House GOP leadership. As his father and predecessor did, Shuster has shown willingness to seek compromise among conservative and moderate Republicans as well as Democrats.

“I lump Mr. Shuster in with Mr. Boehner. He’s part of the leadership, part of the negotiations and strategic dealings with Mr. Obama. He’s not leading. If we’re gonna trade things off, let’s get something in return,” said Halvorson during his candidacy announcement.

PA-9 went from the most Republican-leaning in Pa. to the second most Republican-leaning after redistricting. Romney carried the district by 27 points in 2012, which comprises all of Bedford, Blair, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton and Indiana counties along with parts of Cambria, Greene, Huntingdon, Somerset and Washington counties.

The conservative lean to the district is part of the PAC’s endorsement message for Halvorson; Madison Project says a deep-red conservative could win PA-9.

That’s in a vacuum. Halvorson would have to beat Shuster, who raised half a million dollars in Q1 and is one of the most powerful members of the Pa. delegation – if not the most.

“Congressman Shuster is focused on promoting conservative solutions for the challenges facing Pennsylvanians. From voting to repeal Obamacare, cutting taxes for 99% of our working families, and reigning in the IRS, Congressman Shuster has a proven conservative record. His focus remains on representing the conservative values for the people of the 9th Congressional district,” said Campaign Manager Sean Joyce.

Halvorson, 57, moved to Mann’s Choice in Bedford County 5 years ago after serving 29 years in the U.S. Coast Guard. He said he runs a commercial development business with properties up and down the east coast. He is the first endorsement of the 2014 cycle for the Madison Project, which directs its website visitors to Halvorson’s campaign donation website.

7 Responses

  1. Bob Guzzardi, 

    Attributing Santorum’s defeat in 2006 to his support of Specter in 2004 is absolutely ridiculous.

  2. Leo Knepper is a real expert, both principled and practical. NotGID. Media would get better info from Leo than most any other source. Ryan Shafik is another knowledgeable source.

  3. Bill Shuster voted for Sandy $61 Bbillion pork bill. And porked up VAWA. Let us see what he does with Farm Bill, a trillion dollar bill that funds Democratic food stamp voters AND Republican agri businesses. See Left Wing Environmental Farm Subsidy Database for details. EWG names names in Pennsylvania of those who get Farm Subsidies.

    Penna. Dairy price supports raise cost of milk for mothers at supermarket. This is government fixing prices.

  4. Like father, like son, Rep Shuster is the kind of Establishment Republican that has been complicit with bipartisan Big Government Spenders that has gotten us into the fiscal mess we are in.

    Madison Project is affiliated with the expert and highly effective American Majority Action, experts at identifying grassroots conservative voters. Additionally, the Eichelberger organization, which defeated Shuster ally, former Republican Senate Pro Tem Robert Jubelirer, who vastly outspent John Eichelberger, is supporting Art Halvorson.

    Keep an eye on Mrs Halvorson, a steel magnolia! Do not attack her family! Mrs. Halvorson is, in my view, willminsurebthat Mr. Halvorson keeps his promises.

    Replacing Bill Shuster, chair of House Transportation Committee, with fiscal common sense Art Halvorson will be one important statement that voters are serious about restraining the size and cost of government.

    The Citizens Aliance network which defeated uber porker Rick Geist chair of State House Transportation Committee and replaced him with the very smart Rep. McGuiness, PhD Finance.

    Let us see what Keuth Rothfus and Pat Toomey do. Personnel is policy and supporting Bill Shuster directly or indirectly would be problematic. Consult Rick Santorum for consequences of selling out the base. Bill Shuster will try to “buy” this election by raising money from those getting rich from bad government.

    Let us hope that phony Faux Republican failure Charlie GID Gerow is not used as media “expert”.

  5. Hey. It’s all in the devil that you know. Electorate in the PA 9th are not all that Irked by Shuster. He’s a likeable lug. A darn fine carsalesmen. And, a gosh darn fine human being.

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