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Halvorson Fires at Shuster In Radio Ad

Art Halvorson
Art Halvorson

Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Blair)’s primary opposition took aim over the congressman’s recent successful passage of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013 and Shuster’s vote to end the government shutdown and raising the debt ceiling.

Art Halvorson’s campaign responded to the water bill with criticism, saying that Shuster missed an opportunity to reduce the size of the government.

“[Because of WRRDA] We have more spending, more debt, and more interference with the free market – all justified as Constitutional action,” Halvorson said in a statement last week. “Mr. Shuster perpetuated a liberal economic policy for his first major legislation as the chairman. He missed a chance to reverse direction and fundamentally transform federal involvement in transportation.”

Shuster’s campaign has not assigned much merit to these charges.

“Halvorson’s attempts to distort Congressman Shuster’s record has now left him looking not only desperate but grasping at straws,” Shuster’s campaign manager Sean Joyce told PoliticsPA. “Shuster’s WRRDA legislation, that passed out of the House at an unprecedented vote of 417-3 was praised by conservatives firebrands throughout the Republican Caucus.”

The Halvorson campaign released a radio ad last week with many of the same sentiments. The minute-long ad calls Shuster a “liberal career politician.” It also addressed Shuster’s vote to end the 2013 government shutdown by raising the debt ceiling.

“Recently, Shuster voted for the Obama-Reid backroom deal that raised the debt ceiling without any spending reforms — once again, selling out taxpayers,” the narrator said.

Earlier in the ad, the narrator states that Shuster promised voters he wouldn’t raise the debt ceiling without spending reforms.

“I will not raise the debt ceiling unless we see significant cuts in spending, unless we see tax reform, unless we see parts of Obamacare delayed or stopped or repealed,” Shuster said in a town hall discussion last month.

Shuster justified his vote in a Harrisburg Patriot-News op-ed earlier in October.

“Defaulting on the government’s debt would be a reckless action and was simply not an option,” Shuster wrote. “The economic cost would have been astounding.”

The ad from Halvorson’s camp turns the table on Shuster’s “liberal” record, and referred to Halvorson as a “principled, limited government conservative.”

Halvorson’s advertisement claimed that if elected, he would limit himself to only three terms in Congress, not so subtly calling out Shuster, who would begin his seventh full term in January 2015.

6 Responses

  1. Inheriting your seat in Congress from your daddy is not small government conservatism. Voting to raise the debt ceiling 13 times is not small government conservatism. Voting for NSA, NDAA, SOPA, PIPA, and CISPA is not small government conservatism. $8 billion worth of pork barrel spending is not small government conservatism. Bill Shuster was never really on the same page as the 9th district. If I were him I’d be very afraid of somebody like Art Halvorson!

  2. Please think would you support anyone that would support your arrest detention and no trial. You can be held forever Bill shuster supported this. We no longer live in a free country.

  3. @King of Spades

    Seriously? If you can’t answer that on your own, consider yourself a low information voter. Serving in Congress isn’t just about the big national issues (and Shuster has been part of the conversation on national matters throughout his tenure). It’s also about the regional and local issues of concern that matter to you every day. How about the roads you drive on, or economic development for the 9th district? How about attracting businesses and helping to foster a climate where growth can happen? Do you think the people out in Somerset and Bedford care about Route 219? Of course they do.

    Comparing Shuster to Specter is comparing oranges to bananas. Shuster has always been a conservative. Specter was always a Northeastern liberal in sheep’s clothing. I’m originally from Philly and grew up with the Specters and the Greenwoods – moderate liberal Republicans all. How you could possibly lump Shuster in with them is beyond me.

    But then, I would guess that because he didn’t want the nation to default and because he didn’t carry Ted Cruze’s water in the House that makes him a dangerous liberal. Please do me a favor. Turn off the talk radio and pick up the Federalist Papers. It will do you well to read some history and realize that Halvorson has no idea what he is talking about on WRRDA.

  4. Halvorson is dead in the water. He has no base, and no real money to spend, and because of that, he is reaching out to some really extreme people. His campaign might unravel before Spring.

  5. @John-

    Remember when Arlen Specter told us Republicans how important it was to reelect him because of his “clout”? How well did that work out for us?

    And even if that ridiculous argument were true, what has Shuster accomplished other than spending billions of dollars that we don’t have on his pork projects?

  6. Why limit himself to three terms? He’ll spend the first term just meeting people, learning the process and finding his way to the bathroom. That leaves four years of complete anonymity to get absolutely nothing done. He’d be just as effective for the 9th District in that amount of time by bowing out of the race today and serving no terms at all.

    Oh but I guess this guy believes his own PR. He actually believes he’ll be able to transform Congress in his own image on day one. Ya right. Good luck with that. Good luck getting a bill through whatever worthless committee he’s assigned to by leadership as the lowest ranking guy on the roster and the last to speak on anything. Who knows, maybe he’ll get assigned to a rock star committee like Ethics or Science, Space and Technology with zero impact on the district. Way effective.

    Yep – definitely go with Halvorson to completely erase whatever clout the 9th District has in Congress instead of voting for Shuster who actually has accomplished something and represents the district in his work as Chairman of one of the most important committees in Congress. That would be awesome.

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