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PA-9: Shuster Blasts Halvorson For Forged Signatures

Art-HalvorsonThe PA-9 GOP primary has been one of the more intense and personal contests this year.

It seems the temperature just got ratcheted up.

Apparently one of Halvorson’s top campaign aides, David Haas, forged the signatures of 40 to 50 Blair County residents for the candidate’s petitions. The cases range from incorrect spelling, all the way to the entry of a man who died in 2014.

According to Patty Yauger of the Herald-Standard, the Dauphin County DA’s office is currently investigating the matter.

“Right now, I’m trying to determine whether it should be our case or the case of the Blair County district attorney,” First Assistant District Attorney Fran Chardo stated. “The affidavit swears that the signatures are accurate and obtained (in the circulator’s) presence. So, if it is a lie, it will be a criminal act.”

Last night, the Halvorson campaign fired Haas and released the following statement from campaign spokesman Joe Sterns:

The candidate and campaign committee were just informed of a very serious allegation regarding the behavior of a campaign staffer who circulated a small number of nominating petitions on our behalf. The circumstances suggest wholly unprofessional and unethical conduct by this individual.

We have terminated his employment with the campaign, effective immediately, and severed all ties. We do not tolerate dishonest behavior, regardless of intent.

Fortunately the issue pertained to the validity of only 40 voter signatures out of more than 3,000 — three times the required number to obtain ballot status.

Not surprisingly, the Shuster campaign was not satisfied with the move.

“The decision by Art Halvorson’s campaign to break the law by illegally forging signatures of 50 or more people, including one deceased person and others no longer living in the state, is an extremely troubling and serious act that demonstrates a complete lack of integrity Halvorson so loudly claims to practice,” Shuster Campaign Manager Andy Post stated. “He attacks Congressman Shuster several times a day with false and slanderous information, but clearly needs to be more focused on his own campaign, which is now under investigation by law enforcement.”

“This was not simply a mistake by someone affiliated with the campaign, but a deliberate and intentional violation by Halvorson’s senior campaign consultant,” Post continued. “In their attempt to downplay breaking the law, Halvorson’s campaign put out a statement saying, ‘Fortunately, the issue pertained to the validity of only 40 voter signatures.’”

“To those voters who are now discovering they had their rights and trust violated, the ‘no big deal’ attitude from Halvorson is a page right out of the Hillary Clinton cover-up playbook,” Post concluded. “Part of running for office is accountability and with this deceitful act, the buck stops with Mr. Halvorson, who should apologize to the voters and accept accountability for his actions.”

The 9th Congressional District consists of all or parts of Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Huntingdon, Indiana, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland Counties.

21 Responses

  1. Need help up here in Indiana Cty for Art. College kids are mobilizing pretty heavy for Shuster, seen many signs for him popping up. We know it’s an uphill battle for Art but still have some hope he can ‘rescue’ us. Heard from a couple Trump/Shuster supporters and not sure how many more are out there. People gotta wake up!!!

  2. “Shuster Booster” hit the nail on the head. Tea Party zealots are a problem at all different levels of government. In some cases, the problem persists even after the voters have rejected them.

  3. Forgery (and possible identity theft) would be prosecuted by the DA in each county in which a petition bearing forged signatures was circulated i.e. ‘uttered’. if it’s a multi – county utterance of a forged instrument, any DA could ask the PA AG to convene an investigating grand jury , which will call ALL of the electors whose names appear f or each urged petition to have each elector verify whether thy did or did not sign in front of that particular circulator. that is a lot of work, so DAs like to r ever these cases to the AG. but it’s very important to the integrity of the electoral process that forged elector names be addressed by criminal prosecution of who ver uttered the forged petition.

  4. It cannot be prosecuted in Dauphin County because the 9th district is not in Dauphin. Blair County was meant in the article. The alleged signatures were on a Blair petition. Each county requires a separate petition.

  5. Just make excuses for Art. So was Haas his campaign manager or volunteer coordinator. Halvorson demonstrates no leadership and has no clue. At least Bill and his campaign did commit a crime.

  6. Art Halvorson is a man of integrity. Shuster is a cheater and a liar. I am sick about this issue with the young man and these signatures but it will not stop me from supporting Art. We never hear from Mr. Shuster until election time. He is not representing his constituents. Go Art!

  7. What a surprise a tea party zealot is unable to follow the rules. Mr. Haas was listed as the campaign manager on the FEC report and now the campaign says he was a grassroots coordinator. Lies and more lies or the left hand doesn’t not know what the right hand is doing.

  8. How can a 23 year old be a senior consultant. Halvorson lacks judgment in naming this guy a “senior consultant.” They also said they were going to get 5,000 petitions but Halvorson fell short of that projection. Now Halvorson will blame Shuster saying he was set up.

  9. Hey Bob everytime a forgery occurs on an election petition the Da is involved

  10. Bill Shuster’s relationship with airline lobby and,in particular, $400,000 a year lobbyist is far more relevant to fitness for office than what a circulator may or may not have done.

    The circulator is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law…you know, like Hillary Clinton.

  11. When was the last time that a DA investigated petition for forgery or any other criminality? This is a politicized prosecution.

  12. um excuse me but he bragged about these first 1,000 which include the forged signatures. This was his top staffer – this is a big deal. Kind of amazing the shuster haters autmocatically come to havlersons side, when in reality if this was any other candidate they’d be saying how terrible this is. I don’t have a dog in this fight but i think its clear Art Halversons campaign, which he oversees made a huge error and broke the law. This is no small matter….. right?

  13. the focus must be trained upon the circulator, absent any evidence that the candidate had any role in the alleged-forgery

  14. Is this the beginning of the end for Halvorson? It does not matter if it is 40 or 400 signatures. This is an infraction or a potential crime that is tough to explain. If you can’t manage your staff then how will you be able to represent the 9th District. This should not have happened and now Shuster has more than enough ammunition to win this race.

  15. Halvorson staffer behaves unethically, is fired. Bill Shuster behaves unethically and…..

  16. That’s rich- the Shuster clan preaching about how politicians should be more ethical.

  17. I don’t know, check the signatures before filing them to make sure everyone is alive perhaps? Instead he rushed them to Harrisburg to tout his “first to 1000” as if that was some demonstration of strength. Total backfire.

  18. How is Halvorson failing to be accountable? He fired the worker who forged the signatures and he made it publicly known that this happened. What else is he supposed to do, drop out of the race?

  19. Wow jmarshak, you couldn’t be more blindly in the tank for Halvorson. This guys campaign team breaks the law, and you continue to beat the “but Shuster has a girlfriend” drum.

    This is a serious problem with either Halvorson’s character, or his ability to be accountable for his people, or both. If this was Shuster’s camp that did this, you guys would be going NUTS! Lets at least try and look at this objectively and call it what it is.

  20. I really don’t see a cover up here. Halvorson didn’t personally engage in any wrongdoing. He fired this guy immediately and made a public statement about it the same day.

    By contrast, Bill Shuster concealed his extramarital affair with a lobbyist for years, and only confessed to it because The Politico was about to expose him. And, let’s not forget that Halvorson is willing to appear in person at a debate and answer questions where Shuster isn’t.

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