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PA-9: Shuster’s Personal Life Takes Center Stage Again

ShusterCongressman Bill Shuster is trying to put the focus on the issues but the spotlight keeps shining on his personal life.

Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer of Politico, who broke the story that Shuster is dating an airline lobbyist, wrote another damaging story just a few weeks before the April 26th primary.

“I have a personal relationship with a woman and I have been completely open about it,” Rep. Shuster told the Indiana Gazette. “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.”

The problem? That statement is not true.

Shelley Rubino does lobby the House Transportation Committee (which Shuster chairs) for Airlines for America.

Casey Contres, the Congressman’s spokesman, said that Shuster meant Rubino doesn’t lobby Shuster’s aides on the Committee.

Primary opponent Art Halvorson hit the incumbent hard on this issue.

“Bill Shuster’s Clinton-like statement regarding ‘that woman’ is yet more evidence that Shuster is not a serious, trustworthy representative for the people,” Halvorson spokesman Joe Sterns said. “Shuster lives a rock star’s lifestyle funded by our tax dollars and lobbyists’ money, while his constituents suffer under a weak economy, rising health care costs, and a punishing tax burden created, in part, by his lousy votes for Obamatrade, the Wall Street Bailout, debt increases, and funding for Obamacare. Shuster has violated the people’s trust through his corrupt and arrogant behavior. He has repeatedly betrayed the people who gave him his power, and soon they will hold him accountable for his deceit. In a few weeks, the voters will rise up and reclaim the power that Shuster has for too long abused.”

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

19 Responses

  1. Halvorson is a joke of a candidate, even his own ‘supporters’ are upset that they’re stuck with him

  2. re: ‘… in 2004 Shuster ran a really nasty personal attack campaign against DelGrosso too, which included stuff from his Navy medical records that I assume was supposed to be confidential.’ – Where are the US attorney’s office and the DA offices’ on this criminal abuse of confidentiality regs? any local DA whose jurisdiction it was could have convened investigating grand juries on Shuster and his campaign staff’s criminal release of private federal health records ? does Shuster have all these DAs in his slimy political pockets too?

    too bad Dems can’t/ won’t / don’t change registration for the upcoming primary to vote Shuster out. too bad the state dem party is such a mess that they can’t put $$$ into helping candidates like Alanna who could have defeated Shuster. I guess the big blue machine would rather spend millions of its money on propping up puppet candidates like 7th choice mc Ginty, instead of putting$ into races against Shuster or Rothfus. i can guarantee you that no Dem in Somerset or Fayette has the means to challenge Shuster any time soon, if (god help us) he wins the R primary again…

  3. I was in Pittsburgh a few years ago at a restaurant that Shuster was attending a party. Shuster at that time was still married. . He was drunk, loud, obnoxious, and chasing any woman that unfortunately came near him. The people I was with asked me if I knew him. I told them he was a US Congreesman representing the 9th Congressional District. Shuster is a moral pig. He needs to be voted out.

  4. The sad thing about Shuster is that he has obviously lost all his morals and ethics, assuming he ever had any. Looking at the picture with this article, he looks bloated and is probably a heavy drinker, living the daily excesses of DC big shots – wine, women and food. There are so many corrupt politicians in DC – both parties – and Bill Shuster could be the poster child.

  5. I formerly lived in the two Shusters’ (Bud and Bill) district. Bud was hard-nosed, but competent. Bill is hard-nosed, a dirtbag and incompetent. He is re-elected because he gets enough campaign warchest money to discourage underfunded Democrats from trying to get money in a “safe” Republican district — gerrymandered by our helpful state-level GOP in Harrisburg. He is also adept, in a slimy way, at bringing pork back to the district. Paul Ryan and the other leaders should force him out as committee chairman. Then a GOP primary opponent would have a chance.

  6. I coordinated Alanna Hartzok’s media activities when she ran against Shuster in 2014. We discovered that almost all of the millions of dollars that he raised for the election came from outside of the district and primarily from the very lobbyists and industries that the committee he chairs is supposed to provide oversight over and regulate. His brother is a lobbyist for fracking interests that also contribute to his campaign. If this is not conflict of interest I don’t know what is?

    We sent all of the local media stories about all of this; but only a few of the papers were willing to run them. I guess it pays to be the son of a representative that has controlled the Transport and Infrastructure Committee in Congress for a long time and is now the Committee Chair himself. The whole family wreaks of conflicts of interest rather than doing what is good for people in the district.

    I hope that all Republicans in the district will take Art Halvorson’s challenge seriously. I have met and talked with Art. He is an honest and respectable candidate that would better represent our people and the district.

  7. First off, in 2014 Shuster had TWO Republican primary challengers and Halvorson was one of them. I was the Democratic Party nominee and received 36.5 percent of the vote with only $22,800 in campaign funds compared to Shuster’s millions. After gerrymandering District 9 now has only around 4000 fewer Democrats than Republicans. The number of Independents is growing. If I had had some serious funding and better organized support we could have put a Dem in Congress in 2014. I think it is possible for a Democrat to win the office but someone has to step up and give it a try. The Democrats do not even have a candidate for 2016. I did my best in 2014.

  8. THIS is the problem. I don’t care Republican or Democrat THIS is the corruption and type of bum that needs to be KICKED OUT.

  9. Actually Dem, when DelGrosso ran against him in 2004, Shuster just squeaked by. The final percentages were 50.3% to 49.7% (if you recall, Arlen Specter barely survived his first contest with Pat Toomey that year as well). Of course the 9th district isn’t exactly the same now as it was then since the 2010 redraw when PA lost another seat. Shuster ran a really nasty personal attack campaign against DelGrosso too, which included stuff from his Navy medical records that I assume was supposed to be confidential. From 2004 to 2014 he never had another serious opponent from either side.

    I really think Halvorson is going to do it this time, now that there isn’t a third idiot in the race to divide the opposition. Shuster spent $4 million last time and only got 52% of the vote, and that was before anybody knew about Shelley Rubino. He’s so slimy- he had his wife with him most of the time on the campaign trail in 2014 and then divorced her right after he won. That mess, combined with how mad people are at incumbents right now, could easily sink him. Let’s hope.

  10. Rightwing nutcase Art Halvorson is probably more dangerous for America than Billy boy, despite his amorous ethical challenges. But why are they the only choices? Is it the GOP gerrymandering of Congressional districts that prevents a decent Democrat to run?

  11. In 2004 I believe, a Delgrosso from the Delgrosso spaghetti sauce Delgrosso’s ran against him and I believe it was a 52-48 race. It is awful that in an area so populated with small government conservatives would continue, every 2 years, to walk to the Shuster trough, for over 40 years now, and let Bill and his father Bud represent them. E.G. Bud Shuster was even a carpetbagger when he first won the seat in 74.

  12. Shuster has the reputation of being good at bringing home transportation dollars but his district has more structurally deficient bridges than 413 of the 434 Congressional Districts in the nation. Transit Labs Blog reports that there were 584 failing bridges in Shuster’s District when the report was compiled (May 2015) — 1 of every 4 bridges (24.24%)

  13. Re: Why do they still elect him? No one till now has attempted to unthrone him. Very republican district and plays games with budget and life issues. Halverson isn’t great but he’s a heck of a lot better than shuster to most conservatives.

  14. Mello Yello…, Shuster has had primary opposition before….in 2014 I believe. And, Halvorson has won before.

    The reason Shuster gets reelected is that he is productive at bringing transportation dollars to the district.

    That being said, misleading statements aren’t going to help him get through a primary. Not that it matters who he’s dating…but at least be up front about it.

  15. As someone who lives in the 9th district, I can say that the reason people heave voted for him is because nobody from his own party and residing in his own district, until now, has challenged his tenure. In previous elections, Democrats have tried to unseat him and failed. Thus far, he hasn’t faced a primary challenge until this election cycle. If I’m correct, he won’t have a Democratic opponent in the general election. So this primary will be key for him if he wishes to stay in congress for another two years.

  • Who are you voting for in the PA Supreme Court race?

    • Dan McCaffery (61%)
    • Carolyn Carluccio (37%)
    • Still undecided (2%)

    Total Voters: 344

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