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Super PAC Forms to Boost Shuster

Rep. Bill Shuster

A new Super PAC promises to support pro-business candidates, especially Bill Shuster.

Last month, Pittsburgh lawyer Ronald L. Francis filed paperwork to the Federal Election Commission to start Freedom and Opportunity PAC, with the intent to make “unlimited independent expenditures.”

“Freedom and Opportunity PAC is proud to support conservative, pro-growth candidates like Congressman Shuster,” Francis, the organization’s treasurer, told PoliticsPA.

Shuster faces GOP challenger Art Halvorson in the 9th congressional district in southwestern Pa. Last week, Shuster’s campaign launched a Halvorson fact-checker.

The super PAC is a clear response to similar efforts by national conservative groups to boost Halvorson. The Madison Project has endorsed Halvorson and labeled Shuster as “the embodiment of big government.”

It’s also an avenue for donors to support Shuster, the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, without campaign spending limits.

Cold Spark Media, a political firm founded by Senator Toomey’s campaign consultants, represents the PAC.

Although the FEC forbids independent expenditure-only committees, which observers colloquially know as Super PACs, to work with a candidate, these political organizations can campaign for or against someone autonomously.

Freedom and Opportunity’s assistant treasurer is Eric Lycan, a lawyer from Kentucky. Lycan is a member of the Republican National Lawyers Association and was the Kentucky chairman of Lawyers for Romney.

In a phone interview, Halvorson said he found it “ironic that the name of the Super PAC is Freedom and Opportunity in light of the Shuster’s obstacles to freedom and opportunity.”

He cited Shuster’s refusal to defund Obamacare as a budget demand, his support for the National Security Agency, his failure to vote in favor of Justin Amash’s bill which would have forbidden surveillance of private citizens without a warrant and an “unconscionable” debt that has increased by ten trillion dollars during Shuster’s time in office.

“That’s not freedom and opportunity. That’s slavery… bondage. You can’t grow when you are spending like a madman.”

19 Responses

  1. @William Robert-

    If that’s true, then I’m sure your sensibilities were deeply offended when Bud Shuster was forced to resign from Congress in disgrace and snuck his son in thru the back door rather than winning a fair, regular election. Shouldn’t that “disqualify” him from public office? You’re obviously a member of that Franklin County good old boys club that is only interested in keeping your cronies in power even when they’re not serving the people.

    And now, you’re looking to manufacture some outrage over this nonsense at the 9/11 event.because you know that Bill Shuster is in deep trouble and you need to divert the attention away from his big spending, big government record at all costs. Sorry to break it to you, but it’s not going to work this time.

  2. The second candidate to enter this election is Travis Schooley. Art is the third.
    Art is the outsider – with D.C. money.
    Art has no organization and no grassroots.
    Art is a keyboard candidate: he has a condescending demeander.
    Art campaigns at 9/11 ceremonies (ie. funerals). This should be against the law–or maybe it is??
    Schooley has an extensive organization and grassroots coverning ALL counties.
    Schooley will demonstrate how Americans will win back their country with the power of the people over our DC monied-interests (Art and Bill).
    Please go to schooleyforcongress and volunteer. You will have fun; you will feel very good about yourself. No need for alcohol or antidepressants. Just good old Christian energy.

  3. (1) EVERYONE HAS SPECIAL INTERESTS, everyone. George Washington and our Founders recognized and embraced this reality of humanity, and so ought “we the people” of today. Special interest “groups”, in general, are not to be feared. It is the particular interests of such groups & candidates to which every citizen has a responsibility to pay attention and–after deciding which candidate best represents their personal interests–vote accordingly.

    (2) EVERY CANDIDATE MUST RAISE MONEY to run an effective campaign and be a viable candidate. This has been–and will always be–a reality of any legitimate political effort. Just as with guns, money itself is not the problem in political campaigns, poor stewardship is. Every citizen has a responsibility to decide which candidate is the best steward of such money, and vote accordingly.

    (3) VOICES FADE, BUT VOTES REMAIN. “We the choir” (those of us passionate enough to sound off on political blogs & other social media), will eventually fade, and all that will truly matter is who gets the most votes on May 20, 2014. So, if the people of Pennsylvania’s 9th district decide to not show up, or decide to vote for the same name for which their family has voted the past 40 years, then nothing we have said here will matter.

  4. I just show the post were Rep Shuster was the speaker. Art Halverson does live in the 9th District. Rep Shuster is his Representative and Mr. Halverson has every right to attend a 9-11 event he is speaking at. I give him credit for having the courage to show up. What is he suppose hide? He can continue to participate in his community. What if his family wanted to attend with him, was he to send them alone?
    Grow up.

    If Rep Shuster is so confident he is going to win, what’s the worry, concern, problem?

  5. I find it telling that just 9 weeks on July 21st for the Pittsburg Post Gazette his campaign manager, Sean Joyce, said Shuster is “is not concerned with D.C. special interest groups attempting to cloud the minds of southwestern Pennsylvanian voters,” in what I interpreted as a reference to Art Halverson. Now somehow taking money from D.C. special interest groups is okay for Rep Shuster to do.- as if he got his already over 1 million dollar stash all from the people of the 9th District.

    I don’t care if Art Halverson was promoting himself at a 9/11 event. He has way less money than Rep.Shuster and has to be more face-to-face and use every in person opportunity he can. He did serve almost 30 years in the Coast Guard as a helicopter pilot doing rescue missions and probably I believe came to the event out of patriotism and not to campaign only.

  6. kingofspades: Congressman Shuster was a speaker at the 9-11 event and was there in an official capacity. Halvorson was there lurking around and politicizing a solemn event. That kind of poor judgement disqualifies him from public office.

  7. It is a discredit to this article that the only local candidate, without corporate money & outside special interests, was left out.

    Travis Schooley is the candidate most exciting to me as he will follow his oath of office to defend the Constitution, he will protect our pocket book, and protect out liberties.

  8. Mr. Shuster shows again how out-of-touch he is with his district. All of these special interest groups and PACs have nothing to do with PA9 – I don’t care if he’s the head of the transportation committee. He’s going to carpet bomb the district and hope people won’t take the time to look at his record. Hopefully the people will take a hard look at the man and not the money. Art Halvorson is running against the establishment and the money because he cares about the voters. Time for a change.

  9. Not surprised by this. His reelection strategy will be to drown the district in airtime attack ads and nastygram postcards. Meanwhile, he’ll absolutely refuse to do live debates or any other interactions where he might have to answer questions about his own less-than-sterling record. He’s a coward who will try to hide behind his cronies and the special interests who benefit from his massive porkbarrel spending. Getting our nation out of debt begins with removing career politicians like Shuster who use our tax dollars to buy their way back into office year after year.

  10. @William Robert

    As a member of that 9/12 group, I can tell you Shuster has been invited many times but ALWAYS declines. Not our fault.

  11. I fully support Art Halvorson. Shuster has been a RINO since day one. Like father, like son. Franklin Counties republican “Leadership” has been very rude to Art and we’ll remember that come Election time.

  12. @William Robert-

    I’m pretty sure I saw Bill Shuster there doing the exact same thing. Selective outrage much?

  13. Halvorson was caught campaigning at a 9-11 ceremony and it made the newspapers. What a tacky, desperate thing to do on his part. He’s finished before he starts.

  14. Let us see if Bill Shuster votes to fund Obamacare in the CR. and let us see if he votes to increase the Debt Ceiling.

    These will be the key votes that end his time in US House added to a very long list of Big Government spending and borrowing that got us into this mess. Bill Shuster’s record is his negative.

    As we can see, Bill Shuster is a Boehner Republican. This will be a proxy primary for Boehner.

  15. Bill Shuster has Money, Art Halvorson has “We the People..” Money can’t circle in Ballots, Bill. You betrayed this District a long time ago and We don’t forget that. You can have all the millions of Dollars you want, but voting to raise the Debt Ceiling 8 times will NOT be forgotten anytime soon!

  16. Somebody is VERY afraid! Almost a million in his own coffers isn’t enough? Shuster is dead in the water and he knows it.

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