Halvorson is Beacon of light

This was published in the Altoona Mirror and is reproduced with the permission of the author.

America has been a beacon of light to the rest of the world for more than two centuries.

But the hope of freedom for our families, our places of worship, our workplaces and our communities depends on how we handle freedom today.

Think back to the Declaration of Independence:

1) “Self-evident Truths” – the undeniable fact that freedom is a moral absolute

2) “Endowed By our Creator,” – our unalienable right to freedom

3) “The Pursuit of Happiness” – the importance of freedom to our prosperity

4) “Consent of the Governed” – We each have a voice.

My friend Art Halvorson reminds me of our founding fathers. He has a heart for America for the generations to come. He is not in this Congressional race for self-glory but for our continued freedom and rights that we have as Americans.

Adam Everly
Bedford, PA

A Better Choice

This was published in the Public Opinion and is reproduced with the permission of the author.  

As the sun has thawed the fields and barnyards in the 9th Congressional District, the earthy smell of spring has been accompanied by another…the stench of political corruption. Our congressman, Rep. Bill Shuster has been caught again. Observers report Rep. Shuster and top airline lobbyists were lounging pool-side at a Miami hotel the week after the Transportation Committee (which Shuster chairs) approved a bill to overhaul the FAA in ways favorable to the airline industry.

This is only the latest example of Rep. Shuster’s questionable associations and more evidence of conflicts of interest. After filing to divorce his wife of 27 years in 2014, he admitted to a “private and personal relationship” with a senior airline industry lobbyist. In 2010 there were reports that he was chastised by the Speaker of the House for partying with female lobbyists.

Conservative voters have tolerated enough of this behavior that damages public trust by creating an “appearance of evil.” It typifies all that is wrong in Washington and stands in stark contrast to the values of this district! Is Mr. Shuster so intoxicated with the power he wields and so contemptuous of his constituents that he really doesn’t care how wrong his behavior is (or appears to be) regardless of its alleged technical legality? Our public servants should champion the highest standards in every aspect of their lives rather than see how close they can get to illegal activity and get away with it.

Thank God we have a far better choice this year for our congressional representation. I intend to vote on April 26th for Capt. Art Halvorson, a man of strong faith, unquestionable integrity, a 29-year record of honorable military service, and someone who better represents this district and my values and I pray many do likewise.

Lt. Col. Fred Bryan, USMC (Retired
Manns Choice, PA

A new congressman is needed

This was published in the Altoona Mirror and is reproduced with the permission of the author.

I was dismayed (but not surprised) when I heard that Bill Shuster is dating a lobbyist from the airline industry. I then had about the same reaction when I read the recent guest editorial, which suggested that I have no right to expect better from the man who represents me in Congress.

At best, it is incredibly poor judgment for the chairman of a powerful congressional committee to be romantically involved with a lobbyist who represents an industry that his committee regulates. At worst, it’s brazen corruption. Forgive me, but I’m not impressed by the policy Mr. Shuster has allegedly put in place to avoid impropriety.

This is the same Bill Shuster who made the list of The Biggest Campaign Whoppers of 2014 for his lies about his opponent. This is also the same Bill Shuster who was caught on tape at the 2008 Republican National Convention partying with lobbyists and thrilling to the sounds of a band called “Hookers & Blow.”

I also don’t buy the notion that the liberal press is just picking on poor Mr. Shuster because he’s a conservative. If you bother to check his record, you’ll find that he’s actually far less conservative than most of his Republican colleagues, and regularly votes with the Democrats to pass wasteful spending and government-growing measures. The Democrats are smart enough to know that PA-9 is a seat they’ll never have. Why then would they be eager to oust Bill Shuster? He sides with them far more often than Art Halvorson ever would.

Whether they like it or not, local Republican Party leaders are going to have to make a choice. Will they continue to condone this type of behavior from a man that many of them have vehemently supported for so long? If so, Franklin County needs new GOP leadership just as badly as PA-9 needs a new congressman.

Erich E. Hawbaker

Bill Shuster’s “pro-life voting record” is dubious

This was published in the Bedford Gazette and is reproduced with the permission of the author.

Bedford Gazette a few weeks back and reproduced here in its entirety with the permission of the author. This voter calls into question Bill Shuster’s commitment to pro-life issues.

In evaluating a candidate for the job of US House Representative, voters should consider more aspects of that candidate’s work and public life than just his or her voting record. Bill Shuster claims to be pro-life and his campaign points to his voting record as evidence of this. My question is whether Bill Shuster is an advocate for pro-life issues.

On the morning of January 22nd, 2016, as a mammoth snowstorm was bearing down on Washington DC, Congressman Bill Shuster was at the Somerset County Club attending a fundraising breakfast. Meanwhile, Art Halvorson, Republican candidate for the US House of Representatives from PA’s 9th District, was on his way to the March for Life on the National Mall in Washington DC. Halvorson was joined by fellow pro-life advocates from Bedford PA and participated fully in the event.

I am proud to support Art Halvorson for Congress in the Republican Primary on April 26th because he is a passionate advocate for pro-life issues. Mr. Halvorson speaks publically every opportunity he gets about the need to pass legislation that protects life at all stages. Additionally, as a businessman, Halvorson has donated free office space to pro-life organizations. Bill Shuster is largely silent on this issue and his “pro-life voting record” is of dubious authenticity given that he voted in December of 2014 for the Cromnibus Spending Bill which funded Planned parenthood with half a billion dollars.

It is time for pro-life voters to take back PA’s 9th District as an opportunity to put forth a pro-life candidate who will vote and advocate for pro-life issues!

Steve Buckingham
Manns Choice, PA

Which Candidate is Better for Ag?

This was published in the Bedford Gazette and is reproduced with the permission of the author.

I supported Shuster when he first ran for office and even spoke on his behalf at Farm Bureau and other ag related meetings. At the time, he told me, if elected, he would apply for a seat on the House Agriculture Committee and would appoint a local advisory committee on agriculture since he had little knowledge of the subject and asked me to be on that committee.

As former County Agricultural Agent (Cooperative Extension Agent), Director of Plant Industries and Director of Agricultural Marketing for Maryland Department of Agriculture and a 20-year staff member with USDA, and at the time, owned a small farm, I was well qualified for such a position. After his election, I have not heard from him except at election time, or after I have complained to a close family friend of his about his lack of response to some of my letters.

Recently, he voted to repeal the requirement that beef, pork and chicken sold in the United States be labeled to identify the county of origin. This now allows foreign products, many with foreign government subsidies to complete unfairly with US producers, not to mention the possible unknown additives to those products. How does that help farmers?

Shuster may have voted against the “Waters of the United States Rules,” as every congressman should, but he has a long track record of voting for many bloated EPA appropriations, some even larger that President Obama requested.

Look closely at the sources of his funding and you will know that Shuster is closely aligned with the transportation industry and not with agriculture. On the other hand, Art Halvorson has a long and genuine relationship with agricultural producers and is not beholding to other groups of interests. I know him to be a true conservative, a strong Christian, a knowledgeable and intelligent business man and distinguished retired military officer.

I urge farmers and all others to support Art Halvorson for Congress.

Ronald Johnson
Schellsburg, PA

Voting for Character in Congressional Race

This was published in the Bedford Gazette and is reproduced with the permission of the author.

As one who will be 90 years of age by the time the next general election rolls around, I think I have seen enough politicians come and go to see through many of their charades. Character matters, and good character is hard to find.

I have seen Art Halvorson demonstrate commitment, wisdom, absolute honesty and the ability to give guidance to those under his trust: his wife, his children, Coast Guardsmen under his command, and those with whom he works in Christ’s kingdom in churches.

Not only is Art Halvorson wise and able, but he is also faithful to his God, his wife, his family, his duty and his nation.

I do not live in the 9th Congressional District of Pennsylvania, but as Art’s father-in-law, I can offer insight into your important election choice.

Ensign Art Halvorson asked for the hand of my daughter Paula in September 1977. There is no greater trust than a father giving the care and future of his daughter to another man. Art Halvorson has proven worthy of that trust for over three decades. He would certainly prove himself again as your congressman.

Though he rarely speaks of them, I know of the many times Art demonstrated his bravery and love for his fellow man as a Coast Guard rescue pilot, including the time he flew into a raging storm to transport a woman in dire need of medical help to a hospital when civilian ambulance planes would not fly. There are many other examples.

Art has proven worthy of the trust placed I placed in him.

He proved worthy as a military man. He will prove worthy of your trust in Congress.

I wish the best for the 9th Congressional District. I know Art Halvorson will make you proud, as he has me.

Robert W. “Bob” Spoede, Ph.D.
College Station, Texas
Retired Major, U.S. Army

Questioning Commitment of Shuster

This was published in the Bedford Gazette and is reproduced with the permission of the author.  

Isn’t it ironic that during Groundhog Week, up pops ole’ Bill Shuster from his hiding place, in D.C., to let us know that he is still around, especially as the Pennsylvania primary election nears. As a local resident and voter, I want to know where he has been for us, those he is supposed to represent in D.C. His picture often appears visiting local businesses, who in turn pad his reelection finances, and handing out checks to area police and fire departments where he can count on many of his votes. But where and when does he spend time with his constituents?

Rarely is a call to his office answered by a knowledgeable staff person. You talk to an assistant and then receive a long-winded letter from the Congressman touting his stance on your concern, long after a vote has been taken in Congress. At that point, what difference does it make?

Bill is part of the “establishment” in Washington D.C., that is no longer wanted by We the People. Politics, as they were in daddy’s day, are quickly going by the wayside. Hillary, Jeb and others are painfully learning that lesson. It is time for voters of the Ninth Congressional District to wake up and elect a well-deserving candidate, not one who took over daddy’s seat?

Kathy Noll

Shuster’s tepid conservatism

Letter to the Tribune Review
By Earl Eck, Altoona

I recently received a political mailing from U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster stating that he is supported by U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina. Heritage Action for America, the political-advocacy arm of The Heritage Foundation, has as its purpose to hold Congress accountable to conservative principles.  Read more…

Halvorson will act with integrity on life, taxes

This was published in the Bedford Gazette and is reproduced with the permission of the author.  

When we all enter the voting booths during election time, we need to seriously consider who we are sending to Washington to represent our district. Do they share our values and beliefs? Do they act on what they promise to do in Congress? Do they consistently perform with diligence and integrity? Our job as voters is to make sure our representatives are just that.

Art Halvorson has based his campaign for Congress in 2016 on four objectives:

  1. Join other like-minded members of the House to change the Republican leadership who want to change things now, not when some possible outcome happens.
  2. Push for repeal of Obamacare and replacement of it with a free market, patient-centered alternative. The people and their medical professionals, NOT bureaucrats need to have say over their healthcare decisions. What has Bill Shuster actually done to stop Obamacare?
  3. Insist on limiting the deficit and paying off the national debt with his plan of “Cap-Balance-and-Grow.”  That is, we should cap federal spending, balance the budget, and grow our economy. If we don’t rein in government spending, our country will fail.
  4. Demand that Congress support economic growth and jobs, including jobs here at home in our District, by reducing the growing mountain of oppressive government regulations that strangle small businesses and farms. The cost of the regulations is putting the small owners out of the running for being successful.

It is time we put someone into Congress (and hopefully many someone’s) who will not be thrilled with power and only looking to aggrandize themselves.

Since Bill Shuster cannot deny that he voted to continue funding Planned Parenthood after they were found to be selling baby body parts from their abortions, he claimed that there was nothing that could be done until the Dems were out of the Presidency. Has Bill even read the Constitution? Doesn’t he understand the checks and balances that are in the Legislative, Judicial and Executive branches? The House holds the purse strings, so his vote to discontinue PP funding would have been the right thing.

When Bill has no other response he resorts to publishing lies about Art Halvorson. Anyone who knows Candidate Halvorson knows he is honest and ALWAYS acts with integrity.  Bill Shuster claimed that Art is not Pro-Life, which is a total lie. Art is 100% Pro-Life and believes every baby has as much right to life as anyone else. He actively supports crisis pregnancy centers with money and time.

Art has pledges to never raise taxes, something Bill Shuster claims he would do.

Bill Shuster claims that Art would support the agenda of Obama, Reid, and Pelosi. Totally false and against anything Art stands for.

Candidate Halvorson’s website says of the attacks by Mr. Shuster: “These attacks are pretty ridiculous coming from a Republican incumbent praised by liberal Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) for his moderate views.”

Do we really want to re-elect someone who goes against our values and is praised by an ultra-liberal Democrat?

Don’t take just my word for it – go and meet Mr. Halvorson, read his website, look into his Facebook page.

Think before you vote – every time.

Cathy Jacobs
Manns Choice, PA

Halvorson A Refreshing Choice

This was published in the Public Opinion and is reproduced with the permission of the author.

I am excited that Art Halvorson is once again challenging Bill Shuster for the Republican nomination for the 9th District congressional seat.

Shuster won last time, but only because the opposition was divided and Shuster spent fortunes of industry money on the meanest, most dishonest campaign I have ever witnessed. Since he was re-elected Bill Shuster seems to think he is untouchable. He is proudly touting his affair with a lobbyist from the airline industry — the very folks he is supposed to be regulating. It is unacceptable. In contrast, Art Halvorson is a dedicated Christian and a 29-year veteran of the Coast Guard. He played a key role in re-organizing the Coast Guard to face the new challenges after the 9/11 attacks. It will be refreshing to have a man of honor and principles representing us in Washington. It is well past time to remove the 40-year Shuster dynasty and restore some dignity to Congress.

Greg Scandlen
Waynesboro, PA

Shuster is no Conservative

This was published in the Public Opinion and is reproduced with the permission of the author.

We are approaching another primary congressional election this spring and everybody can be sure that during these months leading up to the election, Bill Shuster will brag about how conservative he is. One look at his record shows he is not a fiscal conservative. He was one of the biggest supporters of earmarks and he would love to bring them back. In May of 2013, Shuster said that “at some point we have to bring [earmarks] back.” There are a couple of reasons why he wants to do this. He loved being able to behave like Santa Claus with your federal tax dollars, giving the money to pork projects that he liked or benefited him politically. It was a convenient legal way of buying voters support. Another reason he wants to bring earmarks back is, because he knows by using earmarks , it is much easier to get other members  of congress to support any type of bill that grows the government and contains wasteful spending for unnecessary projects. Other congressional  members  are more likely to vote for a bill that has their own personal pork projects funded in the bill.

In the February issue of the Ripon Forum , Bill Shuster  when asked in a interview about what he learned from his father  said, “Of course I’ve learned a number of lessons from my father over the years …”  The use of earmarks is one of the lessons he learned, but  probably won’t  publicly admit it. His father Bud, who was known as the “king of pork”, was famous for using earmarks to fund personal pet projects.

Now is the time to replace Bill Shuster with a genuine conservative, like Art Halvorson. Halvorson is against all earmarks and will make sure that they are not ever brought back. He will work to get rid of unnecessary government programs and stop wasteful spending. Art Halvorson will make sure that federal tax dollars are spent responsibly. He knows that this money belongs  to the tax payers and  it is not to be used by members of congress to fund personal pork projects. The Ninth District needs to elect Art Halvorson, the only actual fiscal conservative, and get rid of the counterfeit one we have now.

Lucas Miller
Waterfall, Pa.

Shuster’s trade stance disappoints

This was published in the Public Opinion and is reproduced with the permission of the author.  

Ninth Congressional District Republican candidate Art Halvorson recently released his agenda on foreign trade. It was refreshing to see there is someone who finally appreciates the damage so-called free trade has done to America, especially in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

As a lifelong Reagan conservative, I advocate trading with other countries with as few government burdens as possible. However, like so many Pennsylvanians with friends and loved ones displaced by lopsided trade deals, I have been frustrated with career politicians such as the current 9th District representative, Bill Shuster, who have abandoned the economic patriotism of our Founding Fathers.

Shuster and others have sold out to multinational corporations eager to ship good-paying jobs to corrupt countries with slave labor and a multitude of unfair, government-sponsored advantages like subsidized warehousing. These bad deals have hurt our manufacturing base, middle-class families and small businesses to the benefit of global corporations. Shuster voted for ObamaTrade, the Export-Import Bank that converts our hard-earned tax dollars into corporate welfare for global corporations abroad and “normalized” trade relations with communist China.

Bud Shuster, who preceded his son as the district’s representative, understood the importance of making smart, fair trade deals that protected our middle class. Sadly, his son didn’t inherit that understanding. I encourage voters to examine the trade policies that Halvorson espouses. We need to restore common sense to our trade deals.

Paula Mazurek


October 17, 2016

Meet your Candidate for Pennsylvania’s 9th Congressional District T

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November 2, 2016

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October 27, 2016

Art Halvorson announced today the hiring of Attorney Marc Scaringi, of

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