The Madison Project is proud to announce our first endorsement of the 2014 election cycle.
Are you sick of being disenfranchised by the politicians in Washington? Are you tired of Republicans rolling over on issues like the debt ceiling, Obamacare, farm subsidies, and amnesty? Do you want Republicans in the House to start performing as the majority? Well, nothing will change unless we rid ourselves of the dead wood within the current political class. If we plan to restore our republican form of government, we must begin by electing citizen legislators like Captain Art Halvorson and retiring career politicians like Bill Shuster.
Pennsylvanian’s ninth congressional district, which encompasses most of southwest Pennsylvania, is the most conservative district in the state. Mitt Romney carried it by 27 points. Yet this district has been represented by big government parochialism since 1972, in the form of the Shuster father-son dynasty.
After 19 years of porking and cutting backroom deals on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Bud Shuster retired from Congress in January 2001, immediately after being sworn in for a 15th term. This subterfuge forced a special election with party leaders choosing his son, Bill, as the party nominee. Bill Shuster immediately took his father’s seat on the committee, and became chairman of T & I this year.
Shuster is the embodiment of the big government tendencies within the party. In the past, he has voted for Cash for Clunkers, credit card regulations, and TARP. He was one of the biggest supporters of No Child Left Behind until it became very unpopular. Throughout his career on T & I, Shuster has been a leading proponent of the current statist federal transportation policy that wastes money on mass transit and blocks devolution of transportation authority to the states. He is a big porker and advocate for high-speed rail. He scores a -31 on the Madison Performance Index for last session, the lowest of the entire state delegation. He is a true red-district statist.
If we ever hope to change the direction of the Republican Party to one that provides us with a bold contrast, we need to defeat the career politicians. Art Halvorson is the antithesis of a career statist. After graduating from the United States Coast Guard Academy in 1977, Art served 29 years in the Coast Guard as a rescue helicopter pilot, flight instructor, test pilot, commanding officer, and eventually as a senior advisor at Coast Guard headquarters in Washington. After retiring from the Coast Guard in 2006, Art went into real estate investment and now runs four companies that own and manage real estate around the country. Art has been married for 34 years, has 6 children, and is a devout Christian.
When interviewing Republican candidates for Congress, it’s not hard to find people who will inveigh against government spending in the abstract. Yet few of them are truly committed to downsizing government by closing entire departments, devolving some programs to the states, and eliminating many others. Art didn’t need any coaching. He plans to run on a platform of state-run highway and infrastructure spending and is committed to opposing Shuster’s plan to raise the gasoline tax in a failed effort to perpetuate the statist federal highway policy.
As an owner of a family farm, Art understands the deleterious market distortions of farm subsidies and price fixing, which benefit large Ag interests at the expense of small farmers. As a career Coast Guard officer, Art understands the dangers of open borders. He’s committed to stopping amnesty while fighting to protect America first. As someone who has observed the failures of the current conservatives in Congress, Art is prepared to use the debt ceiling and CRs to defund Obamacare and force transformational change to the size of government.
Electing trusted conservatives to Congress is not just a pipe dream. In low-turnout, off-year primaries, we should be able to win with home-field advantage if we all get involved. While the primary is not until May 20, 2014, we need to give Art a big boost out of the gate, so he can gain some momentum in this daunting task. The Madison Project is proud to issue our first endorsement and throw our full support behind Art Halvorson.