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Letter to the Editor: Negative campaign a disappointment

on April 09, 2014 10:30 AM

For a short time, the information that Rep. Bill Shuster was releasing about Art Halvorson had me concerned, because it seemed to contradict my impression of Mr. Halvorson as a candidate with honesty and integrity.

In several TV ads and mailings, Mr. Shuster stated that even though his opponent professes to be against them, he lined his pockets with over $400,000 in farm subsidies from farmland he owned in Iowa.

That sounded pretty hypocritical, so I checked out the “hypocrite” website set up by Mr. Shuster’s campaign.

The paperwork for that Iowa farm subsidy is certainly posted there, but I looked closely: The name on the document is not Art Halvorson. I then had the opportunity to meet with Mr. Halvorson at a local “meet and greet” event, and got the facts firsthand: The farmer who rented the farmland from him received the subsidies. Art Halvorson did not.

So, what about the subsidies on the Bedford County farm where Mr. and Mrs. Halvorson live? Mr. Shuster claims that his opponent voluntarily signed up for those.

In actuality, the subsidy agreement was already attached to the property deed when they purchased the farm, they did not renew it when it expired, and they donated all the proceeds they had received (just under $2,500 total) to Habitat for Humanity.

Bill Shuster began this negative campaigning as soon as he learned that Mr. Halvorson was seeking a place on the primary ballot as his opposition.

Art Halvorson quickly put out a press release (and provided documentation) to set the record straight on the subsidy issue — in early February!

This means that Bill Shuster has continued to trumpet false information about his opponent long after he knew better.

This is disappointing, and really diminishes my regard for him as a candidate.

(See www.arthalvorsonforcongress.com and www.HypocriteHalvorson.com.)

Hopefully, Bill Shuster will eventually agree to a public debate (which Art Halvorson has requested), so that the candidates on the Republican primary ballot for U.S. Representative in District 9 can discuss meaningful issues and inform voters of their viewpoints.

Martha Jack

Indiana

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