The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

November 2, 2012

Shuster’s opponent lacks proficiency

The Tribune-Democrat

— Bill Shuster has logged 10 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. He serves on the all-important House Transportation and Infrastructure and Armed Services committees. You might recall that his father before him was a House transportation power broker, bringing huge dollars to his 9th district to build an interstate highway and other infrastructure.

Shuster, a Republican, is up for re-election, but we’re not sure what kind of campaign he is running. Three requests for an editorial board meeting went unfilled.

Meanwhile, Karen Ramsburg of Mercersburg, Franklin County, has run a busy but not well-funded effort to unseat Shuster. She traveled to Johnstown specifically to meet with our board and to give us insight on what she believes is wrong in Washington and in the 9th district. We thank her.

Ramsburg won a primary write-in campaign to allow her name to appear as a Democrat on the general election ballot. A lifelong Demo-crat until 2010, she now describes herself as an independent, saying neither major party is working for America.

On what’s happening in Washington, she says “millionaires in Congress are clueless – we need a whole new Congress”; that it’s time to “end the endless war”; and that we need to repeal NAFTA and put tariffs on imported goods that are taking our nation’s jobs. She says she would “love to serve two terms and get out of there.”

Closer to home, she says “I wish my job were a union job,” “we shouldn’t be fracking” for natural gas, we shouldn’t “privatize” public schools, and, on coal, “we can’t leave them high and dry, but fossil fuels are outdated sources of energy. There is no such thing as clean coal.”

Ramsburg says she would welcome an endorsement from President Obama, “but I’m disappointed in him.” She says there are good points in the Affordable Care Act but that she has a “totally separate plan” for health care, one modeled after Veterans Administration hospitals.

Ramsburg is quick to blast Shuster on several fronts and says her run for the House was sparked by the congressman’s failure to help her group’s efforts to save a historical landmark in Mercersburg.

“I was able to save the house. He didn’t help at all,” she recalled.

We admire Ramsburg’s tenacity and thank her for giving Shuster opposition. Every political office should have campaign opposition. However, Ramsburg lacks the knowledge to serve in Congress. Perhaps she could gain experience by running for municipal, county or even state office.

Bill Shuster, a Hollidaysburg resident, is by far the best choice to represent the 9th Congressional District.


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