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Hastert lends support to Shuster

May 04, 2001

Hastert lends support to Shuster



By RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Writer, Waynesboro

Haster speaks at Shuster fund-raiserPhoto: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer

STATE LINE, Pa. - Bill Shuster called in the big guns Thursday when U.S. Rep. Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the House of Representatives, flew into Franklin County to stump for the Republican 9th District Candidate.

Hastert spoke to a gathering of GOP faithful at a private fund-raiser at the Comfort Inn in State Line.

At the same time, Scott Conklin, Shuster's Democratic opponent, was also in Franklin County. He met with residents of Quincy Village, a sprawling retirement complex north of Waynesboro, Pa.

Shuster introduced Hastert for a brief press conference following the fund-raiser. Neither Shuster nor the speaker said they knew how much was raised Thursday from those who attended the event.

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Hastert said Congress is poised to pass the largest tax cut in history. He also said a "sensible" $267 billion budget is about to be passed, a budget that represents an increase of only 4 percent over last year.

Hastert also promised that the $2.8 trillion national debt will be paid in the next eight years. He also said Republicans later this year will begin to tackle the nation's health care problems with a common-sense solution "so all Americans can get health care without breaking the backs of employers."

Hastert said local fund-raisers like Thursday's are the best path toward campaign finance reform because they let the people invest in the candidate of their choice.

He said it is important that Shuster raises the money needed to wage his campaign and get his message out.

"I'm here to make sure Bill has the resources he needs," Hastert said.

Conklin, asked if he would bring in a big name Democrat to help with his campaign, sidestepped the question. He indicated he is conducting a grass-roots campaign. He said while it's nice that Hastert is visiting the 9th District, his own campaign is "based on what I know, not who I know. I represent the blue collar workers."

Conklin said he supports the tax cut, but will fight a GOP plan in Congress that will allow citizens to invest some of their Social Security taxes in the stock market.

He also said that the Social Security fund should be left alone and not be used to pay down the national debt.

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