CHAMBERSBURG, Pa.—Mercersburg resident Karen Ramsburg said Friday that she plans to go toe-to-toe with Rep. Bill Shuster to restore Pennsylvania’s 9th Congressional District to its former glory.
During a cold, blustery Friday, Ramsburg stood in front of the steps of the Franklin County Courthouse to announce that she’s running as an independent candidate.
”I’m running as an independent, because I don’t think either party is working for 99 percent of Americans,” Ramsburg said.
Although Ramsburg said she can’t compete with Shuster’s warchest, she thinks voters are ready for a change.
“If I do get elected, I would promise that I would not meet with lobbyists or corporate bankers,” Ramsburg said.
In the last 30 years, the American dream has become a cruel myth, she said.
“We live in the greatest nation in history, so why should we accept that there isn’t enough wealth for everyone who’s willing to work hard and willing to play by the rules and have a stake in this nation?” Ramsburg asked.
”For the last 40 years we have been represented by the same family (Shuster) in the 9th District of Pennsylvania, which sounds more like a governing aristocracy rather than a democracy,” she said.
Shuster, a Republican who has served in Congress since 2001, is the son of former Rep. Bud Shuster. The senior Shuster resigned due to health reasons in 2001.
“Where was Bill when his constituents began to have their piece of the American dream foreclosed on by unscrupulous Wall Street bankers? Where was Bill as Pennsylvanians lost their jobs so companies could get a tax break while moving to a low wage workforce in China? Where was Bill as Americans lost their health care, and the richest nation on Earth could only provide the quality of care of a third world nation?” Ramsburg asked.
She charged that Shuster’s constituents are being bought and sold to the highest bidder.
“We stand at a crossroads (where) our choices are to follow Congressman Shuster down the path of monetary tyranny, or jump and restore our unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” she said.
“You’re right,” Alanna Hartzok shouted from an audience of 12 to 20 people gathered in front of the courthouse.
As a nurse, mother and author of “Smith’s Rebellion 1765 Gives Rise to Modern Politics,” Ramsburg said she wants to restore this country to the American dream envisioned by our ancestors.
“A rule of money has created a totalitarian system in which most of us have become little more than indentured servants. I believe to restore this nation we need to restore the idea of the American dream the same way our ancestors did,” she said.
Hartzok, who said she was the first woman to run for the 9th District seat in 2001, came to meet Ramsburg.
“I think a strong independent candidate has a real chance right now. I think Shuster is representing the elites — the wealthy people, and I don’t think he’s representing true Republican principles anymore,” Hartzok said.
Ramsburg understands the problem of power today, she said.
“Money talks, and money is what’s leading our political system right now,” Hartzok said.