Bill Shuster's conflict: Way too cozy
We favor legislation converting the Federal Aviation Administration's air traffic control system into a nonprofit company. What we don't favor is the behavior of the Pennsylvania congressman spearheading this worthy reform now tainted.
The woes of the FAA's air traffic control system are legion. As the Reason Foundation's Robert Poole testified this month before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, it is plagued by “inadequate and uncertain funding, a flawed governance model and a status quo-oriented organizational structure.” Equipment is aging and efficiency is lagging, he added.
Turning the system into a nonprofit has broad support from aviation professionals. And it has a sound record abroad. Details still must be finalized but, in general, it's an idea whose time has come.
But the behavior of Rep. Bill Shuster, who chairs the transport committee, has cast suspicion on the proposal. As Politico documented in a Tuesday story, the Hollidaysburg Republican continues to have a very cozy relationship with lobbyists pushing the plan. A week after Shuster's committee approved the plan, Politico says he was lounging poolside and dining in Miami Beach with Nick Calio, head of Airlines for America, a lobbying group, and the group's vice president, Shelley Rubino, Shuster's girlfriend.
It was last April that Shuster denied any conflict; Ms. Rubino does not lobby him, he said. Nonetheless, the appearance of a conflict exists. And that appearance is growing.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.