Veterans for Bill Russell for Congress

This site is Closed - Maintained for Historical purposes. It was a National Grassroots Effort of Veterans, Veteran's Family Members Commending Retired Lt Col William "Bill" Russell For Congress (Pennsylvania 12th Congressional Dist). It was not part of the Russell for Congress campaign. | © 2007-2010 |

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Message From Bill Russell

Dear Supporter:

First, let me thank you again for all of your support in the primary campaign. While, we were not successful today, we brought together a strong network of conservatives here in the 12th Congressional District. This is a group of people that, like me, aren't going away anytime soon. Together, we will continue the fight for liberty, and who knows what the future may hold?

I'm writing to you today to ask for your help one more time. As is common in political campaigns, there was a flurry of activity at the end. This resulted in a handful of expenditures that the campaign was unable to cover with existing funds. Many of you gave sacrificially to my campaign already, and for that I am grateful. If you are able to contribute an additional $10, $15, $25 or even $100, it would go a long way toward helping us make things right with our vendors.

Again, I want to thank you all for everything that you've done. Take heart in the fact that Americans are just starting to wake up, and that means that the fight has just started. This was just one battle in what promises to be a long war. With your and God's help, we will be victorious.

Thank you.
Bill Russell

To Make A Contribution: Visit and Click on the Donate link!

TAG: Bill Russell, William Russell, PA-12

Monday, May 24, 2010

Thank You!

by William (Bill Russell): I would like to extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to all of my supporters over the 2008-2010 campaign seasons. I will be eternally grateful to those who put so much time and effort into the campaigns and to those who displayed such great loyalty in spite of pressure from various groups. Although the vote counts were a disappointment, keep in mind that there are hidden blessings in every disappointment. DO NOT LOSE HEART!!! This is a long fight for the soul of our party and our nation. We must all stay engaged – whether on center stage or behind the scenes.

Thank you again and GOD BLESS!


TAGS: William Russell, PA-12 PA, Primary, 2010, thank you

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Burns Defeats Russell in Primary

by Bill Smith, Editor: Yesterday, Tim Burns with 57% of the votes defeated William Russell in the PA-12 Republican Primary. Burns lost the special election against his Democrat opponent to fill the remainder of Rep. Murtha's term. Burns will be running against Mark Critz again in the General elections.

While I congratulate Tim Burns on his GOP primary win, I believe the the Pennsylvania 12th District lost its opportunity to send a conservative experienced former military person to Congress. Russell had hung in there for almost three years confronting a head to head Rep, Jack Murtha who was linked to corruption and partisan favors using earmarks.
TAGS: Tim Burns, William Russell, PA-12, Republican primary, Primary, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

PA-12 Primary - The Voting Plan

The Pennsylvania Primary tomorrow will help decide the future of our country.

It is imperative in PA District 12, that we get our vote out. The weather on Tuesday is expected to be nasty – rain and thunder storms. The less hardy may stay home (RINO’s, etc.), but the hardy souls of the Russell Brigade must and I’m sure you will get out and vote!

Here’s the game plan:
We are voting for Burns in the Special Election and voting for me in the Republican Primary. I know that many of you were disappointed (as I was) that the party bosses selected Burns over me to run in the Special Election. But, please follow my lead and vote Burns in the Special and Russell in the Primary.

TAGS William Russell, PA-12 PA GOP, Primary, 2010

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Electing Bill Russell Will Help Save the PA GOP

The following post on The Conservative Reform Network also identifies how the election of Bill Russell as the GOP Primary candidate will also help save the Pennsylvania Republican Party.
by BGuzzardi: 
A Win for Bill Russell is a Defeat for Rob Gleason. Until Republican State Committee is cleansed of Hacks profiting from politics. There is only one degree of separation between Rob Gleason and Nancy Pelosi. Rob Gleason, A Specter Republican. Can he be trusted? And what are you going to do?
Rob Gleason did nothing to help Bill Russell in 2008  and some background on Rob Gleason John Murtha and Diana Irey.
More on Diana Irey and Rob Gleason 2006
Link no longer active at Gleason Insurance – taken down about a year ago. Rob Gleason, chair of Republican State Committee profited from politics and his relationship with Democrat John Murtha.

Gleason is the expert in defense related businesses and manufacturers. We successfully develop innovative insurance solutions for this continually evolving industry. Gleason understands the special needs and business concerns of companies currently working on government contracts as well as those who are seeking these contracts.
We are registered with the Central Contractor’s Registry (CCR). We understand Defense and Government related businesses.
Our Services:
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  • Aircraft
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TAGS: William Russell, PA-12 PA GOP, Rob Gleason, John Murtha

Freedom's Defense Fund Ad: "Russell PA 12"

New TV ad being aired now on FOX NEWS and other cable channels throughout the 12th Congressional District:

Freedom’s Defense Fund (FDF) announced that it will extend its advertising buy today in support of William Russell for the Republican primary being held in Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional district on May 18th .

“William Russell is a decorated veteran, tested conservative and proven campaigner,” said Todd Zirkle, executive director of the Freedom’s Defense Fund. “He, alone, has earned the honor of adding this seat to the Republican column this November.”

Russell is set to face off in the May 18th Republican primary against the hand picked candidate of a few party insiders to represent Republicans in a special election slated for the same day. The Freedom’s Defense Fund is encouraging a broader swath of conservatives and Republicans to vote for William Russell to be the Republican standard bearer in the fall election.

“William Russell demonstrated guts when he challenged then-incumbent John Murtha at a time when nobody else would,” continued Zirkle. “Russell fought hard and earned 42-percent of the vote in a very tough district, against a tested incumbent. We urge Republican primary voters to stand with William Russell on May 18th . Vote Russell for US Congress.”

FDF is a political action committee (PAC) dedicated to the principles of limited government, as the Founders understood them. FDF stands with conservative, pro-freedom candidates against the radical left and their elitist allies in Washington.

TAGS: 2010 elections, US House, PA-12, William Russell, ad, Freedom Defense Fund

Saturday, May 1, 2010

PA-12: Americans Spoke, Liberals Ignored

PA-12: Americans Spoke, Liberals Ignored

PA-12 Democrat Mark Critz Won't Repeal Obamacare

TAGS: 2010 elections, House '10, PA-12, liberals, Mark Critz, ObamaCare

Friday, April 30, 2010


Calls on US Navy to Reconsider Decision
(JOHNSTOWN, PA) – Republican 12th Congressional District candidate William Russell today called on U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus to reconsider his decision to name the 10th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship after the late Rep. John P. Murtha. Russell called the decision an insult to all the brave men and women serving in uniform, as a result of Mr. Murtha's 2006 comments calling Marines "cold-blooded killers." Russell also pointed out that that Navy tradition calls for the naming of San Antonio class ships after famous war battles and not former Congressmen.

"Even the media is questioning Secretary Mabus's decision to name a new ship after Mr. Murtha," Russell said. "The Washington Times called it (Mr. Murtha's) 'highest undeserved honor,' and as a veteran I find this particularly offensive. In fact, I stood up against Mr. Murtha's comments back in 2008  when it was a matter of conviction and not just political expediency. I was even threatened for my position of defending those brave Marines."

Russell has called on veteran's groups around the country to express their displeasure with the Navy Secretary's decision.
More information is available at

Thursday, April 29, 2010

More vets enlisting in the electoral wars

By David Eldridge | Washington Times: The wars they fought in are still raging, but a surge of veterans from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan are already running hard for public office and shaking up congressional races across the country.

It is estimated that the number of candidates with military records on the 2010 ballot will double compared with just two years ago. With polls showing some voters unhappy with incumbents and nervous about defense and security issues under President Obama, many of the challengers fresh from the ranks are mounting strong challenges in local and state races.

“With each year, the quantity and the quality of the veterans seeking office is increasing,” said Pete Hegseth, the executive director of Vets for Freedom, a nonpartisan political action committee that supports candidates who are hawks on national security.

Mr. Hegseth said veterans are getting into the 2010 races for many of the same reasons as other reform-minded candidates.  “Veterans are driven by the same frustrations that the public has with what is happening in Washington … the fiscal irresponsibility and the financial crisis that our country is facing,” the 29-year-old Iraq veteran told The Washington Times.

Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats officially track the number of veterans running for Congress, but political action groups estimate as many as 40 Iraq and Afghanistan warriors-turned-politicians are competing in party primaries across the country this year.  The surge of new veteran candidates comes as the number of lawmakers with military service has plummeted. Steadily declining since the end of World War II, there are just 95 Army, Navy, Marine, Air Force and National Guard veterans in the current House of Representatives, a postwar record low of just over 21 percent of the total.

Many such candidates are running as Democrats — including formidable candidates like Rep. Joe Sestak, a retired admiral and the highest-ranking military man ever to serve in Congress, who is locked in a tough Senate battle in Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary with incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter.

But most of the veterans seeking office this year are campaigning as conservatives and looking to emerge from crowded Republican primaries — a prospect that hasn’t exactly been embraced in some GOP circles.

In Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District, long held by the now-deceased Democrat John Murtha (himself a vet), retired Army officer and Desert Storm veteran Bill Russell was rebuffed by the Republican Party’s state leadership. The leadership chose instead to back millionaire businessman Tim Burns as the handpicked GOP candidate in the May 18 special election to serve the remaining months of Mr. Murtha’s term.

Mr. Russell, who made a surprisingly effective run at Mr. Murtha in 2008, pulling 42 percent of the vote in the heavily Democratic district, didn’t appreciate the slight and is running against Mr. Burns in the same-day primary for the GOP nomination to seek a full term in November.

The race echoes some of the themes from 2009’s controversial special House contest in upstate New York, with charges that GOP insiders and decision-makers are out of step with the grass-roots candidacies of outsiders like Mr. Russell.

Mr. Russell said in an interview that he sees the parallels. “Party leaders absolutely tried to engineer the selection of a candidate who was 30 points down in the polls, and it’s all a business-as-usual, back-room deal based on them wanting a candidate who could be self-funded — despite the fact that I’ve outraised Mr. Burns three-to-one,” Mr Russell said Monday.

But he said there’s a big difference with the New York race, where divisions between the official Republican nominee and a conservative challenger helped the Democrats score an upset win.  “I’m absolutely not going to run a write-in campaign or try to run as a third-party candidate,” Mr. Russell vowed. “I’m a Republican, and if we’re going to change things in Washington, we need to recapture the soul of the Republican Party.”

Mr. Russell’s battle with the party establishment is one that many veterans face when looking to make the jump into politics, said D. Patrick Mahoney, an Iraq veteran and president of the Veterans for Congress political action committee.  Mr. Mahoney has been sharply critical of the Pennsylvania Republican leadership’s decision to pass over Mr. Russell, saying the move had less to do with qualifications than with the Republican establishment’s obsession with Mr. Burns’ wealth. “That’s why you don’t see more veterans running for Congress. It’s so expensive,” he said. “It’s tough for veterans who have been fighting a war, stationed around the world. Veterans who come back and want to seek office — especially the recent vets — generally are not going to be the rich guys.”

Mr. Hegseth agreed, saying both parties too often overlook veterans’ “untapped pool of leadership” in favor of self-funded candidates who can finance their own campaigns or party loyalists who network their way onto ballots.  Mr. Hegseth said the Republicans and the Democrats should be working harder to recruit veterans, even if they are new to politics.  “That’s not a negative,” he said. “It’s good that they’re not tainted by the process that some of these other candidates go through.”

Mr. Hegseth picked five races to watch this year:
  • Brian Rooney, a Marine who served in Iraq and a grandson of the founder of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers, is running for Michigan’s 7th District seat, held by freshman Rep. Mark Schauer, a Democrat from Battle Creek.
  • Navy vet Mark Steven Kirk could end up with President Obama’s old job, senator from Illinois. The five-term congressman, who has twice deployed to Afghanistan since 2008 as a reservist, leads Democrat Alexi Giannoulias in the polls and in the money chase.
  • Active Marine Corps reservist Vaughn Ward has drawn a lot of attention in his bid for the 1st Congressional District in Idaho, especially after he won the backing recently of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Mr. Palin also endorsed two other veterans, Adam Kinzinger in the 11th Congressional District race in Illinois and Allen West in the 22nd in Florida.
  • In Arkansas, Tim Griffin, a veteran and a former U.S. attorney, is battling Scott Wallace for the GOP nomination in the 2nd District.
  • Steve Stivers, a Bronze Star medal winner for his service in Iraq, is a rising GOP star in Ohio making a bid to unseat Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy in the state’s 15th District.
“All are races where veterans have raised a good deal of money, in toss-up districts or states — races where we think we can have an impact,” Mr. Hegseth said.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

DCCC Ad Attacks GOPer Burns On Jobs In Race For Murtha Seat (VIDEO)

by Eric Kleefeld, TPMDC: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has a new TV ad in the PA-12 special election, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Democratic Rep. John Murtha. The new ad depicts Republican businessman as somebody that voters can't trust -- alleging that he helped ship local jobs overseas.

"Millionaire Tim Burns sold his company -- sold it to a corporation that used a tax loophole, which encourages sending American jobs overseas," the announcer says. "Burns got rich, even though he knew there may be layoffs in Pittsburgh."

Recent polls have shown the race to be a toss-up, with a possible edge for Burns over Democratic nominee Mark Critz, a former top Murtha staffer, due to the unpopularity in the district of both President Obama and the recently enacted health care reform law. . . .

I an odd state of politics in Pennsylvania, Tim Burns is running in both the special election but he also must run in the 2010 Primary against William Russell to represent the GOP in the Nov 2010 elections.

TAGS: 2010 elections, DCCC, House '10, PA-12, Tim Burns, William Russell

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


(JOHNSTOWN, PA) – At a recent rally of the Tim Burns campaign, statements were made regarding a possible Bill Russell write-in effort for the special election to fill the unexpired term of 12th District Representative John P. Murtha.

In response to this "mis-information," GOP candidate William Russell today responded saying, "Tim Burns was selected by party officials to represent them in the special election, while I am totally focused on the Republican primary and have no interest in a write-in effort for the special election. It seems the only person who is talking about a write-in effort is Mr. Burns himself. "

Russell added, "Our campaign has not issued any request, mailer, radio or TV commercial asking for write-in votes on the special election ballot, and I call on the Burns campaign to produce any such information, if they have it.

More information is available

Tags: Bill Russell, Tim burns, write-in, PA-12, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Congressional District 12, special election, primary

Sunday, April 18, 2010

PA-12 TEA Party Attendees Express Concerns With Government

By Michael Kuhne, Daily American: Approximately 200 people gathered Saturday at Johnstown Central Park for the Johnstown-Somerset Tea Party.

Many were clad in patriotic colors and participated by bearing signs and banners to voice their concerns about legislation, taxation and civil liberties.

“My main concern is for my children,” Ebensburg resident Bettie Dodson said. “I want my kids to grow up in the same country I did.” Dodson said she has attended tea party events in the past and was planning on attending one in the District of Columbia in the fall. “People’s freedoms are being taken away,” she said, citing an expansion of government and increased spending under the Obama administration. “It’s not the change we need.”

She said her main concerns are increased taxes, national security and the quality of health care under the recently passed health care reform legislation. Dodson said the tea party gathering is also a great way to meet new people and exchange opinions.

Ron and Faye Igou, of Friedens, also attended the event to voice their concerns about increased government spending. “We’re sick and tired of big government,” Ron Igou said. “The spending in D.C. has us really upset.”

Igou said while he is registered as a Republican, he sees problems in both the Republican and Democratic parties. “I just think there should be more individual freedom and I don’t want to live in a nanny state,” he said, stating liberty is being taken away while the government expands.

The event, which was held from 1 to 4 p.m., also provided a public forum for 10 candidates seeking public office to speak to local voters. Republican and Democratic candidates were both invited to participate in the event, but all of the speakers who attended were Republicans, . . . Those in attendance included 12th Congressional District Republican candidates Bill Russell and Tim Burns . . .

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Your Taxes: Their Spending - Prepare for the Largest Tax Increases in History

Tomorrow is Tax Day, Earth Day and thank goodness for those opposed to all these taxes: a self-proclaimed TEA Party Day. The Obama Administration's spending in the past year has been unprecedented and Tax Day won't come and go quietly. In just over a year, Democrats in Washington have proposed trillions of dollars in new taxes on American Families -- and passed hundreds of billions in new taxes to pay for their government takeover of our health care. These new taxes affect you and your family -- every day.

Tags: increase taxes, Democrats, Washington. D. C., increased Federal spending, Tax Day
Posted from the ARRA News Service.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Russell refuses to back down in 12th district

Chip Minemyer The Tribune-Democrat:

— Can one candidate beat a Democrat and a Republican in separate elections on the same day? Pennsylvania Republican Party Chairman Rob Gleason is betting his guy, Tim Burns, can succeed – even in the face of challenges on two fronts.

Burns was chosen by party representatives to face Democrat Mark Critz in a special election to fill the remainder of the late John P. Murtha’s current term - through the end of 2010. At the same time, Burns is running against fellow Republican William Russell in the primary election for the same seat beginning in 2011.

“It is very unusual,” said Gleason, of Johnstown, who is also the Cambria County GOP chief. “I can’t remember a situation in my lifetime where a guy was running against a Democrat and a Republican as well. It’s bizarre.”

Also bizarre, perhaps, is the contentious relationship between Russell, who made a spirited run against Murtha in 2008, and the Republican Party. Russell garnered a better-than-expected 42 percent of the votes against the powerful long-time congressman, but was left out when it came time to select a Republican to run in the special election – and left out of the financial backing that might have come with it.

On March 11 at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Republican conferees gave Burns 85 of a possible 131 votes for the special election spot. Russell received the other 46 votes.

However, Russell remains on the primary ballot and says he is determined to give Burns a run for his money. “The party didn’t support me,” Russell said. “The party is leery of me. But I don’t need them to make it.” Russell said his polling showed him leading Burns by 30 points at mid-week, while Gleason says his people have Burns ahead.

“Tim Burns sold himself well to the people who were going to make the decision about who the nominee would be,” Gleason said. “I didn’t tell those people how to vote.”

Russell seems to hold a personal grudge against the state GOP chairman. “He didn’t support me,” Russell said. “He has been actively working against me on this primary election.”

Russell called himself the “popular candidate” and said a grassroots effort will give him the primary victory. He also said Burns’ support from party leaders at the local, state and national levels is actually a plus for Russell.

“It helps me stick out as the anti-Washington, anti-establishment candidate,” said Russell, who relishes his ongoing role as the underdog. "We’re spending a lot of time going around visiting businesses and meeting people,” Russell said. “When you’re introduced to someone and their friend speaks for you and says they would vote for you, that means a lot more to people than seeing a TV ad about some guy they’ve never met.”

Gleason acknowledges that Russell made a nice run at Murtha two years ago. But Gleason characterized Russell’s showing as “an anomaly – it was an emotional thing” linked to Murtha’s stance against the Iraq war and his comments about Marines killing civilians in Haditha.

Republicans faced an uphill challenge in the 12th because of their registration deficit – the district is 60 percent Democratic – even if they weren’t fighting among themselves. Gleason did say Murtha’s death on Feb. 8 changed the complexion of the 12th district race – for Republicans as well as Democrats. Burns and Russell had already said they would be running this year, before it became a election with no incumbent. So the stakes are higher now.

“Both Bill and Tim have had their chances over the past year to go around and meet with the county leaders and get to know the people of the district,” Gleason said. “And that’s with neither of them knowing, obviously, that Jack Murtha would die. They were both figuring on a primary, which we now have. But suddenly we also have a special election and somebody will be going to Washington.”

And in the end, can Burns defeat both Critz the Democrat and Russell the Republican on the same day? Or will Russell steal the GOP’s thunder? . . . [Read more]

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Defeat for another House seat

by D. Patrick Mahoney, The Washington Times: . . . But these nightmare scenarios are nothing compared to what the Republican establishment did on March 11 in Pennsylvania's 12th District special election to replace the late Jack Murtha.

Led by state Republican Chairman Rob Gleason, insiders rejected Bill Russell, even though the retired 82nd Airborne officer and Iraq War veteran had given Murtha a real fight as the Republican candidate in 2008, raising $3.6 million and earning 42 percent of the vote.

Mr. Russell's campaign kept going at full speed after 2008, focused like a laser on 2010. An experienced district wide organization and high name recognition give Mr. Russell, a survivor of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the Pentagon, a significant advantage in a special election just two months away.

So why, despite Mr. Russell's military pedigree, strong financial and electoral showing in 2008 and ongoing campaign, do Republican hacks want to change horses when they are nearly across the stream? Because they found a guy named Tim Burns who is worth nine figures and willing to part with substantial portions of it to get the nomination.

The party line is that Mr. Burns is a better candidate than Mr. Russell because he can self-fund his campaign. But Mr. Burns' money can't possibly purchase an organization or name recognition comparable to Mr. Russell's in the truncated special-election cycle.

The real reason establishment types like Mr. Gleason are falling all over themselves to support Mr. Burns is that under Pennsylvania's lax campaign finance laws, individuals can contribute unlimited amounts to state and local elective officials. Mr. Burns can even donate to town, county and state Republican committees.

In short, Mr. Burns can give unlimited amounts of money to the very individuals and organizations who just gave him the nomination.

Remarkably, Mr. Gleason admitted in a recent Washington Independent article that he doesn't care about winning the congressional seat when he chastised Mr. Russell for running too hard in 2008. Mr. Gleason whined, "I lost a state legislature race in 2008 because Russell was surging in the polls and Murtha turned out his forces to come out for the Democrats."

On Thursday night, the Pennsylvania chapter of a party that prides itself on national security told Mr. Russell: You can put your neck on the line for us on foreign shores and we'll tolerate you as our nominee in elections we don't think we can win. But don't dare get in our way when we are trying to conduct business as usual. For although you spent a career defending this republic instead of getting rich, this time around, qualified, working-class combat Veterans need not apply.

To Mr. Russell's credit, the savvy paratrooper read the establishment's hand, refused to be intimidated and already has earned enough signatures to run in the primary, which is scheduled for May 18, the same day as the special election.

A Zogby poll of likely Republican conducted Feb. 17 and 18 indicated that Mr. Russell leads Mr. Burns by an astounding 29 points. Because of the unique, dual-election dynamic, Republicans voters can elect Mr. Burns in the special election but also give Mr. Russell the nod to be the nominee for the November general election. Under this likely scenario, Mr. Burns would instantly become a lame duck and the Republican establishment would again be exposed as bumbling jackals.

Tags: William Russell, PA-12, Tim Burns, Republicans, PA-12, Pennsylvania,