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Walsh: Child support story “wildly and off-the-charts inaccurate”

Friday, Aug 5, 2011

* Congressman Joe Walsh held a town hall meeting yesterday and almost right away decided to address his wife’s lawsuit over past child support

“After I won last year, my ex-wife filed a lawsuit against me,” he said. “For the past eight months I have been trying to work it out privately and legally and haven’t been able to. Let me say this – virtually everything in that [Chicago] Sun-Times piece was wildly and off-the-charts inaccurate. When I go to my grave a year or 10 or 100 from now, there’s only one thing I want on my tombstone, ‘He tried to be a hell of a dad.’ My kids have been my life. … This is different because this is personal.” [Emphasis added.]

You’ll recall that the Sun-Times recently reported that Walsh’s wife has sued him for allegedly owing over $100,000 in back child support. His lawyer appeared to admit in the piece that Walsh does owe something

“Joe Walsh hasn’t been a big-time wage-earner politician until recently — he’s had no more problems with child support than any other average guy.”

Yet, he somehow had enough cash to loan his campaign $35,000 last year. People who are not “big-time wage-earners” don’t usually have that much mad money laying around. You get the feeling from reading the story that it might possibly be about a guy who’s trying to hide assets from his ex. That’s not exactly a rarity in the divorce world.

* Turning this controversy around on the media appears to be Walsh’s concept here

“It’s an ongoing legal proceeding that involves my kids,” Walsh told the crowd. “This is something I’m going to fight, but I’m going to do it privately and legally. There is no way the media will get me to talk about my three kids. I won’t do it!” [Emphasis added.]

It seemed to work because nobody brought up the subject at the meeting.

…Adding… The Daily Herald reports that somebody did bring up the subject again

One audience member who criticized Walsh on the matter late in the evening was booed by the crowd.

* Meanwhile, some folks tried to gain partisan advantage over the lawsuit the other day

Members of a newly formed group, the Northern Illinois chapter of Progressive Democrats of America, together with Catholics United held a protest at Congressman’s Joe Walsh’s office Saturday, July 30 in Fox Lake.

About 25 people attended the protest.

“The purpose was to express our distaste with a deadbeat dad representing the 8th Congressional district,” said group member Steve Williams of Lake Villa.

Whatever you think of Walsh, that action sorta left a bad taste in my mouth.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Aug 5, 11 @ 12:53 pm:

    Pay your bills, Congressman. Then get back to work in Washington demanding the same thing of Congress.

  2. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Aug 5, 11 @ 1:08 pm:

    Not to defend Walsh, but these remain just allegations until he is found to be delinquent in court, and it would not be unusual for an angry ex-spouse to use such an allegation publicly to put pressure on a public figure. That said, it sure sounds like he is delinquent to some degree and politically he needs to make this go away as soon as possible. I agree that these protest groups’ actions are distasteful and they are jumping the gun by assuming the truth of the allegations.

  3. - Plutocrat03 - Friday, Aug 5, 11 @ 1:25 pm:

    It always easy to jump to the conclusions that an accusation is true, but until a court determines liability it is just an allegation. If true he needs to pay up. I thought his hids were grown…..

    It wouldn’t be the first time that an ex-spouse gilds the lilly for other than honorable purposes.

  4. - Jimmy CrackCorn - Friday, Aug 5, 11 @ 1:25 pm:

    Remember Rich’s post about the open letter from his campaign staff that walked out in the middle of the campaign. HIS UNPAID STAFF told everyone to ask these questions:

    “Ask about his driver’s license and insurance ( If it has ever been suspended )
    Ask him about his taxes ( If he owes the IRS )
    Ask him about his questionable fundraising and accounting ( If he ever bounced checks )
    Ask him if he ever inflated his donations in his FEC filings to make himself appear to have more money then he actually raised.
    Ask him if he ever handled a firearm in his life ( Why he was anti gun in his past races )
    Ask him what his opinion is of Obama and then why he would hire an ex Obama intern to be his Press Secretary.
    Ask him if he has ever been evicted from his residency.
    Ask him if he has ever had any court judgements or leans against him.
    Ask him where the $28,000 he loaned his campaign came from after only making $41,000 last year and $25,000 the year before.( And ask him about his taxes again )”

    No one cared then because he didn’t stand a chance at beating Bean. But people do care now, because he has put himself out there front-and-center nationally. In order to survive, a guy with this much personal financial baggage may have been better served staying out of the limelight.

  5. - Bigtwich - Friday, Aug 5, 11 @ 1:25 pm:

    IT would be unusual. This suit was apparently filed eight months ago. If there was nothing there he would have had it dismissed by now. If the ex wanted to put on pressure she would have filed it before the election or at least said something about it in teh last wight months..

  6. - steve schnorf - Friday, Aug 5, 11 @ 1:33 pm:

    As much as anything these sorts of stories get legs when the target is one of the holier than thou. We can normally tolerate imperfection in our politicians: hypocrisy goes down harder.

  7. - lake county democrat - Friday, Aug 5, 11 @ 1:33 pm:

    Plutocrat: an allegation that even Walsh won’t completely deny. If it’s true it means more than “he has to pay up,” it means he’s contemptible and given how much Republicans talked about “character” mattering during the 1992 and 1996 presidential campaigns, it’s not irrelevant to his office.

  8. - Observer of the State - Friday, Aug 5, 11 @ 1:34 pm:

    Yes his kid’s are grown but the suit says he has not paid child support for years. This child support would then go to his ex-wife to repay all the years she carried the burden alone.
    It might also help with expenses she is probably still carrying with her adult children.
    I have seen this petty behavior before and it speaks more about his distaste for women than even for his children.
    I suspect Laura went without for the sake of children. I bet she did not take luxury vacations and neither did the kids.

  9. - Just Observing - Friday, Aug 5, 11 @ 1:42 pm:

    They do not appear to be entirely “allegations” as Rich also points out that his attorney essentially affims that he is arrears in child support — this coupled his other known financial problems, there appears to be some validity to the issue. However, I don’t think being in arrears in child support automatically makes someone a deadbeat Dad — there could be legitimate reasons why he is not caught up, including disputing the amount owed in court.

  10. - Anonymous - Friday, Aug 5, 11 @ 2:23 pm:

    How does pointing out that you allegedly have not paid support — solely the parent’s failing — reflect poorly on or invade the privacy of the children?

  11. - shore - Friday, Aug 5, 11 @ 2:24 pm:

    some politicians get undone by very small things, others survive crises that they probably shouldn’t. this looks more like the latter. The vetting issue-which has been a recent theme with chicago media see scott lee cohen debacle and now this, is something that merits discussion. Perhaps less energy focused on the city “stars” and more on state politics as a whole.

  12. - 47th Ward - Friday, Aug 5, 11 @ 2:24 pm:

    His town hall comments virtually guarantees that the Sun-Times will keep on digging, and that other news outlets will follow.

    Keep talking Joe. Good strategy!

    “Never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel.”

  13. - Ela Observer - Friday, Aug 5, 11 @ 2:38 pm:

    The court document is online …

  14. - just sayin' - Friday, Aug 5, 11 @ 2:59 pm:

    The thing I love about Walsh is that he makes Chris Lauzen only the 2nd most angry self-righteous phony in IL gop politics.

    Seriously, I’m disgusted by Walsh. All of his lame excuses about being broke are meaningless once you learn he’s been going on foreign vacations. Mexico and Italy that we know of, according to court filings.

    Just another snake oil salesman deceived by gullible tea partiers who didn’t do their due diligence because they’re too busy screaming at Obama for doing what their hero Walsh does in real life.

  15. - Thoughts... - Friday, Aug 5, 11 @ 3:06 pm:

    The sad part is that even if it’s true (and for the record, I think it probably is), there will still be hard line right wingers who defend him and call this a political attack.

    If it’s true and he’s not pressured to resign (I personally think he’ll keep his job), then it’s just shameful. As far as I’m concerned, weinergate pales in comparison to being this much of a deadbeat dad.

    But just watch - he’ll keep his seat and then you’ll know where the priorities of the family values crowd really lie.

  16. - sal-says - Friday, Aug 5, 11 @ 3:13 pm:

    “…virtually everything in that [Chicago] Sun-Times piece was wildly and off-the-charts inaccurate.”

    ‘Inaccurate’ doesn’t tell anyone much, does it? Wanna be a pol? You open yourself up, justifiably so, to scrutiny like this.

  17. - soccermom - Friday, Aug 5, 11 @ 3:23 pm:

    This detail got to me: “In prior years, court records show Walsh objecting to paying for expenses such as summer camp or a homecoming suit he never agreed to.” What kind of parent objects to buying a kid a new outfit for Homecoming? And summer camp? I don’t care how angry you are at your ex — to take it out on your kids financially is just disgraceful.

  18. - Aldyth - Friday, Aug 5, 11 @ 3:26 pm:

    For a guy who is a media hound, I daresay Congressman Walsh is not pleased with the national attention he’s getting at the moment. Even one of my coworkers who pays no attention to politics commented that “Walsh is no worse than your average deadbeat dad” would make a great campaign slogan for whoever runs against him.

  19. - MrJM - Friday, Aug 5, 11 @ 3:43 pm:

    Just wait ’till the editorial cartoonists weigh in, e.g.

    – MrJM

  20. - Skeeter - Friday, Aug 5, 11 @ 3:59 pm:

    Rich, when you mention “that action” are you referring to the protest or the back due support?

  21. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Aug 5, 11 @ 4:08 pm:

    I really really wish the judge would have taken his license so he couldn’t drive. It would almost make him being elected worth it. Almost.

  22. - Wensicia - Friday, Aug 5, 11 @ 4:09 pm:


    All right, Joe Walsh is the screaming baby, who’s the guy in the suit?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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