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Group rates Walsh votes perfect, but actually backs opponent

Friday, Nov 4, 2011 - Posted by Rich Miller

* This story will undoubtedly be picked up across the country

Republican Rep. Joe Walsh was the only Illinois congressman to be named a “True Blue” member of Congress for “unwavering support of the family” by the Family Research Council Action committee Thursday.

Walsh’s ex-wife says Walsh owes more than $100,000 in back child support for their three children. Walsh counters that he and his wife had a “verbal agreement” that he didn’t have to pay child support during years when he wasn’t earning as much.

“We thank Cong. Walsh who has voted consistently to defend faith, family and freedom,” said FRCA President Tony Perkins. “Cong. Walsh and other ‘True Blue Members’ have voted to repeal Obamacare, de-fund Planned Parenthood, end government funding for abortion within the health care law, uphold the Defense of Marriage Act, and continue support for school choice. I applaud their commitment to uphold the institutions of marriage and family.”

It most certainly is an embarrassing moment for the FRC and the additional commentary by Perkins appears hypocritical. Left-leaning sites like Think Progress and HuffPo have piled on.

* Not to defend Walsh, but the group’s rating was solely based on Walsh’s voting record alone, not the congressman’s personal behavior. He was the only Illinois congressman to receive a 100 percent rating based on his votes. The full list is here. The other Illinois conservatives, including Walsh’s primary opponent Randy Hultgren, received a 90 percent rating.

And if you check the Family Research Council’s political action committee website, you’ll see that they’re currently backing Hultgren. That’s probably why Walsh sent out his press release touting his 100 percent rating. He’s obfuscating the issue here. But, again, all he really did was prompt the Sun-Times and others to write more stories about his personal problems.

…Adding… Walsh says that the Family Research Council candidate support statement linked above is outdated. The PAC isn’t backing a candidate as of yet, he insisted.

* Meanwhile

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee today announced radio spots aimed at 25 House Republicans they hope to unseat next fall to reclaim the majority.

The ads mostly focus on ethics questions, and will air in the districts of these Members:

GOP Reps. Rick Crawford (Ark.), Dan Lungren (Calif.), Jeff Denham (Calif.), Elton Gallegly (Calif.), Mary Bono Mack (Calif.), Scott Tipton (Colo.), Daniel Webster (Fla.), Vern Buchanan (Fla.), David Rivera (Fla.), Steve King (Iowa), Timothy Johnson (Ill.), Bobby Schilling (Ill.), Larry Bucshon (Ind.), Roscoe Bartlett (Md.), Dan Benishek (Mich.), Charles Bass (N.H.), Joe Heck (Nev.), Ann Marie Buerkle (N.Y.), Lou Barletta (Pa.), Charlie Dent (Pa.), Kristi Noem (S.D.), Francisco “Quico” Canseco (Texas), Sean Duffy (Wis.), Reid Ribble (Wis.) and David McKinley (W.Va.).

The DCCC refused to disclose the size of the ad buy but in a press release called it “aggressive and grass roots,” a signal it is not likely a large amount. The spots begin Monday. The DCCC said it would pair the campaign with phone banks, robocalls and Web ads in the districts.

The spot against Buchanan tells voters a watchdog group called him “one of the most corrupt Members of Congress.” Some of the ads are specific to Members’ troubles and some use general critiques the DCCC often lobs at the GOP.

* And Politico has a video of Congressman Bob Dold playing football in DC


For the past seven weeks, a handful of congressmen and women have braved brisk temperatures to practice football drills at 7 a.m. on the Mall near the Capitol. It was all to prepare for the 2011 Congressional Football Game, which took place on Wednesday at the Watkins Recreation Center and pitted members of Congress against the Capitol Police for a good cause — to raise money for Our Military Kids and the Capitol Police Memorial Fund. (The police won, 27-14.)

He had weeks of preparation under his belt, so we put one of the star players — Rep. Robert Dold — to the test for POLITICO’s latest “Game Changer” feature.


  1. - J - Friday, Nov 4, 11 @ 11:06 am:

    In this case, the jokes about Joe Walsh write themselves.

    Joe Walsh was praised for his “unwavering support of the family” just not his own family.

  2. - TwoFeetThick - Friday, Nov 4, 11 @ 11:10 am:

    Joe Walsh: the gift that just keeps on giving. If Hultgren can’t put this thing in the bag the universe must be seriously out of alignment.

  3. - Carl Nyberg - Friday, Nov 4, 11 @ 11:25 am:

    The Hultgren spin: they know us both and trust my personal judgment and deportment.

    The Walsh spin: the party insiders twisted some arms and the group endorsed my opponent. The party bosses fear me because they can’t control me. Who do you trust? Someone who is conservative because he believes in conservatism? Or someone who is carrying water for the party bosses?

  4. - Jaded - Friday, Nov 4, 11 @ 11:30 am:

    Wow, Dold throws a pretty good ball!

  5. - Anonymous - Friday, Nov 4, 11 @ 11:36 am:

    And all you wishing well fools with your fortunes,
    Someone should send you a rose.
    “With love from a friend,
    It’s nice to hear from you again…”

  6. - Mom - Friday, Nov 4, 11 @ 11:42 am:

    Joe Walsh epitomizes what’s wrong with the “family values” crowd. Their pro-life stance is a twisted joke. Once a child is born, baby, you’re on your own. Health care, housing, food, education, safe water, air, and working conditions, all things conservatives fight against, are determined by the financial standing of the parents.

    Pro-life my tukhus. Let’s at least be honest and call this movement what it is…pro-conception.

  7. - krack - Friday, Nov 4, 11 @ 11:42 am:

    I disagree that this is embarrassing for the FRCA. The ratings were based on votes on legislation - not personal conduct. I would argue it is to the FRC’s great credit that they are not willing to overlook anti-family conduct. They are saying ‘Yes, you voted correctly but that isn’t enough.’ Ignoring his personal conduct would have been hypocritical and undermined FRCA’s credibility.

  8. - MrJM - Friday, Nov 4, 11 @ 11:45 am:

    [The] group’s rating was solely based on Walsh’s voting record alone, not the congressman’s personal behavior.

    Yet another instance of family values for thee, but not for me.

    – MrJM

  9. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Nov 4, 11 @ 12:23 pm:

    I trying to figure out why the DCCC is spending money against Johnson when they have yet to recruit a high profile opponent. Are they planning to pour money into the Gill campaign?

  10. - J - Friday, Nov 4, 11 @ 12:29 pm:

    @Pot Calling Kettle

    Radio ads are fairly cheap, especially since these likely are fairly small ad buys designed more for a press hit than actual paid media.

    My guess is that the DCCC is trying to lure another candidate into the race by showing willingness to spend some money on the race.

  11. - Chevy owner/Ford County - Friday, Nov 4, 11 @ 12:43 pm:

    Its good to see that Democrats are targetting Tim Johnson but they need to find a stronger candidate than Tim Gill if they are serious about beating him. Hopefully they will look at Bloomington Alderman and Mayor Pro Tem Karen Schmidt to take him on. Karen has served her ward quite well for 12 years, has deep ties to the McLean County Democratic Party and would do something that Gill has been unable to do in each of his past three attempts….knock off Johnson.

  12. - Shore - Friday, Nov 4, 11 @ 1:27 pm:

    My all time favorite award was when Mark Foley got an award at a banquet-not a press release from a child safety group for writing a bill to protect children.

  13. - mokenavince - Friday, Nov 4, 11 @ 1:36 pm:

    Breaking News!. The Family Research Council has
    just awarded Joe Walsh their Father of the Year Award.100% True Blue.

  14. - Zool - Friday, Nov 4, 11 @ 1:43 pm:

    Mom, that’s tuchus

  15. - Team Sleep - Friday, Nov 4, 11 @ 2:13 pm:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: no matter how much of a d-bag Joe Walsh is, he has rabid supporters and Randy Hultgren is just another boring white dude with a combover who uses talking points. If Randy Hultgren wants to topple Joe Walsh, he needs to try and pick Walsh’s supporters/donors off and reason with them that the guy is damn-near dangerous.

    I don’t really know if the Dems could find a good candidate in the new 13th. The Madison County Dems are pretty neutered after what happened with the 12th and there’s not really a strong elected official other than perhaps Naomi Jakobson or Mike Frerichs - and Frerichs isn’t running. Not to mention the departed, but Springfield Mayor Tim Davlin would’ve been a good candidate for the 13th.

  16. - VanillaMan - Friday, Nov 4, 11 @ 2:18 pm:

    I knew someone would make the absurd claim that anyone recognized as “True Blue” by this group is actually anti-family because they question the incredible success governments have had over the past fifty years reducing poverty, increasing education results, making health care affordable, and providing free housing.

    Congrats Mom for coughing up the absurdities!

    Only government can provide for all of us, right?

    I’ll debunk your follow up now. No Walsh does not eat children with his tea.

  17. - Team Sleep - Friday, Nov 4, 11 @ 2:23 pm:

    One name in the 13th that is a bit off the beaten path: Julie Curry. I know she has Blago ties but her connection isn’t nearly as deep as Guy Smiley Hoffman and she is pretty moderate politically, which would play well in an area with the Capitol, several public universities and large employers.

  18. - 47th Ward - Friday, Nov 4, 11 @ 2:26 pm:


    You seem to be only able to listen to yourself.

  19. - Lakeview - Friday, Nov 4, 11 @ 2:33 pm:

    Mom is wise. She is my new CapFax heroine.

  20. - Whistler - Friday, Nov 4, 11 @ 4:10 pm:

    Vanilla Man, government actually does do a pretty good job of reducing poverty when given a chance. Before Social Security, over half of seniors lived in poverty; now, that figure is less than 10%. Also check out today’s NYT for a story about how food stamps have ameliorated the plight of those impoverished during the recession

  21. - Cheswick - Friday, Nov 4, 11 @ 4:22 pm:

    Those guys should take football lessons from Abe Lincoln:

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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