Walsh Sounds Off on Lawsuit, Child Support Claims
Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh on Thursday night kicked off a "Ten Town Halls in Ten Days Tour" and didn't shy away from questions on recent child support allegations.
In front of a standing-room only crowd Thursday night at the American Legion Hall in Wauconda, Rep. Joe Walsh, R-McHenry, pushed through some tough questions during a town hall meeting.
The stop Thursday was the first of four for Walsh on his “Ten Town Halls in Ten Days Tour."
Walsh commented on four main topics: The pending lawsuit leveled by his ex-wife claiming he owes back child-support payments, the debt bill passed four days ago by Congress in Washington, term limits and the redistricting of congressional boundaries in Illinois.
Walsh disputed nearly everything published in the Chicago Sun-Times article charging he was delinquent on child support payments.
“Two to three weeks after I won the election last year, my ex-wife filed a lawsuit against me,” said the 49-year-old Walsh, who has three children with his ex-wife and two more children since re-marrying. “We’ve been trying to work it out legally…virtually everything in that Sun Times article was wildly and off-the-charts inaccurate… My kids have been my life.”
Walsh went on to say he even delayed his run for Congress because of his children.
He admitted as a public figure he must tolerate a wide array of accusations, but noted that the recent publicity about the child-support payments is “something that pisses me off because it goes at who I am as a person,” he said.
“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!”
Walsh Addresses Economy, Debt Bill
In terms of the American economy, Walsh said he believes the country is in the midst of a revolution.
“I truly believe the decisions we make in the next two to three years will define the kind of country your kids will have,” Walsh said.
Walsh voted against the federal debt bill, which was meant to keep the country from falling into default. He said he never “bought” President Barack Obama’s notion that on Aug. 2, the lights were going to go out.
“I spent the last three weeks voting ‘no,’ and I voted ‘no’ to John Boehner,” the freshman republican said. “What is going on? We are falling off a cliff. What we just did in Washington three days ago — we did a cute little Washington game where we play with the numbers.”
Walsh said the debt bill might cut spending by a trillion dollars in the next 10 years, but that even with the bill the government likely will add another seven to nine trillion dollars in debt.
“Your government borrowed $4 billion today,” Walsh said. “I voted ‘no’ (to the bill) because I’m there to change the way Washington does business.”
Residents Voice Opinions
At least half of last night’s town hall attendees were senior citizens.
Many supported Walsh’s stance, and a handful turned out to speak against him. Some who had supported him in the election, questioned why Walsh could not compromise to help steer things in the right direction.
“The government is like the Titanic,” said Bob Paolella of Deer Park, who said he lent Walsh his support at the start of his campaign.
“You’re not going to turn it around, but make sure you don’t hit the iceberg. Why couldn’t you have voted for the plan, and turned the Titanic around a little bit? And then next year we have a new president, and we turn it some more.”
Ken Christ of Hawthorne Woods said he was pleased with Walsh’s position.
“Thank you for voting the way you did because you moved the debate a different direction,” Christ said.
Walsh:'Governement Needs to Get the Heck Out of the Way'
Walsh said he believes that the bill and “every step” President Obama has taken are damaging the country. Obama believes the government needs to borrow money to simulate the economy, he said.
“I believe the government needs to get the heck out of the way,” Walsh said. “This president and I have very different ideas on how to create jobs. Washington is regulating the heck out of businesses.”
Walsh said another problem in Washington is that politicians hanging on to their jobs too long, and forget the principals that motivated them to run for office in the first place. Just last week, Walsh introduced term-limit bill HJRES41.
“Most politicians, all they care about is getting re-elected,” said Walsh, who said he will limit himself to six years in the job. “The longer you’ve been in that town (Washington D.C.), you change. You forget what you went there for. I don’t care about my next election. I am there to stop what the president is doing.”
In terms of congressional redistricting, Walsh said the Illinois Republican Party is fighting the boundary map proposed by the Democrats. His party has a couple months to work the issue out, he said.
“I’m going to run somewhere,” Walsh said. “I think the Democrat map is unfair.”
Walsh has nine more town hall meetings planned throughout his district. For a listing of the meeting schedule, see the Walsh Kicks Off Town Hall Tour on Patch.com.