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Posts tagged "Joe Walsh"

H/T: Mollie Reilly at Huffington Post

Following the announcement Thursday that conservative commentator and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza has been charged with violating federal campaign finance laws, his allies are claiming that the move is evidence of a conspiracy by the Obama administration to silence its critics.

D’Souza has been a fixture in conservative media circles for years, and his laughable 2012 documentary 2016: Obama’s America became a surprise critical success thanks in part to the support of his media allies. Reuters reports that D’Souza ”has been indicted by a federal grand jury for arranging excessive campaign contributions to a candidate for the U.S. Senate,” allegedly reimbursing “people who he had directed to contribute $20,000” to the unnamed candidate (reportedly Wendy Long).

Matt Drudge tweeted that the indictments against D’Souza and former Republican Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell are evidence that Attorney General Eric Holder is “unleashing the dogs” on “Obama critics.”

In a panicked video headlined “Emergency: Obama Launches Purge” posted on his YouTube channel last night, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones told viewers that “America is going over the edge,” adding, “I actually am scared.” According to Jones, the charges against former Gov. McDonnell are “trumped up garbage” (for what it’s worth, conservatives like Byron York disagree, labeling the details “ugly, sordid, damning”).

Pointing to the supposed persecution of D’Souza, Jones claimed that the administration is engaged in much worse behavior and warned, “The issue is here, they can find a mistake in your checking account and claim that it was fraud or wire fraud. They can do it to anybody.” According to Jones, “this is like Nazi Germany” and “once they’re done with these guys, they’re coming after you and I.” 

The description posted on Jones’ YouTube channel explains that this is an “Emergency Alert!!!,” adding “This is it, we are in deep shit! If they get away with this they will come for all of us, that’s how it works!!!”

On her radio show this morning, Fox contributor Laura Ingraham claimed that “we are criminalizing political dissent in the United States of America. Welcome to the Brave New World of retribution justice.” Ingraham argued that D’Souza is one of the “most effective critics” of the Obama administration, and that the charges are “so transparent.” The indictment “is more about stifling political dissent and intimidating other people from speaking out than it is about any real serious allegation of wrongdoing,” per Ingraham. Ingraham is close friends with Wendy Long, and hosted a fundraiser for Long with D’Souza. 

An article on includes the suggestion from a “close colleague” of D’Souza’s that the indictment is “selective prosecution” in the first sentence. The story is currently featured as the top story on the network’s website:

Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich tweeted:

Radio host and former GOP Rep. Joe Walsh saw a pattern with McDonnell’s indictment and Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s recent troubles:

And conservative website Newsmax labeled the charges “Payback” in a banner headline on their homepage:

h/t: MMFA


Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) ignored his own personal history in invoking civil rights history on his radio show on Wednesday in a concern-trolling appropriation of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech.

According to Mother Jones, Walsh, who was sued in 2011 for owing more than $100,000 in child support, accused leaders in the African-American community of avoiding responsibility for their own problems and placing the blame on larger institutions.

The Illinois Republican State Central Committee announced the selection Saturday of lobbyist John “Jack” Dorgan, a Rosemont village trustee, as Illinois Republican Party chairman.

“I thank the Republican leadership for their confidence and trust and am excited for the opportunity to grow our party by talking to voters about our qualified slate of candidates for 2014,” Dorgan said after party leaders met in Springfield.

Dorgan replaced Pat Brady, who caused a hubbub within the Republican ranks after he said he supports gay marriage. Brady stepped down last month.

Former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, who was a candidate for the top Republican Party post, blasted the selection, calling Dorgan “the quintessential party insider.” Walsh said Dorgan’s tenure as a Rosemont village trustee has been “marked by conflicts of interests” because of Dorgan’s role as a lobbyist.

Dorgan, a 12-year member of the Illinois Republican State Central Committee, is a partner in the Springfield firm Dorgan-McPike & Associates. He worked in the administrations of former Republican Govs. James Thompson and Jim Edgar.

h/t: Chicago Sun Times

After insisting he wasn’t a “deadbeat dad” throughout his failed campaign for re-election, ex-U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh is still dogged by questions about child support.

Walsh, a flame-throwing Tea Party Republican who was trying to land a radio deal and last week announced he was forming a new conservative SuperPAC, filed court papers seeking to end his obligation to pay $2,134 per month in child support.

But once again, Walsh insists he’s no deadbeat.

Both he and his attorney say that since he is no longer employed as a congressman, they want to “modify” the previous agreement so that he pays 20 percent of his current salary.

Walsh is not currently employed and has no salary. But that could change, he said.

“I’m working on it,” he said.

But an attorney for Walsh’s ex-wife said that the former congressman is behind on child support payments that were dictated under a previous court order and that Walsh’s ex-wife was taken by surprise by a Feb. 1 court filing that asks “to terminate child support obligation,” saying Walsh “is without sufficient income or assets with which to continue to pay his support obligation.”

“This is the first communication we’ve received from the congressman; she had no information prior to receiving this filing in the mail that he was going to seek,” said Jack Coladarci, an attorney for Walsh’s ex-wife. “He did not pay January and he has not paid February support… You still have to keep paying until the judge says you can stop.”

Walsh’s court filing states: “Joe’s employment has been terminated through no voluntary act of his own and he is without sufficient income or assets with which to continue to pay his support obligation. Due to a substantial change in circumstances, Joe requests that his child support obligation be terminated based on his present income and circumstances.”

But Walsh insists he’s not trying to get out of paying anything.

He said the key part of the filing comes at the end; when it asks that the court “modify Joe’s child support obligation to a sum equal to 20 percent of his net income until the minor child graduates from high school in 2013.” 

“I have paid child support … through the end of my congressional payment,” Walsh said. “I received a check, and so my ex-wife would have received 20 or 28 percent of that. She received her normal payment. They took it out of my check, they took it out of my check in January.”

Walsh provided pay stubs to the Sun-Times. One shows that there was a $2,134 deduction for the pay period ending Dec. 31. However, Coladarci said that reflects the payment for December, not January. A pay stub from Walsh dated Feb. 1, does not show such a transfer.


H/T: Natasha Korecki at Chicago Sun-Times

Making good on his threat promise that he’s not going away, ex-Congressman Joe Walsh reared his head Friday morning to blast the first lady for traveling to her hometown of Chicago to attend slain 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton’s funeral.

In a series of tweets first reported by DNAinfo Chicago, Walsh ripped Michelle Obama’s attendance at the funeral of the teenaged inaugural performer as “political.”

Walsh said via Twitter Friday:

News of Pendleton’s Jan. 29 shooting death struck a chord nationwide, prompting outrage over the honor student’s senseless slaying, gun control and the epidemic of shooting violence in Chicago.

After the King College Prep student was shot by a still at-large perp while standing under a park canopy to escape the rain, a petition was started urging President Obama to attend the teen’s funeral.

Walsh’s criticism of the first lady attending the Pendleton service is not the first time the Tea Party favorite has lashed out on the topic of Chicago violence following a headline-grabbing tragedy. Last spring, after the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin inspired Walsh’s then-congressional colleague Bobby Rush to don a hoodie on the House floor, Walsh said he hoped Rush would “be as outraged with all of the black on black crime going on in the city of Chicago weekend after weekend” as he was with Martin’s death.

H/T: Huffington Post

When Muslim-American organizations and activists concerned with Islamophobia woke up the day after the election, on November 7, they were elated. Key members of what had been dubbed the House Republican “Islamophobia caucus”had been voted out of office. These Tea Party-affiliated Republicans included Joe Walsh (R-IL), who had warned in August that Islamists were “trying to kill Americans every week” and were lurking in the Chicago suburbs, and Allen West (R-FL), who linked the entire religion of Islam to terrorism.

These fear-mongers won’t be able to spread their hysteria from the bully pulpit of a House seat any longer. But that doesn’t mean that the House Republican caucus has rid themselves of the scourge of anti-Muslim politicians who stoke that sentiment for political gain. On the contrary, the House Republican caucus remains the place where the ugly head of Islamophobia rests comfortably.

Here are five House Republicans who spread anti-Muslim sentiment routinely. Activists concerned with Islamophobia should watch these players in the year to come. The fight against Islamophobia in this country is far from over, and many members of the Republican Party remains wedded to that hateful ideology.

1. Michele Bachmann

This Minnesota Tea Party favorite catapulted herself into the spotlight again by hawking a wacky conspiracy theory first propagated by a former Reagan administration official and now chief Islamophobe. She narrowly won re-election in November despite spending twelve times as much as her opponent, Democrat Jim Graves.

Last summer, Bachmann garnered national attention when she and other Republicans alleged that the Muslim Brotherhood, an Egyptian-based political movement that spread throughout the Middle East, had “penetrated” the U.S. government. Specifically, Bachmann singled out a prominent Muslim-American aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton named Huma Abedin as being part of the conspiracy. The Minnesota congresswoman made the allegations in letters sent to U.S. government officials.

The letter questioned whether there was “direct influence” on the intelligence community from “[Muslim] Brotherhood operatives.” And the letter also mentioned that Abedin has “family members” connected to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Needless to say, the allegations were bogus, and some Republican leaders blasted Bachmann for going on a witch hunt. “Accusations like this being thrown around are pretty dangerous,” said Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH).But other Republican officials backed up Bachmann. “Her concern was about the security of the country,” said Eric Cantor (R-VA).

Her letter to U.S. government officials made clear that Bachmann got her ideas from Frank Gaffney, a former Reagan aide and prominent neoconservative. Gaffney is a leading anti-Muslim activist in the U.S., and has produced a 10-part online series about the Muslim Brotherhood’s influence in the U.S. But the idea that the Muslim Brotherhood is plotting from within is a McCarthyite theory that casts aspersions on Muslim-Americans within the U.S. government. There is also no evidence to support the theory.

This summer 2012 episode was hardly the only iteration of Bachmann’s Islamophobia, though. In 2011, she stoked fear about sharia law—Islamic law—taking over U.S. courts.

2. Peter King

He may have lost his chairmanship of the Homeland Security committee due to party-imposed term-limits, but you can count on King stoking the flames of fear towards Islam next year. King, a Republican hailing from Long Island, used his post as chair of the House Homeland Security Committee to specifically target the problem of terrorism within the Muslim community—and nowhere else, despite right-wing extremism being on the rise. After serving for seven years, King is no longer the head of the committee, though he will remain a member.

King has a penchant for singling out Muslim-Americans. He held a total of five separate hearings on Islam and terrorism in the United States, ostensibly to focus on the threat of “homegrown” terrorism from Muslims.

His first hearing sparked the most controversy. Titled “The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community’s Response,” it was based on King’s assumption that the Muslim community in the U.S. is prone to breeding extremists. In 2004, King claimed that “80%, 85% of the mosques in this country are controlled by Islamic fundamentalists.” Despite this claim becoming a right-wing meme, there was no evidence to back it up. In fact, as the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights pointed out in a letter to King before his first hearing, “experts have concluded that mosque attendance is a significant factor in the prevention of extremism.”

King courted even more controversy based on one of his star witnesses at the first hearing: Zuhdi Jasser, an activist who has become the right’s darling Muslim. Jasser is the head of a group called the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, which is funded by anti-Muslim figures like the right-wing Christian Foster Friess. Many Muslim organizations say that Jasser has little following among American Muslims. Jasser narrated an Islamophobic film put out by an Israeli-settler and neoconservative linked outfit called the Clarion Fund. The film, titled “The Third Jihad,” was shown to New York Police Department officers as training and claims that Muslim extremists are plotting from within to take over the U.S.

3. Mike McCaul

For the House Homeland Security Committee, it’s out with one Islamophobe as chief of the panel, and in with another. McCaul, a Republican hailing from Texas, has dutifully served alongside King on the committee. And now, he’s getting his chance to run it on his own.

Since King was forced out of the top spot due to party-imposed parameters, McCaul has been tapped to lead the Homeland Security Committee. McCaul’s history of Islamophobia shows why he will likely lead the committee similar to how King did.

And McCaul also runs around with the players behind the wave of Islamophobia that has swept the nation since 9/11. McCaul appeared on Frank Gaffney’s radio show last year—the same radio show where Gaffney has spread his toxic theories about sharia law and the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. And McCaul didn’t bat an eye, or mutter any response, when Gaffney carried on about the “Muslim Brotherhood’s operations in the United States.” When he got a chance to speak, McCaul indulged in speculation about the “threat” of Hezbollah, the Lebanese armed group, in the Western Hemisphere—a threat for which there is little evidence for, according to PolitiFact.  

4. Louie Gohmert

This Texas Republican has promoted anti-Muslim sentiment too many times before. Gohmert was widely mocked for his August 2010 assertion that Middle Eastern terrorists were plotting new attacks on the U.S. by sending their pregnant wives to this country whose children “could be raised and coddled as future terrorists.” The phrase “terror babies” entered the political lexicon after Gohmert’s outlandish statements. Yet, as Mother Jones noted at the time, there’s not “a morsel of evidence to support Gohmert’s terror baby tale, which the congressman says he learned of from a woman on a plane while en route to the Middle East and from a retired FBI agent.”

The next year, Gohmert again made headlines with remarks about Islam and President Barack Obama. He suggested that Obama’s allegiances were with Islamic states instead of the U.S. “I know the president made the mistake one day of saying he had visited all 57 states, and I’m well aware that there are not 57 states in this country, although there are 57 members of OIC, the Islamic states in the world,” Gohmert said on the House floor. “Perhaps there was some confusion whether he’d been to all 57 Islamic states as opposed to all 50 U.S. states. But nonetheless, we have an obligation to the 50 American states, not the 57 Muslim, Islamic states…This administration [has been]  complicit in helping people who wants [sic] to destroy our country.”

5. Trent Franks

In recent years, Arizona Republican Trent Franks has taken to demonizing Muslim-Americans.

In 2009, Franks was one of four Republicans to call for an investigation of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s leading Muslim civil rights group and a favorite target of the Islamophobic right. The GOP members claimed an investigation was needed into whether CAIR was “spying” on Congressional offices in order to influence policy. The evidence for that charge was a 2007 CAIR memo that called for placing Muslim interns in key Congressional offices in order to influence policy on issues important to Muslim-Americans—something that every interest group does in Washington. As Glenn Greenwald pointed out at the time: “They stand accused of plotting to influence members of Congress and trying to help interns obtain positions in Congress in order to advance their political agenda.  That’s consistent with what virtually every political advocacy group in the nation does; it’s normally called activism and democracy.” But for House Republicans, Muslim-Americans working on Capitol Hill is a step down the road towards sharia law.

The House GOP members’ initial source for the entire CAIR debacle was a book titled Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America.

h/t: AlterNet

Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn of Illinois has had some terrible ratings for a long time, but these latest numbers from PPP are just disastrously bad. Thanks in part to presiding over an income tax hike necessary to pay for state government services, Quinn’s worked his way down to a 25-64 job approval score, and predictably, his numbers in hypothetical 2014 matchups with Republicans are just awful:

  • 37-44 vs. state Sen. Kirk Dillard
  • 39-43 vs. Treasurer Dan Rutherford
  • 40-39 vs. Rep. Aaron Schock

Obviously, lots of Democrats are thinking about replacing Quinn, so Tom Jensen tested Attorney General Lisa Madigan (who has high name rec) and former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley (who doesn’t) as well. Madigan leads Dillard and Rutherford 46-37 and Schock 46-38, while Daley trails Dillard (34-36) and Rutherford (37-38) but edges Schock 40-35.

Madigan has long been mentioned as potential gubernatorial candidate and has a good 48-32 favorability rating overall and a 68-16 score among Democratic primary voters. In a direct head-to-head with Quinn, she trounces him 64-20. Even Daley comes out ahead, too, though, 37-34, which really should give Quinn second thoughts about seeking reelection. 

Meanwhile, on the GOP side, Rutherford noses Schock 27-26 in a hypothetical three-way primary, with Dillard at 17. He also takes the top spot in PPP’s kitchen-sink scenario:

  • Dan Rutherford: 19
  • Aaron Schock: 18
  • Bill Brady: 14
  • Kirk Dillard: 12
  • Joe Walsh: 8
  • Bruce Rauner: 7
  • Someone else: 7
  • Not sure: 15

As for the additional names there: Bill Brady was the GOP’s 2010 nominee, who barely beat Dillard for the nod and then barely lost to Quinn; Joe Walsh is the infamous loudmouth and soon-to-be-former congressman; and Bruce Rauner is a wealthy private equity titan.

h/t: David Nir at Daily Kos Elections

Following his resounding defeat by Democrat Tammy Duckworth Tuesday, Tea Party-affiliated U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) is considering what his post-Congress life might entail.

In an interview with the Daily Herald published Wednesday, the congressman did not rule out a 2014 gubernatorial run as he suggested that “Democrats have ruined” the state of Illinois while weak Republican leadership has “allowed them to.” He also left the door open to the interviewer’s suggestion that he consider becoming a television pundit.

"People approach me every day and ask, ‘Walsh, are you going to run for the governor? Are you going to run for Senate?’" Walsh told the newspaper. "I want to do my part to lead a movement to present a vision to this. I’d rather go down fighting."

Wednesday is, indeed, not the first time Walsh has been asked about his possible gubernatorial aspirations in Illinois. In July, the vocal congressman told conservative blog Illinois Review that his race against Duckworth was “the race of his life” and that, beyond that, “after everything I’ve been through, there’s something going on. So wherever it takes me, it takes me somewhere.”

Walsh likely alienated many voters with his outspokenness, including his repeated attacks on Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran and double amputee, for speaking “too much” about her military service. At one point, Walsh implied that his Democratic challenger wasn’t a “true hero.” At another point in his campaign, he screamed in the face of a female constituent at a town-hall event.

The last Republican elected as Illinois’ governor, George Ryan, took office in 1999 and is currently serving a 6 1/2-year sentence on a 2006 corruption conviction at an Indiana prison. Ryan’s Democratic successor, Rod Blagojevich, is also currently imprisoned on a corruption conviction.

h/t: Huffington Post

On Tuesday, Tea Party group True the Vote will dispatch poll watchers throughout the country to challenge voters’ rights as they cast their ballots. True the Vote often insists it is a nonpartisan organization simply concerned with election integrity. It has even applied for non-profit status, which would exempt them from taxes. But a new email to True the Vote volunteers in Illinois shows that the organization is recruiting poll watchers specifically for one candidate — Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL).

Illinois categorizes poll watchers as either partisan or nonpartisan. Presumably, True the Vote poll watchers will be posing as nonpartisan so as to not endanger their pending non-profit status. Yet this email to volunteers suggests they are recruiting partisan poll watchers for the Walsh campaign — in blatant defiance of their claim of nonpartisanship.

This isn’t the first time the group has provided illegal aid to a campaign. A judge ruled in March that poll watchers deployed by True the Vote in Texas’ 2010 election amounted to an illegal campaign contribution to the Republican Party. After Tuesday, it will be hard to see how True the Vote can keep up the nonpartisan facade.

h/t: Aviva Shen at Think Progress Election

American Bridge, the Democratic super PAC, is targeting Mitt Romney online with one of the harshest “war on women”-themed spots of the cycle. The 30 second web ad is running as pre-roll on ABC News videos starting Tuesday, amping up the Democratic messaging about women in the final week of the campaign. 

The American Bridge spot ties Romney to Rep. Todd Akin’s (R-MO) “legitimate rape" comment (used to justify opposition to abortion rights in the case of rape), Rep. Joe Walsh’s (R-IL) contention that a woman’s life cannot be at risk due pregnancy (used to justify opposition to health exemptions for a total ban on abortion rights) and Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock’s line about rape, conception and God’s will. Viewers are directed to Bridge’s microsite, which includes more videos on GOP positions on rape and abortion. 

h/t: Evan McMorris-Santoro at TPM LiveWire

On Thursday, after his debate against Democrat Tammy Duckworth, Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) told reporters that an abortion exception is never necessary to save a woman’s life, explaining, “with modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance” of a woman dying from childbirth. Walsh claimed pro-choice advocates simply used the prospect of maternal death “to make us look unreasonable.”

Walsh went on to assert that women whose health would be jeopardized if they carry their fetus to term are simply using the exception as a “tool” to get an abortion for “any reason.”

With modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance…There’s no such exception as life of the mother. And as far as health of the mother, same thing, with advances in science and technology, health of the mother has become a tool for abortions anytime under any reason.

By pretending these women don’t exist, Walsh joins the ranks of his other colleague, Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), who ignited a firestorm over his opposition to a rape exception because “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

h/t: Aviva Shen at Think Progress Health

Duckworth rips Walsh over ‘dress’ attack: Mostly I’ve worn one color – camoflage (via Raw Story )

In a debate stunt gone wrong on Tuesday night, incumbent Congressman Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) attacked his Democratic challenger, Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth, by showing a photo of Duckworth choosing her dress for the 2012 Democratic National Convention, which she neatly turned around by calling attention to her military service. At the rambunctious debate in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, Walsh accused Duckworth of being a DC-Beltway insider candidate.


Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) deployed a strange attack on his Democratic opponent, Iraq War veteran and former Veterans Affairs official Tammy Duckworth, at a debate Tuesday night — brandishing a photo of her picking out a dress for the Democratic National Convention.

The point that Walsh intended to illustrate was that Duckworth was a political insider and a handpicked candidate of the national Democrats.

“I was marching in a parade in Schaumburg (Ill.), Sunday, two days before the Democratic convention,” Walsh said, holding up the photo, “when Tammy Duckworth was on a stage down in Charlotte (N.C.) — if you can look at the picture — picking out a dress for her speech Tuesday night.”

Back in September, Walsh issued a statement attacking Duckworth’s speech at the convention, and accusing her of dodging debates: “It has become abundantly clear that at this point the only debate Ms. Duckworth is actually interested in having is which outfit she’ll be wearing for her big speech.” Walsh pointed to the photo on Tuesday night as a way to explain what he said previously.

Members of the audience booed profusely, but Walsh wasn’t fazed. He went on to address his criticism of Duckworth picking out her clothes for the Democratic convention — by holding up the photo.

The audience booed again, very loudly, as Walsh was finishing his statement. For her part, Duckworth accused Walsh of trying to distract from the issues — and she got in a kicker of her own.

“And yes, I do sometimes look at the clothes that I wear,” she said. “But for most of my adult life, I’ve worn one color — it’s called camouflage.”

h/t: Eric Kleefeld at TPM