14th CD primary likely to be no gentlemen’s contest
Looks like things are heating up in the 14th CD Primary race that pits Joe Walsh against fellow Republican Randy Hultgren. The liberal Huffington Post is reporting that Walsh told a townhall audience last night:
"I get in a fight every week with my leadership," he said, as reported by the Kane County Chronicle. "And here's what the fight is about. [House Speaker] John Boehner ... this is what he tells us every week: If we would just be quiet [and] don't make waves right now. Privately, John Boehner ... doesn't want someone like me around. If it's Randy Hultgren against Joe Walsh running for this Congressional seat, I can guarantee you John Boehner and other folks are going to do whatever they can to help Randy get elected. Randy does what he's told by them."
Rumors have been circulating that the NRCC told Walsh they would only support him if he ran in the 8th CD, which he now represents. However, because of remapping, his current district has a substantial amount of geography in the more-GOP-favoring 14th CD, which is currently represented by fellow Congressman Randy Hultgren.
This week the New York Times ran a story recounting some issues never brought up during the 2010 Walsh campaign against then incumbent Democrat Melissa Bean:
There have been other financial setbacks. Mr. Walsh lost a condominium to foreclosure before he ran for office. He has had a run-in with the Internal Revenue Service. He has no savings accounts, no investment accounts and has $3,000 in his only I.R.A., according to court documents filed by his lawyer last week.
He missed a filing deadline for his personal financial disclosures and his campaign was sent a cautionary letter by the Federal Election Commission for failing to include some campaign debts in its quarterly reports, later amended. His driver’s license has been suspended twice, in 2008 for failing to show up for a court appearance, and this year, when he did not pay his auto insurance premium on time.
Mr. Walsh’s decision to repeatedly bang the drum of strict fiscal responsibility appears to reflect his belief that the Tea Party support that swept him into office by roughly 300 votes will keep him there despite his own financial problems. “What we need to do is elect fighters in every single level of government,” he said in his Capitol Hill office, where, with no apartment in Washington, he sleeps on an air mattress when Congress is in session. “When it comes to the issues that this Congress has been immersed in the past nine months, I have taken the leading role.”