When you run for Congress on a platform of fiscal responsibility, then make your name proclaiming that the government has to pay its debts and not burden the children and grandchildren with future economic impact, you would think that you at least keep your own home in order.
Not so much for Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh. The Tea Party freshman, who considers himself a watchdog for government spending, is being sued for almost $120,000 worth of child support over almost a decade.
Walsh’s lawyers are calling the amount “unreasonable,” pointing to a spotty record of actual reported income due to his background as a “sometimes-employed financial consultant/venture capitalist/Republican activist.” His ex-wife’s lawyers, meanwhile, note a “comfortable” lifestyle, abundance of vacations and even a $35,000 personal loan to his own campaign as signs that his claims of poverty aren’t nearly what he is making them out to be.
Is $120,00 an “unreasonable” amount of back child support and expenses, and is his ex-wife trying to cash in on his success as a politician? With three children to consider, and nine years to pay, it breaks down to less than $370 per child per month. Still, for a member of a far right wing faction that praises cutting Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, Pell Grants, unemployment assistance, welfare and food stamps, even to the detriment of poor children, any amount may be seen as “too much” when it comes to supporting your kids.
This additional personal controversy is unlikely to help a freshman congressman who won his district by less than 300 votes, mostly due to a third party candidate who helps split the progressive vote. Especially not as his district is being retooled to be even more Democratic during redistricting.