FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2010 file photo, then-Rep.-elect Joe Walsh, R-Ill., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Chicago Sun-Times reports Thursday, July 28, 2011, that Walsh's ex-wife, Laura Walsh has sued her ex-husband for more than $117,000 in what she says is unpaid child support and interest. Laura Walsh filed the claim in December in their divorce case. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
Who knew Rep. Randy Hultgren, (R-Ill.), would be the first one to go negative in his primary race against Rep. Joe Walsh, (Tea Party-Ill)?
Anyone who knows anything about Hultgren, that’s who. It’s not that Hultgren is a vicious politician. It’s just that Hultgren -- an undertaker and a churchgoer -- is so colorless he makes Billy Bob Thornton’s character in “The Man Who Wasn’t There” look like Bootsy Collins. Hultgren has to make the election about Joe Walsh, because if the election is about Randy Hultgren, it’s about … nothing.
According to the Daily Herald, Walsh is accusing Hultgren of conducting a “push poll” by asking voters whether Walsh’s personal life might influence their primary vote. In a push poll, a campaign worker calls voters and asks questions like, “Knowing that Congressman Snood was removed from his position as a Scoutmaster on a morals charge, would you be more or less likely to vote for him?”
Hultgren campaign spokesman Andrew Flach declined to release a script of the poll, but said “as far as the language is concerned, we only tested on things that were already in the media. We didn’t break new ground.”
Yet, after hearing from constituents that the poll contained a number of questions on child support and his financial past, Walsh is calling the effort a “push poll” — a political campaign technique designed to influence voters by disseminating negative and false information — and evidence of a dirty campaign.
“If he raises his voice and calls into question who I am as a father, I’ll punch him in the face, figuratively speaking,” said Walsh, of McHenry.
Walsh is so upset about the poll that he’s going off his usual narrative. By threatening to punch Hultgren in the face, he’s making his opponent look like a victim. Walsh is the one who’s supposed to look like a victim -- of his ex-wife and her lawyer, of the liberal media, and now of Randy Hultgren’s attack machine.
Walsh’s response should be a push poll of his own. “Knowing that Congressman Hultgren is happily married and refuses to resort to partisan demagoguery to advance his views, do you want a congressman so boring his name or face will never appear in a media outlet more widely circulated than the Kane County Chronicle?”
The choice is clear.
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