After the Chicago Sun-Times reported on Monday that former Rep. Joe Walsh was once again a deadbeat, non-child-support-paying dad, Walsh didn't take the news well. He began by going on the Steve Cochran Show to defend himself - claiming that he was just following the law in filing a claim that his employment status had changed. Now, though, he's taken his childish hissy-fit to an all new level: he's claimed he intends to sue the Sun-Times for the "hit" piece.
"I will file suit this week. The article is pure defamation and a hit piece as evidenced by the fact that they changed their headline 3 times and the reporter made no effort to contact us prior to dropping the story," Walsh told TPM in an email. In a statement released on his website, Walsh said the Sun-Times article "implied that I did not want to make child support payments and was beyond on payments. Both statements are false."
He went on to say, "By law in Illinois I have to modify my support agreement when I change employment, whether I'm a congressman or an electrical engineer. By law, I modified to 20% of my net income for the final four months of my son's high school before he's emancipated. All of this is what I'm obligated to do. What is the story here? No, the Sun-Times purposely tried to sully my name again and I will fight back against them and anyone else who does."
The Sun-Times isn't backing down though. When asked to comment, editor Jim Kirk said, "Just that we stand by our story. Nothing further."
What's interesting to note here isn't the fact that he's doubling down on his claims - or even his empty lawsuit threats. Walsh has known he would need to get a new job the moment he lost he election - in November. It's February - midway through the month, no less. Either he's the worst financial planner in the Tea Party, or he's grasping at straws when called out for being a bad parent once again.
One final thought: if he's so burdened that he cannot afford to continue to support his own children, how is he paying for all of these public events he sponsors? How is he continuing to "explore super PAC options" as a next career? That all requires networking - and networking requires capital. Most importantly though, how he is affording the legal fees it will take to handle this empty lawsuit - and why isn't that money going toward his children?
Perhaps this is just the next step in the carnival-crazy Walsh three ring media circus to keep his name in the news.