Ex-U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh now plans to sue the Chicago Sun-Times for its Feb. 11 piece about his requesting the courts to end his child support obligation because he’s out of a job. Talking Points Memo contacted Walsh about the imminent suit and was told that he plans to file this week, and that the article is nothing but defamation of his character, which is evidenced by the fact that the Sun-Times made no attempt to contact him and changed their headline three times.
A statement on his website, walshfreedom.com, says:
“Late this afternoon, the Chicago Sun-Times posted a story on-line that claimed that I wanted to stop making child support payments. That claim is an absolute lie, and I will no longer stand for it.
Here are the facts: My three kids are 25, 22, and 18-years-old. My youngest son will be emancipated in May of this year when he graduates from high school. Two weeks ago, I did what every other father who is paying child support is supposed to do — by law — when their employment situation changes — I modified my support agreement. With my Congressional term ending on January 3, and with my ex-wife having been paid in full through my term in Congress, by law, I filed a modification of my support payments for my remaining unemancipated child for these next four months. This modification called for me to pay my ex-wife 20% of my net income during these four months, which is my responsibility by law. […]
Earlier this afternoon, Natasha Korecki of the Chicago Sun-Times, wrote a story about me and my child support arrangement, without bothering to speak to me or to my attorney. The story stated and implied that I did not want to make child support payments and was behind on payments. Both statements are false. […]”
He goes on to claim that “the Sun Times has had a vendetta against me since I was first elected. I will no longer take it. I have had to live with the ‘deadbeat dad’ label, even though the original case against me was dropped one year ago, and my ex-wife acknowledged that I have always been a loving and supportive father.”
He has screenshots of both the original Sun-Times headline and a revision from five hours later, and insults the author, Natasha Korecki, more than once. He also posted a screenshot of an email she sent to his attorney, ostensibly at the same time she filed her story. In the email, she says that she tried to contact Walsh directly but his voicemail was full, and she was looking for comment.
Walsh claims that his voicemail being full is an outright lie, however there is no way to verify one way or the other, and it’s Korecki’s words against his that his voicemail was full.
The full statement can be read here.
Talking Points Memo also spoke to the Sun-Times regarding the story, and reached editor Jim Kirk, who said, “Just that we stand by our story. Nothing further.” It’s true that Walsh currently has very little in the way of assets, and the motion to dismiss his remaining child support payments was, in fact, filed because he was out of a job and without income. He currently plans to start a super-PAC to fight Karl Rove’s new super-PAC, which may become his new source of income.