Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Loons pt. 2: Rep. Tim Walberg (Tipton, MI)

Pam Geller, whom I profiled in an earlier post, has managed to get coverage on various news outlets.  Despite this she has not yet been elected to public office, as voters in the New York metropolitan area prefer that their officials be at least marginally sane.  We're tolerant of lots of things - quite a few of us think that Anthony Weiner should have *ahem* held on to his position - but we prefer to keep our fringe candidates festering in the cesspool of city and state politics.

Well, folks, it's time to meet Tim Walberg, who represents Michigan's 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Mr. Walberg, a minister, was a member of the Michigan State House of Representatives for 16 years.  In 2004 he ran for the U.S. House, narrowly losing in the primary to moderate Republican Joe Schwartz, who would go on to win the general election.

Undeterred, Walberg ran again in 2006.  His campaign ran into controversy when Daniel A. Coons, a volunteer staffer for Wahlberg pleaded guilty to domestic violence.  He was originally charged with a more serious misdemeanor child abuse charge after leaving a 9-year old foster child with what a social worker's police statement describes as  "a bruise and the beginning of a black eye on the left side of his face, finger marks on the right side and bruising and abrasions on his chin and trouble opening his jaw." 

By his own account, Walberg found out about the charges a week before Coons resigned from his campaign on September.  Yet while Walberg has run as a "family values" candidate thanks to his anti-abortion and anti-homosexuality positions, he seemed less than concerned with the incident, even arguing that the child should be returned to the Coons family.  His Democratic challenger, Sharon Renier, said "Walberg’s actions were morally wrong for this child, and Walberg is definitely wrong for the voters of the 7th District of Michigan." But alas, neither Renier nor Schwartz were able to beat back a $1 million+ funding surge on Walberg's behalf from the Club for Growth and so Walberg began his first term in the House.

Two years later Walberg found himself out on the pavement, as Democrat Mark Schauer beat him in a close race.  Walberg would later blame large Democratic donors for his loss at a meeting where he promised to abolish the Internal Revenue Service, not allow amnesty to illegal aliens, deny citizenship to children born to illegal aliens in this country, dismantle the federal Department of Education, allow oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, make English the official language of the U.S. and allow contributions to individual savings accounts to replace some Social Security taxes.  Apparently this message found a welcoming audience at the Lenawee Christian Family Center: Walberg was re-elected.

This brings us to an August 11 meeting sponsored by Glenn Beck's 9/12 Project.  At that meeting, two questioners brought up the issue of Barack Obama's birth certificate.  Now, we all know that President Obama released his birth certificate on April 27 of this year, and since then most "Birthers" (minus a few kooky holdouts like Pam Geller) have grudgingly acknowledged that yes, President Obama was probably born in the United States after all.  So did Walberg say, "That particular issue has been settled: whether or not we like the President, he's an American citizen?" What do you think? 
Regardless of whether the license that he showed is true or fake, I’ve not seen it other than what was portrayed in the news. The House is controlled by the majority party being the Republicans, the Senate by the Democrats, the attorney general by the Democrats. That’s the answer. One and a half years. One and a half years. That’s when we do the do-over.
... though I would like to have that question finally answered as much as anybody else, yet it takes my eye off the ball of all that I have to do. [I have made a] priority decision [to concentrate on the budget and policy to] make a long-term difference for this country in a positive way.
In his quest to make a difference, Walberg has fought to defund Obamacare through budget cuts, while also taking out secular humanist and socialist organizations like National Public RadioPlanned Parenthood and the Public Broadcasting Service.  His latest crusade involves efforts  to repeal a 10% tax on tanning salons.  This was a particularly smooth move on his part, as it not only stuck it to the (brown) Man but also helped him win points with permanently orange Republican celebrities like House Speaker John Boehner and Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, who famously said of the 10% tax, "I feel like he did that intentionally for us, like McCain would never put a 10% tax on tanning.. because he is pale and he would probably wanna be tanned."

Congratulations, Michigan.  Most states would find Ted Nugent to be embarrassment enough.