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posted: 5/4/2010 12:01 AM

Walsh's campaign office still open for business

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  • GOP congressional candidate Joe Walsh

    GOP congressional candidate Joe Walsh
    Vincent Pierri | Staff Photographer


Despite the efforts of two former campaign workers, Republican congressional candidate Joe Walsh's Grayslake political office remained open for business Monday.

The campaign itself is steaming along, too - even though the same ex-staffers have called for Walsh to withdraw from the 8th House District race.

Walsh campaign manager Nick Provenzano downplayed the remarks made Sunday by ex-Walsh field directors Richard Cape and Ted Livengood as the remarks of "disgruntled campaign staffers."

"(They) didn't like the new sheriff in town," Provenzano said. "And we're moving forward with the campaign."

In an interview with the Daily Herald on Sunday, Cape - who briefly served as Walsh's campaign manager before Provenzano - expressed disappointment and anger with Walsh, a Winnetka resident who is trying to unseat three-term Democrat Melissa Bean of Barrington.

He criticized Walsh on a variety of fronts, including not publicly disclosing he lost an Evanston condominium to foreclosure until it was uncovered by the Daily Herald after the primary.

Walsh's campaign has been dogged by other problems, too. During the primary, rock star Joe Walsh accused the candidate of improperly using one of his songs in a campaign video. Additionally, a former campaign manager sued Walsh in January, alleging Walsh owed him $20,000 for services.

And just last month, the campaign acknowledged it had failed to properly file a financial disclosure form with the U.S. House. That document has since been submitted.

On Sunday, Cape said he and other ex-supporters would shut down the Walsh office and remove their belongings. When they arrived at the Barron Boulevard office, however, they were not allowed into the building.

Grayslake police were present, too.

Walsh could not be reached for comment Monday, but Provenzano said Cape and Livengood don't have the power to shutter the office. The lease is in the campaign's name, he said.

"A few people quit and are no longer on staff - what authority would they have to shut down an office?" Provenzano said.

Not only is the office staying open, he said, the remaining workers are preparing to soon expand hours to evenings and weekends.

Provenzano also rebuked a claim made by Cape that 200 volunteers had quit the campaign.

"Unless I get 200 e-mails from people quitting... I would doubt it," he said. "I think we would have heard about that."

When asked about how many volunteers are actively working on the Walsh campaign, Provenzano said he didn't "have a firm number" and wouldn't estimate.

Repeating a line the campaign has used in recent weeks, Provenzano admitted Walsh isn't the perfect candidate. But he also said Walsh isn't trying to hide anything.

Walsh has talked about his past and the issues Cape raised during public forums and with the media, said Provenzano, a former McHenry County Board member who's running for re-election this year.

"None of the mistakes Joe Walsh has made were rooted in an attempt to mislead or obfuscate the truth," he said in a statement e-mailed to supporters and the media Monday afternoon. "He made honest mistakes and he's taken the lumps for those mistakes."

The 8th District includes parts of Cook, Lake and McHenry counties. Green Party candidate Bill Scheurer also is running for the seat.