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updated: 12/4/2011 9:02 AM

Walsh still mum on which district he'll run in

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  • Rep. Joe Walsh

    Rep. Joe Walsh
    File photo


The congressional district tango 8th District Rep. Joe Walsh has danced the last week or so may conclude Monday, which is when the Tea Party Republican says he'll announce which district he intends to run in the March 2012 Republican primary.

The freshman representative from McHenry spoke Saturday afternoon during a crowded town hall meeting at a St. Charles restaurant.

If Walsh runs in the recently drawn 14th Congressional District, which encompasses Walsh's home, it would pit him against fellow Republican freshman Randy Hultgren.

Although he said he would run where he lives, Walsh hinted he might run in 8th District he has represented since he defeated Democrat Melissa Bean by 291 votes in 2010.

"Part of me just doesn't want to give the district to the Democrats," said Walsh who suggested Democrat legislators redrew his district and moved it south to benefit Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth, who is running against former state comptroller candidate Raja Krishnamoorthi in next year's Democratic primary.

Calling the newly drawn map "outrageous," Walsh said he believed the courts will overturn it. The self-described "odd duck" said he feels like he's losing his country.

"We are this close to falling off a cliff ... I feel every single day President Obama is in the White House he is destroying what makes this country great," he said.

Acknowledging that he stepped on toes during his tenure, he insisted he will do what he can "to respectfully stop this president and shake my party up," saying it is in his nature to rock the boat.

"We're fighting for the soul of the country. I don't want to elect civil statesmen. I want to elect revolutionaries," he said.

For 100 minutes, an animated, capacity crowd questioned Walsh about everything from government debt, which the congressman called a "bipartisan spending problem;" tax code and campaign finance reform to civil rights and deregulation among other issues, with the budget crisis and spending dominating the meeting.

Walsh compared the $15 trillion deficit with a family of four that earned $21,000, spent $37,000 and accumulated $144,000 in credit card debt.

"That's what your federal government did this year," said Walsh, who referenced several times his "no" votes on government spending.

He expressed doubt about the passage of a flat tax, balanced budget or campaign finance reform proposals stating that neither party wants such proposals enacted.

He returned several times to a pet topic: term limits, telling those present he introduced HJ Res. 71 limiting the terms of congressional representative and insisting that he intended to serve only six years.

"We send people there who don't care about people here. The longer they stay there, the less they listen to us," said Walsh who listed passing a fair tax, repealing the administration's health care plan and expanding U.S. oil drilling among his objectives.

Acknowledging voters' frustration, Walsh said, "Your anger made me want to run. If you're angry, send more of us."

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