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updated: 2/7/2013 8:07 AM

Walsh mulls SuperPAC to counterbalance Rove's

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  • Former Congressman Joe Walsh of McHenry is considering starting a SuperPac.

    Former Congressman Joe Walsh of McHenry is considering starting a SuperPac.
    Associated Press File Photo


Former Congressman Joe Walsh said founding a SuperPAC may be among his plans in the near future.

"I'm filing the paperwork to form a super PAC to support freedom-loving conservative alternatives to @KarlRove on FOX," Walsh tweeted Tuesday.

In a Wednesday interview with the Daily Herald, Walsh backed off those statements slightly, noting a SuperPAC "may be one of a number of things I do to cause real change."

Since his Nov. 6 loss to Hoffman Estates Democrat Tammy Duckworth, the McHenry Tea Partyer has also said he is mulling a possible statewide bid for governor or U.S. Senate. Walsh said Wednesday that along with the SuperPAC, his options included radio and television gigs or another run.

Walsh's tweet references news that Rove, former President George W. Bush's strategist, will form a SuperPAC to support traditionally moderate, establishment Republicans, who lost primary bids to more conservative members of their own party.

"If Karl Rove wants a fight for the soul of the Republican Party, game on," Walsh said. "We'll have that fight."

Walsh -- who noted Rove did not support his bid for re-election, or that of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, among others -- noted that "there's a lot of anger out there among grass-roots Republicans about what Rove is supposing to do."

The SuperPAC, he maintained, "is definitely not a sure thing."

SuperPACs, the product of a 2010 Supreme Court decision, allow for unlimited spending by a group in support or opposition of a candidate, as long as it is not directly coordinated with a candidate's campaign.

During the 8th District Congressional race between Walsh and Duckworth, more than $6 million in outside funding poured in to pay for ads and mailers targeting Duckworth for defeat, making the nationally watched campaign one of the most expensive in the suburbs.

Walsh said that experience didn't shape his views about SuperPACs, and that it's "silly to think you can keep money out of politics."

"My point has always been, contribution limits are ineffective," Walsh said. "Just give me instant disclosure. Instant transparency."

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