8th Congressional Dist. candidate Walsh turns to TV

  • Joe Walsh

    Joe Walsh

  • Melissa Bean

    Melissa Bean

Updated 10/22/2010 7:06 PM

Republican Joe Walsh whose campaign videos have been limited to viral venues such as his website and YouTube has taken to the TV airwaves with less than two weeks until Election Day.

A 30-second spot currently airing features Walsh, a McHenry resident challenging incumbent Rep. Melissa Bean in the 8th Congressional District, standing on his childhood football field and meeting with residents.


"I was born and raised in the 8th District," Walsh says. "I moved back home to run for Congress because we're losing what's made this country so great."

Bean, of Barrington, isn't a resident of the 8th District, Walsh's campaign likes to point out.

Walsh campaign manager Nick Provenzano said the advertisement started airing on Wednesday or Thursday, though he would not say on what channels or whether it's on network or cable TV.

Turning to TV wasn't financially possible until recently, Provenzano said, as Walsh's campaign ended the third quarter with just $7,000 cash on hand, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

But since then, "donations have been pouring in like you wouldn't believe," Provenzano said. "It was like the spigot turned on."

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He points to a We Ask America poll released Sept. 30 showing Walsh and Bean tied at 41 percent apiece as a catalyst, saying it forced people to pay more attention. Bean's campaign has dismissed the poll as not credible because of its conservative ties.

He also believes this week's public debate with Bean and Green Party candidate Bill Scheurer at Grayslake Central High School is sparking a further influx of donations. How much supporters contribute over the next few days will determine the magnitude of the TV campaign, Provenzano said.

Since Oct. 15, Walsh has received seven donations of more than $1,000, totaling $9,300, including a $1,000 donation from the National Pro-Life Alliance PAC based in Virginia.

But Provenzano said the bulk of donations are still from 8th District residents in $10, $20 and $100 increments.

"We want to use every medium that we financially can, but the people of the 8th District are going to be the ones to carry the message, not the airwaves," Provenzano said.

Bean's campaign, which holds a significant fundraising edge over its Republican opposition, started running an ad on network TV last week.