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Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 06/14/2012

Why (rocker) Joe Walsh endorsed Tammy Duckworth against (Congressman) Joe Walsh

CHICAGO — 2chambers is in the Windy City this week for a mix of business and pleasure and has heard the big news here: Joe Walsh is endorsing Tammy Duckworth.

Joe Walsh performs during the 2012 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in May. (Rick Diamond - GETTY IMAGES)
No, not the Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) that Duckworth is running against, but the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Eagles guitarist. And some might consider his support for the Democrat a bit of payback.

Two years ago when Walsh — the lawmaker — first ran for Congress, he borrowed a song by the other Walsh called “Walk Away” and changed the lyrics. The move prompted the musician’s attorney to send a tongue-in-cheek letter to Walsh's campaign:

“You’re not allowed to take someone’s song and change the lyrics,” the attorney wrote. “This is not to say you’re not allowed to write silly lyrics, you just have to write them to your own music. Now, I know why you used Joe’s music — it’s undoubtedly because it’s a lot better than any music you or your staff could have written. But that’s the point. Since Joe writes better songs than you do, the Copyright Act rewards him by letting him decide who gets to use the songs he writes.”

Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) (Manuel Balce Ceneta - AP)
On Tuesday, Walsh — the musician — announced that he’s supporting Duckworth: “I’m the real Joe Walsh, and I’m proud to back a real American success story — Tammy Duckworth,” he said in a statement released by the campaign. “Tammy’s story, her service to our nation and her continued commitment to working families (like the one I come from!) have convinced me that she’s the right choice for Congress.”

Adding to the buzz, Walsh — the musician — plans to perform a special concert for Duckworth’s campaign on July 1 in the Illinois 8th Congressional District, an area encompassing Evanston, a suburb north of Chicago.

Tammy Duckworth. (M. Spencer Green - AP Photo)
In response, Walsh campaign spokesman Christian Morgan told the Chicago Sun-Times: “Is anyone really surprised when Tammy gets support from the liberal entertainment industry? This is, after all, the same candidate that raised more money last quarter from San Francisco than she did from the entire 8th District. Tammy can have the support of the ‘Hotel California’ liberal elite. Congressman Walsh is more concerned with getting the support of hard working families from the 8th District.”

The Sun-Times also noted that the musician Walsh employs Ari Emanuel as his agent. It just so happens that Ari Emanuel is the brother of Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago mayor and former congressman who backed Duckworth’s first and ultimately unsuccessful 2006 congressional campaign.

Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran, left her job a year ago as a Department of Veterans Affairs assistant secretary to run against Walsh in what promises to be one of the most closely watched attempts by Democrats to unseat a GOP lawmaker.

And, if you’re wondering, no, Duckworth has no current plans to use supporter Joe Walsh’s name or image in any campaign literature — or to use any of his music. At least not without asking his permission first.

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