The Washington Post

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)

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)

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)

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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Follow Ed O’Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost

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Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.


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