Thursday, October 26, 2006

Walberg Child Abuse Scandal

Susan Demas at the Jackson Citizen-Patriot reports today:

Congressional candidate Tim Walberg on Wednesday accepted the resignation of his volunteer coordinator, who faces sentencing for domestic violence.

Earlier Wednesday, the Jackson Citizen Patriot reported that Daniel A. Coons, 30, of Eaton Rapids pleaded guilty last month to the misdemeanor and will be sentenced Nov. 13 in Eaton County District Court. He could receive up to 93 days in jail or a $500 fine.

By now, most people have heard about this. If you haven't, check out the initial story from yesterday here. While Tim Walberg himself was not involved, it does make one wonder about his choices for staffers. Coons stayed on the Walberg campaign payroll long after he was charged, and it was only after the guilty plea and the media exposure that he resigned.

The article continues:

Walberg, R-Tipton, refused to comment for the Wednesday story about Coons' court case. He said he hoped Coons' two foster children would be returned to him.

A minister and former Moody Bible Institute fundraiser, Walberg campaigns on family values, which he terms "the backbone of civilization."

By not firing Coons, "It raises questions about how seriously Walberg takes a conviction of what most people consider to be a serious crime," said John Chamberlain, a professor at the University of Michigan's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy who specializes in political ethics.

As the "values" candidate, what kind of healthy family does Tim Walberg support, exactly? This kind?
The boy had the beginning of a black eye, finger marks on his face and trouble opening his jaw, according to the police report. After the incident, Coons' two foster children were removed from his home.
The children were removed, and Walberg says they should be returned to Coons. Now, this is a matter for the court to decide, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say it was probably a good move for the children to get out of that home.

Now, I'm not suggesting that Walberg condones child abuse. I have no doubt that he was good to his own children and sincerely hope he is as sickened as the rest of us at this sort of behavior by his staffer. But what about his "family values"? For some reason, I'm thinking that perhaps all the values talk is just political posturing to earn votes. I don't know why I'd think that, though.

It's funny, though, that the only "family values" he ever talks about are his anti-abortion crusades and his anti-gay marriage/anti-homosexuality crusades.

Mr. Walberg-- Could this incident have been prevented if same-sex couples weren't allowed to be married in Massachusetts?

Matt at Michigan Liberal says a lot of this and more all much more eloquently.

Oh, one last thing: Sharon Renier's statement, in full:
I was saddened to hear that a young boy was severely beaten by one of Tim
Walberg’s campaign staff members. As a mother, I would place the welfare
of a child over loyalty to the adult abuser. I am shocked to hear that
Walberg continued to employ him after he was charged with beating the boy.
But what outrages me is that Walberg attempted to convince authorities to
return the boy to this convicted child abuser. We cannot afford to send
him to represent us in Washington.

Walberg has seriously betrayed those who have relied on him for moral
guidance. Walberg, a former preacher, has also lost any moral authority
he may once have had by employing this known convicted child abuser. The
Republican leadership in Congress covered up their national sex scandal to
protect a child sexual predator. Walberg’s lapse of judgment is no better
behavior, and should disqualify him from running for any office, let alone

Walberg’s actions were morally wrong for this child, and Walberg is
definitely wrong for the voters of the 7th District of Michigan.

This election will certainly be about sending a message to Washington. Do
we send to Congress the small businesswomen farmer or a morally bankrupt
politician who places his loyalty to a child abuser over the child?

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This just sickens me. After framing himself as the "family-values" candidate and flaunting his pastoral credentials, he should not have allowed even an alleged abuser to stay on his staff. Even the hint of impropriety should have moved him to take action if he is who he claims to be.

If this guy is really this stupid and can't take a stand with his own people and set some standards, why does he want to push his brand of morality on the rest of us.

This guy is simply a megalomaniac without a shred of intergrity or honesty. This is exactly the type of person we DON'T NEED in Washington or in the GOP.

Do not let this guy go any further!
I cant help but this one in here. Maybe the Democratic Congressional Committe should make radio and tv ads expoiting this!!! I bet the die hard conservatives would like to know something about Tim other then his attack ads. You have noticed that there are virtually no ads about his integrity or character. I wonder why that is???? I bet I can give you guys/gals a whole slew of them!

I am not condoning any wrong doing the staffer did. He must suffer whatever the judges sentence is, but, are there ANY Democrat staffers in the state that are licensed foster care providers? They were quietly walking out the family values not just giving them lip service. Do you think they took this child in to have someone to abuse? You think Lisa Holland adopted Ricky to have a child to abuse and kill with a tack hammer? Before you open your mouth and insert your foot FOIA the Foster Care Review Boards decision as to why they would recommend the return of the children. I’m sure they looked into this situation much more than the Citizen Patriot did.

DHS and CPS are failing the foster parents and foster children of this state by not giving the children the help they need. Employees are more important than the children and the paperwork is more important than the services they should be providing. If you had to deal with DHS or CPS for 6 months as a foster parent you would understand why they have problems getting foster parents. Many of these children are near the worst problems to deal with. Every foster parent risks their future trying to help these children. Do you think this story will help get more foster parents?

This political story has sacrificed foster care in this state back for political gain.
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