May 16, 2015
- Graduation Commencement Keynote
- Spring Arbor, MI
May 6, 2016
- Speech to Student Athletes and TV Interview
- Spring Arbor, MI
· Enlargements and Highlights by Author – Note: Walberg’s majors are not stated, and “Moody Bible College Institute”is a misnomer
2 of 3 – Campaign Website Biographical Sketch
· Walberg’s majors are not stated on Walberg’s campaign site. Also, based on the four antecedents that sentence, it is completely unclear where the two degrees were earned.
3 of 3 – Official U.S. House Website Biographical Sketch
- There is no mention of any college experience whatsoever on Walberg’s official House of Representatives website [Screenshot: August 11, 2017]. Walberg’s DC staffer Kevin officially confirmed for me the fact that none of Walberg’s majors are stated on his website on November 20, 2017.
Published by the Legislative Council, State of Michigan in Lansing
The only college major specified in the editions of the Michigan Manuals from 1983 to 1997 was forestry, which Tim Walberg does not have a degree in. The manuals showed changes in Tim Walberg’s college record over the years in response to changes with Fort Wayne Bible College between 1989 and 1993. Those changes were full of errors:
- In 1989 Fort Wayne Bible College was renamed Summit Christian College. That new name appears the 1991 edition of the Michigan Manual, however, it erroneously replaced Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. Fort Wayne Bible College was kept unchanged.
Bios from Congressional Directory 2007, 2011, and 2016 with enlargements and highlights by the author
Mlive/Jackson City Patriot article on the May 26, 2017 Coldwater event, shared 11,600+ times
The recent MLive/Jackson City Patriot coverage of the Coldwater Coffee Hour describes Walberg as speaking about his college degree in forestry. Looking at the video of the event it is easy to understand how anyone could be led to believe that Walberg was describing a college major that he had a degree in. Walberg told us: “I majored in forestry and land management, so I’m not taking any backseat to anybody on stewardship of God’s created resources.” Walberg spoke to us with great confidence and authority for someone who dropped out less than halfway through his associate’s degree program. In Walberg’s case, he would necessarily be “taking a backseat to anybody” who actually got halfway through the program, and anybody actually earned a degree in forestry.
If a professionally skeptical reporter did not question the inference that Walberg had earned a degree in the subject, then the average constituent is at an even greater disadvantage. That particular article, with the error has been shared over 11,600 times. As someone with a Master’s degree in Communications, Walberg should know better than to be so misleading.
PART III - Tim Walberg’s Actual College Credentials
Prepared from Information provided by Registrars Offices & Contemporaneous Records
Western Illinois University 1 of 2
Course description for Pre-Forestry at WIU 1969-1970
Western Illinois University 2 of 2
The Times [Calumet-Region, Illinois & Indiana], Wednesday, May 28, 1969
Fort Wayne Bible College 1 of 3
FWBC 1975 senior yearbook
In a follow up call with registrar’s office , it was determined that the B.A. caption from this yearbook is in error. Walberg earned a Bachelor of Science degree.
Fort Wayne Bible College 2 of 3
Description of the Christian Education Programs, from the 1973-1974 FWBC Course Catalog
Fort Wayne Bible College 3 of 3
Analysis by Author of the Christian Education BA & BS programs, from FWBC Course Catalog
Wheaton College 1 of 2
Graduate programs, Wheaton College (1977-1978), concentration: “cross cultural ministries”
Additional description of the Communications graduate program from the 1977-1978 Wheaton catalog
Wheaton College 2 of 2
Program descriptions from yearbook 1977-1978 [six pages stitched together unabridged]
PART IV – Walberg’s lies and deflections
[The moderator: Colleen Gibbs, Treasurer of Spring Arbor Township, did not read any of the three questions that I had submitted on different topics, so at the end of the event I heckled the following questions:]
Steven: Did you get a degree in biology, and uh, a minor in geology - did you get a major in biology and a minor in geology?
Walberg: No. I majored in forestry and land management. And I don’t have a degree in it.
Steven: You claimed at Delta Township, that you majored in biology with a minor in geology.
Walberg: No I didn’t.
Steven: Yeah you did. I have it on video.
In Conclusion: Everything that Walberg said to me at Spring Arbor was either a lie, a falsehood, or a deflection to avoid accountability.
PART V - avoiding Accountability
I first called Walberg’s offices on Wednesday, August 9, 2017 to ask what subjects in college he majored in. The question was based on what Walberg had told us the day before at the Dundee Coffee Hour, and two days before in Delta Township. His offices did not provide any information that day. After that first call, I followed up with Walberg’s offices at least once a week, every week for over six months, and to date, they have not provided any information or clarity on what Walberg had told us in August 2017.
Accountability used to be an important issue to Walberg. In his first term in Congress, Walberg dedicated a webpage on his commitment to accountability to the constituency. Since returning to Congress in 2011, Walberg has not had a page about his own accountability.
Web capture from 2008 showing personal Accountability used to be an important issue to Walberg
My early investigation findings posted to two private, district facebook groups
Revised year of graduation in the milestones section of Walberg’s official Facebook page
When I made my posts on December 11, I had checked Walberg’s milestones section, and it still said 1977. I did not take another screenshot of it then, because I did not expect it to ever change. So his post was revised sometime in the span of eleven days [Dec. 11 – Dec. 22]. It was originally posted on June 22, 2012 at 1:46pm, but there are no visible timestamps to show when any edits were made. The date had been incorrect for over five years, but then in the span of 11 days after my post, someone from Walberg’s office made that revision.
On Tuesday, February 6, 2018, I called Walberg’s office with two questions to be passed along to Walberg’s Communications Director, Dan Kotman. I let them know that I was finishing up this report [it took me longer to finish than I expected], and I would like to include some official responses in it. I did not hear back, so I followed up on February 16, and the staffer passed me along to Dan Kotman’s voice mail where I repeated the two questions:
1. Why did Walberg say that he majored in biology with a minor in geology in University?
2. Why was the date on Walberg’s facebook milestones revised in December? I had been repeatedly told that everyone in the Congressman’s office is busy with more important work, and also that they didn’t have the information about Walberg’s college credentials on hand. So what information was relied upon to make the change, and why hasn’t it been shared with me?
Dan Kotman’s lack of response might be explained by having so much other important work to do. However, in 2016 Dan Kotman did enthusiastically and quickly respond to a campaign story about Walberg’s campaign opponent’s credentials. Walberg’s campaign Tweeted the story at 11:03 AM on Monday, June 20th. One hour and 18 minutes later, Dan Kotman, who was not employed by the campaign, responded to it, and shared it on his Twitter feed. The campaign story was also quickly retweeted by Stephen Rajzer, who has been employed by the U.S. Government out of Walberg’s District Office, and was also Walberg’s Campaign Manager in 2014 and 2016. So Kotman and Rajzer were quick and enthusiastic to question the credentials of Walberg’s campaign opponent, but they have been resistant and unresponsive when the questions are directed at our sitting Congress member’s credentials.
Staffers Kotman and Rajzer Tweeted a campaign story about Walberg’s election opponent’s credentials
Hillsdale Economic Panel– February 23, 2018
Image from Walberg’s email newsletter, author toward the left, sketching and taking notes
I attended an economic panel event in Hillsdale on February 23, 2018. Walberg approached me before the event, greeted me by name, and remarked on how long my drive must have been that day. During that exchange, I asked again for Walberg to explain why he had told us that he, “Majored in Biology with a Minor in Geology in University”. Walberg refused to answer, and walked away from me.
During a second exchange with Walberg after the event I asked the same question. I do not have a recording of either of those exchanges. Walberg’s District Director Stephen Rajzer was standing nearby during that second exchange. Right after Walberg left, I turned to Rajzer and asked what was I supposed to make of Walberg’s responses just then. Rajzer claimed that he did not hear what was said. I took immediate notes of Walberg’s remarks from that day, but it is unlikely that anyone will corroborate the account of what Walberg said. Due to its inherent subjectivity, and lack of supportive corroboration, I will not include my account of what Walberg said in this report. There are plenty of other statements from Walberg to scrutinize in this report, that are backed up by objective sourcing.
Furthermore, the things that Walberg said were neither clarifying nor informative. The whole exchange was similar to the one we had at Spring Arbor in October, which is documented on video. I mention that this exchange took place to illustrate how I had been attempting for over six months to have Walberg explain the things that he had told to us about his college credentials. Over all of that time, Walberg failed to explain why he had said those things.
I did my best to get an explanation from Walberg, and he let me down.
Therefore, I do not hesitate to say that Walberg is a liar.
I hope this report will serve as a resource for other journalists and constituents in my district. I hope others will check, follow up on, and add to the information that I have found. I put a lot of time and care toward checking and following up on anything that I had doubts about. There is no way that Walberg and his staff can say I did not represent their side on this. I put most of my effort into trying to obtain their point of view for this.
I spent a year working on this.
It seemed important to me.
Nobody asked me to do it.
It was a serious effort.
Thanks for reading.
I hope it is good.
- Steven Meyer
Michigan’s 7thCongressional District
Sunday, August 5, 2018
In memory of my Mother: Penelope Sue Scott.
My Mom was an idealistic, guitar-playing, folk-singing free spirit, and she was also very practical. As an executive secretary at an engineering firm, she had an equal appreciation for poetry and music, as well as good research, technical writing, and reporting. She helped my Sister in her first job delivering the Washington Post every morning, and continued to subscribe to, and read the Washington Post until she died a week after I graduated from college in December 2016. Under chemo treatments, she made it out to her polling place to vote early in 2016, hoping to be alive to see the first woman President.
So it is with love and honor for my Mom that I became more civically involved, and started writing more research reports like this. As she did, I hope that an equal number of women attain positions of power, and I will keep enjoying folk music, reading poetry, and renewing my subscription to The Washington Post.
Annual Report to the People of South-Central Michigan (January 2008)
Original Page (link now broken):
Archive of Michigan Manuals, with Legislative Biographies
Archive of US Congressional Directories
MLive/Jackson City Patriot Coverage of Coldwater Coffee Hour
Western Illinois University, Archive of Publications
Fort Wayne Bible College, Archive of Publications
Wheaton College, Online Archive of Publications
APPENDIX I – walberg’s Claims About his College Majors
|Wednesday, July 25, 2007 - |
Saturday, January 3, 2009
|Issue Position: Environment|
From Official HouseWebpage
|Original Page (link now broken):|
Archived Page: https://web.archive.org/web/20070725193926/http://walberg.house.gov/Issues/Issue/?IssueID=3562
NOTE 1: In Part II of this report I described how that Teddy Roosevelt quote is false.
To the People of
|Original Page (link now broken): http://walberg.house.gov/UploadedFiles/Walberg2007AnnualReport.pdf|
Archived Page: https://web.archive.org/web/20080227185724/http://walberg.house.gov/UploadedFiles/Walberg2007AnnualReport.pdf
Campaign Meet & Greet
Video (1:35 mark):
[Walberg, describes his support for oil pipelines in Alaska:]
Campaign Meet and Greet
Campaign Meet and Greet
Video (4:10 mark):
Live Question: “You mentioned you are, or were a minister. Where did you get your seminary training?”
Walberg: “Moody Bible Institute, and Wheaton Grad School.”
Live Follow-Up: “You’re ordained in any particular denomination?
Campaign Meet and Greet
Video (0:45 mark):
Walberg: “We have huge reserves in Anwar. The Alaskans want us to use it. I would submit to you, though I can’t prove it – maybe my forestry brother here - I started out majoring in forestry and land management, but he went on and did it. But I think probably if we could find a way to communicate and record their statements, the caribou and the grizzly bears don’t mind either. In fact, we’re finding that they’re mating and they’re producing better around the pipeline.
[Later, Walberg interrupts a question about conservation and environmental responsibility:]
Main Street, Episode 68
Walberg: “I always believed that God would lead my life as long as my desire was to be in his will in doing that, so when I left high school I went to state university majoring in forestry and land management. I wanted to be in the US Forest Service. But it was while there during the Vietnam War, and the opportunity to really share my life and faith in a real way for the first time on my own, I was enthused with the fact that my college roommates and floor mates listened and excited me to the point that ultimately I left the university and went to Moody Bible Institute to prepare for ministry.”
Note on Walberg’s Participation with WIU College Ministry Groups:
The yearbooks for Western Illinois University in 1969, 1970, and 1971 feature the following campus ministry groups with photos and listings of the student members:
• The Newman Foundation • Gamma Delta • The Wesley Foundation • Episcopal of Canterbury Club
• WIU Lutheran Students • Campus Students for Christ • The Christian Science Organization
• Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship • Campus Crusade for Christ • Moslem Students
Not featured in the yearbooks for those three years:
• Navigators • Tim Walberg
Video (45:30 mark):
Note: Forestry and land management is mentioned in the above speech, but not specifically claimed as a major, therefore it has not been counted in the tabulation in PART I
Testimony at Emmanuel Baptist Church
Walberg: “I remember as we were planning, Paul and I to go on for higher education after high school graduation, Paul had a football scholarship to Knox College and I didn’t get a wrestling scholarship to Wheaton, so I ended up going to Western Illinois University. My plans were to be in the US Forest Service, majoring in forestry and biology; geology minor. And I looked forward to doing that. I was raised on the south side of Chicago. So to get out of the city with coughing birds and to get into the wide open spaces, that was my dream. I had been in Christian Service Brigade and had taught woodsman-ship and all of that. So this is where I was going. So I didn’t feel a catch in my heart that this wasn’t something that God would not want me to do, so we headed toward that.”
“It was there at Western Illinois during the Vietnam War and the Kent State massacre, this was 1969, that all of a sudden, left alone in a college room with a drug-pusher for a roommate, psychedelic on one side and Rocky Mountains on the other side of the room, I had my first opportunity to pull my Scofield Bible out of the bolster and look at my roommate as he kind of gazed over at me as I had my first devotions the first night there, realizing if I didn’t start it then, I might not start it.”
“God began to work in my life, as I had opportunities to share Christ and share the authority of scripture. In simple ways with my roommate and with others that he would bring in, sometimes stoned and sometimes not, and then to talk to others on my floor who were wrestling with the concept of how a loving god could allow the atrocity of the Vietnam war and everything to go with it, and it excited me with campus ministry. I thank god for a wonderful Baptist church and that community that I went to, Pastor Wally Pyles [spelling?] of all things. He looked like a used car salesman, but he had a heart for God - impacted me. And then InterVarsity and Campus Crusade, and having opportunities to see some of my classmates come to know the lord as a result of the ministry there, and their campus work. Ultimately I felt the calling of God to go back and prepare for ministry. I thought it would be campus missionary work with Campus Crusade, or InterVarsity, or Navigators, something like that.”
Congressman Tim Walberg Visits Spring Arbor University to Honor National Champs
Video (00:40 mark):
Walberg [speaking to students]: “What a delight to be here. Every time I have an opportunity to come to Spring Arbor it’s encouraging for me. It’s a great campus, a great faculty, great students, love the administration here, appreciate the commitment to the authority of god’s word and principles that really are foundational for our society.”
“’We wrestle not against flesh and blood1’Now I put that in there as I was talking to your first lady and asking if you have a wrestling program here, being a former wrestler in high school and college, it’s about time, because that’s a biblical sport. You need to have that. But it’s great to be with athletes, people who have been trained to be disciplined in order to succeed and have impact. I look back on coaches and some of those had the greatest impact in my life. I didn’t like it at the time, doing the meat grinders and whatever else, but nonetheless it prepared me in a great way, especially as a Christian.”
[Later] Interviewer, Bart Hawley: “Congressman Walberg, visiting the campus of Spring Arbor University and the student athletes, and I believe you were a student athlete in your day.”
1: Christian Scripture, Ephesians 6:12
Video (05:50 mark):
The moderator combined several constituents’ questions about the EPA:
Michael Patrick Shiels
Audio (1:20 mark):
Shiels: “The headline this morning for you was your comment at a town meeting on May 26. This is a fascinating topic, and a compelling topic for me… It talked about Global Warming. And I’ll just read the quote. You said you believe there’s climate change. Is that still true?”
Walberg: “I said that.”
Shiels: And then you said, “As a Christian I believe there’s a creator, a God who’s bigger than us. And I’m confident that if there’s a real problem, he can take care of it.”
Walberg: “What’s wrong with that?”
Shiels: “Nothin’. But that’s what I want to hear you talk about, because they put this in the paper as if it’s silly.”
Walberg: “Yeah, and Chelsea Clinton clinted (sic) out something silly as well, on that. So -”
Shiels: “Really? What’d she say?”
Walberg: “She basically said the old joke, that a guy’s drowning out in the water. The floods comin’ up, and comes a helicopter, comes a boat - turns ‘em down, says, ‘God’s gonna take care of me.’ Drowns. Get to Heaven, and says, ‘Where were you God?’ And God says, ‘Helicopter and the boat’.”
Shiels: “Yeah, I sent you help.”
Moderated Question: “Do you believe in the scientific method as the avenue for determining what is true about the natural world? If yes, how do you reconcile that with your skepticism of global warming due primarily to industrial activity that began in the 19thcentury. If no, do you think we should drop science courses - physics, chemistry, biology – from high school curricula?:
Walberg: “That’s probably the most comprehensive question I ever heard in my life, other than, ‘When did you stop beating your wife?’. I never started. I majored in biology with a minor in geology in university. I believe in sciences. My best courses in high school and college were in the sciences. I’m a Christian. I believe in a god who created the universe. I believe in a god who wants me to be a good steward of his creation. That’s why science is important. So I combine those things – being a good steward of the resources that are here, knowing as much as I can about it, but never believing that I’m god in a legislative costume. So I guess that’s the best way I can answer it. I think it works together.”
[At this moment, a heckler asked Walberg why he voted for coal sludge. Then another heckler, William Lawrence, who introduced himself as a Christian, stepped to the microphone asking about special interest fossil fuel money that Walberg has accepted. Lawrence disobeyed requests for him to sit down and was escorted out by security. The incident was reported in the news. On August 8th, Walberg called in to the Michael Patrick Shiels radio show and discussed the incident:]
Walberg: “There are people that still can’t get over the fact that the election was accomplished back in November”.
[When Shiels asked specifically about the incident with Lawrence, Walberg said:]
Audio of Walberg’s account of this event on the Michael Patrick Shiels Radio Show:
Tuesday, August 8th, 2017
Video (20:35 mark):
Moderated Question: “David Rank, most senior American diplomat in China resigned when the administration withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement. He said, ‘As a Christian, if we are stewards of creation, then we are charged with taking care of this earth. That means doing things to make that happen.’ - Your thoughts?”:
Walberg claimed that David Rankwouldn’t work well him personally, but he never specified why that would be. Walberg followed his claim that Rank wouldn’t work well with him, by professing his Christianity. The original question that was asked, quoted a Washington Post editorial by David Rank, in which he professes that he is also a Christian. He also mentions that he has served under five Presidents: Three Republicans and Two Democrats.
This situation is similar to the day before when William Lawrence heckled Walberg at Delta Township. Lawrence tried to connect with Walberg as a fellow Christian on the responsibility toward the environment. As a Christian, David Rank felt a similar responsibility as outlined in his editorial. Walberg did not specify why, as a fellow Christian, he does not feel that same responsibility toward the environment, or why he would not be able to work with such a long-serving, accomplished diplomat, and fellow Christian such as David Rank.
Link to Rank’s Editorial:
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Moderated Question: In 1970- what year did you get out of college Congressman Walberg, ’75 or ’73?
Walberg: ’73, out of undergrad, out of undergrad.
Continuing Question: In 1973, the year you graduated college, a minimum wage summer job was enough to pay for a year of tuition. Today, a student would have to work a 35-hour week, year-round to afford tuition. Do you support raising the minimum wage so that hard-working young people can get ahead in life, and get an education?
---[skip to 46:10 mark]---
Walberg: My undergrad degree is in education. My mother was a public school teacher.
Heckler: You said biology and geology yesterday.
APPENDIX II – walberg’s other college claims
Campaign Meet and Greet
Video (4:45 mark):
[Walbergtells a story about advice he received when he first got elected to the State House]
Note: The Pre-Forestry program at WIU did include a political science course [see catalog in Part III]. That course was scheduled to occur in the second year of the program. Walberg was in the program for eight months, but it is common and often necessary to depart from the catalog sequence when enrolling in college courses.
Note on Walberg’s College Sports Experience:
· Western Illinois University did not have a pugilism [boxing] team. They did have a wrestling team. Walberg did not appear at all in the yearbooks from 1969-1971
· Moody Bible Institute has never had a wrestling team or a pugilism team
· Fort Wayne Bible College did not have a wrestling team or a pugilism team from 1973-1975.
· Wheaton College did not have a pugilism team. They did have a wrestling team. Walberg was not pictured with the team in his yearbook
For more of Walberg’s claims about his college sports experience See APPENDIX I, May 6, 2016, and APPENDIX II, July 9 2013.
I cannot draw any conclusions about whether or not Walberg participated with his college sports teams. I can only say that I have not found any evidence in any of this research that Walberg was involved in any of his college’s sports teams.
Walberg’s high school experience is outside of the scope of this report.
Saturday, July 9, 2013
Video (2:40 mark):
Rep. Tom Cole (OK-04): “Unlike Oklahoma, as I recall, Michigan doesn’t have a runoff primary, and weren’t successful the first time, came back, took out a sitting incumbent - never an easy thing to do - were immediately in a targeted race, had to run in a really bad year in 2008, and didn’t quite make it back, and then got up and came back in 2010, and now obviously again in 2012. Extraordinary, what gives you that kind of energy?”
with Tony Perkins”
Walberg: “It’s a place of service. Acts 20:24, a verse that I have taken since my days at Moody Bible Institute as a student, that says the apostle Paul said, ‘But I do not consider my life of any account as dear unto myself, that I might finish my course in the ministry I received the lord Jesus to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God’. That doesn’t say where that’s done. It says, ‘in the course of my life to finish the purpose where God places me’.
Walberg: “very clearly getting the truth out… boldly share the truth.”
Note 1: I am unable to determine whether or not Walberg took courses in survey research while he was in graduate school without looking at the graduate course catalog, which Peggy King, the Registrar from Wheaton College denied my request for.
with Tony Perkins”
Walberg: “Truth is non-negotiable, it is or it isn’t. And what we’ve seen today is educationists who are trying to blockade off the free-exchange of ideas and control what goes on, not only in the minds of their students but also institutions, and taking institutions like Hillsdale College in my district, or Wheaton College, one of my alma maters, and saying to them, ‘you cannot stand for your distinctives and expect to be accredited. We’re gonna hold your feet to the fire until you acquiesce to what we want you to speak for’.”
Walberg: “I generally don’t show up at my work site worried about my life. I generally don’t worry about showing up and being confronted by somebody in a violent way; but a law enforcement officer, every single day he or she puts on a uniform has that potential. I say that because I spent a year in law enforcement when I was in graduate school and got a little taste of those seven hours, or seven and a half hours of sometimes complete and utter boredom, interrupted by an hour or thirty minutes of complete terror.”
“I remember my first stat call to a hospital room in fact for a domestic dispute. And I had heard of, and trained about domestic disputes and violence, what could take place there, and generally the opportunity of that being turned on you as the law enforcement officer showing up. I remember fearing, remember how I shook as I ran to that room.”
[As the coffee hour wrapped up, Walberg looked over to his staff to see how they were doing on time.]
Walberg: “We only have to get to Monroe.”
Steven: “You haven’t asked any of my questions. Could you ask one of my questions?”
Constituent in the back: “One more!”
Steven: “Ask one of my –“
Walberg: “Ask one of Steve’s.”
Steven: “Ask the one about the police force. Or, can I ask it?”
Steven: “On Wednesday you said that you worked for a year in the police force while you were in grad school. [Walberg nods affirmatively]. So what was that, a private, or a public-?
Steven: “What was your title-?
Walberg: “It was a municipal police force. I was a police officer. That’s all I was. I worked while I was in graduate school for that year. On the west side of Chicago.”