An Open Investigation
Michigan, District 7
Link To Formatted, Printable PDF of this Report:
An October 5, 2017 CBS News article mentioned that U.S. Congress Member Tim Walberg “served on a police force in grad school”. I was blindsided by that item because I had been doing a lot of research on Walberg’s college record, and had never read anything about him serving on a police force. I sent a message to the author of that article seeking more information, and never heard back.
Then I called Walberg’s Jackson Office and spoke with his staffer Leeann Yamakawa on October 10th. In a prior call, Leeann had told me that she has known Walberg for years. So I figured Leeann would know some information to clarify what the article said. She was not familiar with any experience like the article described, and could not confirm or dispel what the article had said.
I reviewed dozens of official biographical sketches of Waberg from over his entire political career. Work experience on a police force work was never mentioned in any written profiles for Walberg. I figured that kind of experience would be highly beneficial for a politician to highlight up front. I hadn’t found anything like it in print.
Then I found three videos from 2010 of Walberg making the claim first hand during campaign events. Then at a Coffee Hour in April 2018, Walberg went into a little more detail. A few days later I had the chance to personally ask Walberg more about it. Walberg told me that he was a public police officer for a municipality on the west side of Chicago. He refused to tell me which municipality it was though.
Terms / Titles Walberg uses to Describe His Police Work (With # of Claims):
· Security Police Worker: 1
· Law Enforcement: 3
· Police Force: 2
· Police Officer: 1
|Walberg: “Well Marvin, I appreciate the life experience that you have, I wouldn’t diminish that at all. I have 20 years of life experience in the private sector myself, leading churches as a minister, division manager for a higher education institution, leading as the president of a private operating foundation leading in education impact and community impact issues, with private money, not government money. I lived in my office in Washington on a sleeping bag air mattress so I always remembered that my home was back in the 7thdistrict, and not in Washington. I think there is a value in having a record in a multitude of areas, whether as a steel worker, which I was, whether as a security police worker, which I was, whether as an administrator, whether as a pastor, whether as the president of a foundation, or whether as a legislator, because honorable service which Jefferson, Adams, Washington, and others would say is honorable, as long as you don’t forget who you are, who sent you, and who you serve.”
|Walberg: “I tell people when they say, ‘how in the world do you stand politics after you got out of the pastor?’, I say, have you ever been to a church board meeting, or a congregational committee? Politics are nothing. I can’t say that really, I had two great churches, two great churches, but spent time there. I spent time as administrator in higher education – private higher education. I spent time in law enforcement, as a US Steel worker, a number of things, over the course of those 20 years. But more importantly I’ve lived in this district. I know the people in this district. I’ve been Boy Scout leader, I’ve been in Kiwanis with them. I’ve made stories that farmers tell about my farming capabilities, and what I can do with implements in the field, and yet this is my home.”
|Walberg: “So it’s been a year that we’ve been running for this, and with a proven record, 16 years in the state house, two years in congress, separated by eight years back in the private sector. I was a pastor before going to the state legislature for ten years. I’ve worked in areas. I’ve been a union steel worker at US Steel, south ward, south side of Chicago. I’ve been in law enforcement while I was in graduate school. And we’ve done all sorts of things, but I look forward to going back and representing you.”
|“But Republicans, generally known for espousing a more tough-on-crime policy approach than Democrats, face a particular challenge in heralding both due process and staunch support for law enforcement. The law enforcement lobby, said Walberg, who served on a police force in grad school, is strong.”
|“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. And uh, so I encourage people when you hear that one instance, that may or may not be – at least it’s alleged that there is a wrongful action by a law enforcement officer, pray for the thousands upon thousands of law enforcement officers who are going by the books every day.”