WASHINGTON--News from various fronts as the Illinois House contest for the 8th congressional district heats up with major players Tea Party Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) and Democrats Tammy Duckworth and Raja Krishnamoorthi:
*It is not true that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) promised Walsh $3.5 million for an 8th district run. Last week, Walsh switched from the 14th district, where he faced a GOP primary with Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.)
"That number credited to him is not accurate," Cory Fritz, Boehner's political spokesman told me Monday. Duckworth is using the $3.5 million number to help jumpstart her donations, attributing it to a report in a suburban paper.
*It is true that Walsh, as an incumbent, will get the support of Boehner, which could translate into donations, campaign staff or other resources. "Congressman Walsh did discuss his plans with the Speaker. The Speaker believes this move gives Republicans the best opportunity to win the 8th District," Fritz said.
Money could come from Boehner's PAC, the Freedom Project, or from his other warchest, Friends of John Boehner. The National Republican Congressional Committee--the GOP House political operation-- could also be sending help. Though Walsh faces Republican primary opponents, the tradition of the Speaker and NRCC is to back incumbents. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee--the House Democratic political shop--also backs incumbents in primaries. The DCCC will likely provide significant help to the winner of the March 20 Democratic primary.
*Walsh still has to get through a primary and a major GOP rival, Dr. Darlene J. Ruscitti, DuPage County Regional Superintendent of Schools, is endorsed by Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.)
*Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), a member of House leadership, says it is premature to back anyone yet because a federal court panel in Chicago has not yet ruled on the legality of the Democratic-drawn congressional map. The map is designed to help Democrats pick up seats.
"We're not even convinced the new 8th District is going to exist. So It is entirely premature to discuss any hypothetical matchup while the map is still with the Courts," Dan Conston, Roskam's spokesman told me.
*Conservative activist Jack Roeser helped promote Walsh switching from the 14th to the 8th. He is a major Boehner donor, giving the Boehner for Speaker committee $50,000 on June 6. That was just about a week after the Democratic Illinois remap surfaced and way before any jockeying had started over who was running for which House seat.