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John Edward Walsh (born November 3, 1960) is an American politician who served as the junior United States senator from Montana from 2014 to 2015.[1] A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as a United States Army National Guard colonel, the adjutant general of the Montana National Guard with a state commission as a brigadier general from 2008 to 2012 and the 34th Lieutenant Governor of Montana from 2013 to 2014 under Governor Steve Bullock.[2][3]

John Walsh
John Walsh, official portrait, 113th Congress.jpg
United States Senator
from Montana
In office
February 9, 2014 – January 3, 2015
Appointed bySteve Bullock
Preceded byMax Baucus
Succeeded bySteve Daines
34th Lieutenant Governor of Montana
In office
January 7, 2013 – February 9, 2014
GovernorSteve Bullock
Preceded byJohn Bohlinger
Succeeded byAngela McLean
Adjutant General of Montana
In office
September 1, 2008 – March 2012
GovernorBrian Schweitzer
Preceded byRandall Mosley
Succeeded byMatthew T. Quinn
Personal details
Born
John Edward Walsh

(1960-11-03) November 3, 1960 (age 58)
Butte, Montana, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Janet Walsh
Children2
EducationCarroll College
Excelsior College (BS)
United States Army War College (MA)
WebsiteSenate website
Campaign website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1979–2012
RankUS-O6 insignia.svg Colonel (U.S. Army)
US-O7 insignia.svg Brigadier General (Montana Guard)
Unit1st Battalion, 163rd Infantry Regiment
Seal of the United States Army National Guard.svg Montana National Guard
Battles/warsIraq War
AwardsBronze Star medal.jpg Bronze Star Medal
Combat Infantry Badge.svg Combat Infantryman Badge

In October 2013, Walsh announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate in 2014 to succeed retiring Democratic incumbent Max Baucus.[4] When Baucus retired prior to the end of his term, Walsh was appointed to fill Baucus' seat,[5] and thus Walsh was running as an incumbent in 2014. On August 7, 2014, he announced that he was dropping out of the race, a decision attributed to the controversy arising from allegations made in The New York Times that he had plagiarized portions of a 2007 research paper he had written while at the Army War College.[6][7] The allegations led to an investigation that resulted in the revocation of Walsh's Master's degree in 2014.[8]

In February 2016 Walsh joined the United States Department of Agriculture as state director of Montana's USDA Rural Development office.[9] He resigned following the end of the Obama administration in 2017, and was replaced by Charles Robison, the former chief of staff for Congressman Greg Gianforte.[10] Walsh then began a career in real estate sales.[11]

Contents

Early life and educationEdit

Walsh was born on November 3, 1960, in Butte, Montana. He graduated from Butte High School in 1979, and enlisted in the Montana Army National Guard. He began working full-time for the Guard in 1984 and received his commission upon completion of Officer Candidate School in 1987.[12] Walsh met his wife, Janet, while attending college. They have two adult sons.[13]

Walsh is a graduate of the Armor Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, the Combined Arms and Services Staff School, and the United States Army Command and General Staff College.[14] He attended Carroll College and received a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from Regents College, the University of the State of New York (now Excelsior College) in 1990.

Walsh received a Master of Arts degree in strategic studies from the United States Army War College in 2007. In July 2014, The New York Times, after receiving a tip from an opposition researcher working for the National Republican Senatorial Committee,[15] reported that Walsh had plagiarized much of a 14-page strategy research paper, a requirement for the degree, with some material directly copied from sources without attribution.[16][17][18] Walsh initially denied, then admitted to the allegations, but stated that it was not done intentionally.[17][19] He claimed he was being treated for PTSD at the time[17] stating, "I don't want to blame my mistake on PTSD, but I do want to say it may have been a factor."[20]

The matter was referred to the College's Academic Review Board.[21] Former governor Brian Schweitzer wrote a letter to the board in support of Walsh, who claimed the plagiarism was unintentional and that he had been on medication for PTSD at the time. On August 22, the board found that Walsh's plagiarism was "egregious" and "intentional" and that the paper was "primarily composed of verbatim liftings from other sources". The board rejected his PTSD defense, noting that other students also struggle with PTSD and other issues but don't plagiarize.[22] An appeal filed by Walsh was denied, and on October 10, 2014 the College revoked Walsh's degree.[22]

Montana Army National GuardEdit

 
Walsh as Adjutant General of the Montana National Guard

Walsh served in the Montana Army National Guard for 33 years.[23] In this capacity he led 1st Battalion, 163rd Infantry Regiment in combat in Iraq. He earned the Bronze Star Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge.[24] In 2000, he led operations of over 2,000 Guard members during Montana's wildfires.

In 2008 Walsh was appointed Adjutant General and received a state promotion to brigadier general.[25] He resigned in 2012 to run for Lieutenant Governor, and continued to serve as a traditional Army Guardsman (one weekend drill per month, two weeks of annual training each year).[26] He was appointed by his successor to serve as the Montana National Guard's land component commander, and he served in this position until retiring from the National Guard in December 2012.[27]

A 2010 Army Inspector General report concluded that Walsh used the Adjutant General's post for "private gain" by pressuring subordinates into joining the National Guard Association of the United States in an effort to bolster Montana's membership numbers and enhance Walsh's candidacy for Vice President of NGAUS.[23] Walsh disputed the IG's report, explaining that it stemmed from a disagreement in interpreting the rules which govern when and how Department of Defense employees can take part in activities such as running for a NGAUS leadership position.[28] Walsh further noted that the NGAUS position was uncompensated, requiring him to travel to meetings at his own expense.[29] The report prevented him from receiving federal recognition as a general officer during his tenure as Adjutant General.[30] (Adjutants General are normally federally recognized as major generals in the reserve component of the Army or Air Force, provided they meet all eligibility criteria.) News accounts indicated that Walsh received a formal letter from General Peter W. Chiarelli, then the Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army, in which Chiarelli reminded Walsh of his obligation to remain impartial in his dealings with non-federal entities, such as NGAUS.[31]

Former Governor Brian Schweitzer said that when he received the report in 2010, he considered it "much ado about nothing."[29] Contemporary news accounts indicated that Schweitzer wrote to Chiarelli to state his confidence in Walsh's integrity and abilities, and to urge his promotion to the federally recognized general officer ranks.[31]

Lieutenant Governor of MontanaEdit

In March 2012, Attorney General and presumptive Democratic gubernatorial nominee Steve Bullock selected Walsh to be his running mate.[32] The pair won the Democratic primary with 87% of the vote. In the general election, Bullock and Walsh defeated their Republican opponents, former Congressman Rick Hill and his running mate, State Senator Jon Sonju, by 49% to 47%.[33]

They assumed office in January 2013 upon the expiration of the term of Governor Schweitzer and Lieutenant Governor John Bohlinger.[34]

U.S. SenateEdit

AppointmentEdit

In December 2013, President Barack Obama nominated retiring United States Senator Max Baucus to be the next United States Ambassador to China.[35]

On February 6, 2014, Baucus was confirmed and resigned his Senate seat. On February 9, Governor Bullock appointed Walsh to serve the remainder of Baucus' Senate term, and Walsh resigned as Lieutenant Governor.[36] He was sworn in on February 11, taking the oath from Vice President Joe Biden.[37][38]

Committee assignmentsEdit

Legislative workEdit

Walsh supported passage of the Native Language Immersion Student Achievement Act and reauthorization of the Native American Languages Act of 1990. "Preserving Native languages is essential to improving education for tribal nations", he said.[40] Along with six other Democratic senators, Walsh co-sponsored the Small Business Tax Credits Accessibility Act, which was introduced in the House of Representatives on February 28.[41][42]

He and Republican congressman Steve Daines supported the North Fork Watershed Protection Act of 2013, which proposed to "protect both sides of the Flathead River drainage from energy and mineral development".[43] The bill passed in the House, but Senate Republicans prevented it from being voted on, killing it in the Senate.[44] He asked Congress to support the Keystone Pipeline and proposed to leave infrastructure decisions to the State Department, instead of the President.[45] He supported extending the tax credit for wind energy, and passing the Medicare Protection Act.[46][47] Along with many Democrats and one Independent, he supported the Paycheck Fairness Act.[48]

On June 18, 2014, in a speech before the Senate, he urged the U.S. should react with "extreme caution" to events in Iraq. He spoke briefly about his experiences as an infantry officer there, and urged other Congressmen to consider the ongoing impacts of war in their decision.[49] On July 8, 2014, Walsh introduced the Bring Jobs Home Act (S. 2569; 113th Congress), a bill that would amend the Internal Revenue Code to grant business taxpayers a tax credit for up to 20% of insourcing expenses incurred for eliminating a business located outside the United States and relocating it within the United States, and deny a tax deduction for outsourcing expenses incurred in relocating a U.S. business outside the United States.[50][51]

Harry Reid praised him for his military service and efforts to prevent suicide among veterans.[52]

2014 electionEdit

On October 3, 2013, Walsh announced his intention to run for the seat of retiring Senator Max Baucus. On February 9, 2014, Walsh was appointed to replace Baucus in the Senate after Baucus stepped down early to become U.S. Ambassador to China, making Walsh the incumbent in the race.[53] Rancher Dirk Adams and former Montana Lieutenant Governor John Bohlinger also ran for the Democratic nomination.[54][55][56][57]

Walsh was endorsed by Governor Bullock, Senator Jon Tester, and former Senator Baucus, an arrangement which was criticized by his opponent as being "politically motivated", designed to give Walsh an advantage in the election by making him an incumbent, which would aid fundraising efforts.[58] Walsh defeated Adams and Bohlinger in the June 3, 2014 primary election.[59] Republican Congressman Steve Daines defeated two other candidates in the Republican primary and would have been Walsh's opponent in the general election.[57] Walsh was endorsed by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.[60][61]

When The New York Times reported in July 2014 that Walsh had plagiarized a 2007 paper he submitted at the United States Army War College, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee initially announced that it was "100% behind" Walsh.[62] In contrast, at least three Montana newspapers, the Missoulian, the Billings Gazette, and the Bozeman-area Montana Pioneer, published editorials calling for Walsh to end his candidacy because of the plagiarism allegation.[63] In addition to the damage of the allegations themselves, Walsh's campaign was criticized for missteps in its response.[64] The campaign office acknowledged they had made an "unintentional mistake" when they stated Walsh had "survived hundreds of IED explosions".[65] They clarified that this figure applied to his unit; Walsh personally survived one attack.[64][66]

On August 7, 2014, Walsh announced that he was leaving the 2014 race to concentrate on finishing up his term in the Senate, which was scheduled to end in January 2015. The Montana state Democratic Central Committee had to select a replacement candidate to appear on the November ballot,[6] and on August 16, chose State Representative Amanda Curtis as Walsh's replacement.[67] In October 2014, the National Republican Senatorial Committee revealed that a researcher on its staff had found the plagiarism and leaked it to The New York Times.[68]

In the November 2014 general election Republican Steve Daines defeated Curtis 57.9% to 40.0%.[69] Daines's term began on January 3, and he was sworn in on January 6, 2015.[70]

Post-Senate careerEdit

In February 2016 a spokesperson for the United States Department of Agriculture announced that Walsh had been appointed state director of Montana's USDA Rural Development office.[71] In 2017, Walsh was succeeded by Charles Robison, who had been chief of staff for Congressman Greg Gianforte.[72] Walsh then joined a Helena-based company to pursue a fulltime career in real estate sales.[73]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Sullivan, Sean (February 7, 2014). "Montana governor appoints Lt. Gov. John Walsh to Senate". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
    Cassata, Donna (February 11, 2014). "John Walsh Sworn In As Montana Senator, Replacing Max Baucus". The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  2. ^ Dennison, Mike (January 19, 2014). "Critical review blocked Walsh from promotion to Army general". Missoulian. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
    Kristin Price, Beartooth NBC, New Adjutant General, March 8, 2012.
  3. ^ Martin J. Kidston, Helena Independent Record, New Adjutant General set to Take Command of Guard, September 5, 2008.
  4. ^ Blake, Aaron, "Montana Lt. Gov. John Walsh (D) to run for Senate", The Washington Post, October 3, 2013. Retrieved 2014-08-07.
  5. ^ Sullivan, Sean, and Aaron Blake, "Montana governor appoints Lt. Gov. John Walsh to Senate", The Washington Post, February 7, 2014. Retrieved 2014-08-07.
  6. ^ a b Press release (August 7, 2014). "Walsh drops out of race for U.S. Senate". Missoulian. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
  7. ^ Montana's United States Senators, Senate.gov.
  8. ^ Volz, Matt; Brown, Matthew (October 10, 2014). "Army War College revokes Sen. John Walsh's degree". Associated Press. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  9. ^ "Former U.S. Sen. John Walsh Lands Job in Montana with USDA". NorthernAg.NET. Billings, MT. February 5, 2016.
  10. ^ Montana Associated Technology Roundtables (November 4, 2017). "Gianforte's chief of staff Charles Robison appointed next rural development director for Montana". Helena, MT.
  11. ^ "Biography, John Walsh". Big Sky Brokers.com. Helena, MT: Big Sky Brokers, LLC. 2018. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  12. ^ Profile, montanaguard.com; accessed December 24, 2015.
    Johnson, Charles S. (March 7, 2012). "Bullock to name Gen. Walsh as running mate". Billings Gazette. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  13. ^ Bushnell, Dan, A New Era Begins for the Montana National Guard, Big Sky Guardian (Montana National Guard) Fall 2008, page 11
    Johnson, Charles S (March 8, 2012). "Democrat Bullock taps former Montana adjutant general for lieutenant governor". Missoulian. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  14. ^ "Brigadier General John E. Walsh" (PDF). Montana National Guard. 2008. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  15. ^ Schultz, Maria (October 30, 2014). "GOP researcher responsible for exposing Montana senator". New York Post.
    Franz, Justin (October 29, 2014). "The Rise and Fall of John Walsh: The only thing more dramatic than John Walsh's ascent to power was his stunning downfall". Flathead Beacon.
    Hohmann, James (October 30, 2014). "NRSC cops to Walsh plagiarism leak". Politico.com.
  16. ^ "Steve Bullock & John Walsh profiles". Montana Democratic Party. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
    "John Walsh biography". Missoulian. March 8, 2012. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  17. ^ a b c Martin, Jonathan (July 23, 2014), "Senator's Thesis Turns Out to Be Remix of Others' Works, Uncited", The New York Times, retrieved July 29, 2014
  18. ^ Martin, Jonathan (July 23, 2014), "How Senator John Walsh Plagiarized a Final Paper", The New York Times, retrieved July 29, 2014
  19. ^ Democrats stand by Sen. John Walsh after plagiarism accusations, CBS News, July 24, 2014, retrieved July 29, 2014
  20. ^ Veterans' response to senator's PTSD remarks mixed, Yahoo! News, Associated Press, July 26, 2014, retrieved July 29, 2014
  21. ^ Army War College Community Banner, The United States Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, July 25, 2014, retrieved July 29, 2014
    "War College begins investigation into Walsh's plagiarism". The Missoulian. Associated Press. August 15, 2014. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  22. ^ a b Army War College Revokes Sen. John Walsh's Degree, ABC News, October 10, 2014, retrieved October 12, 2014
  23. ^ a b Talwani, Sanjay (December 28, 2013). "Army report cites Walsh for improper private gain during MT National Guard service". KRTV. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
    "Report of Investigation (Case 10-025)" (PDF). US Army Inspector General Agency. August 25, 2010. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  24. ^ "Mid-Winter Conference Highlights" (PDF). Kiwanis. 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 18, 2013. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  25. ^ Dennison, Mike (January 18, 2014). "Army IG's Adverse Report Prevented Walsh from Promotion to Army General". Billings Gazette. Billings, MT.
  26. ^ Johnson, Charles S. (March 7, 2012). "Bullock to Name Gen. Walsh as Running Mate". Billings Gazette. Billings, MT.
  27. ^ "Military Retirement Order, John Edward Walsh". Ft. Harrison, MT: Montana National Guard. December 26, 2012. Retrieved March 24, 2016. You are separated from the Army National Guard on date indicated and assigned as indicated on date immediately following. Effective date: 26 December 2012. Type of separation: Honorable (A). Relieved from: Duty Position; Land Component Commander. Transferred to: The Retired Reserve
  28. ^ Johnson, Charles S. (December 28, 2013). "Walsh disputes Army report he used National Guard general's post for private gain". Billings Gazette. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  29. ^ a b "Army IG: Mont. politician misused adjutant general position". Army Times. Associated Press. July 21, 2014. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  30. ^ Mike Dennison, Montana Standard, Adverse Report Prevented Walsh From Promotion to Army General, January 18, 2014.
  31. ^ a b The Montana Standard State Bureau (January 18, 2014). "Schweitzer wrote Army defending Walsh after IG report". Montana Standard. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  32. ^ Johnson, Charles S. (March 9, 2012). "Bullock makes pick of Walsh as running mate official". Independent Record. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
  33. ^ Johnson, Charles S. (November 7, 2012). "Bullock defeats Hill in Montana governor race". Billings Gazette. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  34. ^ Johnson, Charles S. (January 7, 2013). "Bullock sworn in as Montana's 24th governor". Missoulian. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  35. ^ "Obama Announces Nomination Of Max Baucus As China Ambassador". Talking Points Memo. December 20, 2013. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  36. ^ "Politics News and U.S. Elections Coverage". ABC News. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  37. ^ Bruno, James (February 9, 2014). "John Walsh appointed to Montana Senate seat". Politico.com. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  38. ^ "John Walsh sworn in as Montana's junior senator". USA Today. July 22, 2014. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  39. ^ "Walsh nominated to serve on 4 U.S. Senate committees". Kpax.com. February 24, 2014. Retrieved February 13, 2014.
  40. ^ Office of Senator John Walsh (May 16, 2014). "Walsh Fights to Protect and Maintain Tribal Languages". Indian Country Today Media Network. Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  41. ^ "Sens. Franken, Begich, Hirono, Shaheen, Landrieu, Warner, Walsh Co-Sponsor Legislation to Expand Tax Credits to Small Businesses". votesmart.org. February 28, 2014. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  42. ^ "Summary: H.R.4128 — 113th Congress (2013–2014)". congress.gov. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  43. ^ Scott, Tristan (March 4, 2014). "North Fork Watershed Protection Act Passes U.S. House". Flathead Beacon. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  44. ^ Walsh, John (April 3, 2014). "Walsh Disappointed that Senate Fails to Pass Landmark Conservation Bill to Protect North Fork". votesmart.org. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  45. ^ Lutey, Tom (May 8, 2014). "Walsh: pass Keystone, remove Obama from cross-border infrastructure decisions". Billings Gazette. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  46. ^ "Letter to Ron Wyden, Chairman Committee on Finance and Orrin Hatch, Ranking Member Committee on Finance – Include Extensions of Investment Tax Credit and Production Tax Credit for Wind Energy in Upcoming Tax-Extenders Package". votesmart.org. March 21, 2014. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  47. ^ Walsh, John (April 7, 2014). "Walsh Sponsors Medicare Protection Act to Secure Health Services for Montanans". votesmart.org. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  48. ^ "S 2199 – Paycheck Fairness Act – Key Vote". votesmart.org. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  49. ^ "Senator Walsh on Violence in Iraq". C-SPAN.org. June 18, 2014. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  50. ^ Everett, Burgess (July 23, 2014). "Borrowed time: Tale of a Walsh bill". Politico. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  51. ^ "S. 2569 – Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  52. ^ "Democrats stand by Sen. John Walsh after plagiarism accusations". CBS News. July 24, 2014. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
  53. ^ Johnson, Charles (February 7, 2014). "Bullock taps Walsh for Senate seat". Billings Gazette. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  54. ^ "Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Bohlinger runs 'bold' shoestring campaign". Missoulian.com. April 28, 2014. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  55. ^ "Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Adams touts environment, business background". Missoulian.com. April 27, 2014. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  56. ^ "Bohlinger announces candidacy for U.S. Senate". KXLH.com. November 5, 2013. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  57. ^ a b Delreal, Jose (February 7, 2014). "John Walsh appointed to Montana Senate seat". Politico. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  58. ^ "Daines campaign ad attacks Walsh appointment to U.S. Senate a 'buy-off'". Missoulian.com. March 19, 2014. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  59. ^ AP/The Huffington Post (June 3, 2014). "John Walsh Wins Primary In Montana Senate Race". The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  60. ^ "Planned Parenthood Locan and National Political Advocacy Groups endorse Montana lt. Gov. John Walsh for Senate". Planned Parenthood. January 14, 2014. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  61. ^ Johnson, Charles S. (March 8, 2014). "Planned Parenthood head: Montana race critical for Democratic Senate control". Billings Gazette. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  62. ^ Corasaniti, Nick; Martin, Jonathan (July 25, 2014), "Plagiarism Raises Ethical Alarm at Military School", The New York Times, retrieved July 26, 2014
  63. ^ "John Walsh Receives Calls From Montana Press To End Senate Campaign", The Huffington Post, August 4, 2014, retrieved August 5, 2014
  64. ^ a b Blake, Aaron (July 24, 2014), "Sen. John Walsh, and how not to respond to a political scandal", The Washington Post, retrieved July 29, 2014
  65. ^ Passalacqua, Lauren (July 24, 2014), Fact Sheet regarding Senator John Walsh, Walsh for Montana, retrieved July 29, 2014
  66. ^ Rosenthal, Andrew (July 24, 2014), "John Walsh's Campaign Sinking Under Plagiarism", The New York Times, retrieved July 29, 2014
  67. ^ "Amanda Curtis wins Montana Democratic nomination to U.S. Senate". The Missoulian. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  68. ^ Marisa, Schultz (October 31, 2014). "GOP researcher responsible for exposing Montana Senator". The New York Post. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
  69. ^ "Daines defeats Curtis to help GOP take over US Senate". Montana Standard. November 4, 2014.
  70. ^ "Daines Sworn in as Montana's new U.S. Senator". Missoula Missoulian. January 6, 2015. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
  71. ^ "Former U.S. Sen. John Walsh Lands Job in Montana with Federal Agency". KTVQ-TV. Billings, MT. February 4, 2016.
  72. ^ Lutey, Tom (November 3, 2017). "Gianforte's chief of staff appointed next rural development director for Montana". Billings Gazette. Billings, MT.
  73. ^ Drake, Phil (June 30, 2017). "Dome Lights: Home Body". Great Falls Tribune. Great Falls, MT.

External linksEdit