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The 7 - Current Events & Politics - Texas candidate embarrassed by old pics Register and log in to post!
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Grimis
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#1 Posted on 6.4.04 1142.51
Reposted on: 6.4.11 1151.31
Some stories cannot have justice done to them...

* * * * *

Pictures of candidate in women's clothes surface
By Jay Root
Star-Telegram Austin Bureau

AUSTIN - His family made a fortune on men's work clothing. But it's Sam Walls' apparent fondness for women's apparel that is dividing the Johnson County Republican Party.

Walls, 64, is in the April 13 GOP primary runoff against Burleson real estate broker Rob Orr for the House District 58 seat. As a leading businessman, former Republican Party chairman and benefactor of Harris Methodist Walls Regional Hospital, Walls seemed the odds-on favorite to win.

The victor is likely to succeed Arlene Wohlgemuth in the Texas Legislature.

But then pictures of Walls in women's clothing -- several of which were provided to the Star-Telegram -- began circulating late last week around Burleson and Cleburne, rival towns on opposite ends of the district.

That's when several Republicans, including the head of the Johnson County Republican Party, confronted Walls and urged him to withdraw from the race.

But Walls dug in.

After rebuffing Republicans who asked him to pull out Monday, he faxed a statement to the Star-Telegram saying he would not give in to "blackmail" from opponents who are trying to use "very old, personal information" to force him out.

"Through intermediaries, my opponent told me to drop out of the campaign or the private information would be released," Walls said. "Now my opponent is using the private information in an attempt to intimate that I am a homosexual, which I am not."

Walls said his family had "dealt with" the issue and he asked for forgiveness.

"I apologize for any embarrassment caused to supporters by my opponent's disclosure of a small part of my personal past," he said.

Lee Woods, Orr's Houston-based political consultant, denied involvement in any kind of smear campaign.

Woods said the pictures were brought to the attention of Orr's campaign staff, which then alerted Republican leaders in Johnson County. For one of them, Republican Party Chairman Jeff Judd, the photos of Walls wearing dresses and makeup were disturbing enough to ask the candidate to pull out.

"The Rob Orr campaign has not engaged in any type of mass distribution of these photos. In fact, they do not have and have never had possession of any of the photos in question," Woods said. "Mr. Walls' unique lifestyle is a matter that he needs to address with the voters of House District 58."

Walls, whose father founded the mens' clothing line now produced by Cleburne-based Walls Industries, is expected to address the controversy at a meeting of party executives at 7 tonight in Cleburne.

Endorsed by state Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, and U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, Walls won't be without support at the meeting.

GOP Treasurer Roy Giddens Jr., an elder statesman in the Johnson County Republican Party, met with Walls last week to discuss the photos and was assured there was nothing more than "cross-dressing" involved.

And as far as Giddens is concerned, wearing earrings, a wig and high-heeled shoes does not preclude Walls from becoming an excellent state representative.

"I don't have a problem with cross-dressing," Giddens said. "There are lots of them. People think J. Edgar Hoover was one of the greatest Americans that ever lived. He was a cross-dresser."

Walls also has the support of Scott Cain, a lawyer who didn't make the Republican runoff. Cain said he had been approached with photos of Walls during the primary campaign but shooed them away.

"I basically told them I wasn't going to engage in any beneath-the-table politics, blackmail or anything like that," Cain said. While "disappointed" in Walls, Cain said Walls is a better choice than his opponent.

"Sam Walls has demonstrated integrity and aboveboard politics," he said. "His opponent has not."

Judd said, "I certainly wouldn't be one to throw stones. It's just something most people in the Republican Party don't consider appropriate."

Also urging Walls to step aside was Johnson County Sheriff Bob Alford, who had some of the photos, several Republican officials said. Alford did not returned repeated phone calls Monday.

Giddens said the sheriff had called him and minister Gloria Gillaspie of Lighthouse Church of Burleson to his county office to see the photos and talk about the possible political fallout.

On Thursday, a day after that meeting, Alford confronted Walls at Giddens' house and "demanded" that he leave the race, Giddens said.

"I see no reason for him to withdraw," said Giddens. "It's the desperate ploy of a guy that knew he was going to lose this race to just force a win."

Gillaspie, who declined to comment, became involved after getting a call from Wohlgemuth, who is vacating the District 58 seat to run for Congress.

"I was just told about it. I haven't seen any pictures," Wohlgemuth said. "I got my pastor involved."

Dozens of photos of Walls were seized by a company that repossessed a worn-out single-wide trailer registered in Walls' name at the Chalet City mobile home park in Crowley, just inside Tarrant County.

Tarrant County Deputy Constable Randall Groombridge oversaw the eviction -- prompted by Walls' failure to pay rent, court records show.

Groombridge said the mobile home was crammed with boxes and had lots of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley memorabilia. He said the eviction order specified that Walls could retrieve his personal belongings from the company, identified in the court records as Lone Star Skirting and Mobile Home Transport.

Groombridge said Walls' belongings were in the mobile home when it was hauled off by Lone Star Skirting and Mobile Home Transport.

Representatives of the company did not answer several calls to the number listed on court papers.
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CRZ
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#2 Posted on 6.4.04 1148.29
Reposted on: 6.4.11 1151.32
    Originally posted by Grimis
    Some stories cannot have justice done to them...
C'mon, no link to the photos? What kind of tease ARE you?
AWArulz
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#3 Posted on 6.4.04 1220.28
Reposted on: 6.4.11 1221.23
    Originally posted by CRZ
      Originally posted by Grimis
      Some stories cannot have justice done to them...
    C'mon, no link to the photos? What kind of tease ARE you?


Here is he (sort of) not in drag.
http://www.samwalls.com/

Looks like he'd make a cute old gal.

(edited by AWArulz on 6.4.04 1324)
MoeGates
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#4 Posted on 6.4.04 1705.51
Reposted on: 6.4.11 1709.53
If I run for office here in New York, I'm completely leaking old pictures of me in drag (hey, maybe not so old!). It'd probably help.

(edited by MoeGates on 6.4.04 1806)
Lexus
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#5 Posted on 6.4.04 1834.06
Reposted on: 6.4.11 1834.06
    Originally posted by AWArulz
      Originally posted by CRZ
        Originally posted by Grimis
        Some stories cannot have justice done to them...
      C'mon, no link to the photos? What kind of tease ARE you?


    Here is he (sort of) not in drag.
    http://www.samwalls.com/

    Looks like he'd make a cute old gal.

    (edited by AWArulz on 6.4.04 1324)


Shave his head and put him in an evening gown he'd be a dead ringer for Uncle Fester.
Big Bad
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#6 Posted on 6.4.04 2139.18
Reposted on: 6.4.11 2140.27
Hmm, I just posed shirtless with a bunch of other guys for the April Fool's day issue for my school paper.

Oh well, guess I'll never be PM
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