ICYMI: AJC: Walker Giving “Lucrative” Speeches Behind Closed Doors, Refuses to Say What He’s Saying to Get Paid

January 20, 2022

Today, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that Trump-tapped Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker has been avoiding Georgians on the campaign trail while maintaining a “busy slate of lucrative paid speaking engagements behind closed doors.” Walker has made over $170,000 in paid speeches as a Senate candidate — refusing to disclose what he’s saying to get paid behind closed doors and avoiding “telling Georgians his positions while trying to skirt more embarrassing gaffes.”

Read some of the AJC coverage on Walker’s shady paid speeches and lack of transparency with Georgians below:

Walker has limited public campaign stops, but he’s profited from private events

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Greg Bluestein, 1/20/22

  • Herschel Walker has spurned press conferences, avoided media interviews and held only a handful of public events since launching his U.S. Senate campaign. But he’s kept a busy slate of lucrative paid speaking engagements behind closed doors even after he entered the race.
  • An Atlanta Journal-Constitution review of his personal financial disclosure showed the former football star collected $415,000 for paid speeches between July 2020 and December 2021, including about $172,000 from six appearances since he announced his campaign in August.
  • The Republican, who entered the race as the GOP front-runner with former President Donald Trump’s blessing, has continued his paid speeches even as he’s steered his media appearances toward friendly conservative outlets.
  • Buoyed by high name recognition and Trump’s support, Walker has bypassed many of the traditional campaign trail events as he races to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock in an election that could decide control of the chamber.
  • Democrats see a calculated effort to avoid telling Georgians his positions while trying to skirt more embarrassing gaffes. In one recent interview with a conservative radio host, Walker called the late John Lewis, a longtime U.S. House member, a senator and mischaracterized his position on voting rights.
  • Paid speeches have complicated campaigns before, particularly among Democrats who highlight inclusive messages of transparency and economic equality.
  • Walker’s disclosure, which pegs his net worth between $29 million and $65 million, showed he earned about $4 million in income from late 2020 to late 2021. That includes payouts from his poultry production company, sports marketing companies and a mental health care provider.
  • He was paid $20,000 in October and $27,000 in November to speak to two clinics that seek to deter abortions. And he collected $52,000 from a pair of speeches to the Boys & Girls Club charity in 2021.
  • Walker also netted $22,500 in August 2020 to speak at a meeting of the Republican Attorneys General Association on Sea Island. Attorney General Chris Carr later resigned as chairman of the group after its policy arm financed a robocall urging supporters to march to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
  • The financial disclosure offers only a partial list of his paid speeches. He’s set to deliver remarks Feb. 10 at the University of North Texas as part of a speaker series available to “sponsors” starting at $2,500.
  • Public records show Walker will be paid $76,000 for the events, along with first-class airfare, hotel accommodations and other expenses. It indicates that half the contract, $38,500, was due in August, a payment that didn’t appear in Walker’s financial disclosure.
  • An event Walker is set to attend Thursday hosted by the Republican Women of Forsyth County, for instance, was labeled “members only” after the group received media requests to attend.
  • Walker’s appearance at a Cobb County GOP event in November left some attendees scratching their heads.
  • “He came in through the back door, gave a short talk about his football career and how he met Trump,” said Paul Brower, an east Cobb real estate agent and GOP volunteer. “He didn’t really say what he stood for, and then he zipped out the back door. I was stunned.”
  • Democrats promise that Walker’s closed-door events and paid speeches will haunt him through the campaign.
  • “Herschel Walker needs to tell Georgians what he’s saying to get paid at closed-door events across the country,” said Dan Gottlieb of the Democratic Party of Georgia.


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