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Mr. Lucky and the retreating rumor-mongers

Tuesday, Dec 29, 2009

* Mark Kirk must have a leprechaun for an uncle or something, because this week’s little kerfuffle couldn’t have played out in a more perfect way.

Imagine, for a moment, that a vicious rumor has been circulating about you for years. Pretty much everyone in politics has heard it at one time or another. Many don’t believe it, but it’s still out there and, like a zombie, refuses to die.

Well, what better way to have to confront it and flatly deny it than when a perennial and often outrageous candidate whom the entire political/media establishment views as a complete leper airs out the rumor via a tiny radio buy during the zero awareness zone between Christmas and New Year’s Eve? Oh, and this all plays out while you’re on active duty with the military. Oh, yeah, one more thing: The ad is based on two public statements by a couple of far-right sworn enemies, but both men are now in full, cowardly retreat.

Perfect, eh?

It almost reminds me of those scenes in the Godfather movies where all the Corleone enemies are wiped out in one bloody moment. Except Mark Kirk didn’t have to do anything but sit back and watch from wherever he is right now.

* Let’s run down the coverage. Actually, the coverage was more like a game of “Attack the Attacker.” First, the AP

Top Illinois Republicans condemned a perennial candidate’s decision Monday to air a political ad questioning the sexual orientation of the party’s front-runner in the U.S. Senate race.

The Republican Party said it would no longer consider Andy Martin a legitimate candidate.

“His statements today are consistent with his history of bizarre behavior and often times hate-filled speech which has no place in the Illinois Republican Party,” said party chairman Pat Brady.

Fellow Senate candidate Patrick Hughes said the radio ad has no place in the campaign. Dan Proft, a GOP candidate for governor, called it repugnant.

Tribune

A perennial candidate with a history of anti-Semitic rhetoric and legal disputes in federal court launched a radio ad for his Republican U.S. Senate campaign Monday that questioned the sexual orientation of the front-runner in the race.

Andy Martin, who has been sanctioned in federal court for filing hundreds of lawsuits and was found unfit to practice law by the Illinois Supreme Court, has previously used the airwaves to attack political opponents including presidential candidates George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Sun-Times

U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk, the front-runner in the Republican primary election for U.S. Senate, finds himself the object of an unusual attack ad from one of his lesser-known opponents.

Andy Martin, once known as Anthony Martin-Trigona, who has run for numerous elective offices over the last three decades in Illinois, Florida and Connecticut, taped a commercial questioning whether Kirk is gay.

From here on out, if anybody ever brings up this rumor again, Kirk and the media can just associate that future comment with the “discredited” Andy Martin. Case closed.

Like I said, Kirk must be related to a leprechaun.

Heck, even the two people behind the rumor being peddled by Martin are backtracking as fast as their little legs will carry them. Which brings us to…

…Another important point. Here’s the ad itself

I’m Andy Martin, Republican candidate for United States Senator. I approved this message because Illinois Republicans deserve the truth about their candidates.

I have over forty years of experience and integrity fighting corruption, and fighting for the truth in politics.

I helped expose many of Barack Obama’s lies in 2008.

Today, I am fighting for the facts about Mark Kirk. Illinois Republican leader Jack Roeser says there is a, “solid rumor that Kirk is a homosexual.” Roeser suggests that Kirk is part of a Republican Party homosexual club. Lake County Illinois Republican leader Ray True says Kirk has surrounded himself with homosexuals.

Mark Kirk should tell Republican voters the truth.

I’m Andy Martin a Republican you can trust for U.S. Senator.

Please vote for Andy Martin.

Paid for by Illinois Republicans for Andy Martin.

ABC7 got responses from both Roeser and True

Roeser told ABC 7, “I don’t really want to be associated with Andy Martin. He’s made a lot of legal statements and cases that I think are irresponsible. Whatever he says I don’t support.”

True said, “I request through the media that Andy Martin cease and desist from making any additional statements that are incorrectly attributed to me.”

Trouble is, both Roeser and True said exactly what Martin claims they said in his ad - a point mostly ignored by the media. Click here to listen to Roeser and True on WIND AM radio

Jack Roeser: “And you got Mark Kirk, who’s been so strong on his homosexuals so long, that the solid rumor is that he, himself is a homosexual. Does the party really need these people clubbing up inside the Republican Party and ruining it for their own purposes…?”

Ray True: “It’s more or less an open secret in Lake County that Mark has surrounded himself with people that have, I guess they call it now a ’special orientation,’ but we all know what that means.”

The fact is that Roeser and True got busted outside their little ultra-conservative comfort zones. And instead of owning up, they ran away from their own comments. That was probably predictable. But what bothers me far more is that nobody in the media has yet bothered to press Roeser and True to come clean. After all, without those comments, Martin couldn’t have run that radio ad. They are as responsible as he is.

Roeser and True are both longtime Illinois political players. They regularly make endorsements and contribute money to campaigns, whether directly or through their respective organizations. So while we’re all publicly bemoaning Andy Martin’s little ad, perhaps we should also be focusing on the source of this hateful nonsense - and on the candidates those two guys support.

As for me, I’m going back to the beach. I’m supposed to be on vacation, not dealing with goofiness like this.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

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