Andy Martin news conference: “Masterminding a right-wing smear machine?”

“He works for
the People of Illinois”
Republican for U. S. Senator
Suite 4406
30 E. Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60611-4723
(312) 440-4124





(Springfield, IL)(October 29, 2007) Republican U. S. Senate candidate Andy Martin will hold a Springfield, Illinois news conference at the State Capitol Press Room, Monday, October 29th at 11:00 A.M. to announce that he has once again been recognized in the national media as a tough campaigner. Martin will claim that he is the only Republican candidate who can seriously challenge incumbent Senator Dick Durbin.

Thirty years ago (2/25/78) the Chicago Tribune stated that Andy Martin was an “absolutely brilliant campaigner” whose “public relations skills are masterly.” The Tribune stated that “[Martin] makes a point of studying specific issues that are important—for example Governor Thompson’s veto of funds to complete Highway 51—and talking about them knowledgeably…”

Now a national publication has just endorsed the Chicago Tribune’s description of Andy. The Nation, America’s oldest left-wing journal, suggested this week that Martin was the mastermind of a “New Right-Wing Smear Machine” which may have inflicted a fatal blow on Senator Barack Obama’s chances for the presidency.

“Illinois Republicans need a tough campaigner to go up against a tough incumbent, Senator Dick Durbin,” Martin will state. “For thirty years I have been recognized as a tough campaigner, someone who knows how to organize a campaign and someone who knows how to lead an attack on the opposition.

“While The Nation’s suggestion I am masterminding a ‘New Right-Swing Smear machine’ is a gross exaggeration, it is absolutely accurate in describing me as an individual who knows how to land a knockout punch on the opposition.

“The evidence I assembled and presented on Barack Obama has inflicted what could prove to be a mortal wound on his chances for the presidency. Although The Nation erroneously suggests I was behind anonymous attacks, the very power of my campaign against Obama was exactly the opposite: my facts and my evidence were truthful and accurate, and my name was always publicly associated with my accusations.

“Today (10/29) I filed for the U. S. Senate. Bluntly, I am the only Republican who can take down Dick Durbin. So-called Republican leaders supporting my opponents are merely instruments of the ‘combine’ that has corrupted Illinois politics and devastated the Republican Party. My calling card as a candidate is that I know how to get results, and I know how to target the opposition. If you don’t believe me, ask The Nation. Or, better still, ask Barack Obama,” Andy will claim.

“I am the only candidate for the Republican nomination who can seriously challenge Dick Durbin. While my primary opponents struggled for petition signatures, my organization generated over 17,000 signatures, enough for two candidates. That is a real test of organizational ability and focus. The Tribune was right 30 years ago, and the Tribune is still right 30 years later. The Nation article only confirms that I am a lethal opponent.

“And P.S., as the Tribune pointed out 30 years ago, I saved Highway 51. My campaign led to the construction of Interstate 39. No other candidate can point to such a record of ‘concrete’ accomplishment.”


WHO: U. S. Senate candidate Andy Martin

WHERE: State Capitol Press Room, Springfield, Illinois

WHEN: Monday, October 29, 2007 11:00 A.M.

WHAT: Andy Martin is Illinois’ toughest campaigner

CONTACT: (312) 440-4124; Cell (917) 664-9329




[An edited version of The Nation story follows]

The New Right-Wing Smear Machine

[edited from the November 12, 2007 issue]

The most notorious smear forward of this cycle is the Obama/madrassa canard, which represents the cutting edge of electronic rumor. At least two weeks before the Obama/madrassa smear appeared in the online magazine Insight, on January 17, it had been circulating widely in an e-mail forward that laid out the basics of Obama’s bio in a flat, reportorial tone before concluding thus: Let us all remain alert concerning Obama’s expected presidential candidacy.

But even if the identity of the e-mail’s author was unrecoverable, it was still possible to trace back the roots of its content.

On August 10, 2004, just two weeks after Obama had given his much-heralded keynote speech at the DNC in Boston, Andy Martin issued a press release. In it, he announced a press conference in which he would expose Obama for having “lied to the American people” and “misrepresent[ed] his own heritage.”

Martin raised all kinds of strange allegations about Obama but focused on him attempting to hide his Muslim past. “It may well be that his concealment is meant to endanger Israel,” read Martin’s statement. “His Muslim religion would obviously raise serious questions in many Jewish circles where Obama now enjoys support.”

When I asked Martin for the source of his allegations about Obama’s past, he told me they came from “people in London, among other places.” Why London, I asked? “I started talking to them about Kenyan law. Every little morsel led me a little farther along.”

Within a few days of Martin’s press conference, the conservative site Free Republic had picked it up, attracting a long comment thread, but after that small blip the specious “questions” about Obama’s background disappeared. Then, in the fall of 2006, as word got out that Obama was considering a presidential run, murmurs on the Internet resumed. In October a conservative blog called Infidel Bloggers Alliance reposted the Andy Martin press release under the title “Is Barack Obama Lying About His Life Story?” A few days later the online RumorMillNews also reposted the Andy Martin press release in response to a reader’s inquiry about whether Obama was a Muslim.

One Obama organizer told me recently that every day, while calling prospective voters, he gets at least one or two people who tell him they won’t be voting for Obama because he’s a Muslim. According to Google, “Barack Obama Muslim” is the third most-searched term for the Illinois senator. And an August CBS poll found that when voters were asked to give Obama’s religion, as many said Muslim as correctly answered Protestant.

Oh yeah. And the e-mail continues to circulate.

“Everybody started calling me” when the e-mail first made the rounds, Andy Martin told me. “They said, ‘Hey, did you write this?’ My answer was ‘they are all my children.’ ”


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