December 28, 2009
A GOP gay-baiter and his target's beards
Posted by: Chris
Perennial candidate Andy Martin is riding a free media wave by buying a few radio ads repeating gay rumors about his Senate primary foe, Congressman Mark Kirk (R-Ill.):
In the radio ad, which aired today on WGN-AM and WBBM-AM, Martin attributes a "solid rumor that Kirk is a homosexual" to conservative Republican businessman Jack Roeser. Martin's ad also claims that Raymond True, the chairman of the conservative Republican Assembly of Lake County organization, says Kirk has surrounded himself with homosexuals. The ad says Kirk should address the rumors.
True has since denied questioning Kirk's sexual orientation, though he admits to some McCarthyist gossip that "there were some people on his (Kirk's) staff that had a special orientation." Isn't that "special"?
The state GOP dismissed the advertisements as "bizarre," something the party isn't always so quick to do with the gay-baiting is aimed across party aisles. That characterization would seem apropos, given these nuggets dug up by the Chicago Tribune:
In federal court filings from the 1980s related to bankruptcy proceedings against him, Martin called one federal judge a "crooked, slimy Jew, who has a history of lying and thieving common to members of his race." He also expressed sympathy to the perpetrators of the Holocaust. …
Martin gained some attention during last year's presidential contest by contending President Barack Obama was a Muslim and contesting whether Obama was born in Hawaii.
Nice to see the "birther" claims take their rightful place alongside other ethnic smears.
As a practical matter, Martin's 15 minutes should have little impact on the race. Those who would vote against Kirk based on a gay smear aren't likely to back his Democratic foe, whoever that will be, in the general election. What's more, even conservatives are finding it easier to vote for the sinner while hating the sin.
FYI, Kirk's bio on his Congressional and campaign web sites make no mention of a wife or family. Then again, they omit any refernence to his law degree from Georgetown either (too inside-the-beltway?).
It turns out his divorce from Kimberly Vertolli came through this summer, and Kirk brought along not one but two beards -- ahem! dates -- to a White House luau. Kirk called the ladies, who work behind the snack bar in the GOP cloakroom, "kind of cute" -- which makes me kind of wretch. But that's just me.
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