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    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"?

    Martin 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.

    Mark kirk dates 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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    1. Mike Fleming on Dec 28, 2009 7:00:15 PM:

      GREAT to have you back, Chris!

    1. Kevin on Dec 29, 2009 9:01:05 AM:


      I know Mark Kirk, and I know Kim Vertolli. Mark is not gay.


    1. Citizen Crain on Dec 29, 2009 2:12:12 PM:

      Thanks, Mike. It's good (not quite great just yet) to be back. And as for Kevin's comments, I'll have to check my mental rolodex to remember whether you were one of those insisting Mark Foley or Larry Craig or ______ _______ wasn't gay. That said, you know I'm not in favor of outing, at least when it requires making public information that is private or intimate in nature.

    1. Kevin on Dec 29, 2009 10:17:34 PM:

      No, I would have never insisted Mark Foley wasn't gay because I knew for a fact for years and years, as did you and all of DC, that he was in fact gay. I didn't know Larry Craig (happily) and I seriously doubt I ever said a word on it. I know Mark, and I also knew Kim from before they even got married and were just engaged. Mark is not gay. And this Andy Martin person is a complete crackpot in every way, loving that you're wasting digital ink on him.

    1. Kevin on Dec 29, 2009 10:18:39 PM:

      p.s. - by "never said a word on it" re: Craig, meaning before his arrest. I know I said quite a bit about it after, and none of it was supportive at all.

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