Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Andy Martin's political ad questioning the sexual orientation of Mark Kirk, the Republican Party's front-runner in the U.S. Senate race in Illinois, continues to run in the Chicago market. But on Tuesday, local businessman Jack Roeser, who is quoted in the ad, said he is having his attorney look into getting the spot off the radio and/or having his name removed from it.
"I have nothing to do with that SOB," Roeser said about Martin. "His reputation precedes him. I don't like being quoted by him, and I don't support anything he does."
Roeser, founder of Otto Engineering in Carpentersville, also is involved with the nonprofit Family Taxpayers Foundation and is publisher of the for-profit, right-leaning Web site www,Championnews.net.
Roeser said his closest contact with Martin was a few months ago and limited to a phone call. Martin never asked for or sought his permission to include anything he said in any campaign material, Roeser noted.
In the ad in question, Martin says he is "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."
Roeser admitted to making such comments on a radio show, "but they are rumors." And Roeser noted that he doesn't condone anyone talking about their sexuality in public, being a heterosexual bragging about his conquests or a homosexual marching in a gay pride parade. Both are "just plain nuts. Such things should be kept private."
The Champion News Web site does hold a "Kick Mark Kirk to the Curb" section, where readers can "learn more about this 'Republican' only a Democrat could love," and discusses Kirk's "pro abortion, pro homosexual, pro cap and trade, pro spending" views.
Roeser said his attorney had called a radio station about pulling Martin's spot, which it cannot legally do. Chicago's WBBM radio, one of the stations airing the ad, said federal law requires it to provide candidates with reasonable access and run political ads "without censoring them."
Roeser said his attorney also is looking to see if he can stop Martin from using Roeser in the ad without his permission.
As a result of the ad, which began to run after Christmas, the Republican Party already has said it no longer would consider Andy Martin a legitimate candidate.
"His statements are consistent with his history of bizarre behavior and often-times hate-filled speech, which has no place in the Illinois Republican Party," said GOP chairman Pat Brady.
Last week, Kirk campaign manager Eric Elk issued a statement saying the ad "is degrading to the political process. The people of Illinois deserve better." Elk said the ad's allegation that Kirk is gay is not true.
Martin, formerly Anthony Martin-Trigona, has a long record of running unsuccessfully for public office, making unsubstantiated allegations and suing officials and journalists he dislikes. The federal courts have sanctioned him for repeatedly filing frivolous lawsuits.
With Associated Press reports.
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