Monday, October 26, 2009

Andy Martin slams DuPage County pay-to-play “Oktoberfest”

Andy Martin criticizes Milton Township for demanding cash to speak at a dinner. Martin says morally corrupt DuPage County leaders are willingly taking Mark Kirk’s “dirty dollars” from Washington lobbyists and special interests. “Why are so-called ‘conservative’ DuPage County leaders backing an extreme liberal for senator?” Martin asks. “Have they no sense of legitimacy? Of shame?”

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October 26, 2009

Mr. Michael Fumento
65 Exmoor Drive
Glenn Ellyn, IL 60137

Re: “Oktoberfest” “straw poll”

Dear Mike:

I would like to respond to your recent “invitation” to participate in a straw poll during your Oktoberfest event. Milton Township Republicans are demanding a “participation fee" of $600 to be allowed to speak as part of your straw poll.

My experience with Milton Township straw polls has been that they are conducted in a crooked manner.

Two years ago I strongly supported the Milton Township Oktoberfest event with major advertising support. I was assured the event was “open” and that there would not be any favoritism shown to any candidate. You can imagine my surprise when Oktoberfest leaders stood up and endorsed my opponent, trying to rig the "straw poll" in his favor.

Why would I ever again want to subsidize an event that is rigged in favor of my opponent?

This year, you are trying to eliminate candidates by demanding that they pay you $600 to speak before the poll. Nice try. Most of the DuPage County leadership and Illinois congressional delegation is supporting a crook for United States Senator: Mark Kirk. And, apparently you are only too happy to take Kirk’s dirty dollars. You have already rigged one event in Kirk’s favor. For shame.

I have a question: are you eliminating the names of candidates who refuse to pay the $600 from your ballot if they decline to participate? I believe you should. I do not believe that any straw poll can be honest or indicative if it is purchased by the participants.

I understand Mr. Kirk is buying a table so he can be there to speak. Speaking at a republican event should never be conditioned on payment. Not anywhere. Not any time. It smacks of “pay to play.” We have had enough pay-to-play in Illinois. The current “governor-in-jail” is a Republican. Republicans, and DuPage Republicans, are just as guilty of play-to-pay as the Democrats. Reform should start at home, not “over there.”

I respect your right to conduct your event as you see fit, and to demand cash up front from candidates before allowing them to speak if you so desire. I hope you respect my right to decline to participate in what I believe will be a rigged and fixed straw poll.

I therefore respectfully request that you remove my name from your straw poll ballot as the “poll” is not honest, independent or credible. It would be an abuse of my good name as a candidate to use my candidacy to conduct a sham poll. It might even be fraudulent and illegal and prompt a legal challenge. If you have printed bogus ballots, I suggest you reprint them and remove my name.

When Milton Township agrees in advance, in writing, to conduct honest and independent events, then I will again consider participating. Not until then. My advertising dollars will go where they can be used to help my campaign, not where they will be used to subsidize my opposition.

Mark’s Kirk’s money, that he is spending with you to purchase speaking time and support, is all dirty money that he gleaned from the Washington lobbyists by selling his vote on "cap and trade" to Exelon and other special interests.

I am running as a candidate who will fight political corruption in Washington and Illinois, not as someone who will profit from it as Mr. Kirk does very nicely.

I am sure Kirk will tell you he has changed his view on cap and trade. But Mark Kirk will never change who he is. Kirk’s vote will always be for sale to the highest bidder. If you take his dirty dollars to conduct a bogus straw poll, you are as “unclean” as he is. If you want to know why politics is still rotten in this state, take a look at your own pay-to-speak straw poll. You have the answer.

I am not for sale, and my vote will never be for sale.

Best wishes for a successful event.

Respectfully submitted,



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