Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mike Ditka caught in new “Endorsementgate” controversy

Patrick Hughes operative Charlie Johnston said Saturday that Ditka lied in denying Ditka endorsed Pat Hughes

Mike Ditka caught in new “Endorsementgate” scandal over accusation Ditka lied to save restaurant profits

Pat Hughes operative Charlie Johnson says ‘I was present when Ditka endorsed [Patrick] Hughes;” Johnston says Ditka lied to avoid Andy Martin’s pickets

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NFL Hall of Famer Mike Ditka is embroiled in a new round of scandal involving political wannabe Patrick Hughes; a Hughes operative claims Ditka lied in denying he “endorsed” Hughes

Andy Martin says “I throw up my hands. Ditka and Hughes are both engaged in a game of ‘liar, liar’”

Martin says Hughes is demonstrating incompetence as both an attorney and a political candidate.

Andy Martin demands the truth from both Hughes and Ditka

(CHICAGO)(October 18, 2009) Republican U. S. Senate candidate and insurgent “Internet Powerhouse” Andy Martin became the target of a new round of controversy in the Mike Ditka/Patrick Hughes “Endorsementgate” scandal on Saturday.

Hughes operative Charlie Johnston essentially called Mike Ditka a liar.

Johnston stated: “I was there when Ditka endorsed Hughes.” Johnston then suggested that Ditka lied about his Hughes endorsement because Ditka was afraid of Andy Martin pickets at Ditka’s Restaurant in Chicago’s Gold Coast.

“I was frankly stunned by Johnston’s outburst at the candidate event in Bethalto, Illinois,” Martin said Saturday evening. “Johnston’s remarks were entirely unprovoked by me. We were in a candidate room about to be briefed on ground rules, when Johnston blurted out that ‘I was there when Ditka endorsed Hughes.’ Johnston then said it was the prospect of my pickets and boycott that got Ditka to throw Hughes under the bus. Johnston said I should ‘leave Hughes alone’ and attack Mark Kirk.

“I am the master of my own campaign,” Martin responded Saturday evening. “Pat Hughes does not tell me whom to investigate, or which lies to expose as lies. If Hughes is lying, we will expose him. We exposed Hughes for lying about his status as an attorney; we exposed Hughes for lying about his ‘financial commitments.’ We exposed Hughes for lying about ‘promises’ made to him by African-American candidates, and we have forced Mike Ditka to present his version of the facts involving a disputed endorsement, in which Ditka essentially called Hughes a liar.

“Johnston’s remarks Saturday afternoon effectively called Ditka’s publicist Ken Valdiserri’s statements Thursday lies that were motivated by fear of my pickets and boycotting. Is Mike Ditka afraid of Andy Martin? I have no information on that.

“We are now left with two utterly conflicting and irreconcilable stories. Ditka publicist Valdiserri has issued statements denying that Ditka ever endorsed Hughes as a candidate, and denying that Ditka agreed to serve on Hughes’ Finance Committee.

“Veteran Hughes operative Charlie Johnson completely contradicted the Ditka version of events in Bethalto Saturday, by stating that Johnston was personally present when Ditka endorsed Hughes. I have no idea which version of these conflicting narratives is true. Witnesses were present in the candidate briefing room to confirm Johnston’s outbursts on Saturday.

“Johnston’s claim that Ditka succumbed to my picketing and protests, well who knows what motivates any of the players in the Ditka/Hughes ‘Endorsementgate’ scandal? Hughes’ Charlie Johnston is a veteran political operative, so I assume he does have personal knowledge of the facts, and he was, as he claims, personally present when Ditka said something.

“Friday I got into a disagreement with Ditka’s publicist Ken Valdiserri. Ditka’s man said I was wrong to suggest Ditka called Hughes a ‘liar’ when Ditka’s statements on Thursday directly contradicted Hughes claims and the Associated Press reports.

“With all due respect to Ditka's publicist, when you completely discredit someone’s remarks, you are calling the other person a liar.

“Valdiserri essentially called Hughes’ statements lies, and Hughes operative Johnston responded Saturday by calling Ditka’s statements lies. Which one of these people is lying? I don't know. But Johnston and Valdiserri can’t both be telling the truth.

“I believe Mike Ditka and Patrick Hughes owe Republicans the full truth and an end to their reciprocal recriminations.

“The fact that Hughes has allowed this scandal to fester demonstrates his complete incompetence both as an attorney and as a candidate. Attorneys know that the only way to come out ahead in a controversy is to be first with the truth. Hughes seems to have been first with his lies. Then, called a liar by Ditka, Hughes responded by calling Ditka a liar.

“All I did was perform the basic journalistic investigation that the Chicago Tribune, Associated Press and local Chicago ‘sports media’ failed to perform before printing an ‘endorsement’ that Ditka says never took place. Johnston now says Ditka is lying, and that there was an endorsement.

“Will local media pursue the conflicting narratives, or continue the cover-up of their own incompetence and embarrassment in failing to do basic fact checking before publishing the original ‘story’?

“The questions surrounding the credibility of persons Hughes chose as advisers, D. Paul Caprio and Charlie Johnston, also remains to be resolved. If Hughes can’t choose honest and competent campaign personnel, how could he staff a senate office?

“The issue of whether political wannabe Patrick Hughes repeatedly lied to the public and media, and whether he tried to inflated his political resume, is a very serious campaign question mark. The issue will not disappear until the complete and uncontradicted truth is known,” Martin said.

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Andy Martin is a legendary Chicago muckraker, author, Internet columnist, radio talk show host, broadcaster and media critic. He has over forty years of broadcasting background in radio and television and is the dean of Illinois media and communications. He is currently promoting his best-selling book, Obama: The Man Behind The Mask and producing the new Internet movie "Obama: The Hawai'i years." Andy is the Executive Editor and publisher of Martin comments on regional, national and world events with more than four decades of experience. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law and is a former adjunct professor of law at the City University of New York. UPDATES: Andy's columns are also posted at; [NOTE: We frequently correct typographical errors and additions/subtractions on our blogs, where you can find the latest edition of this release.]
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Chicago Bob said...


795 F.2d 9
In re Anthony R. MARTIN-TRIGONA.
Nos. 85-5023, 85-5024, 85-5025, 86-5010, 86-5003, 86-5009,
86-7091, 85-5063, 85-5077, 86-5004, 86-5007,
86-5015, 86-5018, 86-5022, 86-5023,
86-8015, 86- 5024, 86-5025,
86-5026, 86-5017, 86-5014.
United States Court of Appeals,
Second Circuit.
Submitted Jan. 16, 1986, and April 16, 1986.
Decided July 9, 1986.
Anthony R. Martin-Trigona, pro se.
Before MANSFIELD, PIERCE and WINTER, Circuit Judges.
Before us are various motions and petitions submitted by Anthony R. Martin-Trigona, pro se, seeking, inter alia, leave to appeal various orders entered in his bankruptcy proceeding, reinstatement of appeals that have been dismissed, or other relief. We generally dispose of such motions by unpublished order, but on this occasion we issue a published opinion discussing his conduct and the consequences thereof in the future.
Martin-Trigona's propensity for generally meritless, usually vexatious and often scurrilous resort to legal processes has been documented in our prior decisions. See, e.g., In re Martin-Trigona, 737 F.2d 1254, 1256-57 & Appendix C (2d Cir.1984), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 106 S.Ct. 807, 88 L.Ed.2d 782 (1986). In June, 1984, we affirmed the power of the district court to enjoin him from bringing a variety of actions without leave of court and also issued an injunction governing appeals to this court.1 Id. at 1264. Under the latter injunction, Martin-Trigona must move for leave to take an appeal within twenty days of the notice of appeal, and must indicate the grounds supporting his motion. Id. If a motion for leave is not filed within twenty days of the notice, the appeal is dismissed. Id. Leave to appeal is granted if we conclude that Martin-Trigona has standing to appeal, that this court has jurisdiction over the appeal, and that the appeal has colorable merit. These restrictions were entered pursuant to our inherent power to protect our jurisdiction from conduct that threatens our ability to carry out Article III functions. Id. at 1261-62.

The injunction has been effective in preventing Martin-Trigona from using legal processes to harass "anyone who so much as crosses his path in the federal courts." Id. at 1263. However, it has been only partially effective in preventing Martin-Trigona from overburdening this court with frivolous filings and from diverting scarce judicial resources away from litigants with good faith federal claims. Since June 18, 1984, the date of our opinion concerning the injunction, Martin-Trigona has filed over 100 appeals or petitions for appellate relief in this court. In 15 cases no leave of court was required. In 67 cases in which leave of court was required, 35 were dismissed for failure to seek leave, leave was denied in 26, and leave was granted in 6. Twenty-one matters in which leave of court is required are disposed of by this opinion.

Chicago Bob said...


The burden imposed by Martin-Trigona on this court is clear. His submissions are so multitudinous and complex that the clerk's office must assign administrative responsibility for Martin-Trigona's filings to one person. No other litigant in this court requires such special consideration. In addition, motions law clerks must analyze each of his motions. This is no easy task. Martin-Trigona's motions rarely cite relevant legal authority or state the facts clearly or directly. Further, in his motions for leave to appeal, he often attaches only the first page of the district court order appealed from. This failure to submit adequate supporting papers further increases the burden on the court. The hours spent by the staff of this court on Martin-Trigona filings are roughly the equivalent of the work of one full-time employee. Even so, this does not include the considerable time spent by the judges and their staffs after the matters are referred to them.
The motions pending before us illustrate the frivolous nature of typical Martin-Trigona submissions. For instance, in Docket No. 86-5004 Martin-Trigona seeks leave to appeal from an order awarding attorney's fees to the bankruptcy estate in connection with an action by the trustee to clear title to certain property in the estate. In his motion for leave, Martin-Trigona characterizes the award as one made directly to the attorney for the bankruptcy trustee, and claims that such an award cannot be made without notice to all creditors, as required by 11 U.S.C. Sec. 330 (Supp. II 1984). The record reveals, however, that the fees were awarded not to the attorney, but to the estate--the exact relief Martin-Trigona has requested. The appeal for which leave is sought is thus utterly frivolous. We deny the motion for leave to appeal.
Similarly, in Docket No. 86-5009 Martin-Trigona seeks leave to appeal the district court's denial of his motion requesting removal of the bankruptcy trustee for fraudulent misrepresentations to the court, and requesting that substantial sanctions be levied against both the trustee and his attorney. The essence of Martin-Trigona's claim, set forth in papers captioned "Motion for Leave to Appeal Bizarre Order," is that the trustee and his attorney misrepresented the fact that an initial meeting of creditors had taken place on December 13, 1982. Martin-Trigona claims he had no notice of this meeting, and submitted with the motion a recent letter from the Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court stating that a meeting scheduled for that date actually never took place. The record reveals, however, that creditors did not attend a scheduled meeting because Martin-Trigona had announced beforehand that he would not attend. The inconsistency between the trustee's position and the Bankruptcy Clerk's position is whether one characterizes the events by saying "No meeting was held," or by saying "A meeting was held but no one came." Martin-Trigona himself is the only party guilty of misrepresentations to the court--his claim that he had no notice of the December 13, 1982 meeting is contradicted by a letter the trustee has submitted as part of his opposition papers to the motion before us. In that letter, dated November 30, 1982 and addressed to the Bankruptcy Judge, Martin-Trigona acknowledges receipt of notice of the December meeting and states his intention not to attend. Exhibit A, Opposition to "Motion for Leave to Appeal Bizarre Order." The motion for leave to appeal in No. 86-5009 is thus also utterly frivolous and is denied.

Chicago Bob said...


The other motions, Docket Nos. 85-5023, 85-5024, 85-5025, 86-5010, 86-5003, 86-7091, 85-5063, 85-5077, 86-5007, 86-5015, 86-5018, 86-5022, 86-5023, 86-8015, 86-5024, 86-5025, 86-5026, 86-5017, 86-5014, are also frivolous and are denied.
Because our injunction has not prevented Martin-Trigona from burdening this court with frivolous proceedings, we believe it necessary once again to exercise our inherent power to protect our jurisdiction from such vexatious conduct. See In re Martin-Trigona, 737 F.2d at 1261. Rule 38, Fed.R.App.P. and Rule 11, Fed.R.Civ.P. authorize the assessment of damages in favor of an opposing party for the filing of frivolous appeals or pleadings. As a consequence of the injunction, virtually all of Martin-Trigona's frivolous motions are unopposed before us, and thus these rules may not apply. However, our power to defend our ability to carry out our constitutional functions in no way depends upon the rights of private parties to relief. 737 F.2d at 1261. No litigant has the right to monopolize judicial resources and thus indirectly to obstruct other litigants asserting good faith claims. Absent the power to deter tactics like those employed by Martin-Trigona, a small number of litigants could paralyze this court. Our role here is thus not that of a dispute settler but that of an independent branch of government protecting its jurisdiction. Id. at 1261.
In future cases, therefore, we will impose monetary sanctions on Martin-Trigona if he files frivolous papers or proceedings. Once such a sanction is levied, the clerk shall accept no further papers from Martin-Trigona, who does not have in forma pauperis status in this court, until that monetary obligation is satisfied. See, e.g., Johl v. Johl, 788 F.2d 75 (2d Cir.1986) (per curiam); Schiff v. Simon & Schuster, Inc., 766 F.2d 61, 62 (2d Cir.1985) (per curiam). This is the only way to make the sanction effective and protect the processes of this court from abuse. Schiff, 766 F.2d at 62.
Martin-Trigona has pointed out that the injunction in this court has never been made permanent. We now order that this be done.
Motions denied. Permanent injunction is to be entered.
It is so Ordered.