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
ANDY MARTIN /2010
Republican for U. S. Senator
“He works for all
the People of Illinois”
30 E. Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60611-4723
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
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.
Readers of Obama: The Man Behind The Mask, say the book is still the only gold standard and practical handbook on Barack Obama's unfitness for the presidency. Buy it.Book orders: Amazon.com or http://OrangeStatePress.com. Immediate shipment from Amazon.com or signed copies (delayed for signing) from the publisher are available.
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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 www.ContrarianCommentary.com. 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: www.twitter.com/AndyMartinUSAwww.facebook.com/AndyMartin Andy's columns are also posted at ContrarianCommentary.blogspot.com; contrariancommentary.wordpress.com. [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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