Friday, October 23, 2009

U. S. Senate candidate Andy Martin asks NFL Commissioner to investigate “Ditkagate”

Martin says the relationship between NFL Hall of Famer Mike Ditka and “supremacist” candidate Pat Hughes may involve a criminal conspiracy.

“Ditkagate” goes “viral” on the Internet

Republican for U. S. Senator

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the People of Illinois”
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Chicago, IL 60611-4723
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Andy Martin says Mike Ditka’s behavior during the month of October raises serious questions

Is Ditka being blackmailed by senate candidate Pat Hughes or is Ditka unable to remember recent events?

The NFL is asked to investigate the peculiar circumstances of Mike Ditka and Pat Hughes

Picketing to resume at Ditka’s Chicago restaurant

(CHICAGO)(October 24, 2009) Republican U. S. Senate candidate and insurgent “Internet Powerhouse” Andy Martin will hold a Chicago news conference Saturday, October 24th to disclose that he has asked NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to open an investigation into whether NFL Hall of Famer Mike Ditka is being blackmailed, or whether Ditka is in failing health and unable to remember recent events.

“We have now relabeled this scandal at ‘Ditkagate,’” Martin says. “We are making new plans for picketing at Ditka’s. I went to Ditka’s recently, under cover. Contrary to what his publicist claims, I saw very few African-American customers. People need to know that for whatever reason or explanation, Ditka is linking himself to someone who wants to throw African-Americans off the bus.”

Martin’s letter to the NFL Commissioner follows below:

October 24th news conference details:


U. S. Senate candidate and Internet Powerhouse Andy Martin


Sidewalk news conference, SE corner of Huron and Wabash,


Saturday, October 24, 2009 1:00 P.M.


Internet Powerhouse and U. S. Senate candidate Andy Martin
asks NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to open an investigation into the tortured relationship between Mike Ditka and Pat Hughes, a supremacist candidate for U. S. Senator in Illinois


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October 23, 2009

Commissioner Roger Goodell
National Football League
280 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10017
via fax (212) 681-7599

Request for investigation of links between
Mike Ditka and “supremacist” candidate Pat Hughes

Dear Commissioner Goodell:

I am writing to suggest and respectfully request that you open an independent investigation into the relationship between NFL Hall of Famer Mike Ditka and “supremacist” candidate Patrick Hughes in Illinois.

During the month of October, the relationship between Ditka and Hughes has become increasingly bizarre, all while Hughes has continued to attack African-American candidates and demonstrate the condescending attitudes of a supremacist.

Originally, Hughes claimed that Ditka endorsed him and agreed to serve on Hughes’ finance committee.

Then Ditka, both through his attorney Steve Mandell and also his publicist Ken Valdiserri, denied any agreement for either an endorsement or a finance committee slot.

While Mr. Hughes and I are political opponents, I want to assure you I am only concerned with ascertaining the facts and the truth. Someone is lying through their teeth.

And someone may be trying to blackmail Mike Ditka into endorsing a candidate, raising the possibility of a criminal conspiracy to extort the Hughes endorsement from Mr. Ditka.

There is also a serious possibility that Mike is suffering from old football injuries, and the current kerfuffle may be a warning sign of confusion on his part.

In a statement earlier this week, Hughes again claimed that Ditka endorsed him. Hughes claimed the two men spent “45 minutes” together:

Common sense tells you that if you spent 45 minutes alone with someone, or in a closed room with your wife and attorney, you would vividly remember that fact a couple of weeks later. But Ditka’s denials on October 15th showed no awareness of the time he allegedly spent with Hughes. Did Hughes and Ditka actually spend this time together? Is Ditka aware of what Hughes claims? Is the joint statement on October 22nd a cover-up? The truth remains to be ascertained.

I don’t doubt that if a celebrity such as Ditka brushed shoulders with someone in a receiving line, he might not remember the encounter weeks later. But spending 45 minutes alone with someone, and then having no recollection, is not believable. Again, something is very suspicious.

Hughes also claims that Ditka agreed to serve on his finance committee, a claim Ditka flatly and unequivocally denies, and has always denied. Again, what are the facts? Where lies the truth?

Mr. Valdiserri assured me on the 15th that (i) Ditka had not endorsed Hughes and (ii) that Valdiserri had communicated that fact to the media. Valdiserri apparently lied.

This week, Ditka again used Valdiserri and Ditka’s attorney to deny any endorsement. Then, suddenly, Ditka completely reversed himself and said he was endorsing, but denying any finance committee role. Ditka also refuses to respond to legitimate media inquires about the encounter with Hughes.

I am sure you will appreciate that all of this is very suspicious behavior. If Ditka suffers from memory problems, and has no recollection of a 45 minute meeting, then any endorsement under any conditions may be suspect, even the “endorsement” on October 22nd.

Ditka is dodging the media; that raises more suspicions. Likewise, if Ditka did not endorse on the 15th, what made him reverse himself on the 22nd?

Someone posted a comment on one blog suggesting Ditka may have an alcohol problem. If so, he needs treatment.

If Ditka’s mental confusion is the result of a long-term concussion injury, again, “attention must be paid.”

What makes all of these concerns so critical is that Ditka may have erred in what he said at the beginning of the month, but by October 22nd he was certainly under no doubt that he was endorsing a supremacist candidate who had asked African-Americans to withdraw as U. S. Senate candidates and who apparently sent a saboteur to a political breakfast to harass and heckle an African-American senate candidate who had beaten Hughes in a recent poll.

There appear to be other dirty tricks which we are investigating.

A few days ago you questioned whether Rush Limbaugh should be allowed to participate in the NFL. Ditka's transgressions are far more serious than anything Limbaugh has ever done. The Ditka case is even more serious, because someone is apparently leading Mike astray and into a political thicket of supremacists and extremists. Asking the only two African-American candidates to withdraw as candidates is not a laughing matter.

Mr. Hughes, thanks to me, is once again an active attorney (he had taken “inactive” status). Hughes has made accusations of fraud against Mike Ditka’s attorney, by claiming that Ditka’s attorney was present when Hughes was “endorsed.” A complaint to the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission is being prepared. Mr. Hughes' accusations of lying can again be found at:

I have a lifetime of commitment to civil rights and I will not let lies substitute for facts. On the other hand, if Mr. Ditka is being manipulated, and has difficulty making decisions for himself, or remembering them, then NFL fans ought to be aware of his health problems. Mike needs care.

In closing, I urge you to initiate a search for the truth and conduct a fair and impartial investigation of the facts. Clearly, Mr. Ditka’s lawyer and publicist bear some responsibility for the confusion. But as I reflect on Mike’s alleged 45 minute meeting with someone, which he had apparently forgotten a couple of weeks later, I am concerned that there may be a clinical problem. You should also be concerned.

Respectfully submitted,



© Copyright by Andy Martin 2009.

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