Anthony Robert Martin-Trigona, usually known as Andy Martin (born 1945), is an American perennial candidate
who has never been elected to office, running as both a Democrat and a Republican.
He has filed over 250 political lawsuits nationwide.
In Connecticut, a federal judge once banned Martin from filing lawsuits in any court in the nation without a judge's permission. The federal judge said Martin considered filing lawsuits to be a "veritable sport."
''The Washington Post
An Attack That Came Out of the Ether
. ''The Washington Post'', June 28, 2008.
and ''The New York Times
identified Martin as the primary source of false rumors
that then-presidential candidate Barack Obama
was secretly a Muslim
during the 2008 presidential election
(an allegation Martin had made as early as 2004). In a later interview with CNN
, Martin explicitly abandoned this view and now asserts Obama's real father is not Barack Obama, Sr.
, but African-American
journalist Frank Marshall Davis
On October 17, 2008, Martin filed a lawsuit
against the state of Hawaii
calling for the public release of Barack Obama's birth certificate
and other vital record
s. At the time, conspiracy theories
postulated that Obama is not a natural-born citizen
of the United States. Obama had previously posted an image of his short-form birth certificate
[The truth about Barack's birth certificate]
, Obama for America. Retrieved June 14, 2008.
, FactCheck.org (August 26, 2008): "The document is a 'certification of birth,' also known as a short-form birth certificate. The long form is drawn up by the hospital and includes additional information such as birth weight and parents' hometowns."
But Martin's lawsuit sought a copy of Sen. Obama's long-form birth certificate
. On November 19, the Hawaii Supreme Court
dismissed Martin's lawsuit.
Martin was born in 1945 in Middletown, Connecticut
. New Times Broward-Palm Beach, July 31, 2003.
His father, Ralph Beneducci Martin-Trigona, was of Italian, Maltese, and English descent, and his mother, Helen Anthony (née Vasiliou), was Greek American. He received a B.A.
from the University of Illinois
in 1966, and a J.D.
from that institution in 1969.
In 1973 the Illinois Supreme Court
refused to grant Martin a license to practice law in the state due to such conduct as attempting to have a parking violation thrown out because it had been "entered by an insane judge" and for commenting that an attorney, who suffers from a mild case of cerebral palsy, was "shaking and tottering and drooling like an idiot." The court also cited Martin's Selective Service
record, which attributed to him "a moderately severe character defect manifested by well-documented ideation with a paranoid
flavor and a grandiose character."
Martin then became involved in consumer advocacy and referred to himself as "the people's attorney general". He took credit for being the first to file suit under the civil component of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
(RICO), as well as the first to file antitrust
actions against the Big Three television networks
for anticompetitive practices in network affiliation agreements.
Martin grew up as a Democrat, and served as an intern to Senator Paul Douglas
in the summer of 1966. In 1977, he ran in a special election for Mayor of Chicago
, but lost in the Democratic primary to acting mayor Michael Bilandic
, receiving less than 3% of the vote.
Over the years, Martin has run in various elections in Connecticut, Florida
, and Illinois as a Democrat
, a Republican
, and an independent
. Among them:
* 1977 Chicago mayoral special election
* 1978 United States Senate election in Illinois
* 1980 United States Senate election in Illinois
* Connecticut's 3rd congressional district
election, 1986 (Democratic primary)
* President of the United States
, 1988 (Democratic primary)
* 1990 Florida gubernatorial election
(Republican primary) - 4th of five candidates, 28,591 votes (4.30%)
* U.S. House from Florida, 1992 (Republican primary)
* Florida State Senate
, 1996 (unsuccessful Republican nominee)
* 1998 United States Senate election in Florida
(Republican primary) - 2nd of two candidates, 184,739 votes (33.60%)
* President of the United States, 2000 (Republican primary)
* 2000 United States Senate election in Florida
(unsuccessful independent candidate) - 7th of seven candidates, 15,889 votes (0.27%)
* 2006 Illinois gubernatorial election
(Republican primary) - 5th of five candidates, 6,095 votes (0.83%)
* 2008 United States Senate election in Illinois
(Republican primary) - 2nd of three candidates, 240,548 votes (33.85%)
* 2010 United States Senate elections in Illinois
(Republican primary) - 5th of six candidates, 37,359 votes (5.0%)
* 2012 New Hampshire Republican presidential primary
- only 19 votes.
* 2014 United States Senate election in New Hampshire
(Republican primary) - 7th of 10 candidates, 734 votes (0.67%)
* 2016 New Hampshire Republican presidential primary
* 2018 United States House of Representatives elections in New Hampshire
, 1st district
Martin's 1996 run for the Florida State Senate
unraveled when it was revealed that he had named his campaign committee for his 1986 congressional run "The Anthony R. Martin-Trigona Congressional Campaign to Exterminate Jew Power
in America." The revelation led the state Republican Party to renounce him.
Just before the election, Martin assaulted two cameramen from WPTV
, the NBC
affiliate in West Palm Beach
, while they were interviewing him at the TV station. At the trial he arrived late and dais he refused to continue the trial with a judge that had been "bought and paid for". The judge immediately held Martin in criminal contempt of court
. And ordered him jailed for one month.
On the assault charge, he was convicted of criminal mischief
and sentenced to a year in jail. However, when he was let out of jail for the contempt charge after serving one month, he was not re-incarcerated for the assault charge, due to a "paperwork glitch".
Martin never returned to serve out the remainder of his term, and a warrant
was issued for his arrest, making him subject to having to serve 16 months in jail.
The warrant was still outstanding as of the time of Martin's 2008 Senate run, but Martin said the issue was being "resolved."
During Martin's 2000 run for president, he accused George W. Bush
of using cocaine
. In 2003, several months before Saddam Hussein
was captured, Martin claimed to have found the former Iraq
i dictator's hideout.
Martin was a 2010 Republican candidate for U.S. Senator
in Illinois for the seat being vacated by Sen. Roland Burris
. In December 2009, Martin ran radio ads which included Martin requesting that one of his primary opponents, Congressman Mark Kirk
, answer claims about his sexuality made by Jack Roeser, a radio talk show host.
Another ad alleged that Kirk, as well as former House Speaker Dennis Hastert
, had always known of fellow Congressman Mark Foley
's relationship with a former Page, and had done "nothing to stop Foley's pedophilia, for years", and said, that by extension, Kirk was "a de facto pedophile". In response, the state Republican Party announced that Martin would no longer be recognized as a legitimate candidate.
Martin received 37,359 votes, five percent of the total votes. He attempted to run for the U.S. Senate in the general election as a member of the Reform Party of Illinois, but he did not qualify for the ballot.
Litigation and antisemitic allegations
Over the years, Martin has filed numerous lawsuits, and was labeled as a vexatious litigant
by Edward Weinfeld, a federal judge for the Southern District of New York
, who observed that Martin had a tendency to file "a substantial number of lawsuits of a vexatious, frivolous and scandalous nature."
A number of these filings were allegedly anti-Semitic
in nature. In a 1983 bankruptcy case, Martin filed a motion calling the presiding judge "a crooked, slimy Jew
who has a history of lying and thieving common to members of his race."
In another motion that year, Martin stated, "I am able to understand how the Holocaust
took place, and with every passing day feel less and less sorry that it did."
He went on to say that "Jew survivors are operating as a wolf pack to steal my property." When later pressed in an interview about his remarks, Martin claimed that the anti-Semitic comments were inserted into his court papers by malicious judges.
In 1983, José A. Cabranes
, a federal judge for the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut
, issued a sweeping injunction
barring Martin or anyone acting "at his behest, at his direction or instigation, or in concert with him" from filing any new action or proceeding in any federal or state court without first seeking permission from the court in which he wished to file that action or proceeding.
[Martin-Trigona v. Shaw]
, 986 F.2d 1384.
In his ruling, Cabranes noted that Martin had a tendency to file legal actions with "persistence, viciousness, and general disregard for decency and logic." According to Cabranes, Martin's practice was to file "an incessant stream of frivolous or meritless motions, demands, letters to the court and other documents," as well as "vexatious lawsuits" against anyone who dared cross him, including court personnel and their families. For instance, in the midst of the proceeding, Martin sued Cabranes himself, along with the judge's wife. Martin then sought, unsuccessfully, to have Cabranes recused
On appeal from Cabranes' ruling, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals
limited the scope of the injunction to federal courts, but stated that the federal courts were constitutionally obligated to protect themselves and the administration of justice from vexatious litigants like Martin.
Since then, Martin has continued his pattern of filing legal actions. He has repeatedly been cited for contempt for violating the federal injunction. The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
estimated that he has filed thousands of proceedings over the years. In 1993 the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
determined that his mother was acting in concert with him by filing a federal civil rights action against several Florida state officials. The court noted similar wording in the suit filed by Martin's mother and a petition filed by Martin himself. In throwing out the suit, the Eleventh Circuit called Martin "a notoriously vexatious and vindictive litigator who has long abused the American legal system."
Most recently, a libel
and invasion of privacy
suit against Media Matters
and its founder, David Brock
, was dismissed with prejudice
because Martin had violated the terms of the injunction.
Martin has been sanctioned at the state level as well. He is banned from seeking indigent status in Florida courts due to his history of filing abusive petitions. Martin is also prohibited from filing lawsuits in New York, unless represented by an attorney or with the court's prior approval.
In November 2015, Martin filed a challenge to the appearance of Bernie Sanders
on the New Hampshire ballot for the Democratic primary. The challenge was unsuccessful, but Martin announced plans to appeal to the New Hampshire Supreme Court
Role in rumors about Obama
Allegations of Obama being a Muslim
According to a report by journalist Chris Hayes
for ''The Nation'', Martin issued a press release shortly after Obama's keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention
that he had evidence Obama "lied to the American people" and "misrepresentd
his own heritage." Martin claimed that Obama was really a Muslim
, was possibly hiding this fact "to endanger Israel
and that "bama's
Muslim religion would obviously raise serious questions in many Jewish circles."
Within a few days, the conservative site ''Free Republic
'' picked up Martin's press release, triggering a long discussion. However, according to Hayes, the issue went dormant after Obama's election to the Senate, only to pick up again in 2006 as rumors spread that Obama was considering a presidential run.
In October, a conservative blog
, Infidel Bloggers Alliance, reposted Martin's press release in response to a question about Obama's heritage. Then, on December 26, conservative activist Ted Sampley, co-founder of Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry
, posted a column suggesting Obama was a closeted
Muslim, heavily quoting Martin's original press release.
According to Hayes, the first of many emails suggesting Obama was a Muslim was forwarded to ''Snopes
'' within hours of Sampley's story. Hayes believes that the email was likely a slightly altered version of the Sampley article, which was in turn heavily based on Martin's 2004 press release. Martin told Hayes that he got numerous calls once the emails began circulating. When the callers asked him if he wrote the release, Martin replied, "They are all my children."
On June 28, 2008 Martin told the ''Washington Post'' that he wasn't "trying to smear anybody," but that it was "just an underreported story."
's book ''The Obama Nation
'', published on August 1, 2008, opens with a quote from Martin on Obama's alleged Muslim heritage and supposed attempts to conceal it.
In October, Jim Rutenberg of ''The New York Times
'' wrote that the book had been "widely discredited".
On October 5, 2008, Martin was featured as a "journalist" on ''Hannity's America
'' of the Fox News Channel
. According to ''The New York Times'', "The program allowed Mr. Martin to assert falsely and without challenge that Mr. Obama had once trained to overthrow the government."
In a subsequent appearance on ''Hannity & Colmes
'', Robert Gibbs
, Obama's communications director, criticized Hannity for allowing Martin to appear on the show.
Then-Fox Senior Vice President Bill Shine
later retracted support for Martin as a guest: "Having that guy on was a mistake. We obviously didn't do enough research on who the guest was."
Allegations of Obama's father being Frank Marshall Davis
In an interview featured on the CNN
network's ''American Morning
'' program on October 27, 2008, Martin explicitly abandoned his view that Barack Obama is a Muslim.
In the interview, Martin said that Obama was not the son of Barack Obama, Sr.
, but rather the son of Frank Marshall Davis
, an African American
journalist and political activist who wrote for a newspaper in Hawaii in the 1940s and 1950s that was accused by the House Un-American Activities Committee
as being a front for the Communist Party USA
Martin claimed that he discovered this after a recent trip to Honolulu
, although he offered CNN no substantive proof for the claim.
Lawsuit against the state of Hawaii
thumb|President Barack Obama's short-form birth certificate
On October 17, 2008, Martin filed a lawsuit in a state circuit court
against Governor Linda Lingle
and state health department director Dr. Chiyome Fukino, seeking to verify the state's official birth certificate
Months before this suit, the Obama campaign posted an image of his short-form birth certificate
Martin's lawsuit sought to order the state to release a copy of Obama's long-form birth certificate
"Suit targets Obama document"
, ''The Honolulu Advertiser'' (October 18, 2008).
The short-form birth certificate that the Obama campaign posted online stated that his date of birth as August 4, 1961, his place of birth as Honolulu
, Hawaii, and other details.
Martin was quoted as saying, "I want to see a certified copy issued by the state of Hawai'i, not one issued by the state of Obama."
Hawaii State Department and Health spokeswoman Janice Okubo stated that only people with a "tangible relationship" to a person can access a copy of the person's birth certificate, adding that a 1949 law "was enacted primarily to protect your private information, especially in these days where there's ID theft."
Attorney General Mark Bennett said that he had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment on it, but said that according to Hawaii Revised Statutes it is unlawful to release vital record
s to anyone except individuals listed in state records as having close relations with Obama (that is, a spouse, parents, descendants, or someone with a common ancestor).
In regard to a designee representing Obama, Okubo says "If someone from Obama's campaign gave us permission in person and presented some kind of verification that he or she was Obama's designee, we could release the vital record."
On October 22, 2008, in a Honolulu court proceeding overseen by the Honorable Bert I. Ayabe of the First Circuit of the Supreme Court of Hawaii, the court denied Martin's petition for a writ of mandamus
to order the release of Obama's vital records. A further hearing was held on November 18. On November 19, the court denied Martin's "emergency motion" and dismissed Martin's lawsuit, based on Martin's lack of legal standing
to obtain another person's birth document.
On April 27, 2011, White House staffers gave reporters a copy of the official long-form certificate, and posted a PDF image of the certificate on the White House website.
The certificate reconfirmed the information on the official short-form certificate released in 2008, and provided additional details such as the name of the hospital where Obama was born.
Martin's personal Website
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