Forty years ago, Andy Martin made a promise to a young woman he loved. Continuing to honor that pledge is at the core of his presidential campaign in 2011.
ANDY MARTIN /2012
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for President of the United States
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Andy Martin writes about a pledge he made forty years ago that continues to motivate his presidential campaign
Andy maintains a commitment to public integrity and good government that he made in 1971
(NEW YORK)(October 8, 2011) I have known for some time that October 8, 2011 was going to be a difficult day for me. It has been.
Forty years ago, October 8, 1971 was perhaps the worst day of my life. I have seen difficult days since then. My life has been in danger from time to time. There have been problems that sometimes appeared hopeless and insoluble. But I have never felt as helpless and forlorn as I did on October 8th, 1971.
I don’t think I could have written these remarks if it was not for two episodes during the past week. First, there was the death of Steve Jobs, which reminded us of his creative origins in the 1960’s and 70’s. Second, I watched in horror the disgraceful interview of Presidential Candidate Herman Cain by MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell. The 1960’s were back in full force.
Also earlier last week my “super team” in Honolulu that makes possible my cutting edge research on President Barack Obama’s character and personal history voted for a boat ride before I left for the airport. As we sailed across Kaneohe Bay and enjoyed a picnic lunch on the water my mind drifted back to events forty years ago. Even now the sense of loss and frustration is still present. I knew October 8th was approaching.
The great writer William Faulkner said “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” In my case, thanks to a pledge I made to a lovely lady who tragically died on October 8, 1971 the past has remained very much alive in my spirit.
I was engaged to marry a wonderful woman. Ours was a storybook romance. We felt we were already married. So when we made a commitment to each other “forever” we had no idea how our pledge of love “forever” would test us to the very edge of our souls.
My fiancée died twice. She got up for work one morning in September, 1970 and collapsed. During the next few months we lived a nightmare. Later, the only neurosurgeon in Champaign-Urbana, at the Carle Hospital, told us he had never seen a patient who had come so close to death and survived. He asked if he could treat her just to study her case.
We survived together. [The details of our relationship are beyond the scope of these remarks. I wrote a book about the experience but never sought a publisher.] Ours was and is a love story with a sad ending but a great message. Be true to yourself and to each other. True love should be forever.
Although my fiancé recovered in 1970 she lived with the fear her illness could return. Could it? Would it? We had no idea. Hard as it is to believe today, medicine then was still relatively primitive when it came to viruses and neurological illnesses.
As worked through what had happened to her (she didn’t have much memory of what happened to her after she collapsed) and how she had survived we always returned to her fear of whether the illness could return. She insisted on only one promise from me. I don’t remember the setting, but the gist of her words still resonates in my soul. “Promise me that if this comes back and I don’t survive, you will never stop fighting the good fight. Keep after the bad guys, the crooked politicians and corrupt institutions. Never surrender.” Casually, and without much thought to what that promise might involve, I said “Of course I will.”
Then came October 8, 1971. My fiancée had relapsed a year after her original collapse. The illness had returned. This time she was at Burnham City Hospital in Champaign, Illinois. Every morning and every evening I went by to sit with her even though she was unconscious.
October 8th started out as an exciting day for me. I had been invited to appear as a guest on the Lee Philip Show on Channel 2 in Chicago. Channel 2’s invitation was the first time my corruption-fighting efforts had attracted media attention in Chicago. Another guest on the program was State Representative Henry Hyde, who was to go on decades later to become famous for legislation (the Hyde Amendment) and notoriety (for violating his marital vows in the aftermath of Newt Gingrich’s scandals).
I stopped off at the hospital in the morning before taking the train up to Chicago. She was sitting there quietly, propped up, and I spoke a few words to her.
On my return from Chicago that evening I went to her hospital room. The bed was empty. My gal had died during the day.
During the past forty years I have never wavered in fighting corruption, in Illinois where I helped send crooked politicians and judges to prison, and nationally where our congress has grown increasingly detached from the American people. That’s why I am a presidential candidate in 2012.
No, I haven’t won every battle. When you fight the bad guys, they usually win. But we still have to keep fighting.
In Illinois, when you expose corruption you make enemies, not friends. In 1971 I was in the midst of a battle with the Illinois Supreme Court, which was attacking me for helping to remove two crooked Supreme Court justices. You can imagine what it’s like to be a young law graduate and have what was then the nation’s most corrupt supreme court trying to derail your career. It wasn’t easy.
I have remained true to my pledge for over forty years. I never sold out. The temptation was there from time to time but luckily I rejected every opportunity. I had made a promise and
I could never go back on the pledge I made to the woman who meant the world to me. Her memory still does.
You can argue about where I stand today in the presidential standings. I am probably candidate #9 or #10, just outside the TV debate roster. So I am a dark horse and unlikely to win the nomination. But I will keep fighting for the average, ordinary American and for American families that are struggling.
I am committed to making the Republican Party a political party that serves the American people instead of enslaving the American people. It’s not an easy task. There are more than enough bad guys to go around in both political parties. The Democrats are just as bad, probably worse.
Looking back, I can see how my presidential campaign was preordained by someone who left a legacy of love and commitment when she departed this life in 1971. I am eternally indebted to her. And I intend to keep the promise I made to her 40 years ago today. To fight the good fight and never surrender to the bad guys.
If America is a nation founded on the “exceptionalism” of God-given freedom and respect for the individual, and I believe it is, we can never abandon the moral legacy that continues to make this the greatest nation in history. I will do my best to keep fighting. I am not alone.
Note: We will have a special column on the Cain/O’Donnell interview (defending Cain) and a column on Cain’s candidacy (ripping Cain a new one). And, I am once again immersed in political controversy. My support for the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd has prompted a backlash from some of my Republican friends. The more things change… I apologize for the foregoing personal history; some of you may find it boring and some of you may find it interesting or inspirational. But as Faulkner said, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
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ABOUT ANDY: Andy Martin’s family immigrated to Manchester, New Hampshire 100 years ago. His mom was born in Manchester. Growing up, Andy spent summers in New Hampshire. That’s why he’s New Hampshire’s “Favorite Son” presidential candidate in the 2012 presidential primary election.
Today Andy is a legendary New York and Chicago-based muckraker, author, Internet columnist, talk television pioneer, radio talk show host, broadcaster and media critic. Chicago Public Radio calls Andy a “boisterous Internet activist.” The Chicago Tribune calls him “Chicago’s own…political activist.” He has over forty years of background in radio and television. He is the author of “Obama: The Man Behind The Mask” [www.OrangeStatePress.com] and he produced the Internet film “Obama: The Hawaii’ Years” [www.BoycottHawaii.com]. Andy is the Executive Editor and publisher of the “Internet Powerhouse,” http://www.ContrarianCommentary.com. He comments on regional, national and international events with more than four decades of investigative and analytical experience both in the USA and around the world.
Andy has been a leading corruption fighter in Illinois and American politics and courts for over forty years. [www.AndyMartin.com] He is currently sponsoring http://www.AmericaisReadyforReform.com. See also http://www.FirstRespondersOnline.us; http://www.EnglishforAmerica.org
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 (LaGuardia CC, Bronx CC).
Andy’s columns are also posted at ContrarianCommentary.blogspot.com; ContrarianCommentary.wordpress.com.
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© Copyright by Andy Martin 2011 – All Rights Reserved