His playbook is about 40 years old, but it still works for Anthony R. Martin-Trigona, aka Andy Martin, aka Republican candidate for governor.
Although he has no chance of being elected governor this year, Andy Martin has become quite successful at generating the one thing he really craves – attention.
Martin has set up a straw man – a 14-year-old warrant for his arrest that nearly everyone had forgotten about – and now is using it to portray himself as some kind of political martyr. The arrest warrant stems from a case that goes back to 1972, a long-forgotten case that needed to be closed ages ago.
But it wasn't, and in Martin's narcisstic mind just the threat of an arrest – no matter how far-fetched– carries great publicity potential. He would love nothing more than to be put in handcuffs and carted off, live and on camera, during Friday night's scheduled Republican gubernatorial debate at WILL-TV.
"That would be a great political spectacle," Martin told The News-Gazette's Paul Wood.
Years ago, Martin-Trigona's schtick was to toss lawsuits at the powers-that-be – everyone from presidents to county clerks. He styled himself as a reformer, a consumer advocate, a Don Quixote of Champaign County. Than he moved to Florida and he became their problem, filing lawsuits, insulting judges and politicians, running for office. Now this gadfly, once a Democrat but now a Republican, once Anthony Martin-Trigona but now Andy Martin, is back with a campaign devoid of any issues except to call attention to himself.
Champaign County officials shouldn't allow themselves to be used – nor the judicial system abused – by Martin. If there's a warrant out for his arrest, dismiss it.
Save our tax money for real criminals, real issues, real needs. Don't use it to feed a would-be politician's insatiable ego.