Behind the scenes: The GOP’s birther, anti-Semite debacle

UPDATE: Martin plans to sue Kimball to clear his “good name.”

They had had numerous opportunities to cancel the event. Everyone knew it would leave them vulnerable to charges that they cavort with crackpots and haters. And everyone knew the Democrats would exploit it. But in the end, the Republican State Committee and the Contoocook Valley GOP cancelled a long-planned appearance by the allegedly anti-Semitic so-called “king of the birthers” Andy Martin because GOP fundraisers and donors called Chairman Jack Kimball and told him they could no longer help the party if this nonsense continued.

As one relieved high-level party operative told NH Journal, “thank God the grown-ups intervened.”

On Saturday afternoon State GOP Chairman Jack Kimball and CV GOP Chair J.P. Marzullo issued statements saying Martin had been uninvited to Monday’s local GOP meeting in Deering, NH, where Martin intended to announce his candidacy for president, but only after Martin’s anti-Semitic quotes surfaced in the press. (Martin once pledged to “eradicate Jew Power [sic] in America.”) The event had been listed on that Republican State Committee’s website for weeks.

But Martin’s outrageous behavior has been on display for years. In addition to his criticism of Jews and his role in spreading Internet rumors that President Barack Obama is secretly a Muslim who was not born in the U.S., Martin financed a radio ad in which he accused now-U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) of being “a de facto pedophile.” He also floated a rumor that Kirk is a homosexual. Martin also sued the Republican National Committee for refusing to grant him access to Voter Vault, the party’s voter database.

Nevertheless, the state party declined to get involved in the Martin controversy less than twenty-four hours beforehand when it had the opportunity to speak out about the matter to the Concord Monitor. Indeed, a Journal investigation shows CV GOP Chair and State GOP Vice Chair J.P. Marzullo appeared even to endorse Martin’s latest book in a January 24th interview with WTPL radio.

“He’s a very interesting fellow and you’ll be seeing more of him in the state I’m sure,” Marzullo told host Brian Tilton [AUDIO]. “I’m about halfway through his book, ‘Obama: The Man Behind the Mask,’ and a lot of that stuff is right on. So I’m interested in seeing him. I was also at the event, the GOP event, on Saturday and was fortunate enough to be elected Area Vice Chair of Area 3.”

NH Journal has obtained e-mails detailing a fast-moving series of events in which fundraisers and donors to the GOP organized behind the scenes to pressure Chairman Jack Kimball to pull the plug on the GOP’s dalliance with Martin. These donors were prepared to call on Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Reps. Charlie Bass and Frank Guinta to urge them to commit not to raise money for the state party unless Martin was uninvited from the event. As of this posting it is unclear whether any of the state’s Republican Congressional delegation actually intervened.

What particularly outraged the donors was the state party’s refusal to denounce the Martin event in a Saturday Concord Monitor story. “Mr. Martin is a guest of the Deering GOP committee. He has not contacted the NHGOP and I am not familiar with Mr. Martin’s background, or any of his statements, and as such I can not [sic] comment on them,” said GOP spokesperson Christine Baratta in a statement. “However, under no circumstance does the Republican Party condone any sort of anti-Semitic statements or behavior.”

According to the e-mails obtained by the Journal, Baratta’s comments were nothing less than a forfeiture of the party’s responsibility to present the Granite State GOP in a positive light at a time when its first-in-the-nation primary is under attack and to isolate crackpots who only serve to discredit the party.

Kimball and Marzullo ultimately relented and uninvited Martin on Saturday afternoon.

“These guys come in and take over the party promising to purge ‘RINOs’ but they are completely silent about this nut?” one GOP official said to the Journal on the condition of anonymity.

Author: Shawn Millerick

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