|Anthony Robert Martin-Trigona|
|Known for||Frequent political candidate, various lawsuits, allegations involving Barack Obama's birthplace and father|
Anthony Robert Martin-Trigona (born 1945), usually known as Andy Martin, is an American journalist. He has attracted attention for his political campaigns, filing numerous lawsuits, and for making unsuccessful attempts to win public office for both the Republican and Democratic parties. He has also run twice for the office of President of the United States, once in 1988 and again in 2000.
Martin was accused in the press of being the source of false rumors that U.S. President Barack Obama is secretly a Muslim. Later, in an interview with CNN, Martin asserted that Obama's real father was not Barack Obama Sr. but Frank Marshall Davis, an African American journalist of the 1950s. To counter these claims the Obama campaign posted an image of a certified copy of his birth certificate online. On October 17, 2008, Martin filed a lawsuit against the state of Hawaii calling for the public release of Barack Obama's long-form birth certificate. On October 22, 2008 the Supreme Court of Hawaii denied the request.
In 1973 the Illinois Supreme Court refused to grant him a license to practice law in the state. It cited several instances of troubling conduct on Martin's part, including an attempt to have a parking violation thrown out because it had been "entered by an insane judge" and his description of an attorney as "shaking and tottering and drooling like an idiot."
Martin then became involved in consumer advocacy. Calling himself "the people's attorney general," he takes 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.
His 1996 run for the Florida State Senate came undone 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, he assaulted two cameramen from WPTV, the NBC affiliate in West Palm Beach. He was convicted of criminal mischief and sentenced to a year in jail. He was freed pending appeal, but made personal attacks on the judge while on the way out of the courtroom.  The judge held Martin in criminal contempt of court and sentenced him to seven months in jail. However, he was mistakenly let out of jail after only a month. Martin never returned, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. The warrant was still outstanding at least as of the time of Martin's 2008 Senate run, but he said the issue is being "resolved."
During his 2000 run for president, he ran a television advertisement in Connecticut accusing George W. Bush of using cocaine. In 2003, after several visits to Iraq he claimed he was 90 percent certain he knew where Saddam Hussein was hiding and put in a claim for the $25 million reward on offer for the former Iraqi dictator's capture.
In 1982, Edward Weinfeld, a federal judge for the Southern District of New York, observed that Martin had a tendency to file "a substantial number of lawsuits of a vexatious, frivolous and scandalous nature." In Martin's motion for the 1983 bankruptcy case, he called the 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.
According to a report by journalist Chris Hayes for The Nation, Martin issued a press release shortly after Barack Obama's keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention that he had evidence Obama "lied to the American people" and "misrepresent[ed] his own heritage." Martin claimed that Obama was really a Muslim, was possibly hiding this fact "to endanger Israel," and that "[Obama's] Muslim religion would obviously raise serious questions in many Jewish circles."
Jerome Corsi'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. Jim Rutenberg of The New York Times says that the book has been "widely discredited". On October 5, 2008, Martin was featured as a journalist on Hannity's America on 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 an interview featured on the CNN network's American Morning program on October 27, 2008, Andy Martin explicitly abandoned his view that Barack Obama is a Muslim. In the interview, Martin asserts a newer view that Obama is not the son of Barack Obama, Sr., but is 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 his recent trip to Honolulu, although he offered CNN no substantive proof for the claim.
On October 17, 2008, Martin filed a lawsuit in a state circuit court of Hawaii against Governor Linda Lingle and health department director Dr. Chiyome Fukino, seeking to verify the state's official birth certificate of Barack Obama. 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." On November 19, the court denied Martin's "emergency motion" and dismissed the lawsuit on the grounds of Martin's lack of legal standing to obtain another person's birth document.
On December 17, 2009, Martin announced at a press conference in New York that he would be filing a lawsuit against the Wikimedia Foundation seeking an injunction. Martin called the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikipedia "protosocialist scams" that target conservatives, and a tax exempt wing of United States President Barack Obama's political operations. The announcement was accompanied by a press release, and occurred while he was at a conference in New York for the "Second National Conference on Barack Obama’s Missing Birth Certificate and College Records".
Martin is a Republican candidate for U.S. Senator in Illinois for the seat being vacated by Sen. Roland Burris. The Illinois primary will be conducted on February 2, 2010. In December 2009, Martin ran radio ads which included Martin requesting that one of his opponents, Republican Mark Kirk, answer claims about his sexuality made by Illinois Republican Jack Roeser. The Illinois Republican Party Chairman Patrick Brady subsequently announced "The Illinois Republican Party disavows the statements made today by Mr. Andrew Martin in his statewide radio advertisements...Mr. Martin will no longer be recognized as a legitimate Republican candidate by the Illinois Republican Party." Martin returned 37,359 votes, five percent of the total votes.