Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 15 October 2010 00:00
7th District Senatorial Candidate Jack Martins held a “truth” conference last Friday to address the alleged accusations regarding his campaign headquarters made by Senator Craig Johnson. Martins stood outside Johnson’s District office on Herricks Road addressing supporters, passersby, media members and one Johnson representative.
Martins said he invited Johnson to speak with him at the press conference. Johnson was at a job fair at Nassau Community College on Friday.
“For the next three weeks, we’re going to focus on the issues,” Martins said. “We’re going to focus on the need to cut spending, to cut taxes and give people the tax relief they need and desensitize our businesses and our small businesses to begin to invest in our economy again.”
Martins said he would not go to the job fair and search for Johnson. “I will not have this debate in the middle of a job fair. I respect the residents of our county too much to have this debate there. Johnson and I are going to have this debate again whether it be at a League of Women Voters debate or any other place he may choose.”
When asked if he really thought Johnson would come out and speak to Martins at his district office, Martins stated that he did. “If someone called me out on something like that, I’m there. Everything I’ve printed, everything I’ve written, is purely factual and is based on his voting record.
“I have not attacked him, his affiliation with his law firm, his family or business dealings.”
“This was a stunt,” a Johnson representative stated in a phone interview with the Mineola American. “The whole event was a substance free farce. Most of the stuff that Martins was referring to were allegations of other media outlets. What we’ve seen is a record that shows that Jack Martins believes there’s a set of rules for him and a set of rules for everybody else. Senator Johnson was busy getting people back to work today.”
Martins addressed the reports that he was not paying rent on his campaign headquarters on Jericho Turnpike or declared the receipt of the space as an in-kind contribution. He said that he checked with New York States Board of Elections about in-kind contributions.
Martins said he concluded that it was far more important to be discussing taxes and MTA payroll taxes than to be discussing something that can be handled at the end of a campaign.
“I asked about listing headquarters as in-kind contributions,” he said. “They said it’s common for people to set up their headquarters in places that people offer them in lieu of a contribution and to list it not on each filing, but at the end of the campaign. I would guess that perhaps if we looked, historically at campaigns around the area, that it is not unusual to have people listing their headquarters at the end of the campaign.”