Former Drug Runner Flying Fred Thompson Around
by Jeff Dinelli
Let me start by saying I don't have a problem with the fact that Fred Thompson's campaign trips are being taken on a plane owned by friend Philip Martin, who has a drug-related criminal past. There's no harm in a former criminal participating in the political process. My problem is in the seemingly ever-present Republican hypocrisy revealed in the story.
The facts: Martin entered a plea of guilty to the sale of 11 pounds of marijuana in 1979; the court withheld judgment pending completion of his probation. He was charged in 1983 with violating his probation and with multiple counts of felony bookmaking, cocaine trafficking and conspiracy. He pleaded no contest to the cocaine-trafficking and conspiracy charges, which stemmed from a plan to sell $30,000 worth of the drug, and was continued on probation.
It's early here, but if I read this correctly, the dude gets probation for weed, violates said probation, pleads guilty for coke and still manages to stay out of jail? I smell a rat, as in, he gave up some names to keep from doing time.
The Fred, of course, lies and says he was unaware of his friend's past legal difficulties and will continue to keep Martin on the payroll, which is fine with me, although you know this will create a feeding frenzy in the media.
The thing that isn't cool about the whole thing is that I'm sure Fred is all about automatic sentencing for drug violations and has surely put his share of drug users and dealers behind bars for obscene sentences as a federal prosecutor. Or was that on TV, I get confused?