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Opinion: Fred Thompson looking for another plane

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Philip Martin, the former drug-dealing friend of former prosecutor Fred Thompson, has quit the presidential campaign after weekend revelations in the Washington Post about his criminal past.

‘I have decided to resign my position as chair of ‘First Day Founders’ of ‘The Friends of Fred Thompson,’ ' Martin said in a statement. ‘The focus of this campaign should be on Fred Thompson’s positions on the issues and his outstanding leadership ability, not on mistakes I made some 24 years ago. I deeply regret any embarrassment this has caused.’

Martin ran afoul of the law while living in Florida when he was in his 20s, pleaded guilty to some drug charges but managed to avoid jail time. He later moved to Tennessee, where he became a successful businessman and met Thompson. Martin had been one of four co-chairs of Thompson’s campaign, and had let Thompson rent his private plane to move between campaign appearances.

The Times’ Michael Finnegan has the full story here on this website and in Tuesday’s print editions.

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-- Scott Martelle


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