Note to Fred: Always Know Your Dealer

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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FREDDIE AND THE SNOWMAN Thompson, Martin (inset) (Photo: Getty Images)

It's never easy breaking up with generous drug dealers. When they have in their possession a comfy luxury jet you're growing increasingly attached to, and when they're committed to asking that lots of people give you lots of money, it's pretty close to impossible. So it's reasonable that Fred Thompson took to Meet the Press yesterday to explain that he won't yet abandon his Tennessee Tony Montana, Philip Martin, a man now known to have a criminal rap sheet racked with weed, blow, trafficking, and book-making charges.

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Still, Thompson may soon need to ask that Martin make some "I-don't-want-to-jeopardize-the campaign" announcements on his own. Today come reports that Martin, the high-flying co-chairman of Thompson's "First-Day Founders" fundraising faction, has a couple untidy liens and various other tax maladies lingering. Quickly, the boys-will-be-boys gambit Thompson's employed will have to expand and include various Norman Hsu-like issues of crooked money men and the lawsuits they inspire. Martin's lawyer, though, sounds a notably optimistic note: He tells the Washington Post that, "for a man engaged in 1,000 transactions a year, he doesn't have near the amount of litigation that some of my clients do."



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