Born in Charlotte and raised in Waxhaw, Martin got involved in politics early, as student body president of UNC during his undergraduate years. Fast forward to 2000 and he’s technology advisor to the Bush-Cheney Transition Team. Sworn-in to the Federal Communications Commission in 2001, President Bush tapped him to be chairman in March 2005. Pundits praised him as a “coalition-builder,” but maybe he didn't build ‘em fast enough: Faced with lack of commissioners' support, he recently was forced to withdraw his proposal to force cable operators to carry extra digital channels from local stations. His stance on broadcast “indecency” caused one critic to describe Martin as having “a blatant disrespect for the First Amendment” (what the hell; it’s only the Constitution). One of our CL panelists put it even more succinctly: “He’s a business-slave, puritanical Nazi.”
As for Rhonetta Johnson ... well, you know you’re famous when just about every Idol blog directs fans to your rap sheet on the Mecklenburg County Jail Web site under “Inmate Lookup.” Our girl Johnson, who gave a Statesville address in a 2003 arrest report (and later moved to Mooresville, according to a 2005 arrest report) is a perp with priors that include DWI, indecent exposure and assault with a deadly weapon (cutting). She auditioned in Greensboro for American Idol and, when she didn't make it to Hollywood, she let the judges have a piece of her mind, especially Paula: “She can’t talk about nobody else because she ain't made an album in about 20 damn years.” What spunk! Later, in a post-Idol interview, Johnson said she wanted to be “the next Tom Cruise.” ‘Nuff said.