Sen. Mel Martinez said last night that his office was the source of the anonymous political talking-points memo on the Terri Schiavo situation and that he unwittingly passed the memo to Sen. Tom Harkin, Iowa Democrat.A Republican staffer wrote them but the stories read much differently when you know the authors and circumstances. Now we just need to know who wrote the Rathergate memo and who 'outted' Valerie Palme.
Mr. Harkin had told reporters earlier in the day that he got the memo on the Senate floor from Mr. Martinez, contradicting previous statements to The Washington Times by the Florida Republican's office that neither the senator nor his staff had produced or distributed the memo.
Mr. Martinez said in a statement last night, after repeated inquiries by The Washington Times, that unbeknownst to him, one of his staffers had produced the memo and it came into his possession. He said the staff member, whom he did not name, has resigned. A Senate aide identified the staffer as Brian Darling, legal counsel for Mr. Martinez's office.
Mr. Martinez said Mr. Harkin told him about the memo yesterday. The Republican said he had meant to give Mr. Harkin a document describing Mr. Martinez's bill to prolong Mrs. Schiavo's life while federal courts reviewed her situation.
"Until this afternoon, I had never seen it and had no idea a copy of it had ever been in my possession. I have vehemently denied the memo and its sentiments, as has my staff," he said in a statement.
"As I have stated numerous times, I vehemently condemn this memo's sentiments. This memo in no way reflected my motivations for being involved in this legislation whatsoever," Mr. Martinez said.
He said an internal office investigation determined that "a senior member of my staff was unilaterally responsible for this document."
Thursday, April 07, 2005
Sciavo talking points memo
It took the Washington Times to find out the talking points came from Sen Martinez (R) Florida,