Thursday, April 07, 2005

Schiavo Memo Put to Bed

Yes, all of you right wing conspiracy theorist can stop your pontifications on which dubious Democrat planted the memo in order to make the Republicans to look bad. As usual, it was a Republican, who made the Republicans look bad. Florida Republican Sen. Mel Martinez has copped to the memo coming from his office.

Martinez: Schiavo Memo Was From My Office

WASHINGTON - Florida Republican Sen. Mel Martinez says an infamous unsigned memo passed around on Capitol Hill emphasizing the politics of the Terri Schiavo case originated in his office.

The memo — first reported by ABC News on March 18 and by The Washington Post and The Associated Press two days later — said the fight going on then over removing Schiavo's feeding tube "is a great political issue ... and a tough issue for Democrats."

"This is an important moral issue and the pro-life base will be excited that the Senate is debating this important issue," said the memo, which was described at the time as being circulated among Senate Republicans while legislation was being considered to place the Schiavo case under the jurisdiction of federal courts.

Martinez said in a written statement that he discovered Wednesday that the memo had been written by an aide in his office.

"It is with profound disappointment and regret that I learned today that a senior member of my staff was unilaterally responsible for this document," Martinez said.

He said he accepted the resignation of the staffer who drafted and circulated the memo. "This type of behavior and sentiment will not be tolerated in my office," he said.

Martinez did not identify the aide, but The Washington Post said he was the senator's legal counsel, Brian Darling.

"Until this afternoon, I had never seen it and had no idea a copy of it had ever been in my possession," Martinez said of the document. He had previously denied knowing anything about the memo and condemned its sentiments.

The memo had been disavowed by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, both primary forces behind Congress passing the bill and sending it to President Bush on March 21.

(Full Story)


Sigmund, Carl and Alfred said...

What an idiot that darling is. Cynical, cold bastard.

He should be drawn an quartered. My feelings on Schiavo are known, but I was glad to see the GOP distance itself from that crap.

Dingo said...

Another tidbit - on the '04 campaign, Martinez's Senate campaign put out a nasty mailer on primary opponent Bill McCollum, alleging that McCollum catered to the :"radical homosexual lobby?" Martinez said he hadn't seen the flier and disavowed its contents, even though it was sent out with the usual "paid for by Martinez for Senate" line. - the note

Martinez knew what he had. He gave it to Harkin and called it a "talking point" memo.

And you know my feelings in the matter. I had no problem with the many who wanted to keep her alive. It was/is a respectful position. But trying to get political gain out of it went too for.

TFtR said...

Referring to your comment from the Anchoress' blog, here's the requested explanation.

The Washington Post said that the memo was distributed by Republican Party leaders to Republican Senators. According to yesterday's Washington Times story, not one of the 55 GOP Senators ever saw the memo.

The Post's characterization of the memo as a GOP talking points memo was greatly overblown. It turns out it was an unauthorized memo by a Republican Senator's staffer that was never meant to be distributed to anyone and was inadvertently given to Senator Harkin (which seems plausible, because why would Martinez give over the memo to Democratic Senator Harkin).

The memo was used by the media to trumpet the notion that Republican's were "politicizing" the Schiavo case, and by the end of the weekend, polls indicated that the public agreed. The public agreed because they had heard all weekend on the Sunday morning shows about this "awful Republican memo."

Accordingly, the Post owes an apology for misrepresenting who distributed the memo and who the memo was distributed to.

Dingo said...


1) A Republican Senator handed it to a Democrat. How could he have not seen it? If he *didn't* see it, he has a habit of this. Doesn't seem like a very good Senator.

2) Senate pages have said they saw the GOP Senators with the memos (pages are non-partisan)

3) Martinez called it a "talking point" memo when he gave it to Harkin.

4) I trust the Times about as much as you trust the Post.

Thanks for taking the time to come by and leave your comments. We don't agree, but I always welcome adverse positions on my blog